Please visit the beginner’s page (http://www.aikidoforbeginners.org/) for more information on instructors and class information.
Nippon Kan Instructor Staff
Gaku Homma Kancho
Founder of Nippon Kan
Aikido Nippon Kan was founded in the United States by Gaku Homma Kancho in 1978. Homma Kancho began his practice of Aikido at the age of fourteen in Japan under Shudo Maruyama Shihan (currently President of Kokikai Aikido). At the age of fifteen, he became the last live-in student to the Founder of Aikido Morihei Ueshiba at the Iwama Aiki Shrine (Aiki Jinja) Aiki Shuren Dojo, Iwama, Japan. In the Founder Ueshiba’s last years, Homma Kancho cared for the Founder in all of his daily activities as *Jikiuchideshi. He is the only instructor in the United States that served the Founder Ueshiba as a jikiuchideshi and is one of the few remaining living testimonials of the last years of the Founder’s life and teaching.
After the passing of the Founder Ueshiba, the Aikikai organization of his founding went through a period of internal turmoil and political upheaval. Because of the tumultuous political infighting, Homma Kancho ultimately decided to leave Aikikai and set out on a journey of his own as he began teaching independently. He began teaching independently first at the US Air Force Base in Misawa, Japan (Misawa City, Aomori Prefecture Japan). From here he moved to the United States to found Aikido Nippon Kan dojo in Denver, Colorado.
Nippon Kan Headquarters in Denver has instructed over 20,000 beginning students since its inception in 1978 and Homma Kancho has been a primary pioneer force in the development of Aikido in Colorado. Currently Homma Kancho teaches Aikido internationally and is in high demand around the world. He has taught in over 40 countries and instructed students from over 60 countries. Homma Kancho has always remained an independent instructor and has built friendships around the world, but by policy does not have any branch Aikido Nippon Kan dojos internationally or domestically.
Homma Kancho still lives at Nippon Kan Headquarters in Denver together with uchideshi students from around the world who come to Nippon Kan to learn about the traditional martial art of Aikido. His first purpose is leadership training for students of our next generations. In 2001, Homma Kancho founded the AHAN Nippon Kan International Humanitarian Active Network which supports humanitarian and community development through Aikido and partnership throughout the world. One of the primary focuses for AHAN Nippon Kan is education for children. Three AHAN Nippon Kan Learning Centers have been built and are now running in Bangladesh, Myanmar and the Philippines. Over 600 children and young adults are currently receiving educational support at these new facilities. AHAN Nippon Kan also currently supports orphanages in three countries supplying over 2 tons of rice per month, computers and medical supplies.
Homma Kancho is the author of many articles and books which can be found on the Nippon Kan website. He was born in Akita-ken, Japan in 1950.
*Jikiuchideshi is the Japanese term for a live-in student who also serves as daily caregiver. Homma Kancho served in this capacity as jikiuchideshi for the Founder Ueshiba during the last years of the Founder’s life at Iwama dojo. At Iwama dojo at that time, the late Morihiro Saito Shihan and his family lived next door and the only people living at Iwama dojo were the Founder, his wife Hatsu, their maid Kikuno and Homma Kancho. Homma Kancho took care of the Founder in Iwama until the Founder moved to Aikikai Headquarters in Tokyo where he passed away in 1969.
The only resident living at Aikikai Headquarters at that time in Tokyo was Mr. Tsunoda who served as maintenance man. There were no live-in uchideshi living at Aikikai Headquarters at that time. All of the young Aikikai instructors of the day lived near dojo headquarters in small apartments.