Takeshi Kimeda

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Takeshi Kimeda
BornFebruary 22, 1941
Tokyo, Japan
Native name木目田 猛 Kimeda Takeshi
ResidenceHamilton, Ontario, Canada
StyleYoshinkan Aikido
Teacher(s)Gozo Shioda, Takashi Kushida
Rank9th Dan
Years active1960- present

Takeshi Kimeda (木目田 猛; February 22, 1941) is a Japanese-Canadian Aikido instructor. He is ranked 9th Dan in Yoshinkan Aikido and is the most senior active teacher in the style. He is also ranked 7th Dan in Iaido (Muso Jikiden Eishin-Ryu) and 6th Dan in Jodo (Zen Ken Ren Jo). He is the Chief Instructor of Aikido Yoshinkai Canada[1] (AYC), which he began building in 1964 in Toronto, Canada[2][3]. He is widely credited as the “Father of Aikido in Canada" for his efforts to introduce and spread the art at such an early stage[4]. He was inducted into the Canadian Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2009[5].

Early Life

With the out break of the Pacific War (Dec 7, 1941 – Sep 2, 1945) looming, Kimeda’s family decided to relocate from Tokyo to the perceived safety of the islands of Amakusa near Nagasaki. His father was in the military and his mother was left with the task of raising four children on a small farm. He spent the first four years of his life here before the family moved back to Tokyo at the end of WWII.

University Days and Yoshinkan Aikido

In 1960, Kimeda entered Meiji Gakuin University where he took a degree in Economics. It was here that he first encountered Aikido, joining the Aikido club in his first year.

At that time, the university club was affiliated with the Headquarters (Hombu Dojo) of Yoshinkan Aikido. Takashi Kushida and Kyoichi Inoue were dispatched once a week from the Hombu to teach at Meiji Gakuin. Eventually, Kimeda became the club’s 5th Captain and by the time he graduated in 1964 he had earned the rank of 3rd Dan in Yoshinkan Aikido.

Moving to North America

While he was supposed to start working after graduation from university, Kimeda’s classmate and fellow Aikido club member, Yasuda, suggested that they both go on an adventure to the United States. Yasuda could speak some English and had an uncle in New York so the two of them planned to cross the Pacific and then make their way there.

They arrived in Los Angeles in 1964 and found the Yoshinkan Aikido dojo of Virgil Crank[6] in Lomita, CA. They spent some time training there during which Kimeda promoted Mits Yamashita to 1st Dan[7]. Before long, their continued their journey to New York City where their arrival coincided with the start of the World’s Fair. After a month or two of unproductive days in New York, the pair decided to try their luck in Detroit[8].

It was there that they met Frank C. Hubbard[9], one of the sons of Orville Hubbard, the Mayor of Dearborn, MI. Frank Hubbard was a 4th Dan in Judo and who could speak some Japanese[8]. Together, they decided to start a Judo/Aikido club. The group was joined shortly thereafter by another Meiji Gakuin Aikido club member, Fujita.

Kimeda, Yasuda and Fujita were now teaching Aikido full-time in Dearborn. But, when Kimeda’s visa ran out, it was clear to him that he was not going to be allowed to stay in the U.S. So he and Fujita went to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, while Yasuda decided to stay behind.

In Toronto, Kimeda and Fujita met the Kendo teacher, Larry Nakamura. Nakamura Sensei introduced them to Masami Tsuruoka, who took them in and helped them to get on their feet. Fujita would eventually return to Japan while Kimeda persevered and began to build what would later become the Aikido Yoshinkai Canada organization.

Establishing Aikido Yoshinkai Canada

The first dojo that Kimeda opened in Canada was within the Tsuruoka Karate Dojo[10] when it was in its location at the corner of Yonge and Bloom streets in Toronto. The club grew and eventually moved to a local Judo dojo where it operated for some four years.

It was then that Kimeda’s father came from Tokyo to visit. He was worried about his son and urged him to return to Tokyo. While he initially did as his father asked, Kimeda found that life in Tokyo had changed dramatically in his absence and he could not bring himself to take on a job and settle into the routine of life there.

So, on January 8, 1968, he packed up his possessions and moved in to the Yoshinkan Hombu Dojo. He stayed there for 8 months before Gozo Shioda, founder of Yoshinkan Aikido, granted him permission to teach in North America.

When he returned to Toronto, Kimeda taught at various locations throughout the city. Primary among these was the Judo dojo of Frank Hatashita. By 1973-74, Masami Tsuruoka (Karate), Frank Hatashita (Judo), Larry Nakamura (Kendo) and Kimeda (Aikido) were the leading Japanese martial arts teachers in Toronto.

Over the next 20 years, Aikido Yoshinkai Canada continued to grow until it was formally established as a charitable organization in the mid-1980s. Throughout this time, Kimeda continued to travel once a month to Dearborn, MI, to train with Takashi Kushida, whom he had first met in university[8].

With the internal struggles of the Yoshinkan organization in the early 1990s as a backdrop, Kimeda invited Gozo Shioda to Toronto in 1990[11] and committed to continuing the spread of Yoshinkan Aikido. Around that time, he also dedicated himself to furthering the weapons training he had received from Kushida. He studied both Iaido and Jodo as a way to deepen his Aikido. He would eventually earn the rank of 7th Dan in Iaido and 6th Dan in Jodo.

Kimeda is currently teaching in Hamilton, Ontario[12], and continues to oversee the dojos in Aikido Yoshinkai Canada organization.

Ranks and Awards

  • 9th Dan — Yoshinkan Aikido
  • 7th Dan — Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido
  • 6th Dan — Zen Nippon Kendō Renmei, Jodo
  • Lifetime Contribution Award, 50th Anniversary of the Founding of the Yoshinkan, 2005
  • Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame Inductee, 2009


  1. "Aikido Hamilton, Aikido Burlington, Aikido Toronto, Aikido Yoshinkai Canada". Aikido Hamilton, Aikido Burlington, Aikido Toronto, Aikido Yoshinkai Canada. Retrieved 2023-08-19.
  2. "Takeshi Kimeda – Aikido Journal". 2018-11-03. Retrieved 2023-08-18.
  3. "History of Aikido in Canada – Aikido Journal". Retrieved 2023-08-18.
  4. Pioneer series Ep. 3 Takeshi Kimeda Sensei (Canada), retrieved 2023-08-18
  5. "Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame". Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2023-08-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. "Virgil Crank – Aikido Journal". 2021-04-17. Retrieved 2023-08-29.
  7. "A Timeline of Shihan Mitsuru "Mits" Yamashita's Life". everloved.com. Retrieved 2023-08-29.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Turner, Fran (October 1994). "Interview: Takeshi Kimeda Sensei". Aikido Today Magazine. Vol. 8, no. 4. pp. 7–9.
  9. "The Charlotte Observer 20 Aug 1951, page 7". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2023-08-18.
  10. Ward, Roger (Spring 1994). "Profile: Aikido's Takeshi Kimeda - 30 years later". Canadian Martial Arts magazine. 1 (3): 16–18.
  11. "SHIODA GOZO Transmission of Aiki". www.queststation.com. Retrieved 2023-08-18.
  12. Newman, Mark (2019-07-29). "Takeshi Kimeda still on the mat at 78". The Hamilton Spectator. ISSN 1189-9417. Retrieved 2023-08-18.

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