Cognard Shihan

André Cognard was born in France in 1954.
Very interested in budo since childhood, he studied simultaneously and every day judo, aikido, and karate.
He was 17 years old when he has started teaching aikido to adults, by opening five dojos in several cities in Loire, France.
In 1975 he received the French state diploma for teaching judo, aikido, karatedo, and kendo.

His love for budo was never satisfied until, in 1973, he met the man who eventually became his Master, Kobayashi Hirokazu Sensei, a direct disciple of the founder of aikido, O Sensei Ueshiba Morihei.
He quickly immersed himself in Japanese culture, and during his numerous travels in Japan he absorbed both its language and traditions.
Ten years of practice with Kobayashi Sensei allowed him to become his student, ten more made him his disciple, and another five his successor.

In 1982 he founded the Académie Autonome d'Aikido, where aikido is taught by traditional means as well with the theoretical support from psychology, philosophy, and western and eastern medicine.

In 1997, together with Kobayashi Sensei, Cognard Shihan formed the Kokusai Aikido Kenshukai Kobayashi Hirokazu Ryu by establishing an ethics based on respect for the individual.

In 1998, before passing away, Kobayashi Sensei handed over the responsibility of KAKKHR to Cognard Shihan.

In 2003 Cognard Shihan opened in Bourg Argental, France, the Kobayashi Hirokazu Kinen Aikidojo, traditional dojo devoted to his Master and venue used for the Kobayashi Hirokazu Aikido Ryu Instructors Training Courses.

On occasion of the Fourth World Butoku Sai (April 2012), at the Butokuden in Kyoto, Japan, the title of Hanshi of the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai was bestowed upon Cognard Shihan.
Recently, he has also been officially designated as "Kobayashi Hirokazu Aikido Ryu Soke".