■History of Showa Dojo
|Hideo Owaki, 7th dan
|Makoto Ohtsu, 7th dan
2nd Dojo head
|Yasuhito Itami, 7th dan
Showa Dojo is an Aikido dojo officially certified by Aikikai Founation headquartered in Tokyo. Showa Dojo enjoys a high reputation due to its history and founder. It was founded by Hideo Owaki sensei (7th dan) in 1968 as an early Nagoya branch dojo of Aikikai Hombu Dojo with the objective of seeding and cultivating Aikido in the Nagoya-Tokai area. Owaki sensei studied Aikido under O-sensei, the founder, in the 1960s and pioneered the development of Aikido in Nagoya. His Aikido is firmly based on Judo (5th dan) and Kendo (6th dan) as well as other martial arts. Practicing as a pharmacist and acupuncturist during the daytime, he trained a large number of Aikidoists in his dojo in the evening and on weekends for over 40 years. He was also active in community affairs having served as a councilman of Nagoya City for 15 years. In March 2012, he retired from the position as head of Showa Dojo at the age of 90. Starting April 2012, Dr. Makoto Ohtsu (7th dan) has taken over the position of head and chief instructor of Showa Dojo.
■Location and Access to Showa Dojo
Showa Dojo is located at Komagata-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya, about 8 minutes walking distance from Kawana Station on the Subway Tsurumai Line, and in front of Komagata Junior High School (see the map in the “Showa Dojo Map” section).
■About Dojo Floor Space
The building is a two-story structure with a wooden first floor and a tatami-laid second floor. Aikido is practiced primarily in the second floor. A dojo of 89 tatami mats boasts one of the most spacious dojos in town where students can practice without worrying about clashing into each other.
■Classes and Testing
Showa Dojo is one of a few dojos in Nagoya which owns its own dojo building. As such, instruction is given as often as 5 days a week. Our dojo offers 1. General class; participants who have passed the basic 6th kyu test in Aikido and are 16 years and older. 2. Children’s class; participants who are children aged 6 to 15. 3. Beginners' class; participants who are teen-agers and adults without any previous Aikido experience. In the beginners' classes, we teach basic movements such as break-falls and footwork,followed by a few basic techniques during the first few months. General class members are free to practice in any session, but at present, weekend sessions are attended primarily by those who are unable to come on weekdays (Please refer to the “Class Schedule” section to see when these classes are offered).
■Qualified Instructional Staff
The Showa Dojo instructional staff consists of highly qualified people with three 7th dans, one 6th dan, one 5th dans, and five 4th dans. Each covers a wide range of techniques from one man open-hand attack to multiple people attack through attacks with weapons such as a knife, a sword, and a jo stick (Please see the “Instructional Staff” section for details of the instructors).
As of September 2021, there are 44 members (including 24 black belts) in the general and beginners' classes and eight members in the children's class. There are two foreigners as well in the general class. Age-wise, membership covers a wide range from a six year old child to an 81 year old male, suggesting that unlike other martial arts, one can learn Aikido in one's middle or even senior age. Male/female ratio is about 2 to 1 for the general and beginners' classes and 3 to 1 for the children's class. After the outbreak of coronavirus last year, no new members had joined Showa Dojo for a while. However, since January 2021, eight new members ( 5 male and 3 female) have joined the beginners' class and three new members have joined the children's class, suggesting that about the same number of new entrants as in the pre-coronavirus days are now enjoying Aikido.