About Me

I am an avid Aikido enthusiast!! My Grandfather was an Aikido Sensei starting in the late 1950’s under Koichi Tohei and Takashi Nonaka Sensei. He was the chief instructor in a small dojo in Hakalau, Hi. I started Aikido for about a year and a half in 1987 under Barbara Klein Sensei at Aikido of Hilo and achieved 7th kyu. Unfortunately My training buddy and I had a falling out so I quit. I started up again in Colorado in 2004 at Nippon Kan under Gaku Homma Sensei. I then moved back to Hilo in 2007 and have been back at Aikido of Hilo since.

I tend to be obsessive compulsive about my hobbies and Aikido is no exception. I enjoyed reading about Aikido history and noticed there was a lack of information about Aikido in Hawaii in general. I decided to make it a point to find out as much as I could to find as much as I could to keep the history alive here. Here goes my journey!

I recently moved to Sapporo (After doing a study abroad there for one year).I love this city! I met a wonderful lady and hope to be married soon. Life is good!


14 thoughts on “About Me

    • Thank you very much! This is quite a large undertaking and there is still quite a large amount of research and data to be collected. I most likely will be focusing on the Big island for now but will be researching other islands as well

  1. I wish you success with this project which I am sure you will find both enjoyable and frustrating.
    With history you will find many people will attempt to change the truth to suit their own journey in life. Aikido is so fractured everywhere, take care to put the picture together carefully.
    I am a writer on the history of British Aikido of which I was a pioneer from 1957.

    Henry Ellis 6th dan AikiKai Hombu.

    • Thank you Ellis Sensei. You are right as it is enjoyable and a bit frustrating. As with any history, it is quite difficult to be impartial and not create a Hagiography.

  2. Thanks for researching and writing about the history of aikido in Hawaii. Although I’ve been involved in karate for the last 40+ years, I do keep very fond memories of training in the old Pearl City dojo during the early-mid 1960’s. Your short bio on Kimura Sensei was so interesting to me…I do recall that he would bring venison to parties, give massage, and had powerful knotted forearms like steel. Ironically, for someone with so much physical strength, his most common instruction to us was, “Chikara, no good!” And I’ll always remember his form of kiai, a quiet, almost internal “Yoop!” sound. Keep up the good work!


    • Thank you Nakamoto Sensei! I wish I had more information on Kimura Sensei. If you have any stories about him or Moriyama Sensei you are more than welcome to share them on here if you like. Kimura Sensei was a tough guy!!

      • I wish I remembered more…both he and Moriyama Sensei, along with the sempais in the dojo were very nice persons. I think that many were former judoka, though Kimura Sensei seemed different from the others – more blunt, more forceful…perhaps it was the background in lua and kempo you mentioned. Many years later, the parking lot attendant at the IBM building where I worked, shared that his dad and Kimura Sensei used to carouse and drink together often. He also told me that the highly respected and proper local piano teacher, the late Ellen Masaki, was Kimura Sensei’s daughter – hard to imagine. Back then, Moriyama Sensei was young and burly, and sported a crewcut. One night, we asked him what he thought about karate-do and he replied that if he were younger, he might have given it a try. My friend and I both began taking up karate in college, a couple of years later 😉

  3. je suis aussi passionné d’Art Martiaux plus particulièrement Karate-Do Shotokai qui sous plusieurs aspects se rapproche de L’Aikido de Ueshiba. Je trouve extraordinaire l’anecdote que vous avez relatez à Hawaï.

  4. I have been an avid lurker on your blog for some time and wanted to thank you for sharing your research. Keep it up! I thought you might be interested in a new article posted on Nikkei Chicago about Dr. Joe Takehara and Chicago Aikido. There may be some overlap with your research, as the beginnings of aikido in Chicago have roots in Hawaii.


    Looking forward to future articles.


    Erik Matsunaga

    • Thank you Erik! I will link your article on my post. If you would like to be a guest writer on my blog please let me know. Thanks again!

      • Just a note to advise that we have tacked on an addendum to Takehara sensei’s article. This past Saturday he participated in a demo with Chicago Aikido Club at Tohkon Judo Academy’s 2015 Kagami Biraki – CAC practices at the Tohkon Judo dojo, located at the Japanese American Service Committee on Chicago’s North Side. It was the rarest of occasions for the 84-year old Takehara sensei to get on the tatami for a public demonstration, and I was lucky enough to have been there with a camera. Thought you might enjoy this segment with Dwight Sora, CAC manager, taking ukemi:


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