Friday, February 18, 2011

Robert H. Aoyagi - Chief Instructor, "Waialae Dojo" - Aikido of Honolulu

The art of Aikido was originated by Morihei Ueshiba who was a famous martial artist and founder of the Japanese martial art of Aikido in Japan in the 1920's. In 1953, Aikido was introduced to Hawaii. The art of Aikido is not to harm the attacker, but to control and subdue him. This is achieved by blending with the motion of an attack or conflict and taking control of its force, making it possible to redirect the power of the attack back onto the attacker. Agility, balance, speed and coordination are utilized rather than brute strength. Aikido is often translated as "the way of unifying life energy" or as " the way of harmonious spirit."

Aikido of Honolulu also known as the "Waialae Dojo" was completed in 1961. Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido, came to Honolulu to preside at the official grand opening of the new dojo on March 12, 1961. This dojo was unique for that time, because it was built for and dedicated only to Aikido training, which made it the only building of its kind outside of Japan. Robert H. Aoyagi, 7th Dan Shihan was the Chief Instructor of the Aikido of Honolulu for over 50 years.

Tonight we will be honoring and celebrating the 5oth Anniversary and the achievement of Chief Instructor, Robert H. Aoyagi Shihan (photo top right) of Aikido of Honolulu who passed away on November 17, 2010. He had just celebrated his 90th birthday and his 50 years in Aikido and the senior members from Hawaii, Richard Hirao, Shihan; Donald Moriyama, Shihan; Dr. Mitsuo Adachi, Sensei and the late Robert Aoyagi, Shihan, represented by his wife, Dora Aoyagi. Cary Okimoto (photo left), now the Chief Instructor will be taking over the Aikido of Honolulu. He related that Chief Instructor Aoyagi treated him like his own son and he was like a second father and always taught him perseverance was the main key in overcoming anything in life. Special guests from Japan are Moriteru Ueshiba, Japanese Master of Aikido and grandson of Morihei Ueshiba, Mitsuteru Ueshiba the son of the third and current Doshu of Aikikai, Moriteru Ueshiba, Seijuro Masuda, an Aikido instructor at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo with the title of Shihan and rank of 8th dan and Yoshimitsu Yamada, an Aikido instructor and ranked 8th dan in the Aikikai and the Chief Instructor at the dojo New York Aikikai.

Also, on February 19-21, there will be a series of classes taught by the Doshu at McKinley High School Gym starting from 8:00 a.m. "Doshu" is the Japanese martial arts title in aikido literally translated as "Master of the Way." It is a hereditary title denoting the head of the Aikikai (aikido). Three men have so far held this role: Morihei Ueshiba from the title's first use to 1969, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, from 1969-1999 and Moriteru Ueshiba, from 1999 to present. See tonights photos, "click here."

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