Tohei on:



Koichi Tohei

Koichi Tohei was born in 1920 and grew up in an upper class Japanese family, north of Tokyo. He was sickly as a child and was introduced to Judo and Zen by his father to try to strengthen his constitution. Later he became involved in misogi and various forms of Japanese Yoga. These events and training shaped much of what was to develop in later life.

In 1939, he met O-Sensei and was introduced to the art of Aikido. He expressed some amazement that despite his Judo training he was unable to deal with this much older man and quickly became a serious student of the Art. In 1942, he was called up to the army and spent time in action in China. After the war he returned to his role as uchi-deshi to O-Sensei, becoming one of the strongest and most influential figures within the Aikido world. In 1953, he was sent by O-Sensei to Hawaii, becoming the first teacher to introduce Aikido to the United States.

Tohei-Sensei rose to the position of Chief Instructor at the Aikikai Hombu dojo and was the only person awarded 10th Dan by O-Sensei and issued with a formal scroll of rank. After O-Sensei's death, Kisshomaru Ueshiba-Sensei became the second Aikido Doshu, and Tohei-Sensei continued to be the Chief Instructor for a few years.

In 1971, while still the Chief Instructor of the Aikikai, Tohei-Sensei founded the Ki no Kenkyukai, to teach the principles of Ki and Unification of Mind and Body, outside the Aikido framework. He later resigned as Chief Instructor and founded the Shin-shin Toitsu Aikikai.