Martial arts have given us many legendary figures who have left an indelible mark in the world of combat sports. Yutaka Ashikaga is one such person who dedicated his life to martial arts and became a respected legend. Born on August 6, 1919, in Japan, Yutaka Ashikaga was a master of Judo, Aikido, and Karate. In today’s blog post, we will unveil the enigmatic life story of Yutaka Ashikaga. We will narrate his journey from a young man to a martial arts legend.

Early Life

Yutaka Ashikaga was born in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, in 1919. As a child, he showed a keen interest in martial arts and began studying Judo at the age of 10. He was a natural athlete and excelled in all sports he played. He had a never-give-up attitude and always pushed himself to the limits. However, his martial arts journey was not without any obstacle. Yutaka Ashikaga faced a significant challenge in his early life when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. The doctor advised him to give up martial arts, but he refused to comply and continued practicing. His perseverance and dedication saved him from the disease. The incident motivated him to take his martial arts journey more seriously.

Joining Japanese Army

In 1938, Yutaka Ashikaga joined the Japanese army and became a 2nd Lieutenant. During his time in the army, he learned Aikido and Karate from some of the finest instructors in Japan. He also developed his unique fighting style by combining different techniques from different martial arts. His teachers were so impressed with his quick learning and dedication that they nicknamed him “Ashi,” which means a stepping stone.

Philosophy of Yutaka Ashikaga

Yutaka Ashikaga believed that martial arts are not just about physical combat but also about developing the mind, body, and spirit. He was an advocate of the Zen philosophy and believed that martial arts should be practiced with mindfulness and compassion. He also emphasized the importance of martial arts in self-defense and believed that it is essential to learn martial arts to protect oneself in case of a dangerous situation. Yutaka Ashikaga’s philosophy had a significant influence on the martial arts community and continues to inspire many.

Reputation of Yutaka Ashikaga

Yutaka Ashikaga was a formidable fighter and was renowned for his kicking techniques. He had a unique way of delivering kicks that left his opponents astonished. He participated in many competitions and won numerous titles, including the All Japan Karate Championship. His reputation as a martial arts fighter was well established, and he was respected by his fellow martial artists for his skill and demeanor.

Teaching Career

Yutaka Ashikaga retired from the Japanese army in 1945 and began teaching martial arts. He opened his dojo in Chiba and continued to teach until his death in 1997. During his teaching career, he trained many students who went on to become prominent martial artists in their own right. His teaching style was unique, and he emphasized the importance of discipline, respect, and dedication in martial arts.

Impact on Martial Arts

Yutaka Ashikaga’s contribution to martial arts cannot be overstated. He was a martial arts legend who dedicated his life to the development of martial arts. He was instrumental in popularizing Karate in Japan and helped to establish it as a mainstream martial art. Many of his teachings and philosophies continue to influence martial artists around the world.


Q1. What is Yutaka Ashikaga famous for?
Ans: Yutaka Ashikaga is famous for his unique fighting style and his kicking techniques.

Q2.Who did Yutaka Ashikaga teach?
Ans: Yutaka Ashikaga taught many students during his teaching career, including prominent martial artists.

Q3.Why did Yutaka Ashikaga retire from the Japanese army?
Ans: Yutaka Ashikaga retired from the Japanese army in 1945.

Q4.How did Yutaka Ashikaga develop his unique fighting style?
Ans: Yutaka Ashikaga developed his unique fighting style by combining different techniques from different martial arts.

Q5.What philosophy did Yutaka Ashikaga believe in?
Ans: Yutaka Ashikaga believed in the Zen philosophy and emphasized the importance of martial arts in self-defense.

Q6.What impact did Yutaka Ashikaga have on martial arts?
Ans: Yutaka Ashikaga had a significant impact on martial arts and helped to popularize Karate in Japan.

Q7.What was the nickname given to Yutaka Ashikaga?
Ans: Yutaka Ashikaga was nicknamed “Ashi,” which means a stepping stone.


In conclusion, Yutaka Ashikaga was a martial arts legend who dedicated his life to the development of martial arts. His unique fighting style, philosophy, and teaching methods continue to inspire and influence martial artists worldwide. His life story is a testament to the importance of perseverance, dedication, and discipline in achieving one’s goals. We should aspire to be like Yutaka Ashikaga in our martial arts journey and learn from his teachings to become better martial artists.

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