“In Memory of Kuroiwa Yoshio – 黒岩洋志郎 — 1932- 2010,” by Ellis Amdur

“Kuroiwa Yoshio was a unique figure within the Aikikai. Although one of the senior postwar shihan, he refused rank past sixth dan. In fact, he simply refused rank all the way up the ladder until Ueshiba Kisshomaru (Nidai Doshu) personally requested that he accept a sixth dan, because dispatching him to teach in dojos without any rank was getting embarrassing. Kuroiwa was provocative, almost rebellious, but he remained within the organization — functioning at times like a grain of sand underneath an otherwise smooth mantle, but otherwise, largely ignored. He was technically original, with an utterly unique style of movement. Had he been a different man, and perhaps, if his health had been better, he could have started his own aikido group independently, like Shioda or Tomiki. Instead, he remained within the fold – but just barely.”

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  2. From above…

    My relationship with Kuroiwa sensei can be summed up quickly. For the next two years, I attended in his classes twice a week at a dojo in Ikebukero. He prepared Chinese dumplings for thirty people for my wedding. He was down-to-earth and unpretentious — just a guy who did this martial arts thing — particularly well – but it wasn’t anything to get inflated about. He demanded that aikido be a practical martial art, and regarded most of his compatriots in aikido rather cynically as people who couldn’t fight, because they’d never taken a punch in the face. Bewilderingly, he used to insist to me, “Pro wrestling is real,” and he included Antonio Inoki’s infamous “cobra twist” in his repertoire.

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