Ishu Ishiyama Shihan received shodan from Seiseki Abe Shihan (O-Sensei's calligraphy teacher), 2nd dan and 3rd dan from Bansen Tanaka Shihan, and 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th dan by the recommendation of the Shihans on the North American Aikido Federation Technical Directors Committee (esp. Yamada, Kanai, and Kawahara Senseis).
Ishu Ishiyama Shihan has been studying Aikido since 1968. He studied with the late Tanaka Shihan (one of O-Sensei's close pre-war disciples), who founded an Aikido dojo in 1936 which later became Osaka Aikikai Foundation. In North America, he trained closely with Kanai and Kawahara Senseis. He has studied with Yamada, Chiba, Tohei, Nakazono, and Saito Shihans, and received occasional instructions from the late Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba and the current Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba over the past 30 years.
Sensei has been teaching Aikido since 1973. In 1974, he was invited to teach Aikido by the then National Coach for Judo Canada (Nakamura Sensei) and founded Aikido Kensankai at his dojo, Shidokan Academy of Martial Arts, in Montreal. Sensei also began teaching Aikido at several dojos and colleges in and around Montreal. In 1979, Ishu Ishiyama Sensei was invited by the then chief instructor Gary Mols (a student of Yoshioka Sensei, Hawaii) to head the Victoria Aikikai (located in Victoria, B.C.) and its affiliated University of Victoria Aikido Club. Sensei has since conducted many seminars across Canada.
Sensei moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1986, and founded Vancouver West Aikikai (formerly known as Point Grey Aikikai). He later built a full-time Aikido dojo located in the Jericho Hill Centre building where he has been teaching Aikido taijutsu (body work) and weapons (Aiki-jo and Aiki-ken) regularly as the Chief Instructor and the Executive Director (dojo-cho). He and his senior students offer three Aikido programs for children, adult beginners and regular adult classes.
Ishiyama Sensei was awarded the designation of Shihan on July 10th, 2012 from Hombu, the center for International Aikido in Tokyo, Japan. The title of Shihan roughly translates to “Master Teacher”. Ishiyama Shihan is a member of the CAF (Canadian Aikido Federation) Examination Committee.
For many years Kawahara Shihan was the Technical Director of the Canadian Aikido Federation and the British Columbia Aikido Federation. He had been designated by the Hombu Dojo in Japan as their official representative to Canada. The members of Vancouver West Aikikai are immensely saddened he is no longer among us and they will long cherish his memory .