RYU - THE DRAGON KING
In Japanese mythology, Ryu-o
- the Dragon King - is worshipped as the god of water and
of the ocean who can command the rain and the clouds. Ueshiba Sensei believed that the Dragon King is the patron god of aikido.
MORIHEI UESHIBA SENSEI
In the Meiji era, Sokaku Takeda Sensei became the first to publicly teach the techniques of
Daitoryu Aikijujutsu which, for centuries, had been handed down in secret to succeeding
generations of the Takeda family. One of Takeda Sensei`s students was the exceptionally
gifted Morihei Ueshiba. Ueshiba Sensei brought the essentials of other ancient martial
arts to Daitoryu`s techniques and with these, and other techniques of his own devising, he
created what is known as modern aikido.
GOZO SHIODA SENSEI
Morihei Ueshiba Sensei had many students and uchi deshi
, particularly during the pre-war
years. Among the most gifted of his uchi deshi
was Gozo Shioda Sensei, who went on to
create the Yoshinkan style of aikido. Due to his skill, Shioda Sensei became very wellknown
in the martial arts world and his fame had much to do with the wide-spread interest
in aikido after the 1950`s.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of Yoshinkan Aikido is the set of six basic movements
which are used as the foundation from which we move on to studying the basic and
then the more advanced techniques. These techniques simulate attacks in various theoretical
situations. However, these techniques can be very effective in real-life self-defense
situations. Yoshinkan Aikido is taught to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Force and is compulsory
for all female officers. Because the Yoshinkan syllabus is set by the Honbu Dojo
and is standardised across the Yoshinkan system, students can visit any Yoshinkan dojo in
the world and be able to train in a familiar environment.
TSUNEO ANDO SHIHAN
Tsuneo Ando was born in 1956 in Nihama City, Ehime Prefecture on the island of Shikoku.
He attended Tokushima University where he studied engineering. Ando Sensei joined the
Tokushima University Aikido Club where he first became captivated by aikido. After
graduating from university Ando Sensei was briefly employed by a chemical company,
however he quickly decided that the life of a Japanese salary-man was not for him. He
had already been greatly impressed by Shioda Sensei`s technique when he attended a
Yoshinkan Aikido training camp and so, in 1981, he joined the Yoshinkai as uchi deshi.
Ando Sensei spent over 14 years at the Yoshinkan as uchi deshi
. Ando Sensei was
awarded the title of shihan
(Master) in 1993 and he currently holds the rank of 8th dan in
Yoshinkan Aikido. He also reached the rank of 2nd dan in aikikai during his time at
Tokushima University. Ando Sensei is highly sought after as a teacher - not only in Japan but all around the world - for his technique; which most directly resembles Shioda Sensei`
s; and for the warmth of his personality. In 1990, Ando Sensei was instrumental in
forming the Urayasu City Aikido Association. This association is unique in being the only
organisation in the world where the Yoshinkai and the Aikikai cooperate on various local
NPO YOSHINKAN AIKIDO RYU
Ando Sensei originally began teaching Yoshinkan Aikido to only a few students in Urayasu
City in 1989 and in 1996 he launched Yoshinkan Aikido Ryu, a group he leads in Chiba.
After coming across a stone hanko
(stamp or seal) with the character for ryu
carved for him by his shyodo
(Japanese calligraphy) teacher; and after reading that Ueshiba
Sensei believed that Ryu-o
(the Dragon King) was the patron spirit of aikido; Ando
Sensei decided to name his new organisation Yoshinkan Aikido Ryu. Yoshinkan Aikido
Ryu acquired NPO status in 2002 and has since become involved in various voluntary activities
in Urayasu City. NPO Yoshinkan Aikido Ryu is based in Urayasu City but has many
clubs around Chiba and Saitama Prefectures as well as in Tokyo, Osaka and Okinawa.
The goal of NPO Yoshinkan Aikido Ryu is to further the development of aikido and to help
spread the peaceful message of aikido; thereby contributing to a rich and peaceful 21st
When Ando Sensei began teaching aikido in Urayasu in 1989, he was lucky to have the
use of several excellent public facilities (many of which he continues to teach classes at
today). As the number of his students and uchi deshi grew, Ando Sensei realised the need
for a base from which he could further grow his organisation and in 1999, Ryu Dojo was
built in Urayasu. Ryu Dojo is now the center around which all NPO Yoshinkan Aikido Ryu
activities revolve, drawing in students not only from all around Japan but from all around
the world. Every year many students from many different countries come to stay here at a
dojo devoted exclusively to the daily study and practice of aikido.