Masamichi Noro

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Masamichi Noro
Born(1935-01-21)January 21, 1935
Aomori, Japan
Died March 15, 2013(2013-03-15) (aged 78)
Native name野呂 昌道 Noro Masamichi
Residence Paris, France
Style Kinomichi and Aikido
Teacher(s) Morihei Ueshiba
RankFounder of Kinomichi and Aikido 6th dan (1961)

Masamichi Noro(野呂 昌道,Noro Masamichi, January 21, 1935 March 15, 2013) is the founder of Kinomichi and was an uchi-deshi of Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. [1] [2]

Kinomichi (氣之道) is a martial art in the tradition of budō, developed from the Japanese art aikido by Masamichi Noro and founded in Paris, France, in 1979. Masamichi Noro was one of the live-in students (uchideshi) of Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido. Designated "Delegate for Europe and Africa" by Morihei Ueshiba, Noro debarked in Marseille on September 3, 1961, preceding Nakazono and Tamura in the communal construction of a European and African aikido. In France, Kinomichi is affiliated with the Fédération Française d’Aïkido, Aïkibudo et Affinitaires (FFAAA) and maintains warm relations with the Aikikai Foundation and its leader, Moriteru Ueshiba, the grandson of aikido’s founder.

Uchi-deshi is a Japanese term for a live-in student/apprentice who trains under and assists a sensei on a full-time basis. The system exists in kabuki, rakugo, shogi, igo, aikido, sumo, karate and other modern Japanese martial arts.

Morihei Ueshiba Japanese akidoka

Morihei Ueshiba was a martial artist and founder of the Japanese martial art of aikido. He is often referred to as "the founder" Kaiso (開祖) or Ōsensei (大先生/翁先生), "Great Teacher".


Formative Years

Masamichi Noro was born January 21, 1935 in Aomori, Japan. One of the characteristics of his early years is the musical universe that surrounded him, and which strongly influenced his sensibility. His education destined him to be medical doctor, but one encounter re-directed the course of his life toward the martial arts, irrevocably. In 1955, while pursuing university studies, his uncle arranged for him to be presented to a famous master of Ju-jitsu, Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. This event proved to be decisive and that same day he decided to renounce his plans in order to become uchi deshi, an internal student of this master. His training, in the ancient manner, took place night and day at the master’s side. In this way, from 1955 to 1961, Masamichi Noro followed Morehei Ueshiba from Tokyo to Iwama where he had his private dojo. At this time, 5 uchi deshi (including Yasuo Kobayashi and Nobuyoshi Tamura) encircled the founder of Aikido, and from this breeding ground sprung the generation which would form a great part of Aïkido worldwide.

Aomori Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Aomori Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Tōhoku region. The capital is the city of Aomori.

Japan Constitutional monarchy in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

Tokyo Metropolis in Kantō

Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world. The urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island, Honshu, and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was formerly named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603. It became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is often referred to as a city but is officially known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo.

The Propagation of Aikido

In 1961, Morihei Ueshiba wished to send an expert to Europe and entrusted his disciple Masamichi Noro, who by that time had received the 6th dan, the responsibility of supporting the enthusiasm and training of the European and African practitioners. So, he was pushed by Morihei Ueshiba to embark toward the West with the title "Official Delegate for Europe and Africa". [3] It has been noted that from this time, he renounced all dan above the 6th that had been given to him by his master. He followed the sea route of the time, passing the Suez Canal and the Pyramids to land at Marseille on September 3, 1961. The beginning was difficult. The art was new and the way of teaching it very different from the way it was taught in his master’s dojo. Everything had to be constructed, understood and made accessible to the western body and mind. Masamichi Noro deployed his initial energy in southeastern France and in Italy where Judo teachers had invited him to enrich the understanding of their students. The spirit was one of mutual assistance and pleasure in the study, following the wishes of Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo. Then he was invited to Belgium. He opened his first dojo there. In ploughing these new lands for the budōs he opened more than 200 dojos, as many in Europe as in Africa, flying from Sweden to Senegal. This was a time of pioneers. Mutsuro Nakazono and Nobuyoshi Tamura joined him in 1963 and 1964, respectively. The task was immense, the success exemplary. In 1964, Masamichi Noro established his base in Paris and opened a succession of dojos which left their imprint within the heart of the French aikidokas : at the Gare du Nord, rue de Constance, rue des Petits Hôtels. In the Parisian melting pot, Masamichi Noro met Taisen Deshimaru, Karlfried Graf Dürckheim, Marie-Thérèse Foix, Gisèle de Noiret and Docteur Lily Ehrenfried. He opened himself to new ideas, to original perspectives, to occidental techniques.

Dan (rank) Japanese mark of level

The dan (段) ranking system is used by many Japanese organizations and Korean martial arts to indicate the level of one's ability within a certain subject matter. As a ranking system, it was originally used at a go school during the Edo period. It is now also used in modern fine arts and martial arts.

Marseille Second-largest city of France and prefecture of Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur

Marseille is the second-largest city of France. The main city of the historical province of Provence, it is the prefecture of the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. It is located on French Riviera coast near the mouth of the Rhône. The city covers an area of 241 km2 (93 sq mi) and had a population of 852,516 in 2012. Its metropolitan area, which extends over 3,173 km2 (1,225 sq mi) is the third-largest in France after Paris and Lyon, with a population of 1,831,500 as of 2010.

Judo modern martial art, combat and Olympic sport

Judo was originally created in 1882 by Jigoro Kano (嘉納治五郎) as a physical, mental, and moral pedagogy in Japan. It is generally categorized as a modern martial art, which later evolved into a combat and Olympic sport. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the objective is to either throw or takedown an opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue an opponent with a pin, or force an opponent to submit with a joint lock or a choke. Strikes and thrusts by hands and feet as well as weapons defenses are a part of judo, but only in pre-arranged forms and are not allowed in judo competition or free practice. A judo practitioner is called a judoka.

The Creation of Kinomichi

The Second Beginning

In 1979, after a discussion with Kisshomaru Ueshiba, the son of the founder of Aikido, Masamichi Noro created Kinomichi® in order to further extend his quest. There followed a new succession of Parisian dojos dedicated to the study of Kinomichi : rue Logelbach, boulevard de Strasbourg, boulevard des Batignolles. After an inevitable period of adjustments and intense research, the links between Kinomichi® and Aikido developed and deepened.

Kisshomaru Ueshiba martial artist

Kisshomaru Ueshiba was a prominent Japanese master of aikido. He was the son of Morihei Ueshiba, founder of aikido, and became the international leader of aikido after his father's death.

A Community of Budōs

1995, at the time of the 20th anniversary of Aikido in Germany and at the invitation of his friend Katsuaki Asai, 8th dan Aïkikaï and pioneer of Aikido in Germany, he presented Kinomichi® before a gathering of the greatest masters of Aikido, including the Doshu. From 1996, he made frequent visits to the Aikikai Foundation in Tokyo and, of course, to Kishomaru Ueshiba, the son of Aikido’s founder. In 2001, he obtained recognition from the ministry of youth and sports (Ministère de la Jeunesse et des Sports) of Kinomichi® as an official sporting discipline. In 2004, he participated in the events celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Fédération française d'aïkido, aïkibudo et affinitaires, FFAAA, which welcomed the Moriteru Ueshiba, representative of the Centre Mondial de l’Aïkido in Tokyo. Masamichi Noro, Nobuyoshi Tamura and Christian Tissier were notably present to receive the delegation from the Hombu Dojo of Tokyo. They were among 3000 practitioners from all of France as well as numerous European countries. April 8, 2005, he was invited with Master Christian Tissier to participate in a workshop organized by the association Hakki for the benefit of the 220,000 victims of the tsunami of December 26, 2004. In 2007, at the initiative of the FFAAA, he welcomed into his Parisian dojo Japanese masters, including Isoyama. March 15, 2013, Noro Masamichi died.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Katsuaki Asai is a Japanese aikidoka who is the founder of Aikikai in Germany, and is the highest ranked aikidoka in that country.

Aikikai foundation

The Aikikai is the original school of Aikido. It is centered on the Aikikai Foundation in Japan, and its figurehead is the Doshu. It is represented globally through the International Aikido Federation.

An ever evolving creation

Since its creation, Kinomichi® has known 3 phases and Masamichi Noro continues to tell his students that his art is ever evolving. The 1980s were characterized by focusing the work on sensitivity, on a correct and relaxed posture, and on the body as an instrument of perception of the self, others and the world. The 90s accented the orientation of the ki and organized the movement to initiate from the ground. 2000 opened onto a period where the technical richness was to be studied in different degrees of speed, difficulty and freedom. Each level is seen not as inferior to the one that follows but like a pathway to that which comes next, like a call to advance. Masamichi Noro accents the heart, shin 心, in particular. To date, he has created access to his art through the work on the breath, ki 気. He demands, at the highest level, that the ki be oriented by the shin, the breath by the heart and that it should be closely bound to technical expertise. Masamichi Noro deploys his energy to create a discipline that opens onto his becoming, following the example of his own master. Morihei Ueshiba never ceased transforming his art, to the point of having given his art 7 different names, like so many milestones along the Way. In this manner, Masamichi Noro takes to heart the etymology of dojo 道場, the house where one studies the Way, Do 道 in Japanese and Tao in Chinese.

Qi active principle forming part of any living thing in traditional Chinese culture

In traditional Chinese culture, qi or ch'i is believed to be a vital force forming part of any living entity. Qi translates as "air" and figuratively as "material energy", "life force", or "energy flow". Qi is the central underlying principle in Chinese traditional medicine and in Chinese martial arts. The practice of cultivating and balancing qi is called qigong.

Tao or DaoDOW; from Chinese: 道; pinyin: Dào(listen)) is a Chinese word signifying 'way', 'path', 'route', 'road' or sometimes more loosely 'doctrine', 'principle' or 'holistic beliefs'. In the context of traditional Chinese philosophy and religion, Tao is the natural order of the universe whose character one’s human intuition must discern in order to realize the potential for individual wisdom. This intuitive knowing of “life” cannot be grasped as a concept; it is known through actual living experience of one’s everyday being.

Successor and descendants

Following the death of Noro Masamichi sensei, his son Noro Takeharu sensei [4] continues the teaching of Kinomichi according to his father's wish. [5] In Germany, the Aikido of Asai Katsuaki sensei, [6] 8th dan Aikikai, maintains a strong influence of the art of Noro Masamichi sensei. [7] [8] Many Aikido experts like to quote Noro Masamichi sensei as their master or one of their masters:

Nguyen Thanh Thien [14] sensei, a student of Noro Masamichi sensei, has created the Ringenkai Aikido [15] as an offspring Noro Masamichi sensei's teaching.

The KIIA, [16] an independent group, brings together former students of Noro Masamichi sensei (FFAAA technical committee : Christian Bleyer, Jean Pierre Cortier, Lucien Forni, Françoise Paumard, Martine Pillet, Hubert Thomas, Françoise Weidmann). DNBK, Dai Nippon Butoku General Kai Corporation, has certified Noro Masamichi sensei's followers as Shihan Aikido Hanshi :

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