Hirokazu Kobayashi Soshu

Kobayashi SoshuHirokazu Kobayashi (b. February 14, 1929 - d. August 28, 1998) was a Japanese aikido teacher and student of the founder of aikido Morihei Ueshiba. In 1970, at the age of 41, he was awarded 8th dan rank. He is the initiator of Kobayashi aikido

Already by the age of 7 years, Kobayashi was studying karate, kendo and judo. At 15, he was stationed as a kamikaze pilot on an aircraft carrier. When it came to his deployment, a technical defect prevented his airplane from joining his flight. The remaining members of his flight died. Before he could come to the next "last deployment", the aircraft carrier was torpedoed by a submarine and sank. Kobayashi was one of the few survivors. After staying in the water for as long as four days with bad injuries, he was rescued. He had held fast during the entire time to wood planks and barrels.

In 1946 his karate teacher gave him a recommendation letter for Morihei Ueshiba. With this letter he went to Toyo, in order to learn the Japanese martial art aikido.

Kobayashi was friendly with Morihiro Saito, with which he shared the role of uke to Ueshiba. During the aikido training if Saito was mostly requested as uke, then Kobayashi followed with the sword. For this reason Kobayashi felt always extremely connected to aikiken. Kobayashi described the long time at Ueshiba's side not only as uke, but also outside of the dojo as companion to the impulsive aikido founder, as extremely hard.

In Tokyo, Kobayashi stayed altogether for about nine years. In 1954 he moved to Osaka. Morihei Ueshiba was nearly each month in Osaka, in order to hold ten-day-long training courses. Kobayashi Sensei was the chief instructor at Kansai in 1970,and he usually acted Ueshiba Sensei’s uke whenever he visited Kansai.

In 1957, Kobayashi started training full-time in aikido. If he did not accompany Ueshiba, he taught at universities in Osaka and Kobe. In 1964 he was awarded 7th dan. In this year he was asked by Ueshiba for the first time to teach aikido in Europe. Until 1996 Kobayashi visited Europe each year for several weeks. He gave regular training courses in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Germany and in the Netherlands.

His techniques were described as very short, powerful and precise with as little movement offline as possible. His grabbing techniques consisted of "Meguri" - literally meaning flexibility and rotating of the wrist producing subtle connection points producing the maximum result with minimal levels of effort.

In 1982 together with his student André Cognard Shihan he founded "l'Académie d'Autonome Aikido" (3A) in Europe.

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