Aikido to Kumamoto

The truth is God, the truth will never die, the truth is sure to open and we must open the truth …

This is also my faith. My great interest in Aikido is because of I recognize the true "Waza" of martial arts in it.

After wind and snow, spring and autumn days, the Aikido in Kumamoto has grown beautifully by the great light Kanshu Sunadomari who had been going the path with a consistent belief. Furthermore, Dojos were opened in Fukuoka prefecture, Kagoshima prefecture, Nagasaki prefecture and Miyazaki prefecture … and thousands of trainees are learning Aikido.

The first time I met Aikido was in 1925 at the promotion meeting of martial arts (Budo Senyou Kai) in Kodo Omoto on Kameoka city, Kyoto prefecture, Japan. This is the martial art of God! Since then, this event had been burned into my brain.

The autumn in 1953 when we had a massive flood in post-war Kumamoto city, I met a young martial artist. He was the grand master, the Manseikan Aikido founder, the 9th Dan rank Kanshu Sunadomari (He was the 6th Dan rank and the instructor of Tokyo headquarters dojo at that time).

Fortunately, I could make my intuitive wish that "Establish Aikido in Kumamoto!" come true. In the next year, 1954 on new year's day, we placed the sign "Aikido Kumamoto Dojo" on the dojo in Ooe Kuhonji, Kumamoto city with cooperation of my seniors, acquaintances and friends, and where the religious ceremony for the opening of the Dojo was conducted. It was the dawn of the birth of Aikido in Kyushu area.

However, in those days, even the name of "Aikido" was not known in Kumamoto except by only a few people. When I told people that it was a great martial art they asked me back, "Is it Kiai (fighting spirit) technique?" And further hardships lay ahead in promoting Aikido. In addition, even in running the Dojo, it was full of struggle by people facing financial difficulties. The Dojo was never closed and the members kept training except specified holidays. Finally the Dojo has grown solid and actively what it is today because the grand master Sunadomari had leadership in training and spirited coaching besides the great nature of Aikido itself.

Thinking about the Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba used to say "This martial art will open up in the country of fire (Kumamoto)" and he favored the grand master Sunadomari, I feel that Aikido in Kumamoto has something special and I should straighten myself out for it. I sincerely hope that you would give us a generous cooperation for spreading the real Aikido.

Manseikan Aikido chairperson
Yoshiaki Nakashima