Soke Gozo Shioda developed his Aikido as a student of O-sensei Morihei Ueshiba. He spent many years as one of O-sensei’s uchi deshi (live-in students), and founded the Yoshinkan school in 1955 after winning most outstanding demonstration in the All Japan Kobudo. He was awarded 9th Dan (Nanadan) by O-sensei in 1961, and 10th by Kokusai Budoin-International Martial Arts Federation in 1985, after O-sensei’s death.
As an early student of O-sensei, his Aikido is more closely related to O-sensei’s earlier functionally-focused style, and is considered a ‘hard’ style of Aikido; this has led to it being popular for groups requiring a functional martial art which is still focused on minimizing damage and preserving life and safety.
Success in teaching to groups in a consistent fashion guided the development of the current, systematic teaching method used in Yoshinkan Aikido, which focuses on forming a strong base during early training, and refining that base once they achieve a dan-rank.