Walter Todd

Walter Todd (1927-1999)

Walter Todd
(1927-1999)

Master Todd began his training in Judo in 1945 while stationed in Tokyo with the U.S. Army.  He studied at the Kodokan Judo Institute under Kyuzo Mifune, 10th Dan, and Ichiro Abe, 8th Dan, and later became a personal student of Master Mifune.

Todd was the first foreign student of Hironori Otsuka, founder of Wado Ryu Karate-do.  Todd also trained under Isao Obata, who was a direct student of Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan Karate-do.  After returning to the U.S., Todd trained in Shudokan Karate-do and Aikido under Yoko Takahashi, a direct student of Kanken Toyama.  Toyama, the founder of Shudokan Karate-do, appointed Todd as Shibu-cho (Branch Director) for the U.S and promoted him to 8th Dan.

Todd also studied Aikido under two famous instructors – Kenji Tomiki, founder of Tomiki Aikido, and Koichi Tohei, 10th Dan.  Based on Tohei’s recommendation, Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, signed Todd’s 1st Dan and 2nd Dan certificates in Aikido.  Todd later received a 6th Dan in Aikido and an 8th Dan in Judo from Kokusai Budoin-International Martial Arts Federation of Tokyo.

Despite a battle in his final years to recover from a nearly fatal automobile accident that crushed his legs, Master Todd continued to teach and subdue younger opponents one-third his age.  His supporters saw him as a living testament to the power of perseverance and the vitalizing capacity of authentic budo.