Gozo Shioda

Gozo Shioda sensei, Founder of the Yoshinkan style of Aikido

Shioda sensei was born in 1915 as the son of a prominent paediatrician. As a young man he practiced both Kendo and Judo. His particular favourite was Judo, and he quickly achieved the 3rd Dan level of training. However, at age 18 he experienced a turning point in his martial arts career. He went to visit the Kobukan dojo of Ueshiba sensei. Sensing the young man’s skepticism, Ueshiba sensei invited him to attack in any way he liked. Shioda resolved to attack the older man with all his might, and soon found himself thrown through the air and hitting the ground hard. Shioda had no idea how he had been thrown.

Shioda immediately joined the Kobukan dojo and began his study of Aikido under the tutelage of Ueshiba sensei. At first, he would train at the dojo daily while completing his education. He eventually spent 8 years as a live-in student of Ueshiba sensei after completing his university education.

After returning to Japan at the end of the Second World War, Shioda sensei spent a brief period of time studying with Ueshiba sensei in Iwama. In 1954, he gave a memorable public martial arts demonstration and was awarded the grand prize. Within a year of this demonstration, he founded the Yoshinkan. In conjunction with two of his most senior students, Inoue sensei and Kushida sensei, he developed the Yoshinkan’s teaching methodology based on foundational movements and techniques. Shioda sensei was awarded his 9th Dan by Ueshiba sensei in 1961. He passed away in 1994 having contributed to the spread of Aikido throughout the world.

Two prominent early exponents of Yoshinkan Aikido: Inoue sensei (9th Dan) and Kimeda Sensei (9th Dan).