KUNIO YOSHIMOTO SHIHAN
(7th Dan Aikido, 5th Dan Iaido)
Born near Biwa Lake in Shiga Prefecture, Japan on 2nd of February, 1943.
He entered Kanagawa University in 1961 and established Aikido club with some friends.
At that time, Shoji Nishio sensei was teaching Aikido at a dojo nearby in Yokohama city. Quickly, Yoshimoto sensei invited Nishio sensei to help instruct Aikido at his university. Nishio sensei also introduced Morihiro Saito (9 Dan), both are welcome by the university to be advisors.
Since then Yoshimoto had trained diligently under Shoji Nishio sensei for 40 years.
Nishio sensei then introduced Yoshimoto sensei to Iwama in Ibaraki Prefecture where the founder of Aikido resides. He had the opportunity to train with the founder, Morihei Ueshiba for more than 4 years.
After graduation, he worked as an engineer for a major machinery manufacturer in Osaka but continued his Aikido training.
Nishio sensei visits a dojo in Shiga prefecture 3 times a year during which Yoshimoto sensei attends and also to help in training.
Soon after, Nishio sensei recommended Yoshimoto sensei to dojos outside of Japan to teach Aikido, namely, Sweden, Mexico, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Guam and Taiwan where Nishio sensei had been teaching.
In 2010, Yoshimoto sensei came to Unity Aikido Penang in Malaysia and became Shihan to our dojo. He is here once a year to conduct seminars. He too had visited other dojos in Kuala Lumpur and in Singapore. In that same year, he had started his own centre Shoshinkai Aikido in May 2010 and is named after Shoji Nishio sensei’s “Sho” with the intention to preserve the teachings of Shoji Nishio’s genius aikido innovation.
Yoshimoto sensei is indeed with great skill and character. It comes without surprise that he had received Shiga Prefecture Martial Art Contribution Award in February, 2015 and is a director of Shiga prefecture Aikido Federation in June, 2015.
“Don’t use strength, but train in natural posture. Not only copy leads, but use your head and seek skills and mind of Aikido.” – Kunio Yoshimoto Shihan
“Follow a sensei that knows Aikido well and instructs basic skills conscientiously.” – Kunio Yoshimoto Shihan
Jo training at Iwama shrine, Ibaraki Prefecture, when Yoshimoto Shihan was a university student in November 1963. Morihiro Saito sensei on the right (with Hakama) and left is Kunio Yoshimoto sensei.
Founder and his wife with aikido members of Kanagawa University in front of Iwama Dojo in June 1963
Nishio sensei and Yoshimoto sensei a few months before Nishio sensei passed away in 2005
Aikido Ohana Dojo in Hawaii in April 2011. First instruction in Hawaii.
O Sensei's first out of Japan Aikido teaching is at this dojo.
Yoshimoto Shihan's seminar at Manoa Aikido Club in Hawaii in September 2012
The Dojo in Los Angeles, 2004
1st seminar in Taiwan. There were about 150 participants on that day.
Mumei Dojo with Mr. and Mrs. Serge in Singapore in September 2014