The Yoshinkan 'House for Cultivating the Spirit' was founded after World War Two. This style of aikido is occasionally called the hard style because the training methods are a product of the grueling period Soke Shioda Gozo spent as a student of Ueshiba. Yoshinkan Aikido has some 150 basic techniques which are practiced repeatedly, these enable the student to master the remaining ones, which total some 3000 overall.
Yoshinkan Aikido is not a sport. Aikido is a martial art which develops the body, mind, and spirit. The practical side of Aikido must never be forgotten. However, Aikido is for all, irrespective of age, sex, race or culture.
"In 1963 Masatoshi (Bill) Umetsu started a Judo club in Burlington, Ontario. He called it Seikeikan Judo Club. Umetsu sensei was a very strong competitor and was particularly skilled in mat work. He was so strong that he was nicknamed "the human hoist". The name was derived from the fact that if he was held down on his back on the ground he could pick up his opponent and turn his opponent off himself and then pin him on the ground so that he could not escape. His tachi waza consisted of techniques to take the opponent to the ground. So you might guess that Sutemi Waza techniques were his favourites. However, he was particularly good at Tai Otoshi, and Uki Goshi. Both Umetsu brothers were strong judoka. Jack (Toru) was very very quick as I found out when I practiced with him. He didn't practice as much at the Seikeikan.
The Symbol that is used for
Seikeikan is the plum blossom "ume". This was the crest that Umetsu
sensei used as a family crest.
The concept of Seikeikan deals with the idea that, to learn a martial art, is to learn the lessons of life. Umetsu sensei was skilled in the Japanese Language and he particularly was fond of the derivation of characters. The first character "Sei" is derived from a old character for a tool used in the honing of wood. He uses that character to describe the lessons of life, because he said it is from the lessons of life that a person should fine tune his or her character.
The second character, "Kei", deals with a foot path or if you wish the foot path of life that we all walk.
Kan of course means a practice hall.
So the term Seikeikan as Umetsu sensei meant it to be means: