Master Hiroshi Tada was born in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan in 1929, and was a 9th dan Aikikai Shihan.
As a child Hiroshi practised archery, Kendo at junior high school, and karate at Waseda University, Japan while studying law, and graduated in 1952. He holds a dan grade in karate.
Tada began training at Hombu Dojo of Morihei Ueshiba in March, 1950, became an instructor in 1954, and was promoted to 6th dan in 1957.
He was sent to Italy in October 1964 and established a dojo in 1966. He was promoted to 8th dan in 1969 and returned to Japan in 1971.
He taught at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo every Thursday for many years.
Along with his studies of Aikido he studied breathing exercises and yoga with Tempu Nakamura, until he was sent to Europe in 1964. The Tempukai studied science, medicine, and unification of mind and body.
He studied with the Ichikukai, who practised misogi ritual purification.
To join he had to sit in seiza for 10 hours a day for about 4 days chanting a shinto prayer. After this they met every month and practised ringing a hand bell 10,000 times, until it became automatic and clear.
Hiroshi Tada developed a system of breathing and meditation exercises called Ki no Renma (Cultivation of Ki) as a supplement to aikido.
Morihei Ueshiba developed the martial art of Aikido from his combat studies of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu with Sokaku Takeda, and his spiritual studies with Onisaburi Deguchi and the Omoto Kyo.
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Hiroshi Tada decided to focus on Aikido training after graduating from university. This is because he thought that the heart of aikido was the essence of Japanese culture and important to Japan's future.
In his 20's and 30's, early every morning, he ran several miles. He would then strike a bundle of brushwood around 500 times, which developed his natural power. This was a practise shown to him by Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei, and one that he passes on to his own students.
He taught this as a basic way of practicing striking, and also said that footwork, hand movement, and ki development through kokyu-ho practise are very important ingredients of training. He said that 5-6 hours of personal training every day will lead to becoming an expert.
He teaches the importance of a healthy diet, and that eating and drinking are as important as correct breathing to absorb ki. The avoidance of excesses, like smoking and alcohol, help develop the sensitivity of the senses to make them sharp enough to notice subtle changes.
He thought that the reason O'Sensei didn't talk much about how to do techniques, was that the best way was to learn through the body, by doing them. In his classes he tries to pass on the feeling and knowledge he experienced during his own training with the founder.
He said that there are many benefits to be gained from Aikido practise... spiritual aspects, understanding Japanese culture, moving meditation, ki development, becoming stronger for physical confrontation, better health.