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May 2, 1935|
May 10, 2012 (aged 77)|
Ann Arbor, MI, United States
|Native name||串田 誉司 Kushida Takashi|
Takashi Kushida (串田 誉司 Kushida Takashi, born on May 2, 1935, died on May 10, 2012) was a Japanese aikido master and the chief instructor of Aikido Yoshokai Association of North America (also called AYANA). He began his study of Aikido under Gozo Shioda in 1955 and lived at the Yoshinkan Dojo as a professional student (uchideshi) for many years. In 1964 he became a Shihan. While at the Yoshinkan Dojo, Kushida handled many of Shioda's affairs and taught many of the Yoshinkan instructors in place today. Following this period of intense training and instruction, Kushida was made Senior Assistant Instructor at the Yoshinkan. Between 1963 and 1973 he served as Aikido teacher to the Japanese Air Force, the Tokyo Riot Control Police, and National Railway Police. He also accompanied Shiodai in demonstrations in New Zealand and Hawaii as well as teaching at various universities, private companies, and at the Yoshinkan.
Move to the US and break from Yoshinkan
Kushida left Japan in 1973 after a request was made for an instructor in the Detroit area. In 1976 Kushida founded the Aikido Yoshinkai Association of North America. In 1991, Yoshinkai Aikido in Japan established a group called the International Yoshinkai Aikido Federation (IYAF). Their representatives discussed the mission, policies, and activities of IYAF with Kushida. However, Kushida did not wish to change AYANA's standards to conform with those of the IYAF. Later that December Kushida was dismissed by Shioda and his rank (8th dan) was withdrawn. It was then that Kushida changed AYANA's name to the Aikido Yoshokai Association of North America and began to work independently from Yoshinkai Aikido.
Kushida assisted by his son Akira Kushida, taught classes at the Genyokan Dojo, AYANA's headquarters facility, located near his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. At the Genyokan, Kushida also conducted formal classes in Genbu Sotojutsu, a 200-year-old sword method once taught only to members of the Kushida family in Japan.