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Old 04-16-2010, 03:52 PM   #5
R.A. Robertson
Dojo: Still Point Aikido Center
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 345
Re: Aikido Comes to Hawaii

Hi Francis,

I've been meaning to get to this for a while now, but, once I've written an article, I tend not to post very regularly. I think I'm missing out on some great conversation!

Anyway, back when I was affiliated with Seidokan, Rod Kobayashi would talk from time to time about Tohei's first visit to Hawaii. The Seidokan web site history section states:

[Kobayashi] was first introduced to Aikido by his father who had great influence in inviting Master Koichi Tohei, who was then Chief Instructor of Aikido at the Aikido World Headquarters in Japan, to Honolulu in 1953. However. his formal training in Aikido did not start until 1957, after his 3 years of military service. His first teachers at the Hawaii Aikikai were master: Yukiso Yamamoto, Kazuto Sugimoto, and Isao Takahashi. These masters were the first students of Tohei Shihan, the foremost authority on Aikido and Ki in the United States. Each of these masters was unique in his own way, and had a great influence in Kobayashi's understanding of Aikido and Ki.

I was wondering if the two of you were very much in each other's company back then, and if so, what memories you have of him, and what role his father also shared in brining Tohei Sensei to Hawaii.

Thanks so much for sharing with us what is truly a significant part in aikido's spread throughout the world. Any insights from that time are deeply appreciated.


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