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Aikido History

About the same time as TaeKwonDo was being formalized (c. 1940), Morihei Ueshiba was synthesizing his art of Aikido which has its roots in Yagyu-Shinkage Ryu Kenjutsu (swordsmenship), Kito Ryu jujutsu, Daito Ryu jujutsu, and the art of Sojutsu (spearmenship).  Aikido differs from Karate and Judo in that it is not competitive.  Students study space-time relationships and the application of blending and redirection techniques to overcome direct conflict.

Kisshomaru Ueshiba, the Aikido Doshu (son of the founder, Morihei Ueshiba) undertook the worldwide propagation of their art by sending emissaries to every major free nation in the world.  Both father and son have been decorated by the Emperor for outstanding achievements in their field, a very rare honor.

In 1964 Yoshimitsu Yamada arrived in New York city from Tokyo, Japan to teach Aikido and represents the United States Aikido Federation.  Today there are over ten thousand practitioners of the art in the USA.  Yamada Sensei has brought four other Shihan (Masters) to the United States since 1964.  They are Mitsunari Kanai, Boston; Akira Tohei, Chicago; Kazuo Chiba, San Deigo; and Seichi Sugano, New York.

Dr. Hans Thomas Walker began his study of Aikido in 1962 under Major George Wilson, a direct student of the Founder.  Subsequently, they established relations with Yamada Sensei and the United States Aikido Federation.  Widely recognized as one of the foremost exponents of the art, Dr. Walker currently holds the rank of Fifth Dan, (Shihan).  He practices dentistry in addition to operating the "Sand Drift Aikikai" in Titusville, Florida.

American Moo Duk Kwan Society

Todd D. Jones began his study of martial arts late in 1970 at the age of thirteen under the tutelage of Jimmy Diaz in the art of MooDukKwan -TaeKwonDo at Miami Beach.  By 1974 he was also studying the arts of Iaido (Japanese Swordsmenship) and Kendo (Japanese Fencing) and Aikido.  On March 16th, 1975 Mr. Jones became the third student of Mr. Diaz to attain Black belt rank.  Mr. Jones received Black belts in Kendo and Iaido in 1977, and in Aikido in 1980.  Mr. Jones is currently ranked Sixth Dan in MooDukKwan, Third Dan in Kendo, Iaido, and Aikido.

In the fall of 1975, Mr. Jones founded the Florida MooDukKwan Club  at the University of Florida in Gainesville.  Florida MooDukKwan grew to be one of the university's largest intramural sports clubs.  Mr. Jones was recognized as one of the state's finest martial artists.  Between 1979 and 1984, Mr. Jones was  a nationally ranked competitor in both kata (forms) and kumite (fighting).  By 1987, Mr. Jones and the AMS could boast over thirty Black belt students.  Many of these have gone on to achieve their own national championship status such as Brian Shawe (forms and fighting), Dale Kirby (weapons), and Matt Barrow (fighting).

An eclectic style, American MooDukKwan draws upon the diverse background of Mr. Jones and his senior students.  Students are introduced to the intricacies of TaeKwonDo and Aikido concurrently, with an emphasis on developmental progression.  More than just a mere combative sport, great importance is placed on the development of a correct social etiquette which necessarily carries over into life outside of the classroom.  Eventually, a technical and conceptual synthesis occurs resulting in a  synergistic expansion of the student's physical and psychological problem-solving capabilities.  These skills have an interdisciplinary application useful in any walk of life.

Due to the rapid expansion of the program, the need for technical standardization, and the need for quality and cost controls, Mr. Jones and his senior students formed the American MooDukKwan Society (AMS)

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