Iwata Norikazu Sensei was born in Kagawa-ken on the 16th of September 1913. When Iwata sensei was young, he was not very healthy, so his family named him Shohei. Because of his weak health he decided to begin study and practice of martial arts to build up his strength and character, he believes this is quite a common reason for starting martial arts. Iwata sensei's father was a Yoshin Ryu Jujutsu teacher (with a menkyo kaiden), his father didn’t think he was strong enough then to learn jujutsu, so suggested he should take up kendo. He did and has never regretted it, and says it has been an important element in his life.
In 1928 sensei entered Kagawa Kenritsu Miyoshi, a former junior high school, and while studying there started learning kendo. He achieved 3rd dan in August 1933, and he taught kendo as an assistant teacher for 4 months at the junior high school. Later when Iwata sensei was stronger, around age 20, his family called him Norikazu.
In December 1933 sensei joined the army in Manchuria. He became a military policeman in 1935, and started to educate military policemen in April 1936. He kept teaching until August 1945.
After the war, sensei became a prisoner in Russia in 1945, he finally returned to Japan in December 1949.