Shoji Nishio (西尾 昭二 Nishio Shōji?, December 5, 1927 – March 15, 2005) was a Japanese aikido teacher holding the rank of 8th dan shihan from the Aikikai.
Life and career
Nishio was born in Aomori Prefecture of Japan in 1927. He joined Aikikai Hombu Dojo in 1951 and began to teach around 1955. Before aikido he studied judo (6th Dan Kodokan Judo), karate (5th Dan Shindō jinen-ryū), iaido (7th Dan Nihon Zendoku Iaido) and jōdō and also Shintō Musō-ryū jōjutsu and Hōzōin-ryū sōjutsu. Skills gained from them he managed to smoothly merge into his own specific aikido style where all techniques can be performed with the wooden sword bokken in hand as well as without weapons, and his weapon systems has few similarities to the more common system that derives from Morihiro Saito. He held the title of an Aikikai shihan and also created a new school of Iaido with forms from aikido, called Aiki Toho Iaido or Nishio-ryu Iai. In 2003 Nishio received the Budo Kyoryusho award from Japanese Budo Federation for his lifetime contribution to development and worldwide propagation of aikido. He died in March 2005 aged 77.
Seishiro Endo (遠藤征四郎 Endō Seishirō?), born 1942, is an 8th dan ranked Aikikai aikido master teacher. Endō is among the few living people who studied directly under aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba.
He trained at Aikikai Hombu Dojo with master teachers including Hiroshi Tada, Mitsunari Kanai, and Yasuo Kobayashi.
When Endo was 30 years old he dislocated his right shoulder. According to an interview, that event brought him to a turning point. After the injury, Yamaguchi said to him, "You’ve been doing aikido for 10 years now, but now you have only your left arm to use, what are you going to do?" This prompted Endo to pursue a different direction in his Aikido. His Aikido eventually became a lot softer and more contact-based.
Endo teaches mostly principles on how to connect to your partner and how to move freely. There is less focus on learning a large number of techniques. He also emphasizes that each student must confirm his feeling during each part of an exercise or technique. He talks about concentration of ki, relaxation of the upper body, flexible movement and calmness of the mind at all times. He also encourages his students to be investigative and not to accept things that are taught without confirming it for themselves.
I began to ceaselessly examine and confirm my state of mind: myself when it went well, myself when it went poorly, myself when I was trying to defeat my partner, myself when I was feeling fear, myself when I was feeling insecure, etc. From these confirmations, I learned the importance of ceaselessly keeping my mind calm.
In 1993, he created the Aikido Saku Dojo in his hometown of Saku, Nagano, Japan.