Hidy Ochiai is perhaps best known for his spectacular demonstrations. He is considered to be one of the world’s premier karate performers. His unique exhibitions have thrilled audiences from coast to coast at the nation’s major tournaments, and the showman seldom fails to gain wild and enthusiastic ovations wherever he appears. The finale of his unusual demonstration occurs when he lies on a sharp bed of nails and permits an assistant to smash with a sledge hammer, several concrete slabs supported on Ochiai’s stomach. He performed internationally in 1974 when he toured Europe as a member of the U.S. Professional All-Star Team along with Mike Anderson, Joe Lewis, Bill Wallace, Al and Malia Dacascos, Jeff Smith, Fumio Demura, Takayui Mikami, Howard Jackson, and Jim Harrison. One highlight of the star-studded tour came about when Ochiai performed before 7500 spectators at the Deutchlandhalle in West Berlin, one of the largest indoor arenas in Europe at the time. OchiaiÌs demo in the World Professional Karate Championships in Los Angeles took place before more than 10,000 spectators and was later televised twice nationwide on ABCÌs Wide World of Sports.
As a form competitor, Ochiai was rated five consecutive times as the number one kata performer in the U.S. by Professional Karate Magazine. And though he slipped to the number two position in May of 1975, his impressive record is yet to be duplicated. Even before the kata ratings were conceived in late 1974, Ochiai had won top honors at the U.S. Pro/Am in Maryland, the Top 10 Nationals in Missouri and the USKA Grand Nationals in Wisconsin, an annual event.
Known also as an excellent judge, Ochiai has collected awards at both the USKA Grand Nationals (’71 to ’75) and AKA Nationals (’73 to ’75). The veteran instructor/competitor operates 25 schools in New York and surrounding states, branching out from one location in 1970.
~ From Bob Wall’s Who’s Who in the Martial Arts ©1975