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(maiden-name:Makoto Yoshida)

  Makoto Hirohara, formally Makoto Yoshida,  was born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1961.

He began his formal martial arts training in 1977 with the Kyokushin Kaikan. The dojo was run by the famed Hideyuki Ashihara. Ashihara would later go on to split with the Kyokushin Kaikan to create his own style, called Ashihara Karate.

After a few years Hirohara was asked and accepted the instructors position at  Ashihara's headquarter dojo in Tokyo. He taught classes daily for three years until 1987. He has also been feature in Ashihara's books and videos.

That year, he traveled to the America to compete in the 1987 Sabaki Challenge, formally known as the United States karate challenge. The competition was held in Denver Colorado and was the premier full contact/no pads event in the United States. Although frequently outmatched in size and strength, Hirohara competed in the heavyweight division, and would go on to win the Championship.

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After the tournament, Hirohara then moved to Los Angeles to establish a dojo in southern California. He dedicated his time to teaching classes and developing his own skills and the next year he returned to the Sabaki Challenge to defend his title. Once again, he would take home the Championship and again.

Although winning the championship for two consecutive years, he decided to retired from competing because he felt limitations and inconsistency when trying to apply certain Sabaki technique.

After retirement, he dedicated his energy to developing and refining techniques so that they would work in real life situations . He wanted to find the most practical and efficient ways without showy, impossible, useless and unguarded techniques that were popularized in tournaments. This was the birth of Shintaiikudo.

Around this same time he began studying Yoga, under Mituko Nagano. Nagano was a yoga master and still teaches in Los Angeles at L.A. Dama Yoga. Hirohara trained with her until he mastered ultimate shintai-kyoukenjutu and now has implemented many of the techniques in Shintaiikudo.

While living for 8 years in the Unites States, Hirohara had accomplished a great deal. He had established one of the finest Ashihara dojos worldwide, won 2 consecutive Sabaki challenge heavyweight championships, and achieve a yoga master level. In 1995, he decided to return to Japan to help with the family business. In the same year he formally withdrew from the Ashihara Kaikan.

Since, Hirohara has been devoting his time to the instruction of Shintaiikudo in Hiroshima. Although popular in Japan, featured in several magazines and with 4 Japanese instructional videos, Shintaiikudo has just begun to experience worldwide demand. It has been featured in several magazine articles already, Shintaiikudo will release a series of English instructional DVD/tapes in 2003. Currently, there are dojos in both America and Australia, aside from the school in Japan.