Σάββατο, 23 Ιανουαρίου 2010

Koichi Tohei

Koichi Tohei (藤平光一) is a 10th Dan aikidoka and founder of the Ki Society and its style of aikido, officially Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido (literally "aikido with mind and body unified"), but commonly known as Ki-Aikido.
Koichi Tohei was born 1920 in Shitaya ward (下谷区), presently Taitō, in 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, an 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Like so many other Japanese youths at the time, Tohei was drafted into the Imperial army in October 1942. He 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.
In 1953, Tohei was sent to Hawaii to introduce aikido there. From then on, Hawaii became a center for the diffusion of aikido in the United States and, later, of Tohei's particular style. 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.

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, the headquarters of Aikikai, a title he would retain until his official split from Aikikai in 1974. 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.
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.

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:
  1. Koretoshi Maruyama, former Chief Instructor and President of Ki Society, who has since founded the independent Aikido Yuishinkai International style of aikido.
  2. Shizuo Imaizumi (今泉鎮雄), 7th Dan Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, who founded the independent Shin Budo Kai style of aikido.
  3. Calvin Tabata, 8th Dan Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido,and founder of the NW Ki Federation. He holds an Okuden Ki rank, is a full Lecturer in the Ki Society, and is the Chief Instructor of the Personal Kiatsu School. He began his training in Hawaii and is a lifelong direct student of Ki Society founder Koichi Tohei sensei. Tabata sensei has been teaching in the Northwest since 1970. He established the Oregon Ki Society in 1974 and the Personal Kiatsu School in 1993.
  4. Koichi Kashiwaya, 8th Dan Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, head Ki-Aikido instructor for the USA.
  5. Ken Williams - Founder of the Ki-Aikido Federation of Great Britain.
  6. Kenjiro Yoshigasaki, 8th dan Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, who was a pioneer in spreading Ki-aikido in Europe and has since founded the independent Ki no Kenkyukai Association Internationale organisation.
  7. Fumio Toyoda, 6th Dan, founder of the Aikido Association of America and Aikido Association International.
  8. Shuji Maruyama founder of Kokikai Aikido.
  9. Steven Seagal, 7th Dan, American action movie actor, producer, writer, director and a Blues singer-songwriter.
  10. David E. Shaner, PhD, 7th Dan, Chief Instructor of the Eastern Ki Federation and chair of Furman University's philosophy department, where he specializes in Japanese philosophy.
  11. Kenji Ota, featured in a series of Panther Productions Ki-Aikido instructional videos, along with being a champion ballroom dancer and father of 5th Dan, Steve Ota.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koichi_Tohei

1 σχόλιο:

Ανώνυμος είπε...

At last you are saying the truth !!!