You are here

Minoru Hirai and Korindo Aikido

Minoru Hirai (1903 -1998) was born in Okayama Prefecture in March of 1903. From an early age he began the study classical martial arts. In 1914, at the age of eleven, Hirai began studying Togun-ryu under his grandfather-in-law and enrolled in Okumura Nito-ryu in 1918. Hirai Sensei later went on to cross train in various martial disciplines and is known to have studied Takenouchi-ryu, Kito-ryu, and Suburi-ryu. In 1938, after becoming an accomplished martial artist with strengths in iaido and jujutsu, Minoru Hirai established the Kogado dojo where he emphasized the relationship of martial arts and the conduct of life. In 1939 Hirai Sensei met Morihei Ueshiba and entered the famous Kobukan dojo, which at the time was referred to as "Hell dojo" due to the rigorous training conducted there.

During WWII, Minoru Hirai became instrumental in the development and instruction of new arrest techniques (taihojutsu) used by the Japanese military police. As the head of the yawara (jujutsu) department of the Japanese Army's military police school, Hirai Sensei developed and authored the Rikugun Kenpei Gakko Taijutsu Kyohan (Army Military Police School Taijutsu Manual).

In January of 1942, Minoru Hirai was appointed by Morihei Ueshiba as the Director of General Affairs for the Kobukan dojo. In October of 1942, Hirai Sensei was sent as a representative to the Dai Nihon Butokukai where he played a major role in establishing the name of Ueshiba's art, changing the name from aiki budo to aikido . In 1945, Minoru Hirai was awarded the rank of Hanshi (master) from the Dai Nihon Butokukai and in October of that same year established the Korindo dojo in Shizuoka. In September of 1953 he established the Korindo dojo in Tokyo and in January of 1954 established the Nihon Korinkai organization.