Aikido was developed from the sword fighting styles of the Samurai warriors of Japan, at the turn of the 20th century. Aikido techniques are based on the principles of circular movement applied in harmony, with an attacker’s energy, to redirect the force of the attack and ultimately throw, control or pin the attacker.
Morihei Ueshiba Sensei
The founder, Morihei Ueshiba (1882-1969) developed this system based on his lifetime study of the traditional Samurai fighting arts of Kenjutsu (swordsmanship) and Jiu jitsu (grappling arts). He then further combined his technical skill with his spiritual beliefs to create a martial art that emphasized peaceful resolution to conflicts rather than combat.
Gozo Shioda Sensei
One of Ueshiba Sensei’s most distinguished disciples was Gozo Shioda Sensei (1915-1994). On May 23, 1932, the 17-year-old Gozo was brought to the Ueshiba dojo to witness a demonstration. Young Shioda appeared unimpressed and sensing this, Ueshiba then invited him to attack. The young Shioda quickly found himself on his back rubbing his head after an unsuccessful kick attempt. He immediately decided to join the dojo.
There were approximately twenty uchideshi (live-in disciples) in the Ueshiba Dojo at that time and they trained earnestly, some days from five in the morning until nine in the evening. It was during this time that the Dojo earned its nickname, the “Hell Dojo”, for the intense training that was undertaken by the students. Gozo Shioda would stay on as an uchideshi for an unprecedented 7 years in this atmosphere.
Gozo Shioda founded the Yoshinkan style of Aikido in the mid-1950s, aided in his efforts by his close friend and co-founder, Kiyoyuki Terada Hanshi.
Kiyoyuki Terada Sensei
Terada Kiyoyuki, Hanshi, (1922-2009) was born on March 20, 1922 in Nagasaki, Kyushu, Japan. Throughout his youth he studied several martial arts including Kendo, Karate, Sumo and Jujutsu. In 1937 at age 15 he won a Judo championship and received an award for best Judo practitioner of the year. In 1941 he entered Shidojuku University where he met Gozo Shioda founder of Yoshinkan Aikido.
Terada Hanshi moved to Tokyo at the age of 26, where he began training directly Ueshiba Morehei, O’Sensei and Ueshiba Kisshomaru Doshu at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo.
Terada Hanshi co-founded Yoshinkan Aikido with Gozo Shioda, in 1955.
YoSeiKai Founder Amos Lee Parker Sensei
Amos Lee Parker Shihan was born in 1936, in Houston TX. After graduating high school at the age of 18, he entered the United States Navy. This would eventually lead to his training in Yoshinkan Aikido in 1962, while stationed in Yokohama, Japan. Parker Shihan began his Aikido training under the guidance of Yukio Noguchi Sensei. Shortly after this training began, Noguchi Sensei left for Hawaii and Parker Shihan would then continue his training under Yoshinkan co-founder, Kiyoyuki Terada Hanshi.
Parker Shihan continued his training for the next 35 years under Terada Hanshi, attaining the rank of Hachidan (8th degree black belt) in Yoshinkan Aikido, which he received in 1986. He was awarded the title of Shihan, in 1994, by Terada Hanshi.
In Dec 2009, Shioda Kancho promoted Parker Sensei to 9th Dan. One of only 5 practitioners to be promoted to 9th Dan in the history of Yoshinkan Aikido and the only non-Japanese.
While training in Yokohama, Parker Shihan established several dojos throughout the city and promoted many students to various dan levels. Upon retiring from the Navy, Parker Shihan had planned to return to the United States but before doing so, he wanted to make sure that he was teaching correct technique. He returned to his home dojo where he watched Terada Hanshi teaching class. Parker Shihan realised that he had not been doing the techniques as correctly as they could be done so he decided to stay in Yokohama, Japan for another 20 years, to further his understanding of his instructor’s technique.
Parker Shihan is the highest-ranking non-Japanese Yoshinkan Aikido instructor in the world. He is a humble, soft-spoken, gentleman, who demonstrates tremendous technique. Parker Shihan epitomises the term “Sensei”, he leads by example and shares everything he knows about our art.