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Kushida left Japan in 1973 after a request was made for an instructor in the Detroit area. In 1976 Kushida founded the Aikido Yoshinkai Association of North America. In 1991, Yoshinkan Aikido in Japan established a group called the International Yoshinkan Aikido Federation (IYAF). Their representatives discussed the mission, policies, and activities of the IYAF with Kushida. However, Kushida did not wish to change AYANA to conform with the IYAF. Later that December Kushida was dismissed by Shioda Kancho and his rank (8th degree black belt) was withdrawn. It was then that Kushida changed AYANA's name to the Aikido Yoshokai Association of North America and began to work independently from Yoshinkan Aikido.

He died in 2012.

Kushida Takashi


Kushida Takashi was a Japanese aikido master and the chief instructor of Aikido Yoshokai Association of North America (also called AYANA). He began his study of Aikido under  Shioda Gozo, founder of Yoshikan Aikido, in 1955 and lived at the Yoshinkan headquarters as a professional student (uchideshi) for many years. In 1964 he became a Shihan (Master Teacher). While at the Yoshinkan headquarters, Kushida handled many of Shioda's affairs and taught many of the Yoshinkan instructors in place today. Following this period of intense training and instruction, Kushida was made Senior Assistant Instructor at the Yoshinkan. Between 1963 and 1973 he served as Aikido teacher to the Japanese Air Force, the Tokyo Riot Control Police, and National Railway Police and accompanied Shioda in demonstrations in New Zealand and Hawaii as well as teaching at various universities, private companies, and at the Yoshinkan Headquarters.