Takashi Kushida was born in Japan on May 2, 1935. He began his study of Aikido under Gozo Shioda-sensei, an early student of Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba, at the age of 18. After less than a year of regular training, he was chosen to become an uchideshi—a full-time apprentice student—and spent the next ten years living and training in the Yoshinkan Dojo (training hall) in Tokyo.
Following this period of intense training and instruction, Kushida was made Senior Assistant Instructor at the Yoshinkan. Between 1963 and 1973 he served as Aikido teacher to the Japanese Air Force, the Tokyo Riot Control Police, and National Railway Police. He also accompanied Shioda-sensei in demonstrations in New Zealand and Hawaii as well as teaching at various universities, private companies, and at the Yoshinkan.
In 1973, Kushida-sensei traveled to the United States at the invitation of a small group of American Aikido enthusiasts in the Detroit, Mich. area. Originally scheduled to visit only a few months, the response to his teaching and the growing level of interest in Aikido convinced him to send for his family and stay in the U.S. to teach. In 1981, he was asked to give a demonstration for the President’s Council on Physical Fitness in Washington, D.C. In 1991, Kushida-sensei established his own school of Aikido, adopting the name “Aikido Yoshokai.” The Yoshokai school stresses the philosophical and scientific principles behind Aikido—in particular, Kushida-sensei’s emphasis on harmony and conflict resolution as the ultimate goal of Aikido practice.
Kushida-sensei passed away on May 10, 2012.