Minoru Mochizuki (1907-2003)

    by Stanley Pranin


    On May 30, 2003, the aikido world lost one of its greatest figures. Minoru Mochizuki was among the top tier of students of Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei and was himself the creator of a unique composite martial system called “Yoseikan Budo.” He stands as an epic figure in the martial arts world, his career spanning some 90 years! Mochizuki had the good fortune of studying directly under Jigoro Kano, founder of judo, 10th dan judo great Kyuzo Mifune, and Morihei Ueshiba, the originator of aikido. Moreover, he was the first to bring aikido to the west when he traveled to France to teach judo in 1951. I would like to offer an overview of Mochizuki Sensei’s martial arts career and contributions together with some personal reminiscences of this important figure.



    Early judo career


    Minoru Mochizuki was born in 1907 in Shizuoka City and embarked upon his budo career at the tender age of five when he began the practice of judo. As a boy his eclectic approach to budo was already apparent, and his training also included kendo and a classical art called “Gyokushin-ryu jujutsu.” In 1926 at age 19, Mochizuki enrolled at the Kodokan, the mecca of judo, and in less than two years he was promoted to sandan, an outstanding achievement for that time.


    Mochizuki relates an amusing story of how he came to the attention of the famous Kyuzo Mifune Sensei while attending kangeiko (intensive winter training). At the time, he was living in Tsurumi, which was quite far from the Tokyo location of the Kodokan. In order to participate in the early morning practice session he had to leave home at midnight. One morning outside the Kodokan, failing to find the bucket he was accustomed to use to wipe off the sweat worked up during the vigorous all-night walk, he jumped into a well and broke the ice that had formed on the surface. When young Mochizuki emerged from the well, an unknown hand began to pull him out. It was none other than Mifune Sensei who peered at the drenched boy incredulously and yelled: “What are you doing splashing yourself with cold water? You fool, you’ll ruin your health that way!” Mifune ordered Mochizuki to stay at his house that evening. He continued to stay on at Mifune’s home thereafter as an uchideshi and learned first hand the importance of being at the side of one’s master 24 hours a day.



    Singled out by Jigoro Kano


    Despite being a young man in his prime and full of competitive spirit, Mochizuki felt the need to expand the scope of his training. Kano had established a “Classical Martial Arts Research Group” at the Kodokan and Mochizuki joined to practice Katori Shinto-ryu. Eventually, he caught the eye of Jigoro Kano who told him “You have the makings of a leader…. In the future you will be a top teacher here at the Kodokan.” Kano asked Mochizuki to report to him once a month concerning his training progress. This led to a series of meetings in which the philosophically-oriented creator of judo attempted to stimulate the mind of the young Mochizuki who, at that time, could only think of winning tournaments. Nonetheless, Kano’s observations concerning the true purpose of judo and the pitfalls of sports would later contribute substantially to the theoretical basis of Mochizuki’s own Yoseikan Budo.


    The tie-in between judo and aikido began when Kano, at the invitation of Admiral Isamu Takeshita, witnessed a demonstration of Morihei Ueshiba’s jujutsu in October 1930. Highly impressed, the judo leader arranged for two of his top judo students—one of them Minoru Mochizuki—to study under Ueshiba.



    Learning Daito-ryu under Morihei Ueshiba


    Mochizuki began learning Daito-ryu aikijujutsu from Ueshiba a few months in Mejiro before the opening of the Kobukan Dojo in Ushigome, Shinjuku in April 1931. He was twenty-four years old at the time, and he made rapid progress due to his broad budo experience and innate talent. Shortly after entering the Kobukan, Ueshiba asked him to act as the supervisor of his uchideshi and to serve as a teaching assistant. Ueshiba even suggested that Mochizuki marry Ueshiba’s daughter and become his adopted son and successor. Mochizuki declined and, as fate would have it, fell ill shortly thereafter with pleurisy and pulmonary tuberculosis. He was taken back home to Shizuoka City to recover. After a three-month hospital stay, he slowly began to teach in a dojo built by his brother and some friends in the center of town. His official dojo opening was held in November 1931 and many dignitaries from Tokyo, including Ueshiba, Admiral Takeshita, and General Makoto Miura attended.


    Although Mochizuki spent only a few months training with Ueshiba in Tokyo before his illness, Ueshiba visited him regularly on his way to and from Kyoto where he taught budo seminars as part of the Omoto-sponsored Budo Senyokai. It was during this period that Ueshiba presented Mochizuki with two Daito-ryu scrolls. Both are dated June 1932. The title of the first is “Daito-ryu Aikibujutsu” and its content is identical to the “Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Hiden Mokuroku” given out by Sokaku Takeda as the first level of proficiency in Daito-ryu. The second is titled “Hiden Ogi,” the scroll awarded for the next highest level in the Daito-ryu tradition. Both scrolls bear the signature, “Moritaka Ueshiba, student of Sokaku Takeda,” and a seal that reads “Aikijujutsu.” These documents provide additional proof of the importance of the Daito-ryu tradition in the historical development of aikido technique.


    Possessed of a spirit of adventure, Mochizuki relocated in Mongolia with his family in the late 1930s where he spent a total of eight years. He returned to Japan after the war’s end. There he had an opportunity to observe the lifestyles of the agricultural and hunting peoples of that region. This experience gave him a further understanding of the historical roots of Chinese martial arts. He also trained with a Japanese karate master during his stint abroad. Back in Shizuoka after World War II, Mochizuki renewed contact with Morihei Ueshiba, who requested his assistance in the management of the Shinjuku Aikikai Hombu Dojo, but he declined to become involved in organizational matters.

    Travel to France


    Mochizuki Sensei was a pioneer in aikido from a variety of different standpoints. He was the first person to bring aikido to the west when he traveled to France in 1951 to teach judo. Europe’s introduction to aikido and its association with judo came about directly due to the early activities of Mochizuki. He was to set a pattern that would be repeated in most European countries where aikido would cast its roots within the existing judo community. A large number of early European practitioners were judoka who were past their competitive years and found the graceful techniques of aikido to be a perfect alternative allowing them to continue active martial arts practice. Mochizuki spent a total of two-and-one-half years in France and his efforts sowed the seeds for the development of the world’s largest aikido population outside Japan. It is said that today there are more than fifty thousand active practitioners in France!



    Birth of Yoseikan Budo


    As his thinking matured in the years following the war, Mochizuki gradually formulated a composite martial art system of his own that included elements of judo, jujutsu, aikido, karate, Katori Shinto-ryu, and other arts. This style came to be known as “Yoseikan Budo.” His thinking bears the indelible imprint of the philosophies of Jigoro Kano and Morihei Ueshiba, his two revered teachers. Kano, the rational thinker and Ueshiba, possessor of great spiritual sensitivity, in their own ways both taught Mochizuki the futility of thinking only of victory and how the true purpose of budo lies in the development of the character of the individual.


    Mochizuki maintained periodic contact with the aikido founder until the later’s death in 1969, although he remained organizationally independent of the Aikido Hombu Dojo. He continued to travel abroad on a regular basis to such countries as France, Australia, Taiwan, and Canada. He continued teaching Yoseikan Budo at his dojo in Shizuoka and writing books and articles on a variety of martial arts-related subjects.


    Mochizuki spent the last several years of his life in Southern France with his son Hiroo. The headquarters of Yoseikan Budo was moved to France at the time of his relocation as well. His son became the official successor to his father although the former’s approach differs considerably and incorporates a system of competition. Mochizuki Sensei died peacefully at the age of 96 in the country that served as the stage for the international development of aikido.



    Some personal recollections


    Mochizuki Sensei was already in his mid-70s when I met him for the first time at his dojo in Shizuoka in 1982. Although not practicing vigorously as he had up until a few years before, he was still on the mat everyday interacting with students and guiding them in their training. He had a razor-sharp memory and recalled in vivid detail his early days of martial arts study as a boy and, especially, his training in judo and Daito-ryu—precursor to aikido—under Morihei Ueshiba. Mochizuki Sensei’s home nestled above the dojo and he would trudge up and down the stairs all day long, his mind seemingly always on training and research. It seemed that there was no distinction at all between his martial arts activities and personal life.


    Mochizuki Sensei had an impressive collection of old photos, especially of his years in judo and aikido. We were allowed to copy this collection and a number of these rare shots are included in this article.



    Participating in the 2nd Aikido Friendship Demonstration


    At 1986 Friendship DemonstrationPerhaps the highlight of our association with Mochizuki Sensei came in 1986 whe he honored us by performing in the held in Tokyo. He conducted a lecture-demonstration together with a contingent of his top students from the Yoseikan Hombu. The sutemi demonstration they performed, in particular, elicited a very positive reaction among the audience. Most of those attending had never seen such genial techniques before. Mochizuki Sensei had succeeded in seamlessly combining the sacrifice techniques of Gyokushin-ryu jujutsu with aikido taisabaki. Several thousand were introduced to Yoseikan Budo for the first time through this demonstration and the videotape distributed internationally.



    Martial Arts and Ethics


    Mochizuki Sensei was a profound man with a strong intellectual bent. He was not merely a skilled martial artist who cross-trained in a variety of disciplines, but also a deep thinker who contemplated the social and moral implications of the study of martial arts.


    His ideas on the relative merits of martial arts compared to sports give an insight into the nature of his thinking. Here is a quote from our first interview conducted November 22, 1982:


    If aikido or judo ever become part of the world of sports, then they will certainly become distracted by the sort of games that involve winners and losers, the strong and the weak. Their value as spiritual education and character development will be lost….


    [In sports], it is a case of doing your opponent in and coming out on top as the sole winner. This is the spirit of sport and it will never do. Times have changed and now we hear people asking if the United States is going to win, or is it going to be the Soviets? Talking like that is going to bring about the extinction of the human race! The sporting mentality is going to bring the world to an end because it doesn’t contain the spirit of self-salvation and helping others.


    In a similar vein concerning the influence of sports on the young, he made this perceptive observation:


    One situation leading to delinquency involves a young person dropping out of his group of friends on a sports team. Coaches, however, are only interested in training team members and in the question of winning and losing. They pay no attention to those who drop out because they are only interested in winning. In sports there is no place for the weaker or the less competent.


    Personally, I would rather see various sports transformed into martial arts, so that they become more concerned with spiritual development and the prevention of bad behavior. They should be more concerned with developing young people who are no trouble to their parents, who get along well with their siblings, and with promoting good relations between husbands and wives.


    Mochizuki with Ueshiba c. 1950Another example echoes the theme of the dangers of thinking in terms of winning and losing and shows how deeply Mochizuki was affected by the ideas of Morihei Ueshiba. On his return from Europe, Mochizuki related to Ueshiba how he had to resort to skills from other martial arts such as judo and kendo in order to best opponents when he was teaching in France. He further speculated that if aikido was to spread internationally it had to have a broader technical base. Mochizuki recalls their conversation and Ueshiba’s sharp reply:


    “Your whole way of thinking is mistaken! Of course, it is wrong to be weak, but that is not the whole story. Don’t you realize that we are no longer in an age where we can even talk about winning or losing? It is the age of love now, can’t you see that?” This he told me and with those eyes of his!


    At that moment I was still not able to grasp it, but gradually over time it became clearer to me. That’s why I feel as I do today…. We have seen the world situation move gradually toward a war that they say will reduce the population of the world to one third of its present number. In such an atmosphere how can we toy with the idea of winning and losing? That’s why I feel so sincerely from the deepest depths of my heart that it is this very budo that I want to spread to the world. I feel very strongly that there must be some words that can convey to people today the ideas and thoughts of Ueshiba Sensei. But also, it is necessary to have techniques that can teach these things. It is vital to be able to both express it in words and to perform it in deeds.


    This summarizes the theoretical basis of Yoseikan Budo and the credo of Mochizuki Sensei during the latter part of his life. It was an honor to have known and interacted with this martial arts genius and perfect gentleman.


    As time separates us from the founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, and his key students who shepherded the spread of aikido worldwide, the name of Minoru Mochizuki will occupy a special place. His genius lay in the depth and breadth of his martial arts skills and his ability to articulate in terms understandable by modern man the essence of aikido principles.


    Patrick Augé

    The leading exponent of Yoseikan Budo residing in North America is 7th dan Patrick Augé. His Yoseikan Budo website contains a great deal of information on this art and Mochizuki Sensei.


    Source : http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=505


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    Interview with Minoru Mochizuki


    by Stanley Pranin

    Aiki News #54 (April 1983)

    The following interview was conducted in the dojo of Minoru Mochizuki Sensei in Shizuoka City on Movember 22, 1982.


    Aiki News: Mochizuki Sensei, the first martial art you studied was judo, I believe.


    Mochizuki Sensei: Yes, that’s right. I started the year before I entered elementary school. In the fifth grade we moved and I had to stop my training, though. Across the street and one house up from the new place there was a kendo dojo and so I started to do that instead. Then in middle school I took up judo again and I have been at it ever since. I felt that I would have liked to become a specialist in judo and so I went to the Kodokan (world judo headquarters). The year before that, though, I had entered the doo of one of the Kodokan teachers by the name of Tokusanbo. In those days in judo circles they said, “For technique, it’s Mifune but the devil of the Kodokan is Tokusanbo.” He was really a powerful and scary teacher. His dojo was located in a place called Komatsugawa. At that time I was living with my sister whose home was near there. I trained for about six months before we moved again and I entered the Kodokan to become a judoka.


    I entered Tokusanbo Sensei’s dojo in 1924. At that time, a teacher of an old-style jujutsu called Gyokushin-ryu lived very near to my sister. His name was Sanjuro Oshima. This teacher was really saddened to see the classical styles of jujutsu disappearing one by one and he was determined to see to it that his own art was preserved. So much so that he reqested that I learn it from him. I would go to his house and would be treated to a fine meal. I didn’t have to pay any fees to study and they actually gave me dinner. That was how I cam to study jujutsu.



    Were you awarded some kind of ranking in this art ?


    After about six months I received a license called the Shoden Kirishi Mokuroku which would be roughly equal to a first degree black belt in judo. That was the end of my relationship with that teacher, but to this day I still remember his words. “The name of our tradition is the Gyokushin Ryu. The name is written with characters meaning ‘sperical spirit.’ A ball will roll freely. No matter which side it is pushed from it will roll away. Just this sort of spirit is the true spirit that Gyokushin Ryu seeks to instill in its members. If you have done this, nothing in this world can upset you.” At that time I was still a child and so I didn’t understand what he meant very well. I simply imagined a heart or spirit rolling here and there. It wasn’t until I had passed 50 years of age that I can to understand what “Gyokushin spherical spirit” really meant. If you don’t spend 50 years at it, you won’t be able to get it. I had forgotten about it for many years.



    What other martial arts did you practice ?


    I also did kendo. I’ve forgotten the name of my teacher but I don’t think I’ll ever forget the things he said. He once told me this. “When I was 13 years old I took part in the famous Battle of Ueno. Look at yourself! You’re 12, aren’t you? How do you expect to be able to pick up your sword next year being as weak as you are?” That’s the sort of teacher I had for kendo. So, during the time when I was studying judo with “Devil” Tokusanbo, I was also practicing Gyokushin-ryu jujutsu. This system used a lot of sacrifice techniques and others that were very similar to those of aikido. Then, in 1926 I joined the Kodokan in May and in June I was offically promoted to first degree black belt. This was because before that, whenever I’d go out in any competition I would beat the black belts who came up against me. I think I had been more than black belt material for a long time before I received the grading. That’s why I was promoted to second degree the very next January, only a half a year later. The year after that I was made a third degree black belt. I guess I must have been about as strong as most third degrees during the time I was ranked at the second level. After all, I had been doing judo since before I entered grade school.



    What was judo training at the Kodokan like ?


    About that time, one of my sisters was living in the town of Tsurumi in Kanagawa Prefecture, and she too was kind enough to let me live with her. Everyday I would ride the train up to the Kodokan in Tokyo to practice. Then came the special winter training sessions called kangeiko. We were supposed to practice every morning starting at 4 am and this was to go on for one whole month. Of course there were no trains running at that early hour so the only thing I could do was to walk to the dojo. It was quite a distance from the house in Tsurumi to the Kodokan so I had to leave at midnight to make it on time. There I was clacking along the old Tokaido highway in my heavy wooden clogs. As I got nearer to the Kodokan I would start to meet others, their black belts over their shoulders, diligently on their way from other places. Some of them would be in front of me and likely to beat me there. Well, I had been on the road since 12 midnight and I wasn’t about to let them beat me now so I’d start to run. When they saw me on the run they would start too. (Laughter)


    Anyway, I ended up walking and running the whole way, and by the time I made it to the Kodokan I was dripping with sweat. There was a small well there but the top was always frozen over. I would smash the ice and splash water over my body from head to toe and then run into the dojo to practice. Well, one day when I got to the well, my usual bucket was missing. Someone must have carried it off someplace. I didn’t have a lot of time to spend looking for it or I would have been late for the start of class so I just jumped right into the well for a few seconds. When I went to pull myself back up out of the hole, I felt someone pulling me up by the hand. I turned around to thank him for helping me and who do you suppose it was? Mifune Sensei of all people!


    I was rather taken aback and stiffened up. Of course I had just crawled up from the ice and all. I finally managed to say good morning. Sensei stared me in the face. “What on earth are you doing?”, he asked me. I answered coweringly that I was rinsing myself off in the water. Maybe Sensei felt sorry for me because he gave me a small towel and told me to dry off. Then he asked me why I was splashing myself with cold water. I explained that I had to walk every day from Tsurumi. At that, Mifune Sensei said to me, “Tonight you can come to my house. You fool, you’ll ruin your health like this!”


    From that day on I stayed at Mifune Sensei’s house. In essence I became one of his dependents. At that time, there were hundreds of students who lived at his expense in order to learn judo, but of course Sensei couldn’t have that many staying in his own home. When I went there he already had three people staying with him. I was told to go into a room with only three mats (about 20 square feet) and there were already two other fellows staying there. And were they ever big! There was hardly any place for me to spread my bedding so the only thing I could do was lie down between them and go to sleep. It was warm enough sleeping there because I had the other two men’s quilts on top of me, but during the night whenever they moved they would pull their blankets in either direction. Time after time I would wake up because of the cold. (Laughter)



    What kind of relationship did you have with Mifune Sensei ?


    During the day Sensei would often tell us stories about various martial arts. That was especially good for me. I really learned just what judo was all about. It was often said since the old days that there was no way that a student who came to the dojo only to study and then returned home could get a license. In other words, such a person could never receive a menkyo kaiden master-level teaching certification. These outside students come for practice time and when training is over they return home. On the other hand, the uchideshi are there for 24 hours a day and so are able to hear all the various stories that the teacher has. I really learned a lot. You come to understand the spiritual idea behind the art.


    This story is about Jigoro Kano Sensei. Among his close students there was an excellent man by the name of Okabe who was really intelligent as well as being a strong judo man. However, this Mr. Okabe insisted that judo was a sport. “If judo is not a sport it’s nothing!”, he said. Now Kano Sensei truly loved this student but Sensei himself felt deeply that judo must not be turned into a sport. As you know in foreign countries there are churches which specialize in teaching people how to lead a moral life. In Japan, we have no such institution whose job it is to instill such a sense of morality and, as a result, Kano Sensei invented judo as a form of physical training which incorporated a method of moral training. While he was doing this it was a period when students had to really cram at their studies and, consequently, many of them would become sick. A large number died from lung diseases.


    Kano Sensei reformed the old jujutsu forms into judo; that is, he tranformed these techniques into a sport so that it became possible to do something of a sporting nature in the rather special atmosphere that we find in a dojo. We have make a distinction between seniors and juniors and things like that. The do of the word budo (martial way) carries the meaning of “virtue” or “morality.” That is what a dojo is all about. It is a place where you cultivate virtue while you train in martial techniques. It is essentially concerned with virtue. That’s why this one student and Kano Sensei had such heated arguments. No matter how much Sensei would explain his viewpoint the other man would insist that “such a half-hearated art is unacceptable. The method of winning and losing in judo is a sport and personality development is personality development. There is no need for any form of moral cultivation in sports. It comes naturally while you play.” Later this man received certification as a master of physical education. He was extremeley theoretical.


    All of this made Kano Sensei think. If a person does only judo it seemed that their art turned into pure sport. For this reason he decided to introduce training in classical martial arts into the Kodokan and had a special dojo built for that purpose. He had hoped to show the pre-modern martial arts to everyone there and those who were interested would be able to freely practice. He thought that if he could get them to come to understand the spirit of the classical martial arts they would then be able to practice developing the true budo spirit. That’s how he came to establish the Kobudo Kenkyukai (Association for Classical Martial Arts Research).

    Were you connected with this group too ?


    I had been staying at Mifune Sensei’s home all this time and I too felt the need to engage in spiritual training and so I joined the research group. At that time I was also a second degree black belt in kendo so I already understood how to use the sword, the footwork, and how to extend my arms. So I was completely different from those teachers who had done only judo. That’s why after I started to take part in training in the classical arts I came to the attention of Kano Sensei. “You have the makings of a leader,” he told me. After that I was to report to him once or twice a month on the progress of my training. While I was doing that Sensei said to me one day, “In the future you will be a top teacher here at the Kodokan.” I was stunned. At that time among the teaching greats were Mifune Sensei and Tokusanbo Sensei. I wondered if I could ever reach such heights. Then one day after I had finished my report Sensei asked me this question. “How do you understand the character ju in the word judo?” “It means flexible or soft,” I replied. “Can you practice judo only by being flexible or soft?,” was his retort. Now I was caught. Of course, if you are only soft you will lose every time. Sensei continued, “What you are doing is not judo but godo (hard way), and that will never do. Within flexibility there is rigidity and within rigidity there is flexibility. Jujutsu is the way of controling what we call hardness and softness by means of the blending of these two essential concepts.” At the time I was only a boy of 21 and so I listened with the feeling that I understood somewhat what he was saying and yet I didn’t understand. Since “ju” is something that is very rational, it is quite an intellectual concept.



    Would you tell us about association with Kano Sensei?


    On one occasion I took part in a judo tournament at Nihon University. I went out and won. Then, that same afternoon, there was another competition at Meiji University which I also won. There I was with two medals in one day. I was still a kid then and really happy about it so I completely forgot about my appointment with Kano Sensei for that day and rushed straight home. When I got there my sister asked me if I hadn’t promised to got to Sensei’s home. I rushed out of the house and jumped on a train back to town before I realized I’d forgotten my wallet. With lowered head I was able to get the conductor to let me get by that time, but the problem was that I had to change trains along the way. When I had no idea that I didn’t have my money it was not a problem to just jump on the train as usual. Now, however, I knew before hand that I couldn’t pay so it was really hard to get up the nerve to get on. (Laughter) I hesitated and finally I just explained the whole story to the new conductor and he kindly agreed to let me on. I’ll never forget that terrible feeling.


    Anyhow, I rushed to Sensei’s place like that and arrived for my 2 pm appointment at about 4:30. Sensei was a very busy man. He was the type who planned his workday second by second and so I was worried about how badly I’d get bawled out this time. It was with these thoughts that I went to meet him. Kano Sensei was 70 years old at that time and when he heard that I had finally arrived he slipped into a hakama to meet me. He actually changed to more formal attire just to meet a student some 50 years his junior. He stared at my face for a few seconds then asked if I was sick. Then I explained how I’d just come from winning the two medals. There must have been a hint of pride in my voice because Sensei’s tone changed completely. “Just what is it that you think these tournaments are anyway?” I had won and so I just could not figure out why he wasn’t happy about it. he continued, “We write the word shiai with characters which mean ‘to try out together.’ Shiai are part of the art in order for you to measure the limits of your own strength at any point in time. Does it take you two times in one day to do that!” I’d been out there just to win. I hadn’t given any thought to the trying out of my strength. Sensei then went on, “You have mistaken understanding of judo. Competition is not some sort of game you do for fun. With that kind of attitude you’ll never be a very good instructor.” Although there was a large age gap between Kano Sensei and myself, he had already started trying to educate me about how to become an instructor


    Source : http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=206


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    Minoru Mochizuki (1907-2003)

    Né le 11 avril 1907, Préfecture de Shizuoka, Japon


    ·        10ième dan, Meijin Aïkido, IMAF.

    ·        9ième dan, Jujutsu.

    ·        8ième dan, Iaijutsu.

    ·        8ième dan, Judo.

    ·        5ième dan, Kendo.

    ·        5ième dan, Karaté.


    Maître Mochizuki, fondateur du Yoseikan Budo, commença par pratiquer le Kendo à l'âge de cinq ans dans le dojo de son grand-père à Shizuoka. Puis il se lança dans le Judo et joignit le Kodokan (Centre Mondial du Judo) en 1925 ou il est devenu un compétiteur hors-pair. Sous la tutelle de Jigoro Kano, fondateur du Judo, Maître Mochizuki devint le plus jeune membre du Kobudo Kenkyukai - organisation pour l'étude, la présentation et le développement des arts martiaux classiques - établie au sein du Kodokan, dans laquelle il pratiqua entre autres le Katori Shinto-Ryu. En 1930, il fut choisi par Jigoro Kano pour aller étudier l'Aïkijujutsu avec Morihei Ueshiba. Il fut l'uchideshi de Morihei Ueshiba au Kobukan Dojo pour une année avant d'ouvrir son propre dojo dans la ville de Shizuoka en 1931. C'est alors qu'il commença à développer son propre style d'Aikido: le Yoseikan Budo.


    Morihei Ueshiba lui décerna deux certificats en Daito-Ryu en juin 1932 ("Goshinyo no te" et "Hiden ogi no koto"). Par la suite, il passat huit années en Mongolie dont il fût nommé sous-gouverneur. Il y fût actif en tant qu'éducateur et entrepreneur de travaux destinés à améliorer les communications et l'irrigation. Son idée de combattre le communisme par l'application des principes d'"entraide et prospérité mutuelle" et de "la meilleure utilisation de l'énergie" de Jigoro Kano contribua au développement de sa région. De plus son projet d'irrigation fut complété après la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale par les autorités Chinoises. Minoru Mochizuki fut le premier à enseigner l'aïkido en Occident lorsqu'il séjourna en France de 1951 à 1953 comme professeur de Judo. Il a enseigné à son dojo de Shizuoka jusqu'à vers la fin du dernier millénaire et a vécu les dernières années de sa vie en France avec son fils Hiroo.





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