Monthly Archives: November 2012

Yasuo Kobayashi and Fumiko Nakayama on Living Aikido: Part 2

Yasuo Kobayashi at Meiji University in 1956
This is part 2 of an English translation of a round table discussion in Japanese from around 1988 with Yasuo Kobayashi and his younger sister, Fumiko Nakayama. You may wish to read part 1 before reading this section, in which Kobayashi sensei discusses his interest in Japanese pro-wrestling, and a little bit about what training at old Aikikai Hombu Dojo was like in the 1950’s.
The first time that I recall seeing Kobayashi sensei was at the first Aikido Friendship Demonstration held in Tokyo by Stan Pranin and Aiki News. See "Yasuo Kobayashi: A Man of His Word" by Stan Pranin for an interesting story behind his participation in that demonstration.More information about Yasuo Kobayashi, and Aikido Kobayashi Dojo, is available on the Kobayashi Dojo website.

Yasuo Kobayashi and Fumiko Nakayama – Living Aikido: Part 1

Chris Li with members of Hasegawa Dojo, Yasuo Kobayashi and Moriteru Ueshiba Doshu in Iwama
This is the English translation of a round table discussion in Japanese from around 1988 with Aikido Shihan Yasuo Kobayashi and his younger sister, Fumiko Nakayama sensei, who was a favorite of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei.
The moderators of this discussion were members of the Kodaira Aikido Renmei (小平市合気道連盟), Masakatsu Shinozaki (篠征勝), Shigeko Amano (天野成子) and Kunihira Nishimura (西村邦平).I first met Yasuo Kobayashi in the late 1980’s in Colorado, where Mitsugi Saotome had invited him to be a guest instructor at the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba summer camp. Some years later I would end up training with one of his students, Hiroyuki Hasegawa, while living in Saitama. Hasegawa sensei’s relationship with Kobayashi Dojo was on and off during that period, but every time I ran into Kobayashi sensei he would treat me with courtesy and kindness.Yasuo Kobayashi was born in Tokyo in 1936 and would start training in Aikido in 1954 at the old Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Wakamatsu-cho. He currently heads a group of some 120 dojo affiliated with the Aikikai Foundation under the banner of Aikido Kobayashi Dojo, which forms a substantial portion of the backbone of the Aikikai in the Kanto region of Eastern Japan. Some people have called Kobayashi Dojo "the Aikikai within the Aikikai".For those interested in more information, "Aikido, My Way", the Story of Kobayashi Dojos, is available in English on the Aikido Kobayashi Dojo website.