The Winter Lion
Issuing his last roar,
Leaves all behind.
I just learned that Kushida Sensei, one of Gozo Shioda's first Uchi Deshi passed away on May 10th. I studied aikido under Kushida Sensei in the late 70's and on and off into the early 90's. He was a great martial artist and a great human being. I can honestly say that he's had quite an impact on my life.
I had previously posted a short video of Kushida Sensei. I thought it was appropriate to post it again. There is a black and white sequence in it from the 80's of him doing freestyle. That's how I remember him.
If you click on the link above, you'll be directed to the Gottsupidia wiki article. Below is an excerpt.
Kushida Takashi, born May 2, 1935, is an aikido instructor and founder of Aikido Yoshokai. Kushida began studying aikido under Shioda Gozo during the very early days of the Yoshinkan Dojo, which he entered together with Inoue Kyoichi. Not long after he began his training, he was asked by Shioda to become one of the first uchideshi (live-in student) at the Yoshinkan Dojo. For ten years, Kushida lived in the dojo as an uchideshi. He became a certified instructor in 1964 but continued to focus on his own training in addition to teaching students junior to him.
For twenty years, Kushida stayed with Shioda. During this time, he was Shioda's number one uke (for demonstrations and in class). In addition, Kushida handled Shioda's administrative duties. In 1973, a request for an instructor was sent from Kimeda Takeshi, who would later go on to found Yoshinkai Canada and currently lives and teaches in Toronto, Canada. In response to the request, Kushida left his position as chief instructor at the Yoshinkan honbu dojo and went to North America.
In 1976, Kushida started the Aikido Yoshinkai Association of North America (AYANA). In 1991, Yoshinkai Aikido in Japan established the International Yoshinkai Aikido Federation (IYAF, now defunct and replaced by AYF. See article Yoshinkan). Representatives of various countries discussed the mission, policies, and activities of IYAF with Kushida and Yoshinkai leaders in 1990. However,
Kushida did not wish to change AYANA's standards to conform with those of the IYAF and was subsequently dismissed from Yoshinkan by Shioda in August 1990.
Much like Tohei Koichi after he left the Aikikai, Kushida's contributions to early Yoshinkan Aikido have since been all but erased from the official records.
In December 1991, Kushida changed AYANA's name from Yoshinkai Association of North America to the Yoshokai Association of North America and began operating as an independent organization. Kushida's headquarters for the Aikido Yoshokai Association of North America in Ann Arbor Michigan is the Genyokan dojo.