Current Sensei's Corners
SHIHAN FUMIO TOYODA
It is with a saddened heart that I write this statement with. An invaluable member of the Aikido community as a whole and even more so to the Aikido Association of America, the organization that we belong to, that he founded in the late 70's. Toyoda Shihan was one of the last links between Aikido past and the future. Being a student of O'sensei and the first uchi deshi of Nidai Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba.
I first met Toyoda Shihan last March when I was shopping our dojo around for affiliation. Toyoda was more than supportive of our situation and gave more than we could ever hope to repay. We were and still are a small group that could easily been brushed aside by such a large organization as his, yet he took us in, making us legitimate, and part of his expanding association. To that we owe his memory an enormous debt of gratitude. But even more so we owe a debt to be passed on to all future Aikido students. That debt being his legacy as what he set down for us to share to the future generations of Aikido. I remember Shihan most for being the most approachable and grounded of all the Shihan I have met. Always was the smile on his face and many times I had to stop myself from just laughing at him as he had a certain exuberance about him that one wanted to be a part of.
I have been to many seminars and various dojo of other organizations and have never been as fully embraced as I have at any AAA dojo. This is an example of the behavior that he himself demonstrated and his representatives picked up on and shared with all whom shared his vision and his enthusiasm for teaching and spreading Aikido. My only regret is to not have spent more time with him. To learn and absorb more from him about what it is and what it means to be a Sensei, to devote yourself singly to the spread of that which you love. I can't say enough about the loss of such a remarkable person, but what I can say is that we must always be mindful of is the vision and the mission that was his dream.
We send our prayers and best wishes to his family and to all of those who were touched by him, he will not be forgotten.
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