The American Taido Association is dedicated to spreading authentic Taido across the US and providing our students with opportunities to learn from a strong network of teachers and peers in the International Taido community.

American Taido Mission

We pride ourselves first and foremost on quality instruction.

Taido isn’t easy, and there’s a lot going on under the surface. So it’s vital that teachers and students share strong bonds of trust and mutual respect. We’re always studying and testing new training and teaching methods so we can pass our art to the next generation in the most effective and efficient manner.

This also requires respecting the traditions at the center of Taido’s philosophy – which ironically include a radical tendency to challenge traditions and always seek new and creative solutions.

Taido’s founder, Seiken Shukumine, was fond of mujun – the contradictions that are often found when we closely examine the experience of being a human in society. For example, the idea of learning fighting technique in order to avoid fighting is contradictory. So it is with our mission to innovate new ways to apply the essential principles that have been handed down in various martial arts for millennia.

We recognize that journey to personal growth is often challenging and confusing, so we aim to teach Taido in a straightforward manner that each student can understand and apply his or her own life to achieve their desired outcomes and contribute as a member of society.

Our Organization

The American Taido Association was officially founded in 2015 in order to create a cohesive relationship with the international Taido community and Taido Hon’in.   We were accepted as members of the World Taido Federation in 2017 (see our history).

Our Leadership Board currently consists of:

  • Head Instructor, John Okochi: 5th degree black belt, began Taido in 1978, competed in various international tournaments, and managed the old US Taido headquarters. Cofounded the first American Taido training location in 2015.
  • Instructor, Michael Issa: 4th degree black belt, competed in several Taido world championship events. Cofounded the first American Taido training location in 2015.
  • Treasurer, Elizabeth Hammond: 3rd degree black belt, instructor at Taido America in Dunwoody, GA.
  • Custodian & President, Andy Fossett: 6th degree black belt, began Taido in 1984, founded the GA Tech Taido dojo, and trained for many years in Japan, teaching and competing in several countries and actively contributing to international events at General Secretary of the World Taido Federation.

Programs & Activities

Our organization is currently focused on three initiatives:

  1. Establishing Quality Training LocationsOur first dojo is currently operating in Dunwoody, GA, and our students are already practicing a curriculum to match the international standard set by members of the World Taido Federation.
  2. Providing Unique Cultural Experiences – Our students are invited to attend all official Taido events, including seminars and competitions in Japan and other countries where Taido is practiced. 
  3. Fostering International Exchange – Our close personal ties with instructors around the world offer opportunities for informal exchange, and we’re working to develop an ongoing Teacher Exchange Program with qualified instructors to learn how Taido is practiced around the world.

American Taido History

Officially founded in 1965 in Japan, Taido first came to the US in the early 70s when Mits Uchida and Hide Hirayama independently traveled to America and began teaching around the country. In 1975, Uchida founded the first “US Taido Association” dojo, and Hirayama moved to Australia in 1977 to teach a different art called Taikudo.

Taido thrived in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA for many years, exposing thousands of American students to our unique martial art. After Taido’s founder passed away in 2001, America’s relationship with the international community weakened. Eventually, senior instructors began working to re-establish an official organization to spread our art across the country and maintain strong ties with students in other nations.

American Taido became a member of the World Taido Federation in 2017 and cemented our commitment to the international standard by taking part international competitions and seminars in Japan and other countries.

At present, we are a young organization, but our roots are deep, and we’ve got strong ties to our teachers and friends in Japan, Australia, Sweden, Finland, and other WTF member nations. Our head instructors have already taught thousands of Taido students, and we’re working to create a strong base from which to spread our art and build a bright future for Taido around the world.

How to Get in Touch

For general inquiries, you can find our contact information here.