This was posted today, Saturday, November 11 on the Facebook page of Aikiweb.com.
(NOTE – Article states that Takahashi Sensei taught at Chicago Aikido Club, but it was actually Illinois Aikido Club, precursor to Chicago Aikikai).
I just received the sad news that Francis Takahashi (7th dan) has passed away. I’ll include a bio below which he wrote when he used to write for AikiWeb in the 2010’s.
Beyond what he wrote about himself, I always experienced him as a sweet and kind gentleman. I would often find him at various seminars that I attended, watching attentively and smiling. It always seemed like he was happy to learn and to share his knowledge and experience.
My condolences go out to his family, friends, students, and loved ones.
Francis Takahashi was born in 1943, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Francis began his Aikido journey in 1953, simultaneously with the introduction of Aikido to Hawaii by Koichi Tohei, a representative sent from Aikikai Foundation in Tokyo, Japan. This event was sponsored by the Hawaii Nishi System of Health Engineering, with Noriyasu Kagesa as president. Mr. Kagesa was Francis’s grandfather, and was a lifelong supporter of Mr. Tohei, and of Aikido. In 1961, the Founder visited Hawaii to help commemorate the opening of the new dojo in Honolulu. This was the first, and only time Francis had the opportunity to train with the Founder. In 1963, Francis was inducted into the U.S. Army, and was stationed for two years in Chicago, Illinois. He was the second instructor for the fledgling Chicago Aikido Club, succeeding his childhood friend, Chester Sasaki, who had graduated from the University of Illinois, and was entering the Air Force. Francis is currently ranked 7th dan Aikikai, and enjoys a direct affiliation with Aikikai Foundation for the recommending and granting of dan ranks via his organization, Aikikai Associates West Coast. Francis is the current dojo-cho of Aikido Academy in Alhambra, California.