M. Noro

Masamichi Noro is the founder of Kinomichi® which was created in 1979. He was a live-in student (uchi deshi) of Master Morihei Ueshiba founder of Aïkido.

Youth and encounter with Aïkido

Masamichi Noro was born on January 21, 1935 in Aomori, Japan.

In his youth he lived in a musical environment, listening in particular to western classical music which had a strong influence on him. As a teenager he practiced Kendo, Judo and swimming, whereas his education destined him to take over the family business. However, a decisive event turned him towards martial arts.

In 1955, while studying at university, he convinced his uncle to introduce him to Master Morihei Ueshiba. The meeting was decisive since that very same day he decided to abandon all his previous projects to become uchi deshi, taking care of the cooking and daily needs for his Master. Thus he studied budö day and night with Ueshiba who would be his model throughout his life.

 From 1955 to 1961, he followed Morihei Ueshiba from Tokyo to Iwama where the master had his private dojo. At the time, only a few uchi deshi were allowed to follow Aikido’s founder so closely.

Fromt that point on, this was the generation that generated the worldwide Aïkido movement.

Spread of Aïkido

In 1961, Master Morihei Ueshiba dispatched an official delegate for Aïkido in Europe and Africa, Masamichi Noro, who left his master to fulfil this mission. The parting was difficult for both.

Noro left Yokohama by boat and arrived in Marseille on September 3, 1961. The beginnings were difficult in France because Aïkido was a new and little known art. Judo instructors invited Master Masamichi Noro to broaden their students’ knowledge. He focused his efforts in the south east of France, in particular in Cannes and in the dojo in Nîmes. He then travelled to Italy, Belgium, Ireland, Morocco, Sweden and Senegal, opening two hundred dojos in Europe and Africa on the way.

This was the time of Aïkido pioneers in Europe. Master Nakazono joined him in 1963, after coming to France on an earlier trip as Judo instructor. In 1964, Master Tamura followed suit. That same year, master Masamichi Noro settled in Paris, at several different addresses. Each of these dojos bring strong memories in the hearts of French Aïkidokas, in particular Gare du Nord, rue de Constance. Master Noro fulfilled his mission brilliantly. However, this period of tireless travelling around Europe was brought to an abrupt halt by a serious car accident on May 4, 1966. After several months of physical therapy he regained his strength and energy and threw himself back into his teaching.

1969 was a year of contrasts for Master Noro. On the one hand, he learned of the death of Master Morihei Ueshiba and on the other he met Taisen Deshimaru, grand Master of Soto zen and Karlfried Graf von Dürkheim who became his western spiritual father. Many stimulating encounters followed. In 1970 Masamichi Noro met Marie-Thérèse Foix and Gisèle de Noiret, physical therapists, who participated indirectly in the emergence of the foundations of Kinomichi®. Noro opened himself to new and original ideas, and western techniques.

In 1972 the M. Noro Insititute association moved to a new dojo in Paris’ 10th district (rue des Petits Hôtels). In order to comply with French law, Masamichi Noro obtained French qualifications as instructor in Judo and assimilated combat methods – Aïkido option, for himself as well as his instructors.





Creation of Kinomichi®

In 1979 after a meeting with Master Kishomaru Ueshiba, son of Aïkido’s founder, Master Noro created  Kinomichi®, which means litteraly « the path of energy », in order to further his quest. During the same period, he met Doctor Lily Ehrenfried who became his friend and with whom he studied for seven years. Little by little he incorporated certain techniques into preparatory exercises.
 In 1983, Masamichi Noro registered a copyright for KINOMICHI® Noro method and opened the Masamichi Noro Center, rue Logelbach (Paris 17th). Two years later, in 1985, at the 20th anniversary of Aïkido in Germany, he presented Kinomichi® to an assembly of the greatest Aïkido masters, among whom Doshu Kishomaru Ueshiba.
The creation of the International NORO KINOMICHI® Center in 1991 at the Dojo de la Fontaine on Boulevard de Strasbourg in Paris offered a platform for teaching and constantly developing KINOMICHI®. Since 1996 Noro has made frequent visits to the Aïkido World Headquarters in Tokyo and to master Kishomaru Ueshiba, son of the founder of Aïkido.

 In 2000, The International NORO KINOMICHI® Center was transferred to the Korindo Dojo, on Boulevard des Batignolles in Paris. This dojo was named after Master Noro’s mother. In 2001, Kinomichi® was recognized by the French sports ministry as a sport. The Kinomichi® International Instructors Association (KIIA) was then created for the instructors licensed to teach Kinomichi®. Since its creation, the KIIA has been a member of the French Federation of Aïkido Aïkibudo and Affiliates (FFAAA, 11 rue Jules Vallès Paris 11th)
During the celebrations of the FFAAA’s 20th anniversary in 2004, the Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba came to Paris to represent the World Aïkido Headquarters of Tokyo. The delegation from the Hombu Dojo of Tokyo was greeted by Masters Masamichi Noro, Nobuyoshi Tamura and Christian Tissier, as well as some three thousand Aïkidoists from across France and Europe. Masamichi Noro and Christian Tissier met again at a workshop organised by the Hakki association to raise funds for the 220,000 tsunami victims of December 26, 2004.

 In 2007, Master Noro hosted Japanese masters at his Korindo Dojo, among whom Dochu Moritery Ueshiba and Isoyama seiseï, in the scope of the FIA congress, initiated by the FFAAA.

 Masamichi Noro reminds his students daily that Kinomichi® is constantly evolving and has its roots in the Aïkido techniques taught by Moriheï Ueshiba.

The 80’s and 90’s which saw the emergence of Kinomichi® were characterized by developing sensitivity, the body as a tool for self-perception as well as perception of others and the world, on the right posture, relaxed posture, on the functional anatomy of movement.

 Since 1996, after an inevitable period of adjustments and intense study, the links between Kinomichi® and Aïkido have developed and deepened. A new period emerged where the richness of techniques is graded into different degrees of speed, difficulty and freedom. Each level is equal in importance and is a progressive transition towards the next, drawing towards progress.

After having built his art on the Ki, breath, and on Aïkido techniques, he trained his instructors to turn towards the study of Shin, the heart, illustrating the overall meaning of Master Moriheï Ueshiba’s creation.

Master Masamichi Noro strives to put his energy into creating a discipline that is open to its own future, in the same was his own master developed his art, giving it several different names, like beacons along the Way.



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