Yoshinkan & The Shioda Family

Yoshinkan Aikido

The Yoshinkan 'House for Cultivating the Spirit' was founded after World War Two by Gozo Shioda. 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 practised 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.

Gozo Shioda (1915 - 1994)

Early life

Shioda was born on September 9, 1915, in Shinjuku, Tokyo His father was Seiichi Shioda, a physician who also taught judo and kendo. Shioda was a weak child, and reportedly credited his survival to his father's pediatric skills. While still at school, Shioda trained in judo, attaining the rank of 3rd dan before completing secondary school. He also trained in kendo during his youth.

Aikido career

Shioda began training under the founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, in 1932. His training as an uchi-deshi (live-in student) under Ueshiba continued for eight years. Shioda was a small man, standing at around 5' 1" to 5' 2" (155–157 cm) and weighing around 102 lb. to 108 lb. (46–49 kg).

Shioda graduated from Takushoku University, where he went to class with Judo master Masahiko Kimura and Kyokushin Karate founder Mas Oyama, in 1941, and was posted to administrative positions in China, Taiwan, and Borneo during World War II. In one incident in China, he was drinking in a bar with an army friend in Shanghai when the friend got into an argument with a local gang member. Three of his fellow gang members came to his assistance. Shioda and his friend were cornered by the gang.

In the ensuing fight, Shioda broke the leg of one of the gang members, the arm of another, and stopped another by punching him in the stomach, all using his aikido skills. Shioda later described this incident as his 'aikido enlightenment' and wrote that one could only truly appreciate what aikido was about once one had used it in a life-or-death situation.

Yasuhisa Shioda Soke

Today Yasuhisa Shioda continues to share his fathers wish to share Aikido around the world, After Gozo Shioda's death in 1994, in order to spread his father's legacy throughout the world, he has been teaching aikido and has also become an author. In 2007, he became the new Yoshinkan Kancho, and also the Third Soke of Yoshinkan Aikido

Yasuhisa Shioda Shihan is the SIAF's chief instructor. He has trained in Aikido for nearly 50 years, having begun daily Aikido practice at age 13 under the teaching of his father, Gozo Shioda Kancho at the Yoshinkan Aikido Honbu Dojo. As he matured, he began to help his father promote the Yoshinkan style by teaching it in universities and to police departments and various other organizations. Eventually, he began to travel around the world, widely spreading the principles and techniques of Aikido. Among his ventures was a three-year residency in London, England where he came to realize that Aikido extends beyond the technical to consideration for others and to the spirit of candor and openness.

When Gozo Shioda passed away in 1994, Yasuhisa Shihan took up the challenge of keeping his father's legacy alive through teaching and writing about Aikido. For nearly four decades, he has traveled throughout several continents and has helped aikidoka refine and improve their practice of the art. Additionally, he has co-authored with his father the instructional manual titled "Aikido--The Complete Basic Techniques," and has authored an informative "Afterword" to Gozo Shioda's book, "Aikido--My Spiritual Journey."

With his recently launched SIAF, Yasuhisa Shioda Shihan brings structure to his father's mission of promoting Aikido worldwide and offers to aikidoka everywhere the opportunity to realize the spirit of Budo.

In accomplishing this mission Yasuhisa Shioda Shihan is delighted to be working with aikido instructors around the world.

The Origins of Yoshinkan Aikido