Senshusei course

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Senshusei course (専修生コース, senshūsei-kōsu)[1] is an intensive, 11-month aikido training program conducted at Yoshinkan Aikido's honbu dojo (headquarters and main training hall) in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan.[2][3][4] The course has received attention through Robert Twigger's book, Angry White Pyjamas (1997).[4][5]


Course participants, themselves referred to as senshūsei, train from April 1 each year to March 1 in the following year.[3] Training takes place from 7:30 AM to 2:00 PM, five days per week, for the duration of the course.[3] The course starts from fundamentals, assuming very little about participants' initial knowledge of aikido, but a high level of physical ability is expected.[6] Participants learn from the instructors of the honbu dojo.[4] The first two months of the course are considered a trial period,[2] and it is common for participants to drop out.[2] In the year that Twigger participated, the number of foreign participants remained constant at 10 participants throughout the entire course. This is a rare occurrence, most courses have a higher drop out rate.


The senshusei course was originally created in 1957 by Gozo Shioda, founder of Yoshinkan Aikido, to train the Tokyo riot police.[3][7] The course has been available to non-police candidates since the 1980s, but was developed primarily for foreign students interested in becoming instructors starting in 1991.[8] There are now two other versions of the course: a less-intensive version for participants aged 40 years or older, and a part-time version taking two years to complete.[8]

Former instructors[edit]

Then-9th dan Kyoichi Inoue, shihan, stopped teaching in the senshusei course when he resigned from the Yoshinkan in March 2006 following an internal dispute,[9] later establishing his own branch, Aikido Shinwakan (合氣道親和館).[10] Following Inoue's departure, Tsutomu Chida, 8th dan,[11] and then-chief instructor of the Yoshinkan honbu-dōjō,[12] also broke away, establishing Aikido Renshinkai (合気道錬身会) in 2008,[13] thus ending his teaching in the course.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 養神館合気道 国際専修生コース Archived 2010-09-06 at the Wayback Machine. (in Japanese) Retrieved on August 27, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Aikido Yoshinkan: The Senshusei course – Information and application package Archived 2011-07-24 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on February 28, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d Goryukai Yoshinkan Aikido: Senshusei Archived 2010-03-05 at the Wayback Machine. (2007). Retrieved on February 28, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c Honeyman, J. (2009): Senshusei (June 1, 2009). Retrieved on February 28, 2010.
  5. ^ Twigger, R. (1997): Angry White Pyjamas. London: Phoenix. (ISBN 978-0-7538-0858-0)
  6. ^ Twigger, R. (2008): "Foaming at the mouth." In Z. M. Jack (Ed.): Inside the ropes: Sportswriters get their game on (pp. 125–142). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska. (ISBN 978-0-8032-5997-3)
  7. ^ Aikido Yoshinkan: About Gozo Shioda (Yoshinkan Founder) Archived 2009-04-28 at the Wayback Machine. (c. 2009). Retrieved on February 27, 2010.
  8. ^ a b Aikido Yoshinkan: Honbu introduction Archived 2010-03-15 at the Wayback Machine. (c. 2009). Retrieved on February 27, 2010.
  9. ^ "Hanshi INOUE KYOICHI". Aikido Renshinkai Misogikan Dojo. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  10. ^ "合氣道親和館井上強一館長". Aikido Shinwakan. 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  11. ^ "Aikido, the Yoshinkan way". Fitness Japan. 2008-03-31. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  12. ^ "Multimedia > Video Clips > Tsutomu Chida Sensei". Aikiweb. 1999. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  13. ^ "千田務最高師範". Aikido Renshinkai (NPO法人 合気道錬身会). Retrieved 2 September 2010.

External links[edit]