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CANADA, HISTORY OF AIKIDO IN

Takeshi KIMEDA is credited with introducing YOSHINKAN AIKIDO to Canada on his arrival in 1964 in Toronto, Ontario. Kimeda, presently ranked 7th dan, systematically built up a network of dojos in the Toronto, Hamilton and Windsor areas. This development was enhanced by the arrival of Mitsugoro KARASAWA, now a 6th dan, in 1970. The major Canadian Yoshinkan instructors in the greater Toronto/Hamilton area include Allister THOMPSON, Fred HAYNES, Enore GARDINIO, James STEWART, Don Hoo, Brian Budgell, Roger Plomish and Greg West. After 1975, Windsor, which is on the U. S. /Canadian border in southern Ontario, also evolved into a center of Yoshinkan Aikido, largely due to the arrival of Takashi KUSHIDA in 1973 in Detroit, Michigan across the border. The major Canadian instructors in the Windsor area are James and Sue JEANNETTE and Kevin and Patricia BLOK. Outside of Ontario, Yoshinkan Aikido has spread to British Columbia on the West Coast where principal instructors are Jim Kootnekoff and Keith Taylor. The Yoshinkan dojos in Ontario under Kimeda belong to the AIKIDO YOSHINKAN CANADA (AYC) organization which has about 12 dojos and more than 500 practicing members. AYC's current president is Brian Budgell. Historically, this group has had close links with the AIKIDO YOSHINKAI ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA (AYANA) of Kushida and the Yoshinkan Aikido Hombu Dojo in Tokyo. In 1980, AYC, AYANA and Aikido Yoshinkan of California jointly hosted the second trip of Gozo SHIODA to North America which included a visit to Ontario. Kimeda officially ended organizational links with AYANA in 1987 which reduced Kushida's influence in Canada. The creation of the INTERNATIONAL YOSHINKAI AIKIDO FEDERATION in 1990 has recently altered the political status quo among Yoshinkan dojos in Canada. Moreover, the severance of ties with Kushida by the Yoshinkan Hombu on 1 August 1990 is likely to produce major changes among dojos in North America.

The introduction of AIKIKAI HOMBU-style aikido to Canada begins with the arrival in Montreal in January 1967 of Massimo DI VILLADORATA. A former student of Motokage KAWAMUKAI and Hiroshi TADA, di Villadorata developed a core group of students who in turn opened new schools, primarily in the Montreal area. His Montreal Aikikai is today the largest aikido dojo in Canada with more than 200 members. Some of the early Aikikai teachers active in the Toronto area in the 1970s were Masanori Yazu, Bruce Styles, Henry Kono and Bill Collins. In 1975, Yukio KAWAHARA arrived in Montreal as a 4th dan representing the Aikikai and remained there for several years before relocating to Vancouver, B. C. Kawahara's coming was due to the efforts of Fumio ISHIYAMA, a Japanese aikidoka resident in Montreal. Ishiyama also later relocated to British Columbia where he is presently active instructing in the Vancouver-Victoria area. Another Japanese instructor in Canada representing the Aikikai and residing near Toronto is Osamu Obata.

The organization grouping together Aikikai-affiliated dojos is the Canadian Aikido Federation which was established c. 1976. It presently comprises some 40 dojos throughout Canada which are organized on the provincial level.

YOSEIKAN AIKIDO is represented in Canada due to the efforts of Patrick AUG