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Encyclopedia > Koichi Tohei

Koichi Tohei (藤平光一) (born January 1920) is a 10th Dan aikidoka and founder of the Ki Society and its style of aikido, officially known as Shin-Shin Toitsu Aikido - "aikido with mind and body unified", but commonly known as Ki-Aikido. The Ki Society is also known as Ki no Kenkyukai (気の研究会; Japanese for "Ki Research Society"). 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ... Aikido (合気道 Aikidō, also 合氣道 using an older style of kanji), literally meaning harmony energy way, or with some poetic license, way of the harmonious spirit) is a gendai budo — a modern Japanese martial art. ... The Ki no Kenkyukai, sometimes called Ki Society, was founded by Koichi Tohei in 1971, while he was still the chief instructor at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. ... Aikido is a modern Japanese budō, developed by Morihei Ueshiba between the 1920s and the 1960s primarily from Daitō-ryÅ« aiki-jÅ«jutsu. ... Ki-Aikido is the style of aikido developed by 10th Dan aikidokaKoichi Tohei. ... The Ki no Kenkyukai, sometimes called Ki Society, was founded by Koichi Tohei in 1971, while he was still the chief instructor at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. ...

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Koichi Tohei and aikido

Koichi Tohei was born 1920 in Shitaya ward of Tokyo. As a boy he was sickly and frail, leading his father to recommend Tohei for judo studies. He trained hard and his body prospered, but soon after he began his pre-college studies at Keio University, he developed a case of pleurisy (inflammation of the lining of the chest (lung) cavity which causes great pains in the chest area with breathing). This forced Tohei to take a year off. Tokyo , literally Eastern capital)   is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, the home of the Japanese Imperial Family, and the de facto[1] capital of Japan. ... Judo , gentle way) is a martial art, combat sport, and philosophy which originated in Japan. ... Keio University (library, Mita campus) Keio University as seen from Tokyo Tower Keio University (慶應義塾大学 Keiō Gijuku Daigaku) is the top private university in Japan, which has a proud history as Japans very first private institution of higher learning, which dates back to the formation of a school for Dutch... Pleurisy, also known as pleuritis, is an inflammation of the pleura, the lining of the pleural cavity surrounding the lungs, which can cause painful respiration and other symptoms. ...


Tohei was distressed at the thought of losing his newfound strength of body and his means of training it, so he decided to replace his judo studies with Zen meditation and misogi exercises. As with his judo studies, Tohei entered the training of the mind with fervor and soon excelled despite his serious health issues. After his recovery from pleurisy, of which the doctors could find no trace, Tohei became convinced that it was his efforts in training his mind and cultivating his ki that had helped him to heal and recover. This stimulated his later development of Kiatsu, a system of treating physical illness by pressing with the fingers and extending the ki into the ill persons body. Tohei describes this as "priming the pump" allowing the person to heal themselves. Zen is a form of Mahayana Buddhism that places great importance on moment-by-moment awareness and seeing deeply into the nature of things by direct experience. ... Misogi is a Shinto practice involving purification in a waterfall or other natural running water. ... Look up ki in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up ki in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


After his fight with the pleurisy he returned to his judo studies, but they were not satisfactory for Tohei; he wanted more than just physical training and did not think that judo was the right art for him to practise, although he did continue with studying judo until he started with aikido.


In 1940, when he was 19 years of age, Tohei's judo instructor, Shohei Mori, recommended that Tohei meet with the founder of aikido Morihei Ueshiba. At this point Tohei was dissatisfied with judo and set off to see the master of this new martial art he had heard of. Morihei Ueshiba 植芝盛平 (December 14, 1883 – April 26, 1969) was a famous martial artist and founder of aikido. ... Hawaiian State Grappling Championships. ...


According to Tohei himself, when he first met with an aikido instructor and practised some techniques at the Ueshiba dojo, he had doubts about aikido and its value to him. That changed however, when Ueshiba entered the Dojo and started to perform his techniques on the instructors. Tohei was still not entirely convinced until Ueshiba asked Tohei to step unto the mat and try to grab him. Tohei's attempts were unsuccessful, and after this personal demonstration by Ueshiba, Tohei asked to enroll on the spot. Tohei would also continue to train his mind as well as his body with meditation, misogi and aikido. Misogi is a Shinto practice involving purification in a waterfall or other natural running water. ...


Tohei trained with Ueshiba for six months before being sent as a representative (dairi) to teach at the Shumei Okawa school and the military police academy. This was before Tohei was ranked as either dan or kyu. Ueshiba would present Tohei with the rank of 5th dan after Tohei had begun his military service. It has been suggested that Gendarmerie be merged into this article or section. ...


War years

Tohei Sensei, like so many other Japanese youths at the time, was drafted into the Imperial army in October 1942. Tohei saw action in China and was stranded there at the end of the war until his repatriation in 1946. According to Chinese records, Tohei's tendency to treat captured Chinese soldiers well led to Chinese authorities avoiding his unit when they attacked. Tohei is said to have left China with more soldiers than he started with


Post-war years

In 1969 Tohei was asked by Ueshiba to accept the new rank of 10th dan, which Tohei accepted, after having previously refused the same offer. The top-rank in Aikido had been 8th dan, but the ranks were expanded by Ueshiba for practical as well as political reasons.


Tohei and Hawaii aikido

This section needs information, feel free to add what you know.


In 1953, Koichi Tohei was sent to Hawaii to introduce aikido. From then on, Hawaii became a center for the diffusion of Aikido in general and, later, Koichi Tohei's brand of Aikido in particular.1


Creation of the Ki no Kenkyukai

The events leading up to the split between the main Aikido-organization of Aikikai and Koichi Tohei were further fueled with the death of Morihei Ueshiba in 1969. His son Kisshomaru Ueshiba would inherit the title of Doshu. At the time of Ueshiba's death, Koichi Tohei was chief instructor of the Hombu Dojo, to this day the headquarters of Aikikai, a title he would retain until his official split from Aikikai in 1974. Morihei Ueshiba 植芝盛平 (December 14, 1883 – April 26, 1969) was a famous martial artist and founder of aikido. ... Kisshomaru Ueshiba (植芝 吉祥丸 Ueshiba Kisshomaru) (June 27, 1921-January 4, 1999) was the third son of Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. ... Doshu (道主) is a hereditary title (literally Master of the Way) denoting the head of the Aikikai and the figurehead of aikido. ... A hombu dojo (本部道場) is a term used for the headquarters of a budo, Japanese martial art. ...


One of the major causes of the conflict arose from Koichi Tohei's emphasis on his principle of ki in aikido. Tohei wanted aikido to focus on these principles, using practical exercises to both cultivate and test Ki in the daily aikido practice. He had already started teaching his new ideas during his own training sessions at Hombu dojo, but the majority of the other instructors would not. There were some who agreed with Tohei's approach, but Tohei's actions were not welcomed by Kisshomaru and most of the senior instructors. They strongly encouraged him not to teach his principles and techniques in the Hombo Dojo. Tohei replied that he had the right to teach it outside Hombu Dojo, which he did.


But the tensions still remained among the senior cadre of instructors, who still did not approve of Tohei's focus upon ki. These brewing tensions together with Tohei's general dissatisfaction with the situation culminated in 1971 when he created the Ki No Kenkyukai, with the purpose of promoting the development and cultivation of Ki inside aikido, but outside the Aikikai "umbrella". The years of conflict would finally cement Tohei's decision to break away from the Aikikai and teach his own 'ki' style of aikido. So, on the 1st of May 1974, Koichi Tohei officially left the Aikikai organisation to concentrate on his newly created Ki-aikido and Ki-society. The Ki no Kenkyukai, sometimes called Ki Society, was founded by Koichi Tohei in 1971, while he was still the chief instructor at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. ...


On the 15th of May, Tohei sent a letter in English and Japanese to the majority of the dojos both in Japan and abroad, explaining his reasons for the breakaway and his plans involving Ki-aikido and the Ki-society. This breakup came as a shock to many aikidoka throughout the dojos of the world. Tohei was well regarded by many instructors and students. He was seen as the foremost sensei of Aikido after Ueshiba's death. This, in turn, led to several dojos breaking with the Aikikai and joining Tohei in his new style. Tohei's new objective was to coordinate all the dojos who joined him and incorporate them into the organisation of Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido: "Aikido with Mind and Body Coordinated". This branch of aikido is still active today even though Tohei himself retired from the day-to-day business of the Ki-aikido section, and now concentrates solely on the Ki-society and further personal development of ki. Ki-Aikido is the style of aikido developed by 10th Dan aikidokaKoichi Tohei. ...


Notable Students of Koichi Tohei

Both before and during his position as head instructor at the Hombu Dojo, Tohei instructed many notable aikidoka. Several of these have since made lasting impacts on aikido in general.


Among these are:

Shiuzo Imaizumi, founder of the aikido style Shin Budo Kai, first joined Koichi Tohei after he broke away from Aikikai and created the Ki Society (Ki no Kenkyukai), came to New York and created the New York Ki Society, left the Ki Society in 1987 and created Shin Budo Kai... Shin Budo Kai, style of aikido, founded by Shizuo Imaizumi in 1988 New York. ... Koichi Kashiwaya (born December, 1949) , is an aikido teacher (8th [[dan rank|dan Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido), Okuden in Ki training. ... There are different people named Ken Williams: Kenneth Roy Williams (1890-1959), a baseball outfielder. ... Kenjiro Yoshigasaki (born 1951), 8th dan Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, is an aikidoka and former student of Ki-Aikido founder Koichi Tohei. ... Ki no Kenkyukai Association Internationale is an aikido organisation founded and headed by 8th dan Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, Kenjiro Yoshigasaki. ... Tenzan (Fumio) Toyoda, taken at Chozen-ji temple, Hawaii. ...

See also

The Ki no Kenkyukai, sometimes called Ki Society, was founded by Koichi Tohei in 1971, while he was still the chief instructor at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

  Results from FactBites:
 
Encyclopedia of Aikido [TOHEI, KOICHI] (743 words)
Tohei saw action in China and was stranded there at the end of the war until his repatriation in 1946.
In the early years after the war, Tohei was one of the the leading figures in the spread of aikido and one of the mainstays of the AIKIKAI HOMBU DOJO.
Moreover, Tohei was mainly responsible for the early development of aikido in Hawaii and the mainland United States.
St. Louis Ki Society - Koichi Tohei (782 words)
Koichi Tohei was born in Tokyo in 1920.
Tohei's health was fragile throughout his childhood and he frequently was in hospitals and under the care of doctors.
Tohei began reading extensively about religion and eastern philosophy and decided to begin practicing the things he was reading about, regardless of the risk.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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