Chicago Aikikai has been notified that the Illinois Martial Arts Hall of Fame will honor the late Anthony Muranaka at this year’s induction ceremony on Saturday, November 18.
Anthony Muranaka was a founding member of Illinois Aikido Club, Chicago Aikikai’s original name and the first aikido dojo in Chicago. Muranaka, a Chicago Police Detective, started the group together with Norman Miyagi, John Omori, Saburo Tanaka, Robert “Red” Sakamoto and Joe Takehara, training informally in 1961.
The group began meeting in the storefront basement of Muranaka’s three-flat at 3324 N. Clark Street in the north side Lake View neighborhood, at the time known as Chicago’s unofficial Japantown.
Chicago Aikikai is interested in helping honor and preserve Muranaka’s contributions to the dojo. If anyone has any interesting information or photos related to Muranaka’s time with Illinois Aikido Club, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Any photos received will be digitally copied and the originals returned.
Illinois Martial Arts Hall of Fame would like it if any family, close friends or fellow students of Muranaka might be able to attend the induction ceremony to receive the award on his behalf. If you know anyone, they should contact Mike McNamera at (708) 473-0682 or email@example.com.
The 2023 Illinois Martial Arts Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony will be held starting 7:00 pm on Saturday, November 18 at Abbington Distinctive Banquets (3S002 IL Route 53,Glen Ellyn, IL). Tickets $60 per person (includes dinner) or $540 for a table of 10 and available by contacting Mike McNamera. Check https://www.facebook.com/IllinoisMartialArtsHallOfFame/ for updates.
Other members of Illinois Aikido Club/Chicago Aikikai who have been honored by the Illinois Martial Arts Hall of Fame include founding member Joe Takehara in 2017 and Chief Instructor Kevin Choate in 2019 (posthumously).
Aikido, the art of peace, offers a modern-day path to achieving inner balance. Rooted in the traditional disciplines of the Japanese samurai warriors - including jitsu (hand), ken (sword) and yari (spear) - Aikido is a contemporary martial art that can effectively repel any attack, but the goal is nonviolent conflict resolution.