Kenjiro Yoshigasaki was born in Kagoshima, a port city on the southern tip of Kyushu, and studied later in Tokyo. There he got to know Aikido by chance. In 1977 he accompanied master Koichi Tohei to Europe. He settled in Brussels and taught Ki and Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido as official instructor of the Ki no Kenkyukai.
Central concepts of the Aikido by Yoshigasaki Sensei were perception, lines and forms. During the seminars he spoke not only about Aikido, but about life and the world. In doing so, he gave many of his students important food for thought. At the beginning of the 2000s he separated from Tohei's Ki no Kenkyukai and taught his own conception of Aikido. He changed the canon of techniques and the examination program only slightly, but undercut it with more logic and a further developed philosophy. He resolved the contradiction between Aikido and self-defense in a first step with the realization that the aikido on the mat is an art and does not copy reality.
While he had taught the teachings of Tohei until about the year 2000, for the next twenty years he studied the techniques he saw at his students, and improved them towards harmony. Most recently, he worked on a book project that deals with Aikido in real life, i.e. self-protection instead of self-defense, respecting the ethical principles of Aikido.
Yoshigasaki Sensei appeared always very modest, which did not prevent him from developing and teaching his very own explanations and ideas of life and aikido. Yoshigasaki's image of reality emerged with the profound background of original Japanese culture, his multilingualism, and his view of European cultures. This image was inevitably non-conformist. For many of his students, this view has become formative.
infinitely saddened but full of gratitude for the unrepeatable moments that you have given us in the context of Aikido on the tatamis of Balerna and Bosco Gurin, we gather in respectful silence to accompany you with a thought of love in the path of light that brings you back to Source of Life from which everything is born.
Dear Sensei, a great master said that man dies because he is immortal: we believe that that is true.
You will forever remain etched in our hearts and minds, and so be it!
Dojo of Balerna, Associazione Ticinese Ki Aikido