Master Ito began his martial arts training with the legendary karate master Shigeru Egami. He later studied for many years with another of Master Egami’s students, Master Hiroyuki Aoki, who founded the modern martial art of Shintaido. Master Ito established Shintaido of America in the United States in 1975, and has been instrumental in supporting and developing the Shintaido movement in Europe since 1982.
Drawn to issues of peace and justice since his boyhood in Hiroshima, Master Ito experienced Shintaido as a way to unite body and mind, reduce contradictions between thought and deed, and improve communication. In the 1990s, as he became increasingly concerned about human violence toward others, toward the earth, and toward ourselves, he expanded his teaching to include workshops for caregivers to AIDS patients. Those grew into what he calls “peace and health activism” workshops which he presents around the world.
In 2002, to further develop this side of his teaching, Master Ito began the study of Wu style Tai Chi. He finds Tai Chi a natural next step, as its movement and energetic principles fit synergistically with his longterm practice of karate and Shintaido. Tai Chi’s emphasis on gentle focus, relaxed movement, and quiet strength also support his ongoing teaching in the fields of peace and health education.
In addition to his Shintaido practice, Master Ito studies Tai Chi with the Japanese Tai Chi masters Yasuhiko Ishihara, Tomoji Miyamoto, and Yoshikazu Asano and with their teacher Ma Chang-xun, who traces his lineage directly to Wu Chuan-you, the founder of Wu style Tai Chi. In 2007, Ito was honored to participate in an invitational intensive course with Master Ma’s most advanced Tai Chi students in Beijing, China, where he was credentialed by Master Ma.
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