February 18, 2024

Kiatsuhо̄

“Kiatsuhо̄ ” is a health regimen based on Shinshin Toitsu Aikido.

As the Japanese word “Te-a-te” suggests (literally means “to place one’s hand on [something]”), when we feel something is wrong with our body, our hand naturally goes where the discomfort is.

That alone can sometimes improve our conditions or mood.

In the same way, by placing our hand on our body while our ki is extending, pain is reduced and stiffness is softened.

Relaxation improves our blood flow and body’s resilience.

 If you treat an ailment while it is still mild, you can recover quickly, but if the symptoms become more severe, it takes much longer to recover from it.

This is accomplished through “Kiatsuhо̄ ”. Kiatsuhо̄ is not reserved for special people, but anyone can do it. Kiatsuhо̄ is a great help to ourselves and our family in maintaining good health.

The way we place our hand on the body in Kiatsuhо̄ is the same as the way we hold our partner in Shinshin Toitsu Aikido.

For example, let’s say we hold our partner’s wrist. If we hold it tightly, our Ki will be stuck; if we hold it lightly, our Ki will flow. It is important to hold our partner’s wrist so that our Ki can flow through the partner’s whole body. This is called “holding with Ki”. It is not the matter of “grabbing” vs. “holding lightly”.

We just hold in a way that our partner feels comfortable. In other words, all we have to do is to hold it so that our partner’s Ki naturally comes out.

When we hold with Ki, we can guide and throw our partner in Aikido techniques. In Kiatsuhо̄ , we can help our partner’s recovery. The principle is the same.

People are prone to unconscious resistance the moment they are touched, especially when they are touched by someone whose intention is to try to move them or control them.

This unconscious resistance appears as a “bump” in Aikido techniques, and in Kiatsuhо̄, as “uncomfortableness” felt by the person receiving the Kiatsuhо̄ . It means neither works.

Kiatsuhо̄ is done for the benefit of another person, so this unconscious resistance is less likely to occur compared to during the Aikido techniques. People who tend to feel a “bump” during Aikido techniques can often improve their techniques in a short
period of time by learning Kiatsuhо̄.

In fact, many people who study Shinshin Toitsu Aikido are learning Kiatsuhо̄.

Professor Takeshi Tanigawa, M.D., at Juntendo University, who spoke at our Ki Forum, has been focusing on Kiatsuhо̄ from a public health perspective.

Starting April 2023, two instructors from our Honbu (HQs) dojo will be entering the doctoral program at Juntendo University, where they conduct research on Kiatsuhо̄ and Ki training while holding their regular jobs.

Oregon Ki Society, a branch of the Shinshin Toitsu Aikidokai in the United States, is conducting clinical research on Kiatsuho in
collaboration with medical doctors.

In 2021, their academic paper was published in a medical journal. Journals are given a rating called Impact Factor (IF), and the paper was published in a journal that is considered highly reliable with an IF of 3 or more points.

The paper is in English and can be found at:
“Beneficial Effects of Kiatsu with Ki Training on Episodic Migraine”

Migraine headaches are a neurological disease with a high rate of prevalence around the world, and drug therapies come with side effects. Existing alternative therapies also have limitations, such as high cost, and clinics who provide those therapies are
limited in number.

Kiatsuhо̄ was demonstrated to be a promising approach. It provided sustained efficacies to female subjects with migraine headaches by significantly reducing the frequency, improving QoL (Quality of Life) scores, and reducing the need for medication use.

Of particular importance, the effectiveness of Kiatsuho increases when combined with Ki training (Keep One Point, etc.).

We will continue to research and promote Kiatsuho using various approaches.

Translated by Mayumi Case
Edited by David Shaner and Matthew Attarian
Eastern Ki Federation
https://easternkifederation.org/

Original article in Japanese: 氣圧法とは (Kiatsuho)
April 1, 2023 
http://www.shinichitohei.com/japanese/2023/04/post-f738d8.html

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February 02, 2024

A Voice that Conveys

In 2021, when I appeared live in the studio on the NHK (Japanese public broadcasting) general TV program, “Asa-Ichi,” I introduced our “whole-body relaxation exercise” and received a great response from the public.

This is an exercise aimed at “resetting” unconscious tension/exertion in our body.

Tension/exertion causes our body to tire easily, yet it is not very easy to recognize it on our own. “I don’t think I am exerting myself, but I am exhausted by the time the evening comes around” - many people might have had this experience.

In fact, such troublesome tension/exertion can be a “reset” in a simple way.

First, stand on your tiptoes and check if you have a naturally balanced posture.

Next, shake your hands as if you were shaking water droplets off your fingertips in a downward motion. It is better to try to shake your hands comfortably rather than shaking them quickly.

At this point, if the vibration from shaking your fingertips is traveling through your body and reaching all the way to your toes, it means that you are relaxed.

If the vibration stops in the middle, there is an unconscious tension/exertion lurking there.

If you touch the area where your tension is, you may be able to feel it. If you try to shake or lightly tap the area, or even move your body a little, you may be able to relieve the tension.

Then shake your hands again and repeat until the vibration is felt throughout your body.

When you reached this state, gradually stop the movement of your hands/fingertips. If you consciously stop the movement, it will become the source of tension, so it should feel like you are letting go and waiting for it to quiet down on its own.

Simply doing this will reset your tension.

By the way, “relaxing” is not the same as being lazy or weak (dead relaxation). This is called “collapsing,” and it actually makes you tire more easily.

As a rule of thumb, if your body feels heavy after shaking your fingers, then you are in a collapsed state. If you feel light and
airy, then you are in a relaxed state.

“Shizentai” (literally - “natural body”) means you are in “a state of being naturally balanced as a result of relaxation”. In this state, you don’t get tired because your body is supported with a minimal amount of effort/power.

The transmission of vibrations to all parts of the body can be applied to vocalization.

When we speak, we create vibrations. When we speak in a relaxed state, the vibrations are transmitted throughout the body.

These vibrations also affect our surroundings and become a “voice that conveys”.

Working in pairs, place your hand on the back or the side of your partner. If your hand is stiff or tense, you will not be able to feel, so touch your partner softly.

If you are relaxed, you should be able to feel the vibration of your partner’s voice through your hands.

If the vibration of your partner’s voice is not transmitted to your body, return to the whole-body relaxation exercise.

By repeating this, the vibration of your partner’s voice will be transmitted throughout your body. It is a very subtle sensation, and you can’t really feel it unless you are truly relaxed.

Your partner doesn’t have to be loud suddenly. Make sure you can feel the vibration of the voice first, then ask your partner to gradually speak louder.

Just as a low-performance speaker makes a crackling sound, if your partner tries to speak loudly while his or her body is tense, the voice will sound forceful or strained. In a relaxed state, the sound of the voice is clear even if it is very loud.

It is said that “a person’s whole-body is like a musical instrument,” and I think it is really true.

This is an important theme for actors and singers, so I focus on teaching this in their practice of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido. Everyone seems to be practicing with a great emphasis on the whole-body relaxation exercise.

“A voice that conveys” is essential for Shinshin Toitsu Aikido instructors when they teach. In particular, Kiai and counting must be done in such a voice.

When we make business presentations or conduct business negotiations, we will be able to do so in a voice that is full of confidence and builds mutual trust.

Even when parents talk about important things to their children, the way these things are conveyed will change. Your voice will be calm and easily absorbed into the child’s mind.

Practicing the “whole-body relaxation exercise” is something that anyone can do at anytime. Let’s strive to master this art.

Translated by Mayumi Case
Edited by David Shaner and Matthew Attarian
Eastern Ki Federation
https://easternkifederation.org/

Original article in Japanese: 伝わる声 (A Voice that Conveys)
March 1, 2023 
http://www.shinichitohei.com/japanese/2023/03/post-eb1398.html

 

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January 15, 2024

Softness, Relaxation

I recently had the pleasure of having a conversation with Midori Kawashima Sensei, a 91-year-old nurse.

She told us that, in the past, nursing was a job for serving others, and nurses were not allowed to have a family for the rest of one’s life.

Kawashima Sensei believed that the nursing profession was not sustainable in such a harsh environment, and has worked
tirelessly to establish the social status for the nurses.

Today, she is actively involved in training nurses through her writings and giving lectures.

Last year, Kawashima Sensei began practicing Shinshin Toitsu Aikido at the age of 91. And she has said that the most important thing for a nurse to understand is how to care for a patient with gentle physical contact.

She says, through gentle physical contact, we may understand the patient’s condition. The patient feels better through that physical connection, and that interaction brings out the life force of the patient.

In fact, Kawashima Sensei's hands are very soft and warm, which is extremely important in Shinshin Toitsu Aikido.

When we face our partner in a rigid, stiff, or tense state, we will not be able to understand the movement of Ki and throw our partner. If we do not have softness, we will collide with the partner at the moment of contact, and will not be able to move freely.

Furthermore, if we remain tense, we are more likely to get injured or have a problem.

There is nothing good about being in this kind of state. But why do we become tense in spite of this? And what is the cause of this?

This is one of the biggest themes we practice in Shinshin Toitsu Aikido.

From a physical perspective, two key points are physical flexibility and muscle quality.

Flexibility of the muscle is achieved by moving (stretching) in a relaxed state. It is not enough to just do it, but doing so with a unified body will increase its effectiveness.

Moving without the flexibility causes strain in various parts of the body, which can easily lead to injury or discomfort.

The “quality of the muscles” is obtained by having a balanced and natural posture on a regular basis. The muscles will be normally soft and become hard when exerting force.

In an unbalanced posture, we are constantly using muscles unnecessarily to support our posture. The muscles then accept this condition as a norm and become stiff. Soft muscles allow us to exert maximum power.

Tohei Sensei used to let his students feel his forearm. When his forearm was relaxed, it was soft like a water balloon, but when he engaged his muscle, it was as hard as a rock. Everyone was amazed how his arm muscles changed so drastically and freely. Tohei Sensei [always] held [his opponents] or let them grab him in this condition - this is why he never bumped into them.

From the mind aspect, the “flexibility” and “receptivity” are key.

The flexibility, in this case, refers to the flexibility of our mind/heart. For example, when we think, “this is the way it has to be”, our mind/heart becomes rigid.

Because mind moves body, a rigidity of the mind/heart leads to the stiffness of the body. If the mind/heart
is not flexible, we will always clash with our partner.

The word “receptivity” seems to have various meanings depending on how it is used, but in this case, it refers to understanding (accepting) our partner.

If we are not willing to understand our partner, or when we want them to do what we want, our mind/heart becomes hardened, and our body becomes rigid.

Softness of mind/heart cannot be obtained simply by relaxing our physical body. It can only be achieved by correctly understanding our own habits of thinking and perceiving, and then dissolving our attachment to those thoughts and perceptions through Ki no Ishihо̄ (Ki Meditation).

Koichi Tohei Sensei had a flexible attitude toward everything. He valued and respected each person’s unique qualities. Even when things didn’t go the way he thought they should, he didn’t get attached to his original thinking, and instantly sought other ways to accomplish them.

I am also working on the softness of mind/heart myself. True softness is achieved when both the mind/heart and body are in alignment.

Once we gain “softness”, the way we relate to others will change dramatically. It is interesting because one’s own techniques will change as a result.

Let’s work on it together as an important theme of this year’s training.

Translated by Mayumi Case
Edited by David Shaner and Matthew Attarian
Eastern Ki Federation
https://easternkifederation.org/

Original article in Japanese: やわらかさ (Yawarakasa)
February 1, 2023 
http://www.shinichitohei.com/japanese/2023/02/post-e7746e.html

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January 07, 2024

Shugyo Tassei Kigan-shiki Ceremony and Hatsu-Geiko (First Practice)

New_year_20240115210801

Shugyo Tassei Kigan-shiki Ceremony and Hatsu-Geiko (First Practice) was held at the H.Q. Dojo (Tokyo). Approximately 700 people participated in the live online broadcast.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the many people from Japan and abroad who participated.

We hope that as many of our members as possible will participate, and due to requests from many of our overseas branches, we have decided to continue this format in the future.

At the Shugyo Tassei Kigan-shiki Ceremony, there was an announcement of dan promotion (recommended dan).

This year's activities of the Shinshin Toitsu Aikido Kai have started successfully.

I would like to extend my best wishes to all of you.

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January 04, 2024

Beyond Any Place or Time

“Adapt your speech to your audience.” It is said that when the Buddha preached the Dharma, he did so in a way that suited each person.

This means it is important to understand the nature and the circumstances of the other person, and then teach in a way that is most appropriate for that person. I have worked with many people while teaching Shinshin Toitsu Aikido, and I always keep this proverb in mind.

Since no two people are the same, there are thousands of different ways to teach, and they change constantly. I am not always successful, so I feel the depth of this experience.

There are people who try to do everything right.

If they go too far, they tend to think too hard, and the hardness of the mind leads to tension in the body. To such people, I tell them “You don’t have to do everything right!”

On the other hand, there are people who do not do anything properly. To put it more bluntly, they are sloppy, and they do not learn what they could have. To such people, I tell them “You have to do it right!”

The words I use change depending on the person I am talking to, but if we cut out what I am saying only, at times, I am saying, “You don’t have to do it right,” and, at other times, I am saying, “You have to do it right”.

Both are spoken by the same person, but what the person is saying is changing.

What does this mean?

This means what is taught by a teacher is different for each student.

What we get exposed to is only a part of our teacher’s teaching, and never the whole. If we make a mistake here, we would fall into the arrogant thinking “I am the one who understands my teacher the best”.

Students are exposed to their teachers through their own filter in the first place. The students’ understanding naturally is only a part of what their teachers teach.

This is why knowing what other students have been exposed to and how they were taught by a teacher is an important aid in understanding the real picture of your teacher’s teaching.

I am most grateful for having senior teachers who have lived and trained in the same era as Koichi Tohei Sensei.

For example, there was a veteran instructor who had been taught directly by Koichi Tohei Sensei.

This instructor’s job used to be dismantling old Japanese folk houses (古民家, kominka) in his younger days, so he was always covered in mud after work. When he managed to get to the dojo, his feet were usually dirty, and black with mud. One day after practice, he saw Koichi Tohei Sensei wiping his own feet with a wet towel.

He had never seen Tohei Sensei do this before, so he wondered what this was about.

A week later, he went to the dojo and attended the class with dirty feet, and he again saw Tohei Sensei wiping his own feet after class. Then, he suddenly became aware of the meaning of Tohei Sensei’s action, and he attended the next class after he washed his feet clean. Then, Tohei Sensei apparently stopped wiping his feet after each class.

What would have happened if Tohei Sensei simply pointed out the dirt on the feet to someone who took pride in his hard work? Tohei Sensei taught this person in such a way that he would recognize it for himself, without offending his dignity.

We can really see what Tohei Sensei valued in the way he taught each student.

This instructor was so impressed by this that he continued to study under Tohei Sensei, and is still training to this day.

Having this perspective gives us a sense that Koichi Tohei Sensei is speaking to us in the present moment, transcending time and place - even though he has already passed away.

This is probably because what is truly important is “transmitted from one person to another”.

I am hoping to compile more stories like this into a book someday.

Translated by Mayumi Case
Edited by David Shaner and Matthew Attarian
Eastern Ki Federation
https://easternkifederation.org/

Original article in Japanese: 時と場所を超え、伝わる (Toki to basho wo koe, tsutawaru)
January 7, 2023 
http://www.shinichitohei.com/japanese/2023/01/post-c3e7f4.html

 

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January 01, 2024

A Happy New Year

Ki_2_3_20240104225101
If you are alive, Ki is extending.

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December 01, 2023

Act while Ki is Extending

There is a set of principles that is most important in the practice of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido. These principles show the process of leading people.

Five Basic Principles of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido
1. Ki is extending
2. Know your partner’s mind
3. Respect your partner's intension
4. Put yourself in the place of your partner
5. Perform with confidence

It might be easier to understand “Ki is extending” if we replace it with "Ki is flowing."

Ki is flowing through every part of the body. When Ki is flowing throughout the body, we can move our body freely. When the body is tense, Ki becomes stagnant/gets stuck and the body cannot be used as we want.

Ki also flows through the people we encounter and our surroundings. When Ki is flowing, we can see the surroundings clearly. When our mind gets attached to something, Ki becomes stagnant, and we cannot understand clearly other persons nor their surroundings.

Only when our Ki is extending are we able to use the power we have. And because our Ki is extending, we can execute our [Ki-Aikido] techniques.

This is the reason why the first principle of our Five Principles of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido is “Ki is extending”.

One of the methods of practicing Shinshin Toitsu Aikido is, while in a sumo wrestling-like grappling position with your partner, to practice stepping forward to move your partner backwards - but just by touching/connecting with your partner, without holding onto the partner's dogi or obi (belt).

It is a very simple, but a profound way to practice.

Our mind tends to be easily disturbed at the beginning of a movement. At the very moment we are about to make the move, our Ki tends to get stuck/becomes stagnant. This practice method allows us to become clearly aware of this disturbance we experience.

If we try to "push and move the partner," we will feel tension in our upper body, arms, and legs. This causes Ki to become stagnant and prevents us from moving forward.

If we start thinking about how to move our partner, our mind becomes attached to the effort. This intention causes our Ki to get stuck and we can’t move forward.

If we try to feel the sensations in our body, then our mind will be full of openings. We will be in a state of collapse - we lose our Ki and cannot move, so this is out of the question!

Through this practice method, we directly experience how easily Ki can become stagnant, and how surprisingly easy it is for us to get disturbed and thus lose our natural power.

If we move while our Ki is extending, we can move forward without any problems, but we humans [thinking too much] have a hard time doing so.

The state of “Ki is extending” is difficult to understand in words and can only be understood by directly experiencing it and acquiring it through our body.

However, there are criteria that we can use to check it ourselves.

For example, when Ki is flowing, there is no tension anywhere in the entire body. The posture is also solid and stable because Ki is flowing through every part of the body, including the toes and fingers. In this way, we attain a state in which our field of vision widens and we are acutely aware of our surroundings.

In Shinshin Toitsu Aikido practice, we check this state with a Ki test, and then, train ourselves to maintain that same state even during strenuous movement.

When top athletes experience the state of “Ki is extending”, they all say, "This is how I feel when I am in my best condition!”. The challenge is to always maintain this state.

This is why many athletes continue to practice Shinshin Toitsu Aikido.

In order to learn how to move in a state of "Ki is extending", it is essential to practice it not only at the dojo, but also in our  daily life.

This is because “Ki is extending” is directly connected to the condition of our mind and not just the condition of our body.

You might recall a time when you had something “you must do”, and you wondered whether or not you should do it, or you did it reluctantly. The moment your mind falls into such a state, your Ki is already stuck/stagnant.

“If I am going do it, then I just do it”, “If I am not going to do it, then I just don’t do it” - it is important to make up our mind, and once we have made up our mind, we have to do it without any hesitation.

By repeating this process, we can form a habit of "moving while Ki is flowing”. This way, we can solve one of the causes of our Ki becoming stagnant at the beginning of the movement.

Ever since I was a child, I have had a hard time making up my mind about anything.

When I started uchideshi training, “overwriting” this habit was the training that was drilled into me.

Strangely enough, the technique began to work after I developed a new habit [of “Ki is extending”].

Koichi Tohei Sensei said to me, "Every time you tried to do something, you were allowing your Ki to get stuck. You can understand your partner only when your Ki is flowing. And you can lead him only when you understand him."

He continued, “Shugyo is the training you do day in, day out, 24/7. Continue your practice for the rest of your life, so that your Ki flows under any circumstances.”

Since then, I have always made an effort to "act while Ki is extending" in everything I do, not just at the dojo, but also in my daily life.

And that [kind of training] brought me to where I am today. Nowadays, no one seems to be able to imagine that I used to be a kind of person who couldn’t make up my mind in everything.

Our techniques change if we change in our daily life. This is truly "Aikido in daily life”.

Translated by Mayumi Case
Edited by David Shaner and Matthew Attarian
Eastern Ki Federation
https://easternkifederation.org/

Original article in Japanese: 氣が出ている状態で行動する (Ki ga deteiru jyotai de kodo suru)
December 1, 2022 
http://www.shinichitohei.com/japanese/2022/12/post-7db9f9.html

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November 15, 2023

Acquisition and Mastery

I attend the Shinshin Toitsu Aikido black belt promotion tests, which are conducted throughout Japan, as an observer.

This is done in addition to the existing testing held in Tochigi (three times a year), Osaka (twice a year), Sendai, and Fukuoka. Also, the promotion tests will be held in Nagano, Nagoya, and Hiroshima, and other cities beginning this year.

People who take black belt promotion tests seem to become quite nervous, and some of them even experience their mind going completely blank. I am often asked the question,

“how can I prevent my mind going completely blank?”

People seem to sincerely and honestly want to know the answer.

Even when we calm ourselves at the One Point in the lower abdomen, our mind can go completely blank. The more we consciously try not to let that happen, the worse our condition becomes.

The way to handle this, however, is quite simple: we “put what we have learned (acquisition) in our body” over and over again so that we can move freely even when our mind goes blank.

If we move while being too much in our head, too consciously, or intentionally, we cannot move at all and our mind goes blank.

But when we have put the know-how into our mind and body, we can move without thinking. In other words, it is important to “knead” [what we have acquired] into our body until we do not have to rely on our head.

Here is a rule of thumb. Let’s say, when we experience something once, we call it “1”.

Experiencing something can not even compare to having seen or heard it, and experiencing something just once makes a huge difference. However, we call experiencing something once “1” here.

If you repeat it “10” (times), which is one digit more, we get to know how it feels, and how you are supposed to feel it in your body. There is a sense of excitement in acquiring something, and this is what makes our training so appealing.

However, the feeling we gain will disappear after a night's sleep. This means even if we were able to acquire it, we have not reached the level of mastering it.

It takes another "100” (times), which is one whole digit more, for what we have acquired to be firmly established in our body. Once we repeated that many times, we can probably say we have mastered it.

In general, many people assume that they have "made it" at the stage of acquisition, and this may be the reason some people have difficulty making progress.

And to be able to do what we have mastered at any time and in any environment, we need to repeat something “1000” (more times), which is another whole digit more. I always use this as a minimum standard for building on our efforts.

This means we need to “knead” one additional digit of time at each stage: experiencing →acquiring → mastering → being able to do it, which is a point where the training literally becomes a part of you.

As long as we put what we learn into our body and mind, we will never be betrayed by what we have learned. When we have to deal with something important, if we put something only in our head, we can be easily betrayed by it.

I often talk about these important things with young instructors and leaders at every opportunity I have.

I have two young instructors who are training under me. One of them was quick to understand and seemed to be able to acquire what was taught in a short period of time. The other one, however, is slow to understand and had a hard time acquiring it. Over the course of two months, I worked with him until he acquired a solid experience of what it feels like.

Each of them seemed to be moved deeply by moment they were able to acquire it.

Some time later, I was able to check on them when I had an opportunity to see them both at the same time. Unfortunately, the instructor who had understood quicker reverted back to his original state and had not mastered what he was taught, while the other who had understood slowly was steadily mastering it.

When I heard their stories, it turned out that the instructor who was quicker to understand thought he mastered it, so he did not create enough opportunities for “kneading” it afterwards.

The other instructor who was slower to understand took a long time to acquire it, so he repeated what he was taught every day from the day he received the instructions, so that he would not lose the feeling he had acquired.

They say what is easily gained is easily lost, and that is exactly what had happened to them. As attested by some old sayings, luck, steadfastness, and perseverance are very important.

Having an overwhelming gap in ability between them, the instructor who was quick to understand changed his basic attitude toward "acquiring" the skills. He seemed to have realized the most important thing, and I am very much looking forward to his future growth.

We can master something by first acquiring it. Acquiring is the start of learning, not the goal.

Let's strive to master our arts.

Translated by Mayumi Case
Edited by David Shaner and Matthew Attarian
Eastern Ki Federation
https://easternkifederation.org/

Original article in Japanese: 会得と体得 (Etoku to Taitoku)
November 1, 2022 
http://www.shinichitohei.com/japanese/2022/11/post-2aa0a2.html

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November 01, 2023

Putting the Important Things in One’s Mind

Once, while I was still in my uchideshi (apprenticeship) training, I was summoned by Tohei Sensei and rushed to see him in the waiting room of the main dojo. This happened immediately after training, so I was still in my dogi.

Tohei Sensei stood up and took hold of me by the lapels of the dogi, staring into my face but smiling, and said,

“You know, I am being very patient with you.”

I knew I had not met his expectation in any way, but I felt this must be something very serious that I was not aware
of. I was not sure what this was all about, but I thought I should apologize anyway.

Tohei Sensei continued, “You still do a lot of things that bother me. So I am planting this in your mind now. And as long as it is in your mind, it will eventually come out. Even if you don’t understand it right now, there will come a day when you will understand it as you gain more experience. So, I am going to put what is important in your mind now.”

I had no idea what he was talking about.

“Do everything you were told to do without saying this or that!”

Then, it hit me! I had been deciding in my mind whether the task I was given was meaningful or meaningless, and I did not always have a positive attitude to engage in things that did not interest me. I knew he was referring to this tendency of mine.

Tohei Sensei’s words had such a tremendous impact that I clearly remember the conversation to this day.

Even though it has already been 25 years since we had this conversation. During that time, Tohei Sensei passed away, and 10 years have gone by since his death.

And what Tohei Sensei put in my mind in those days has finally started coming out. There are things we can understand only with an effort and after having gained various experiences.

We are always seeking results.

As leaders and instructors, we have this desire or selfinterest to have people meet our expectations, because we poured our time and energy into guiding them.

This self-interest becomes a problem when people do not improve in the way we want them to. It makes us feel impatient and frustrated.

We simply need to put what is important in their mind, even when they are not listening to us, not understanding or not being unable to understand it. As long as it is in their mind, it will come out someday, and they will come to understand it.

This is especially true with children.

It can be very frustrating when children don’t listen to us.

But they are listening, even when they act like they are not. They will never get better if we stop putting what is important in their mind just because they do not seem to be listening or understanding what we are telling them, or they don’t show any improvement.

The important thing is to put it in their mind again and again.

When I train young leaders and instructors, and they do not change for better no matter how many times I explain something, I, too, sometimes get irritated and become quite forceful in tone out of frustration.

Yet whenever that happens, I have to recall the conversation I had with Tohei Sensei, and I have to make an effort to “put what is important in their mind”.

Oddly enough, people improve out of the blue several years later.

I remember Tohei Sensei treated everyone in this way. This was his basic attitude as a leader.

The sun does not shine on only those who please it. The sun's rays create a bright side and shadow side of things depending on the environment we are in. But the sun itself shines equally on everything.

This is the spirit of “Ban-yū Aigo” (loving and protecting all things), which is the most important thing for all the leaders and instructors to understand.

I am striving to become a leader and instructor who can continue to put what is important in people's mind, regardless of their listening to me, not listening to me, understanding it immediately, or unable to do so.

“I am being very patient with you.”

Having become an instructor myself, I can now really related to what Tohei sensei felt.

Translated by Mayumi Case
Edited by David Shaner and Matthew Attarian
Eastern Ki Federation
https://easternkifederation.org/

Original article in Japanese: 大事なことは入れておく(Daijina koto wa irete oku)
October 1, 2022 
http://www.shinichitohei.com/japanese/2022/10/post-7ab508.html

 

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October 15, 2023

The Validation of Kiatsuhō

The Shinshin Toitsu Aikidokai has 24 federations / chapters throughout the world and about 30,000 members are training.

One such federation, the Oregon Ki Society, has been very active in practicing and teaching Kiatsuhō, along with other Shinshin Toitsu Aikido programs.

Kiatsuhō is a health regimen based on Shinshin Toitsu Aikido, where a practitioner, while their ki is naturally extending, touches patients to help them relax and have better blood circulation, which improves various ailments. Pain is eased and stiffened body parts become more supple. To put it simply, Kiatsuhō is an important health regimen to help dissolve the blockage of Ki that causes various health problems. It is one of the important disciplines we have in Shinshin Toitsu Aikido.

Over a period of several years, Calvin Tabata Sensei (Shinshin Toitsu Aikido 8th degreeblack belt) and his core dojo members studied Kiatsuhō directly from Koichi Tohei Sensei. They became the only federation allowed to open a Kiatsuhō school in Oregon.

Many members study Kiatsuhō in addition to Shinshin Toitsu Aikido.

Recently, instructor and physician Terry Copperman and other co-researchers conducted a clinical study on Kiatsuhō, and published their findings in a medical journal.

This academic journal is given a rating called Impact Factor (IF). IF of 3 or greater is generally considered to be a reliable journal. Here is the article:

Beneficial Effects of Kiatsu with Ki Training on Episodic Migraine 

Although I have some background in science, reading and understanding a medical journal article is quite difficult. So I asked for help from Takeshi Tanigawa, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Graduate School of Medicine and Chair of Department of Public Health at Juntendo University, to explain this journal article.

Tanigawa Sensei is an enthusiastic Shinshin Toitsu Aikido practitioner. “Kiatsuhō is going to be a historical step that will cut into existing alternative medicines. [This study] has a great significance in that it conducted experiments based on the strict and demonstrative methodologies of Western medicine, and successfully demonstrated the positive efficacies of Kiatsuhō.” Tanigawa Sensei explained.

This article mainly talks about migraine headaches.

And according to Tanigawa Sensei, migraine headaches have a high rate of prevalence around the world, and drug therapies
come with side effects. Existing alternative therapies also have limitations, such as high cost, and clinics who provide those  therapies are limited in number.

Kiatsuhō was demonstrated to be a promising approach. It provided sustained efficacies to female subjects with migraine headaches by significantly reducing the frequency, improving QoL (Quality of Life) scores, and reducing the need for medication use.

Of particular importance, the effectiveness of Kiatsuhō increases when combined with Ki training (Shinshin Toitsu Aikido) rather than performing Kiatsuhō alone.

It turned out that migraine symptoms improved by Kiatsuhō can be sustained by continuing Ki training. Tanigawa Sensei, who specializes in Public Health, took particular note of this point.

This clinical study was accomplished by the local instructors’ passion to spread Kiatsuhō and Ki training to the world.

In collaboration with Tanigawa sensei, we have decided to advance our research in Japan too. We have many years of experience with Kiatsuhō in Japan, and my desire is to demonstrate the effectiveness of Kiatsuhō and Ki training. So in the near future, we will begin recruiting people with a graduate degree (or bachelor degree) to get involved in these studies. Along with Shinshin Toitsu Aikido, we will spread Kiatsuhō to the world.

Translated by Mayumi Case
Edited by David Shaner and Matthew Attarian
Eastern Ki Federation
https://easternkifederation.org/

Original article in Japanese: 氣圧法の研究論文について
June 1, 2022 
http://www.shinichitohei.com/japanese/2022/09/post-d0d275.html

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