Minoru Mochizuki

Minoru Mochizuki

was a Japanese martial artist who founded the dojo Yoseikan. He held the ranks 10th dan, aikido (International Martial Arts Federation); 9th dan, jujutsu; 8th dan, iaido; 8th dan, judo; 8th dan, kobudo; 5th dan, kendo; 5th dan, karate; 5th dan, jojutsu.

Born in Shizuoka, Japan, Mochizuki was one of the direct students of judo founder Jigoro Kano, aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba and Gichin Funakoshi, founder of Shotokan Karate.

Believing that the martial arts have become distorted by specialization into separate disciplines and transformation into sports, Mochizuki assembled the major techniques of the Japanese martial tradition into a single coherent structure. He oversaw the development of his system from his home in Shizuoka, Japan, where his dojo, the Yoseikan, was often visited by martial arts practitioners from all over the world. His art is currently practiced in 29 countries around the world, and in such diverse places as Australia and Algeria, where a recent clinic had 240 people in attendance. The organization continues to grow and expand to more countries each year.

He died in Aix-en-Provence, France.


Mochizuki, began by training in kendo at the age of five, at his grandfather's dojo in Shizuoka. Then he began Judo and joined the Kodokan in 1925 where he became an outstanding competitor. Under the tutelage of Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, Mochizuki became the youngest member of the Kobudo Kenkyukai - an organization for the study, preservation and development of classical martial arts - established within the Kodokan. Here he practiced among others Katori Shinto-ryu. In 1930, he was sent by Jigoro Kano to study aikijujutsu with Morihei Ueshiba. He was the uchideschi of Morihei Ueshiba at the Kobukan dojo for one year before opening his own dojo in Shizuoka City in 1931.

He was awarded two Daito-Ryu scrolls by Ueshiba in June 1932 ("Goshinyo no te" and "Hiden ogi no koto"). Next, he spent eight years in Mongolia where he was named Second Governor. In Mongolia, he was also active as an educator and entrepreneur of projects to improve communications and irrigation. His idea of combating communism with the application of the principles of "mutual welfare and prosperity" and of "the best use of energy" of Jigoro Kano contributed to the development of his region. His irrigation project was even completed after the Second World War by the Chinese authorities. Minoru Mochizuki was the first to teach aikido in the West when he traveled in France from 1951 to 1953 as a judo teacher. He taught at his dojo of Shizuoka until nearly the end of the last millennium and spent the last years of his life in France with his son Hiroo.



  • Stanley Pranin, ed. Aikido masters: prewar students of Morihei Ueshiba. Tokyo: Aiki News. 1993. ISBN 4-900586-14-5 publisher

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