Since I recently wrote a little about Tohei Sensei, who was the top disciple of Aikido Founder (Ueshiba Sensei), and introduced to Hawaii and elsewhere, and who we got to receive technique from, on occasion….I thought I’d forward an article I recently came across about our primary instructor in the old Pearl City dojo – Kimura Sensei. In the old photo, he is the second black belt from the right; and I’m sure you can get a feel for the physical power he exuded, just from the pic. The article is about the four sensei’s in the photo, each of whom was a pioneer of the art in Hawaii. The other three were long-time experts in Judo or Kendo before they were converted to Aikido after witnessing Tohei Sensei’s ability to dominate each of them. It should be noted that prior to Aikido, Tohei Sensei was a black belt in Judo, so his expertise went beyond just Aikido. He himself had been converted after being dominated by Ueshiba Sensei’s techniques…in turn, Ueshiba was an expert in Daito-Ryu Ju-Jutsu before creating Aikido.
Anyways, among the four Hawaii pioneers, Kimura Sensei stood out because of his brute strength, which I certainly could attest to when receiving technique from him. One of the reasons I gradually drifted away from Aikido and took up Karate-Do was that I felt that the older guys in the dojo were all kinda “soft” and often overweight, whereas the young guys I’d seen doing Karate-Do were all in good shape (like us, haha). The exception was Kimura Sensei…he exuded strength toughness. In the article, you’ll learn why…his previous training was pretty unique.