Ki-Aikido, “the way of harmony with Ki”, is a non-violent martial art. It uses the self-defense arts as a way to learn peaceful coexistence within ourselves and with others.
Central to this goal are the principles of mind-body coordination (or integration). These underlie our ability to direct Ki (universal energy) in a positive and productive manner. The practice of Ki Development, or understanding the mind-body relationship, is inextricably entwined with the Aikido self-defense arts. To train in Aikido, you must participate in our Ki Development classes. You may, however, elect to train only in Ki Development without studying the Aikido self-defense arts.
The principles of Ki Development or mind-body coordination are:
- Keep One Point: Center or focus your concentration at a single point in the lower abdomen to unite mind and body for positive action.
- Relax Completely: Avoid the mental and physical tensions that impede your flow of Ki and diminish your capacity to act positively in the moment.
- Keep Weight Underside: Physical or mental tension can bring your weight upperside, weakening your movements. Allow natural gravity to bring your weight underside, back to its natural state, to maximize your power and effectiveness.
- Extend Ki: With mind and body coordinated, you can consciously direct the positive, powerful Ki energy to lead aggressive energy in the direction you choose. You remain safe, the attacker is neutralized without harm, and the encounter reveals something of value to both you and the attacker.
History of Ki-Aikido
Ki-Aikido evolved from founder Morihei Ueshiba’s (1883–1969) original Aikido, which he developed during his lifetime of studying and training. Aikido has roots in Aiki Jutsu, which Ueshiba Sensei encountered in his early 30’s in his association with Grandmaster Sokaku Takeda.
Following many years of development, including religious training in the then new Omoto-kyo religion, Ueshiba taught styles which he called Aiki Jutsu and later Aiki Budo. The term Aikido, or the Way of Harmony, emerged in the period 1942–1952, when Ueshiba returned to the rural lifestyle in the village of Iwama.
Though multiple styles of Aikido now exist, all practitioners refer to Ueshiba as “O Sensei”, the Founder and Grandmaster. We all owe a debt to his perseverance and spirit.
K-Aikido was developed by Koichi Tohei (1920–2011), who was Ueshiba’s top student. Tohei’s position as Chief Instructor at the Aikikai Hombu dojo led him to be the only person awarded 10th Dan by O-Sensei.
After O-Sensei's death, Kisshomaru Ueshiba-Sensei became the second Aikido Doshu, and Tohei-Sensei remained for some years as Chief Instructor. He eventually resigned from the Aikikai and founded Shin-shin Toitsu Aikido, to teach Ki Aikido in accordance with principles of mind-body coordination.
Today, Tohei sensei’s son, Shinichi Tohei, continues to lead the Ki-Aikido movement from headquarters in Tochigi, Japan.
The Seattle Ki-Aikido dojo is the oldest continuously operating Aikido dojo in the Pacific Northwest. It was founded in 1971 by Yoshihiko Hirata at the direction of Tohei Sensei.
Today, Seattle Ki-Aikido is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to sharing the principles of Ki Development and the arts of Ki-Aikido. All instructors are unpaid volunteers who have trained many years and have appropriate certifications.
Please visit our dojo, observe a class, ask any questions, and take a free intro class to see how our program works.