About Thamby Rajah

'the Father of Malaysian Aikido'

Photograph of Thamby Rajah practising Aikido

Thamby Rajah is a Malaysian Aikido teacher and is often called ‘the Father of Malaysian aikido’. He also founded the Shudokan Institute of Aikido in Seremban, Malaysia.

Early in his career he Thamby trained in Karate as well as Jujutsu under Walter De Silva and was awarded a black belt in 1952. In a brave move at the time, Thamby moved to Japan in 1957 for a year to study Judo at the Kodokan. Most of his training being under Haruyoshi Ichijima Sensei, a student of Kyuzo Mifune the famous Judo 10th Dan teacher. Upon his return Thamby Rajah became the first Malaysian to gain a black belt in judo.

Whilst training in Japan Thamby Rajah was introduced to Gozo Shioda the headmaster of the Yoshinkan Aikido. Returning to Japan in 1959, Thamby Rajah trained in Yoshinkan Aikido under Gozo Shioda. Thamby was awarded a black belt before returning to Malaysia, becoming the first Malaysian to attain a Yoshinkan Aikido Dan rank.

After returning home Thamby Rajah opened the Shudokan Institute of Aikido in his home town of Seremban. This name was given to him by Gozo Shioda. It means ‘a house to study the way’. Thamby Rajah’s most notable students include Joe Thambu (7th Dan Yoshinkan Aikido), the first Yoshinkan Aikido teacher in Australia, as well as Edwin Stratton the founder of the Shudokan Institute in the United Kingdom.

Rajah was awarded world records for Malaysia’s first Aikido School, being Malaysia’s first blackbelt in Judo, and being Malaysia’s oldest & longest practicing Aikido teacher.


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