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
On the 13th of January, Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba made the announcement of the grading recommendations and held the award ceremony for the promotions. We are pleased to inform that Roberto Bollero has been promoted to 7 dan. Congratulations!
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)
Dear Sansuikai members in Europe,
Happy New Year and I hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas.
I understand that you are having a very cold winter so please keep yourself warm.
Now another new year and I hope it is going to be a wonderful and productive year for you. As for myself, I will be 80 years old but I will try my best to work for you in many ways. However, it is too much for me to visit each of your countries so please try your best to come to see me wherever I go this year.
Dear Sansuikai members,
I wish all of you a happy, happy new year.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support and the wonderful moments you have given me throughout the year.
I imagine that every one of you will make a new year’s resolution.
My resolution is to have another healthy, positive year in order to meet your expectations.
I hope you also have a good year and go back to your “Shoshin”, that translates roughly to “Back to the original motivation or pure motivation”.
I imagine that you were so happy only to practice Aikido when you started an Aikido life. Please always carry that pure mind with you.
Looking forward to seeing you again in 2017 whenever and wherever it may be. I love you all.
Dear Aikido Community,
It has been four weeks since my operation and I am finally back in my office at the New York Aikikai. Once again I surprised my doctors with how fast I have recovered. They have given me a clean bill of health and have told me I can even travel by plane now.
Thanks to everyone for your support and good wishes. All of that has given me a lot of positive energy toward my recovery.
However, since even Superman gets old and doesn’t recover from kryptonite so fast, I will still need about another month before I can be back teaching.
I am anxious to get back and see all of you on the mat again.
It’s hard to believe another year has gone by. As you know, 2014 was a special year for me in many ways. Most importantly, it was the celebration of my 50th anniversary at New York Aikikai. I had so many wonderful occasions to be all over the world, and I appreciate how hard you worked at hosting and attending seminars that focused on my anniversary. I made so many speeches, was awarded honorary plaques and statues, received so many gifts, and even had a chance to sing some of my favorite songs for you at summer camp while Steve played his guitar. It was a great yearlong party for sure. My health then became my focus towards the end of the year, but once again you showed me so much support and understanding. The perfect way to end the year was the NYA Christmas seminar, where I was able to teach and relax at my home dojo and be surrounded by my students and all the visitors who traveled to be a part of the event.
Even though I continue to grow stronger every day, I will use 2015 to take the time to further my recovery and return to my old self. Sometimes that might mean traveling less or not teaching as many classes, and as you know, I can grow restless when I am told to take it easy. But I am determined to be as fit as ever, and even if my schedule is lighter this coming year, in my heart I will always be on the mat.
Happy New Year,
Small book that presents instructors participating in the Sansuikai Seminar is ready. You can download it here.
During the seminar in Barcelona on 23 – 25 March 2012, there was a meeting of instructors belonging to Sansuikai International. Sensei Yamada clearly emphasized the aim of establishing this organisation:
Sansuikai can be thought of as an “agreement” aimed at supporting my European students in terms of organisation. However, it is a non-political and non-profit organisation and does not constitute competition to national federations. That is why, instead of using the word “organisation” I prefer to use “agreement”, which should be based on four principles: Friendliness, Fairness, Freedom and Flexibility
Sensei Yamada emphasized that only those dojos in which instructors are his direct students and regularly participate in his seminars (at least three times a year) can become members of the organisation. Participation in seminars and commitment to training are the main conditions set by Sensei for his students.
During the meeting in Barcelona, Sensei awarded Fukushidoin (up to 3rd Dan) and Shidoin ( 4th Dan upwards) certificates to Sansuikai instructors.
More information on the subject of Sansuikai International and the requirements which Sensei sets for his students can be found here.