Here is a brief outline of the origins of Yoseikan
MASTER MINORU MOCHIZUKI
Was without doubt one of the most influential Budo Masters of our time.
Born in 1907
He studied directly under Masters Kano Jigoro, Mifune, Funakoshi and Toku. He was assistant to both Master Kano and Master Ueshiba.
He was the first ever to show Aikido in Europe, and was one of the greatest Masters of the 20th century.
He died in France in 2003.
In 1931, Master Minoru Mochizuki opens the Yoseikan dojo, at the foot of the sacred Fuji Yama, and teaches Judo, Aiki-Jujitsu, Iaido, Kobudo (and Karate under the direction of Master Sano). Later, Master Minoru Mochizuki went to Europe, the USA and Canada several times to introduce and teach Aiki-Budo in those countries.
Ranks of Master Minoru:
10th dan in Aikido,
9th Dan in Ju-Jitsu,
8th Dan in Judo,
8th Dan in Iaido
8th Dan in Katori Shinto Ryu Kobudo
5th Dan in Karate.
He introduced Aikido to Europe in 1951.
Master Minoru Mochizuki died in France in 2003 at age 96.
In 1954 Master Minoru Mochizuki taught the first European students in the Yoseikan system, first in Switzerland and then in France where he was invited to teach for the founder of the French Karate Federation, Henri Plee. In 1955 Henri Plee invited his long time friend Vernon C. F. Bell to study the Yoseikan system along with other representatives from Germany (Mr Sydel) and Italy (Mr Malatesti).
All eventually received their Shodan (1st Dan) diplomas from Master Minoru Mochizuki and were all asked to set up National Federations for the development of Yoseikan in each of their own countries, all agreed.
In 1956 Vernon Bell founded the ( Yoseikan ) British Karate Federation with the intention of forming a governing body for all karate styles in the U.K, and in due course set about inviting some of the finest martial artists of that time, Hoang Nam & the legendary Tetsuji Murakami to name but a few, organising along the way some of the first public demonstrations of karate ever seen, and so begun the makings of the British Karate federation.
Some of the first pupils trained at the Royal British Legion hall in Upminster, Essex & between 1958 and 1965, Vernon Bell helped established branches up and down the country, as the B.K.F continued to grow, he also continued to encourage visiting teachers from the orient and then in 1965 following correspondence with the Japan Karate Association which was at that time under the supervision of their Chief Instructor Masatoshi Nakayama Vernon Bell agreed to personally sponsor a visit by a group of J.K.A instructors to help the future development of (Shotokan) Karate in the U.K. ( Taiji Kase, Hirokasu Kanasawa, Keinosuke Enoeda & Hiroshi shirai ) So began Vernon Bell’s part in helping the development of the Shotokan system in the U.K.
Although ultimately successful for the British Karate Movement and the Shotokan system, this was to eventually mark the downfall of Vernon Bell’s B.K.F due to disagreements between Mr Bell and his B.K.F committee. The B.K.F eventually disbanded ( 1966 ) with most of Vernon Bell’s members opting to join the newly formed Shotokan organisations.
As a direct result Vernon Bell redirected his efforts back towards the original Yoseikan system leaving behind the Wado Ryu / Shotokan blend & opting for a more Gojo Ryu / Okinawan influence over our Karate foundation techniques & kata, Whilst also promoting the Arts of Tenjin Ryu Jujitsu, Judo & Aikijutsu to his few remaining students.
In 2001 Vernon C. F. Bell presented Chris Clarry with official documentation entrusting him with the duty of continuing the original Yoseikan linage, originally bestowed to Vernon Bell by the late Master Minoru Mochizuki, Via Henri Plee founder of the French Karate Federation.
Dispite battling Cancer, Vernon bell continued over the next few years to do what he had always done, promote the Budo Arts, visiting Dojo’s of all styles, many of which had originated from the seeds he had laid back in the 1950‘s.
And despite being very weak from his Cancer treatments, he never once refused to sign autograph’s or attend our Dojo’s to talk about the introduction of Yoseikan into this country.
Vernon. C. F. Bell passed away on Friday 27th February 2004 at 1600hrs whilst at home with his family.