Hidy Ochiai, a native of Japan and a U.S. citizen, came to the United States in 1962 with the mission of teaching the martial arts. In 1966, after receiving his B.A. from Albright College, Master Ochiai moved to Binghamton, NY and established Washin-ryu (wa-harmony, shin-truth) Karate-do in the United States. Washin-ryu now includes 25 branch schools across the United States.
From 1967-1980, Master Ochiai established himself as one of the world’s premier martial artists. He was rated the number one kata (form) competitor by the PKA (Professional Karate Association), having won the United States Grand National Karate Championship for five consecutive years, an unduplicated record. He has been inducted twice to the Black Belt Magazine’s Hall of Fame in 1979 as “Instructor of the Year” and in 1980 as “Man of the Year.” In 2004, Hidy Ochiai was inducted to the Martial Arts History Museum’s Hall of Fame in Los Angeles. He received a record number of votes.
In 2001 Hidy Ochiai founded the Hidy Ochiai Foundation, which encompasses his philosophy and life-long teachings, the basis of which is expressed in the dynamic relationship between the mind and the body. With training, the mind and the body become unified in such a way that the individual becomes the true master of the self. Dedicated to promoting the principles of non-violence, the Foundation especially focuses on helping children and young adults learn and practice a positive and peaceful way of life – based on respect, self-discipline, self-confidence and mental and physical health, so they become constructive citizens, living in harmony with others.
Hidy Ochiai is the author of five books, including two comprehensive texts on self-defense, The Complete Book of Self-Defense and Hidy Ochiai’s Self-Defense for Kids: A Guide for Parents and Teachers. His book, A Way to Victory: Miyamoto Musashi’s Book of Five Rings is an English translation and commentary of Musashi’s ancient text and represents a seven-year effort to render the wisdom and spirit of Musashi’s timeless teachings. First released in Japan, A Way to Victory has been republished in the United States by the Overlook Press.
Additionally, he created two permanent college course offerings for the State University of New York. First, “Zen and the Martial Arts of Japan” in the Anthropology Department at Binghamton University and secondly, “Self-defense in the Martial Arts” for the School of Professional Studies at SUNY-Cortland. His accomplishments have been praised by the media nationally and internationally including Black Belt Magazine, and ABC’s Wide World of Sports, You Asked For It, and ESPN.
In 1994, Hidy Ochiai founded the non-profit organization called the Educational Karate Program (EKP), which was validated by the NYS Education Department as a program suitable for all public schools in New York State. EKP teaches students of all ages an attitude of anti-drugs and anti-violence. EKP is currently taught in several hundred schools by over 1400 certified teachers.
Hidy Ochiai’s humanitarian efforts have been recognized world wide. He has been named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International, he is the recipient of Albright College’s 1999 “Distinguished Alumnus Award” and SERTOMA’s 2001 “Service to Mankind Award.” On November 1, 2002, the Japanese Government honored Master Hidy Ochiai as “an ambassador” of traditional Japanese culture and art. His Excellency, Ryozo Kato, the Ambassador of Japan, recognized Hidy Ochiai during the Embassy’s celebration of Japan’s Culture Day, which was held at the Ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C. Master Ochiai was one of twelve traditional martial arts masters chosen by the Japanese government to receive this honor and recognition.
In the pursuit and expression of his art, Hidy Ochiai’s fundamental aim has been to help individuals walk the path of self-development with dignity.