Dear Aikido Community,
It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved teacher, Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan.
Yamada Sensei died peacefully on Sunday, January 15, 2023 under the care of doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital with his family by his side.
Private funeral arrangements are being made by Sensei’s family. Please respect their privacy during this difficult time.
The New York Aikikai will hold a memorial at a later date that will be open to all who loved and learned from him. We know many of you will want to express your sympathies in some manner. We will make some appropriate suggestions shortly.
Yamada Sensei arrived in New York City in 1964 to become chief instructor at the New York Aikikai. He started aikido at age 17 at honbu dojo, Aikikai Headquarters, as an uchi deshi (live-in student) to O Sensei. He not only built the NY Aikikai into a world-class aikido school but he helped spread the relatively unknown marital art into a thriving community throughout the US, and later on, internationally. A great proponent of individuality and full-hearted training, his classes soared with the harmony and power of a symphony, inspiring all to give their best.
The NY Aikikai will remain open as Yamada Sensei wished. He loved nothing more than big classes with high spirits, so please honor him by training as you would if he were leading class. His amazing energy and generosity of spirit will be there on the mat for all of us.
February 17, 1938 – January 15, 2023
The New York Aikikai Board of Directors
The examination requirements for USAF/Sansuikai for the kyu and dan degrees can be found here. The requirements for kyu depend on the dojo. These for dan degrees are mandatory for all Sansuikai members.
For dan test You must fill up Aikikai documentation. Please read the text below before proceeding to complete the documentation!
Each examinee is required to fill in the electronic form, print it out and provide it to the Yamada Sensei. Person applying for Shodan completes ‘Shodan application form’. Those who are applying for Nidan or above fill ‘Nidan or above application form’. Each document contains few sheets.
Yamada Sensei will accept dan application forms 2 times a year from now on, May and August. So the best time to take a test is seminar in Mallorca or in Bernau. If You have application forms before May or August, You have to hold them until then.
Important instructions on how to complete the documentation (mandatory):
- All fields in the form must be typed (do not hand writing). Filled application form must be printed and then signed by applicant.
- Do not forget to put number of attendance days after Your last test (right up corner). You should put only practicing days – days You spent on the mat since last test. For minimum number of days refer to the USAF test requirements. For example, if You practice 3 times a week, during the year, You have approximately 156 practicing days per year. According to the USAF requirements for Shodan You must have 300 practicing days. It means You have to practice 2 years, 3 times a week after 1st kyu.
- Name of organization is: USAF/Sansuikai,
- All dates must be in the format DD/MMM/YEAR, e.g: 24/AUG/2019
- At “present rank information” put the place and date of Your last test,
- If You are taking test in Bernau 2019 at “date of examination” please put 24/AUG/2019,
- Examiner’s name: Yoshimitsu Yamada
- Do not fill field called “For Aikikai Use” (left up corner),
- Do not fill fields “Examination Fee” and “Registration fee”.
- For Shodan do not fill “Aikikai membership No.” and “Date of Aikikai registration”. Only for Nidan and above You fill up this fields (number and the date You could find in Your Yudansha Book).
Please print Your forms, and do not forget to put Your signature at all documents.
For Shodan You fill up sheets “Shodan form 1″ and “SHODAN FORM 2&3.Enrol&Y-book” from this document:
For Nidan and up you fill up only 1 sheet on the bottom “2ND, 3RD, 4TH DAN FORM 1″:
- 1 Dan: $200
- 2 Dan: $200
- 3 Dan: $250
- 4 Dan: $400
- 5 Dan: $1000
- 6 Dan: $1200
We met Alain many years ago at the yearly summer camp in La Colle-sur-Loup in France, to which he went many times to study aikido with Tamura sensei and Yamada sensei.
Alain was one of the aikido pioneers in Belgium and one of the longest active aikido practitioners in Belgium. He started practicing Judo back in 1952. We’re not entirely sure about when he started aikido but probably that was around 1960. He studied with Noro sensei, Tamura sensei, Yamada Sensei, Sugano sensei and Asai Sensei, among others and taught aikido in Verviers in Belgium.
As a profession he was a policeman. Once retired, he build a new dojo in Verviers and continued to teach aikido there until his death in 2018. He was a respected example of an aikido practitioner dedicating his life to studying and teaching Aikido.
You can read an interview with him in the Aikido Journal (French version) from 2005.
Rest in peace, Alain.
On the 14th of January, Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba made the announcement of the grading recommendations and held the award ceremony for the promotions.
From Sansuikai Europe:
Salee Alain 7 Dan
Aziz Belhassane 7 Dan
Yavor Mihaylov 6 Dan
Alessandro Chiancone 6 Dan
Jules McGough 5 Dan
David Ross 5 Dan
Jochen Maier Shihan (6 Dan)
Roberto Bollero Shihan (6 Dan)
Jisch (J.J.) Scheuren Shihan (6 Dan)
Peter Van Marcke Shihan (6 Dan)
Dariusz Zieba Shihan (6 Dan)