Takeshi Kimeda, 9th dan, is the Chief Instructor of Aikido Yoshinkai Canada. He is the most senior teacher of Yoshinkan Aikido in the world.
Takeshi Kimeda Sensei was born in 1941 in Tokyo, Japan, and began his study of Aikido at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo. He initially wanted to join the karate club but it had been shut down due to an incident the previous year. So it was that he ended up joining the aikido club which was, at that time, affiliated with the Yoshinkan Hombu Dojo through Kushida Takashi Sensei. It was Kushida Sensei who initially took the young Kimeda under his wing and groomed him within the Yoshinkan. It was not long before Kimeda Sensei caught the eye of Gozo Shioda Kancho. By the time he graduated from university with a degree in Business Administration, he was the captain of the university aikido club and had been awarded 3rd Dan (1963-1964).
Shortly thereafter, in 1964, Kimeda Sensei left Tokyo, venturing out to North America where he would begin to lay the foundations for Yoshinkan Aikido. He first arrived in California, but spent only a short time there. He then moved on to Michigan, opening the first Yoshinkai Dojo in Dearborn. From Dearborn, he decided to come to Canada, opening the first Yoshinkan Aikido school here.
After returning to Tokyo and living and training at the Hombu Dojo in the mid-1960s, he came back to North America again, this time finally settling in Toronto, starting a family and beginning the process of building Aikido Yoshinkai Canada. It was after this point that he was also instrumental in bringing both Kushida Sensei and Karasawa Sensei to North America.
Almost 60 years later, Kimeda Sensei is still teaching and sharing his insights as the Chief Instructor of Aikido Yoshinkai Canada. He has been instrumental in bringing virtually every top instructor to Canada to share their own experiences with his students and continues to grow and learn as a martial artist. He holds the rank of 9th Dan and has brought literally hundreds of students to the black belt level — a number of whom are now some of the most senior instructors throughout North America.
After such a long and respected career it is not surprising that he has touched Yoshinkan practitioners on almost every continent. At the 50th Anniversary of the founding of Yoshinkan Aikido, Kimeda Sensei was the only individual awarded special recognition for spreading Yoshinkan outside of Japan.
Kimeda Sensei is still quite actively teaching at the Headquarters of Aikido Yoshinkai Canada (AYC) in Hamilton, Ontario. He is also intimately involved in the three affiliate dojos of AYC: