But what interesting to me is that our friend Jim Thompson also incorporates Aikido in his Uechi training:
His second tour lasted from March 1970 to September 1973, during which time he again studied at the Hombu Dojo in Futenma. Master Thompson has worked with the top students of Uechi Ryu including Shinyu Gushi, the Shinjo Family, the Uechi Family, and the Tomoyose Family, and received his black belt diplomas from Master Kanei Uechi.
Mr. Thompson also studied Okinawan Kubudo (Weaponry) and Aikido with the Japanese self defense forces while on Okinawa and worked with several Judo and Tae Kwon Do instructors at Fort Bragg, N.C..
Master Thompson is the founder and president of the Kokusai Kyokai branch of Uechi Ryu Karate-Do, based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He created the Kokusai Kyokai branch starting in 2000. Master Thompson received his black belt ranks up to 7th dan through Kanei Uechi, and was given the status of Kyoshi. Master Thompson received his 8th degree, Hachidan, from both Kanmei Uechi and Shintoku Takara. Master Thompson's present rank of 9th degree (kyudan) was awarded by Yoshistune Senaga of the Okinawan Karate-do Federation. Uechi Ryu Kokusai Kyokai includes various dojos across North America as well as one in Germany.
Upon creating the Kokusai Kyokai branch of Uechi Ryu, Master Thompson included Aikido training along side the Uechi Ryu system in hopes of regaining the grappling aspects of Okinawan Karate. The form of Aikido Master Thompson has integrated into the Uechi Ryu system is known as Seidokan Aikido. Master Thompson has studied various forms of aikido including Aikikai and Yoshinkai, but finally settled on the Seidokan system. In Uechi Ryu Kokusai Kyokai, students can receive black belt ranks in both Uechi Ryu and Seidokan Aikido.