Director, Head Instructor
Mitsuaki Uchida, 6th Degree Black Belt
Tournament Credentials: Various Gold, Silver, Bronze medals won in Japan, Europe and the United States.
Mitsuaki started Taido in 1980 when he was only three years old. From a young age, Mitsuaki was extremely lucky to have a close relationship with Taido Grandmaster Shukumine, and even mistook him for his grandfather on one visit calling Shukumine "Oji-chan" (Japanese for grandfather). This relationship has always given Mitsuaki a great deal of inspiration for Taido. After many years of training, Mitsuaki began instructing in '93 although he was only a brown belt, he could beat anyone in his own age division in jissen (free spar), even the black belts. In '94 he received his 1st degree black belt, being tested by both Uchida Sensei and Grand Master Shukumine.
Mitsuaki was the assistant head coach for team USA in the '96 International Tournament here in Atlanta. Many of his students won medals but Mitsuaki had to settle for "best point of the tournament", an Ebi Geri for Ippon against his European competitor. Mitsuaki received his 2nd degree black belt at the conclusion of this tournament.
Mitsuaki and Brendan Dumont trained four students (D. Magnuson, R. Grant, T. Neese, A. Korenfeld) for the '97 World Taido Championships in Finland. At the WTC medals are hard to come by and the tenkai doesn't place but, Mitsuaki and Brendan mowed through the competition in Jissen and it looked like they would meet in the finals when Mitsuaki lost a highly controversial match. Mitsuaki ended up in 5th place and Brendan in 4th.
In 1998, Uchida Sensei visits Shukumine in Japan and Mitsuaki makes his first attempt to organize the annual summer camp. Shukumine directs Uchida Sensei to test Mitsuaki for 3rd degree after hearing of his accomplishments. This same year Mitsuaki, Hiyoshi, and Brendan train a team for competition in Japan. At an international competition in Tokyo, Mitsuaki's team wins gold medals both in tenkai and team jissen. The rest of the team does equally well, and it is a wonderful trip.
In 2000 Mitsuaki receives 4th degree black belt and starts training a team for the '01 World Taido Championships in Okinawa. The team does great but Mitsuaki and Brendan cannot escape their bad luck in the WTC. This time Brendan looses a highly controversial match where points are miscounted and Mitsuaki is disqualified in the bronze medal match for knocking out his opponent. They end up, once again, in 5th and 4th place.
The year 2002 marks U.S. Taido's arrival in mixed martial arts (MMA) also known as "no-holds barred fighting". Although Mitsuaki is supposed to fight first, an opportunity arises for Brendan to fight and he takes it. In an auditorium in Augusta, Ga. Brendan becomes the first Taido-ka in the world to compete in MMA. Of course he wins and is the talk of the tournament because of his "unique and unorthodox" techniques. A month later it is Mitsuaki's turn to fight in mid-town Atlanta. Mitsuaki also wins, and as with Brendan much of the talk is about his "unique and orthodox" techniques. Mitsuaki and Brendan would go on to compete in more matches and have only one loss each in MMA.
In 2005 U.S. Taido hosted an International Tournament with over 75 competitors from Japan. It was a huge success and an overwhelming amount of Mitsuaki's students won medals. At the awards banquet that followed, Mitsuaki received 5th degree from his father. One year later during a Japan Fest demonstration, Mitsuaki breaks concrete blocks to close the show, and after the last demo Uchida Sensei tells Mitsuaki, "Son, your time is coming." In 2015, Mitsuaki again leads our school in hosting our amazing 40th anniversary international tournament celebration. With some of Japan's strongest competitors under the age of 18, the U.S. team is dominant in all events.