The History Of Yoshinkan Aikido :: Soke Gozo Shioda

Gozo Shioda was born in Shinjuku, Tokyo in 1915 whose father, Seichi Shioda, was a well-known pediatrician and medical academic as well as having a penchant for martial arts and had constructed a dojo named Yoshinkan or 'House of Cultivating Spirit'. He invited various instructors to demonstrate and teach there. He had showed a tremendous determination as well as the super abundance of energy that were later characterized his entire approach to life. He was a third Dan in Judo by the time he reached his mid-teens.


At the age of 18 his father sent him to watch a class led by Morihei Ueshiba at the Kobudan. The school was said to be execptional, offering a powerful and extraordinary form of martial art. On his initial visit, warching Morihei Ueshiba throw his opponent about so easily and without any apparent effort, he felt sure that he was witnessing a fraud, but was invited to try his Judo skills against Morihei to see for timself. On launching an attack, he soon found himself Bying in midair, hitting the ground head first, not knowing what had happened. A dazed and bewildered Gozo Shioda was suprised by what had taken place. The very next day which was 24th May 1932, Gozo Shioda joined the Kobudan Dojo as an uchi-deshi or residence disciple'.


Shioda trained under Morihei until 1941, when he also graduated from Takushoku University. He serve in an administrative support capacity during the war in China, Taiwan, Celebes and Borneo. Following the lifting of the ban on the practice of martial arts after the Second World War in 1954, Shioda performed his very first public Aikido demonstration in the presence of 15,000.spectators. He was awarded the grand prize for the best performance. Within a year, Soke Gozo Shioda established his own dojo - Yoshinkan.


Gozo Shioda traveled all over Japan during 1950's demonstrating the Yoshinkan Aikido as a strong style, concerned with practicality and efficiency of its techniques. Yoshinkan Aikido is made compulsory to the Tokyo Metropolitan Women's Police Force and the annual training of an elire group of Kidorai or riot police. The riot police course has been running for well over thirty five years.


In 1961, Soke Gozo Shioda mastery of Aikido was confirmed when Morihei Ueshiba awarded him the degree of 9th Dan and his contribution to the japanese martial arts in general and Aikido was further acknowledged, when in 1984 the International Martial Arts Federation awarded him the degree of l Oth Dan along with the title Meijin or 'Grand Master. During the forty years since it was established, Yoshinkan Aikido has expanded to all over Japan, America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.


In 1990, Soke Gozo Shioda instituted the International Yoshinkan Aikido Federation to follow up and monitor the growth and coordination of the worldwide interest towards Yoshinkan Aikido.


Soke Gozo Shioda, as an outstanding martial artist, author, teacher and founder of the Yoshinkan Aikido, died in Tokyo, on Sunday, 17th July 1994.