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The History of Yama Arashi UK

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Aritomo Murashige, 9th Dan (1895 - 1964)

Aritomo Murashige

Born on January 7, 1895 in the Yamaguchi Province, in a small village nestled mountains. he began studying Kendo at 13 years of age, eventually reaching 5th Dan Kendo and 7th Dan Iai. He also reached 2nd Dan JuJitsu and 5th Dan in Judo. Although the date he started is Aikido is unknown, his higher Dan grade details are known:

  • Aged 35 he obtains the rank of 6th Dan in Aikido.
  • Aged 45 years the Kobikwai Aïki awards him his 7th Dan in Aikido.
  • Aged 53 years he is awarded 8th Dan.
  • Finally, in 1960, at age 65 years he is promoted to 9th Dan.

Murashige Sensei arrived in Belgium in 1962 to teach at the Yama Arashi dojo with Thielemans Sensei. Tragically, just two years later Murashige Sensei was killed in a road traffic accident.

Tony Thielemans, 6th Dan

Tony Theilemana

Tony Thielemans began his study of aikido under Julien Naessens, himself a student of Masamichi Noro, and later under Aritomo Murashige. He opened his own dojo in Brussels in 1959.



Tom Moss, 6th Dan (1944 - 2003)

Tom Moss

Tom Moss started Aikido with Pat Stratford on 14th March 1965. In 1969 Pat Stratford affiliated with Tony Thielemans, Head of the Yama Arashi (Brussels). Around 1970, Tom started the ‘Yoshin Ryu’ club at Nicholas Chamberlain School in Bedworth with Ken Knapper, and Frank and Jim McCall. He was Principal Coach of Yama Arashi UK in Coventry until his passing on 14 May 2003.


Barbara Moss, 5th Dan

Barbara Moss

Barbara started Aikido in 1971, making her the longest serving Aikidoist in the YAUK. Since the untimely death of her husband Tom in 2003, Barbara has run the Association, as well as overseeing the Aikido development and keep fit sessions. In recognition of this Tony Thielemans deservedly awarded Barbara her 5th Dan in 2005.



Why is our association called Yama Arashi?

The Yama Arashi throw was made famous by Shiro Saigo» when he was fighting for the reputation of Kodokan Judo against the older schools of Jujitsu. Shiro was recruited by Jigoro Kano to head his Kodokan Judo association. Professor Kano was developing his own style which he called Judo. However, he was making little headway, as his style had many deficiencies and was no match for the schools of genuine combat-effective Jujitsu then in existence. In Shiro Saigo he found the perfect champion for his new movement. By the time Shiro reached twenty-one he had already reached the rank of fifth Dan, the highest award the Kodokan had to offer. In contests against other Jujitsu schools, he decimated his opponents with a Daito Ryu» technique called Yama Arashi, or Mountain Storm (our badge reflects this description). No one else of his generation could master this technique, which consisted of a wrist lock combined with a throw, and so powerful that most opponents did not rise to their feet for some time after being thrown. Jigoro Kano intelligently, if a little unfairly, used a master Daito Ryu technique to prove the supremacy of his own Judo method.

Sensei Thieleman’s first martial art was Judo so when he created his Aikido association the above story was used to name the Yama Arashi.

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