Yes! That is the great thing about Yoshinkan Aikido. Anyone, irrespective of age or background can train. We do not rely on body strength nor size, but emphasize movement, balance and timing. Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of modern aikido, and Gozo Shioda, one of his students and the founder of Yoshinkan Aikido, were both men of small stature yet were masters of the art.
Absolutely. Aikido is first and foremost a martial art. Aikido is famous as being a defensive based art, but that does not lessen the effectiveness of its techniques. In Yoshinkan Aikido there are hundreds of different techniques applied in various situations. We learn how to react differently depending on the attack. Strikes, counter strikes, locks and throws are all part of the regular curriculumn. Students also learn kiai, or vocal projection and mai, creating a safe distance between oneself and an attacker. Yoshinkan Aikido is taught to both police men and woman as well as special response groups within the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.
Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. This requires very little physical energy, as the aikidoka (Aikido practitioner) "leads" the attacker's momentum using entering and turning movements. The techniques are then completed with various throws and/or joint locks.
The Eishinkan Aikido Dojo was founded in July 2001 and became a full member of the International Yoshinkan Aikido Federation in October 2003. After moving a few times from location to location we settled in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. in 2003. A second location was then opened in Fullerton, CA. We have since relocated our locations to Anaheim, CA.
As a young man, Morehei Ueshiba (born December 14, 1882) had an unusual interest in the martial arts, philosophy, and religion. The environment of his youth, one of religious discipline and tradition, had an enormous effect on the course of his later life. In the year 1898, Ueshiba left his home village outside Osaka and traveled to Tokyo to set up a small stationary business. While in Tokyo, he sought instruction in the martial arts. He actively investigated dozens of arts, but was eventually drawn to specialize in three: the sword style known as Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, the staff style known as Hozoin Ryu, and Tenjin Shinyo Jujutsu. Ueshiba, however, was interested in seeking the true martial way; the essential spirit of Budo. In his search he left the dojo to work at farming. Through his closeness with nature and continued training, he tried to unify his spiritual and physical being. In 1950, after the Second World War, Ueshiba returned to the Tokyo dojo to continue teaching Aikido. Continuing the evolution of martial "arts" to "ways" - from Bugei to Budo - Ueshiba Sensei diligently applied himself to the reworking of the techniques he had been taught and synthesized them into a form that taught harmony rather than violence. In this way he was able to integrate his spiritual beliefs and his great technical proficiency in the Art.
Shioda Kancho Sensei
One of Morehei Ueshiba's outstanding students was Gozo Shioda, who contributed much to bring about the increased popularity that Aikido has enjoyed since World War II. The second son of a well-known pediatrician, Seiichi Shioda, Gozo was born in Tokyo on September 9, 1915. A small, sickly child, Shioda credits his very survival through childhood to the medical skills of his physician-father. Young Gozo enjoyed a privileged up bringing while being subject to the directives of his strong-willed father. His fateful meeting with Morehei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, came about as follows. A Mr. Munetaka Abe, the headmaster of the middle school Shioda attended, was impressed by the outstanding mental attitude of a young woman, a Miss Takako Kunigoshi, who cleaned a nearby shrine every morning. When asked about her exemplary bearing, she gave credit to her teacher of "aikijujutsu" and suggested the schoolmaster observe a training session.Thoroughly impressed by what he saw at the nearby Ueshiba Dojo, Mr. Abe urged Gozo's father to enroll his son there. On May 23, 1932, the 17-year-old Gozo appeared at the Ueshiba dojo to witness a demonstration.
In 1989, with the assistance of Jacques Payet Sensei, Mark Baker Sensie, Fred Haynes Sensei, Chida Shihan, Shioda Yasuhisa Shihan and Nakano Shihan, Shioda Kancho began to work towards the creation of the International Yoshinkai Aikido Federation (IYAF). There was a direct need for a federation as the hierarchical structure of Yoshinkan in each country was causing a stagnation. Through the creation of the federation, the Honbu dojo could designate instructors directly. These instructors would have a direct link to the Honbu dojo, strengthening the relationship between individuals and the Honbu dojo and thus freeing the information flow.
By 1990, the IYAF was fully established by Shioda. Mr. Kuranari, the Foreign Minister of Japan, became the president of the IYAF. In June 1990, a steering committee meeting was held in Canada. The highest dan ranked instructors from various countries were represented at this meeting. The meeting played the role of a forum where everyone could come together and exchange ideas and work on a cohesive philosophy for the IYAF under Shioda.a direct link to the Honbu dojo, strengthening the relationship between individuals and the Honbu dojo and thus freeing the information flow. The first year was designated as a time of needs analysis and feedback from all Yoshinkan practitioners internationally. Through this process the IYAF bylaws were created. In 1991 the steering committee was dissolved. Mr. Kuranari held the only official post and the IYAF is a federation in name and in action. Today, the President of the International Yoshinkai Aikido Federation is Kiyoko Ono. On July 17, 1994, after 60+ years of devotion to Aikido and its promotion, Shioda Gozo Soke passed away, leaving behind his legacy in a system of Aikido;a Honbu dojo; and a International organization; that is still thriving to this very day across the world. As of June 2007, Shioda Yasuhisa was elected the new Soke and Kancho of Yoshinkan Aikido. In April of 2008, the All-Japan Yoshinkan Aikido and the IYAF were merged under the Aikido Yoshinkai Foundation banner.
The Eishinkan Aikido Dojo was founded in July 2001 and became a full member of the International Yoshinkan Aikido Federation in October 2003. We are are located in Anaheim, CA. - in the Servite Wrestling and Judo Complex. Our core training revolves around the traditional Yoshinkan Aikido principles and methodology.
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