Shintaido Haruyoshi Fugaku Ito
Ito was born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1942. He entered Chuo University in Tokyo in 1960, graduating with a degree in law. At the age of 18, while at university, he began the study of Shotokai Karate with Master Shigeru Egami and, at 21, after less than four years of practice, he was awarded the top Shotokai rank of 5th Dan. This was a remarkable accomplishment in an art form known for its rigorous and demanding examination system.
In 1965, Ito joined Rakutenkai, a group of creative artists headed by Shintaido creator Hiroyuki Aoki. In 1971, he was instrumental in establishing the Sogo Budo Renmei organization (now the Shintaido Federation) with Hiroyuki Aoki as head instructor, and served as the first administrative director, laying the groundwork for the spread of Shintaido in Japan.
In 1975, Ito began a modern martial arts pilgrimage, moving to the United States in order to develop Shintaido in North America and Europe. He served as head instructor for Shintaido of America and Shintaido of Great Britain, and as consultant to the French in establishing Shintaido in France.
In 1988, he was awarded the International Shintaido Federation rank of Master Instructor (the first Shintaido practitioner to hold this rank) and was named chairman of the ISF Technical Committee by Shintaido founder Hiroyuki Aoki. He made frequent visits to Japan and to Shintaido groups across Europe, Australia, and North America to encourage the growth of national Shintaido movements and to provide training and encouragement for new instructors.
In 1993, pursuing a life-long love of the ocean, Ito became a student again. This time to study movement and nature under water, he branched out into the training of free diving and scuba diving under the tutelage of UC Berkeley Scientific Diving instructor Henry Kaiser and NAUI instructor Captain Nick Craig.
Ito earned his NAUI Dive Master certification in 1999, and began incorporating the underwater diving experience into his teaching of Shintaido philosophy. He has led diving tours to the Grand Bahamas Banks, the Galapagos Islands, the Revillagigedo Islands, and Midway Atoll.
In 1995, under the sponsorship of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, and with the support of Hospice by the Bay’s Executive Director Connie Borden, Ito began developing and presenting programs across the United States using Shintaido moving meditation to help hospice staff and caregivers with stress management and self-care. This has included enthusiastically received presentations to annual conventions of the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association and National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
2001 to present
In response to the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Ito established the Taimyo Network for Peace, an international group that transcends space and time to pray and meditate for world peace.
Ito continues to work on quality control and program evaluation in developing body movements that encourage spiritual health and growth in the modern world. Now in his 60s, he incorporates his lifetime of learning in Shintaido, international relationships, and caregiver communities into body movements that are natural and easily accessible to people of all ages.
He is a founding faculty member of the American School of Japanese Arts in Santa Rosa, CA, and is currently a consultant/trainer at Amma Institute, Touch Pro Institute, and Touch Wellness in San Francisco, CA, Seaman Medical Translation in Bellingham, WA, Wellness Resource Center in North Dartmouth, MA, L’Attitude in Quebec, Qc, Canada, Amma France and Shintaido Val de Loire in Loire Valley, France, Centre Shintaido-Shiatsu in Canaules, France, Renkikai in Zurich, Switzerland, Mood Disorder Association in Tokyo, and Institute of Holistic Psychology & Education in Mie, Japan.You might also like: