Gozo Shioda

Gozo Shioda


Founder of Yoshinkan Aikido



Gozo Shioda served the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, as a live in student for 8 years. During this time, Shioda kancho (kancho means "head of school") was exposed to Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu, the more combat oriented art that Ueshiba was teaching at the time. After graduating from university, Shioda kancho went off to war in China. After war's end, he returned to Japan and started his own Aikido movement called "Yoshinkan Aikido".  "Yoshin" means to cultivate mind and spirit, while kan refers to the place, or in this case, the art. During his 79 years, Shioda kancho developed a worldwide reputation for his effective martial art.


Here is a rare photo of Robert Kennedy and his wife, observing a demonstration by Shioda kancho at the Tokyo headquarters. Afterwards, Kennedy told Shioda something along the lines of, "That was impressive, but how could you fare against my big bodyguards?" Shioda then invited the bodyguards, one at a time onto the mat where he allowed them to push and push to try to topple Shioda. Finally, kancho took the bodyguard to the mat with the technique "yonkajo". Kennedy's reaction had to be seen to be believed. Both he and his wife were bent over laughing hysterically! This footage can be seen on the DVD entitled "Gozo Shioda: Kamiwaza Denju".

Shioda Kancho loved his pet dogs. There are many stories that he used his dogs as training aids in his martial studies.

Shioda kancho traveled to many foreign countries instructing Yoshinkan Aikido. Here Shioda is relaxing after a long seminar.

Kancho's demonstrations were always filled with equal parts of action and humor. His attackers seem to take a lot of atemi (strikes) and throws during his demo, but all the while, Shioda laughs and jokes with his attackers.

After the war, when Ueshiba was exploring more spiritual matters, Shioda kancho stuck with the combat effective form of aikido. To this day, Yoshinkan Aikido is the preferred school for the Japanese police and self defense force.



World famous boxer, Mike Tyson visited Gozo Shioda in his Tokyo dojo to pick up some tips to improve his boxing. Kancho knew Tyson was a good fighter just by watching him, Shioda is reported to have said. While Don King and the rest of Tyson's entourage were watching the hands and upper bodies of the aikido practitioners, only Tyson was watching the footwork.

Kancho often said that irimi (entering) and tenkan (turning) are trademarks of aikido and are very important.

Shioda said he would have been proud if Mike went on to win his next fight, but unfortunately, he didn't.