Takashi Kushida-sensei (1935-2012): Yoshokai Aikido
Kushida Takashi (born May 2, 1935) began his Aikido study at the time Yoshinkai Aikido was founded. In the first several months after he joined Aikido, Kushida-sensei commuted to the dojo as a regular class member. Soon after, upon Shioda-sensei’s instruction and request, Kushida-sensei became one of the first uchideshi (live-in student) at the Yoshinakan Dojo. For ten years, Kushida-sensei lived in the dojo as an uchideshi and became a certified instructor in 1964. After his marriage to Hisako Kono, Kushida-sensei became Shihan (a senior instructor of 6th Dan or above) and commuted from his home in Tokyo to the dojo every day. Even as a senior instructor, Kushida-sensei continued to focus on his own training while he devoted his energy to teaching junior students. The students who studied under Kushida-sensei during the latter period of his stay in Japan are now the main Yoshinkai instructors.
For twenty years, Kushida-sensei focused both his professional and private life on following Shioda-sensei. During this time, Kushida-sensei was Shioda-sensei’s number one Uke for demonstrations and in class. In addition, Kushida-sensei handled Shioda-sensei’s administrative duties and worked to create the Yoshinkai organization and to develop good relationships between Yoshinkai Aikido and other martial arts.
In 1973, a request for an instructor was sent from Mr. Edward Moore of the Detroit Budokan and from Takeshi Kimeda-sensei, who currently teaches in Toronto, Canada. Kushida-sensei left his position as chief instructor of Yoshinkai and came to North America in response to the request.
In 1976, Kushida-sensei started the Aikido Yoshinkai Association of North America (AYANA) as a foundation for the study and teaching of correct Aikido. Mr. Fukashi Hori was asked to be the chairman of this organization.
In 1991, Yoshinkai Aikido in Japan established a group called the International Yoshinkai Aikido Federation (IYAF). Their representatives discussed the mission, policies, and activities of IYAF with Kushida-sensei. However, Kushida-sensei did not wish to change AYANA’s standards to conform with those of the IYAF.
In December 1991, Shioda-sensei dismissed Kushida-sensei from Yoshinkai Aikido. From that point Kushida-sensei changed AYANA’s name to the Aikido Yoshokai Association of North America and began operating as an independent organization, completely separate from Yoshinkai Aikido in Japan.
Yoshokai Aikido has been developed by Kushida-sensei through years of hard training and teaching experience and through his continuous study and deep knowledge of the principles and philosophy of Budo. Yoshokai Aikido became solidified with Kushida-sensei’s teachings of the underlying philosophy of Aikido, the scientific principles behind Aikido, and the importance of the relationship between Shite and Uke to study harmony.
Kushida-sensei passed away on May 10, 2012.