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September 26, 2005

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei Sensei (4)

This article is translation of Koichi Tohei sensei's book, "Ki breathing (Ki no Kokyuho)". We will upload new article every Monday.

Shinichi Tohei

The more you extend Ki, the more you receive Ki

Some people think of Ki as a supernatural power.
However, Ki is not a supernatural power. Ki is the infinite energy which exists among us. It is important to apply Ki in your daily life. This is the key to have a better life.
I use the word Ki in Kanji (Chinese character) like this Ki2  (hereinafter called A) not using Kinew
(hereinafter called B).
Why am I using A instead of B? A is the old way to express Ki in Kanji. So, some people may think I use this because I am old. But this is wrong. The kanji A is combination of meaning the universe and infinite. In the kanji B, the word Shime  is included. This Shime_2 means stop Ki. Therefore, I do not use kanji B because it does not express real meaning.
It is important to think about KI. Everyone says that they want to make the most out of life. What is a fulfilling life for you? If you have enough things, can you say you have a fulfilling life?
Work, life, money, love… there should be many answers.
I define a fulfilling life as the Universal Ki is fulfilling both our mind and body.
We are part of the Universe, therefore, it is natural that our KI and the Ki of the Universe is always interchanging. We call this state as “ikiteiru” or “Ikioshiteiru” in Japanese. And when we do this, we have vitality.
As I stated before, if our Ki and the Ki of the Universe is prevented from interchanging, we become bad condition. And if this interchange is stopped completely, we will die. We call this “iki o hikitoru” in Japanese.
If we extend Ki, we can receive fresh Ki from the Universe. And we can interchange Ki between the Universe and ourselves.
Some people say that if we use Ki, Ki will be drained. Therefore, they seldom use Ki.
We should not stop extending Ki. If we stop extending Ki, we cannot interchange our Ki with the Universe. If the water is stagnant, the water will go bad. However, flowing water will not go bad.
Ki is similar to water. Even if Ki appears to be stopping, Ki is always interchanging with the Universe. It is true that Ki can become depleted. However, it is also true that the more we use Ki, the more we receive Ki. If we interchange our Ki always with the Universe, our life power will be activated and we will become healthy.
The Universe never stops. The Universe is always changing. However, we cannot feel this movement by our senses.
We are on the earth. The earth rotates daily and go around the sun. However, we hardly realize this.
If you are sitting in a chair without moving, your blood is circulating inside of your body. There is nothing which does not move in the Universe.
You can understand that it is unnatural to stop your Ki if you understand the principle of nature.
Breathing is similar, if you exhale, naturally breath comes in.
If you try to stop your breath intentionally, this is unnatural. By understanding this principle, you will be able to do Ki breathing comfortably.


September 22, 2005

The Exchange of Ki

Many people ask, “What is the condition of extending Ki?”

Koichi Tohei sensei said “Ki extension is the condition of exchanging Ki with the Universe. “

Welive by exchanging Ki with the Universe.

For example, breathing.

We breathe air into our lungs, and our blood system carries oxygen throughout the body. In our cells, the oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide, which is then brought to the lungs to be exhaled.

This is also an exchange of Ki with the Universe.

Once this exchange stops, there will be big trouble.

We cannot live only by ourselves. We can say, “We are living.” However, the truth is “The Universe allows us to live”.

If we think this way, we can say everything is an exchange of Ki of the Universe, such as eating, communication, economy etc.

Exchange of the Ki with mind is also the same thing.

For example, when we have selfish mind or when we are thinking only of ourselves, we hold Ki only within ourselves and we do not extend Ki to the outside.

This condition is called, “Ki is not extending” or “Pulling Ki.”

When we extend Ki positively, Ki is extending.

Here is an example of this in daily life:

When we say something negative and have a minus facial expression, we are trying to pull others Ki to ourselves.

For example, let’s take a person who says, “I am tired.” many times.

It may seem that this person’s purpose is merely to report, “I am tired.” However, actually the person wants others to extend Ki to him and say, “Are you all right?”

That is, the person is trying to pull others’ Ki to him in a unilateral way.

If you pull Ki in a unilateral way, there can be no exchange of Ki. To exchange Ki, it is necessary to exchange Ki with each other.

It is important to extend Ki to others positively.

When we hold Ki only inside of ourselves and do not extend Ki to the outside, this prevents us from exchanging Ki with the Universe, and places our mind and body in a poor state of health.

When we extend Ki to the outside, new Ki will come inside us.

If we extend Ki, new Ki comes to us. This is the principle of the Universe.

When we are unwell, if we think about only ourselves, we will get worse.

If we do our best for someone, no matter how we feel, our health condition usually improves.
This is an example of when you extend Ki, new Ki will come to you.

“Ki training” is the process of changing from the condition which we hold Ki within ourselves, to the condition which we extend Ki to the outside.

That is the condition of extending Ki always.

Let's practice together.


September 19, 2005

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei Sensei (3)

This article is translation of Koichi Tohei sensei's book, "Ki breathing (Ki no Kokyuho)". We will upload new article every Monday.

Shinichi Tohei

Human beings are one with the Universe

First, let's think together.
Where did we come from?
Everyone answers we were born because our mother's egg was fertilized with the father's sperm.
Well, where did the sperm and egg come from?
First we need to understand, what was the beginning of human beings?

Not only human beings but everything has its beginning.
Anything that has form must have a beginning. For example the sun is said to be blazing now, but there must have been a beginning of the fire. There must also have been a fire, before the fire started. If we trace the history of all things, we can only say that everything came from something invisible.
This is called "Mu" in Zen world. But this does not mean just nothing. This also means "there is nothing, but something exists".
If we think this way, our mind, body, sun, star, earth, animal, plants, everything was born from something invisible.
That is, everything came from infinitely small particles.
Ki is the infinite gathering of infinitely small particles.

Mathematically speaking, the basic entity of mathematics is the number one. The earth is one. A pebble is one. If it is reduced by half, what remains is also one. If it is reduced by half infinitely, it does not become zero. If there is one, half of it always exists. Ki is the infinite gathering of infinitely small particles. In this way the sun, the stars, the earth, plants, animals, and human mind and body are all born of the ki of the universal.Ki is the essence of the Universe and it interacted in various ways which gave the universe its form. Then the Universe was created. We are one with the Universe. And our lives are part of the life of the Universe.

Breathe the Ki of the Universe through your body

Our lives are like the amount of water we might take from the great sea and hold in our hands. We call this "I". Yes, it is the same as calling the water our water because we hold it in our hands. On the other hand, from the standpoint of the water, it is a part of the great sea.
Although if we open our hands the water will fall back to the sea, even as it remains in our hands it is in conflux with the outer great sea. If we refuse to let the water flow with its own, it will go stale.

Our lives are part of the universal ki enclosed in the flesh of out bodies. Though we say that this is "I," viewed with the eyes of the mind, it is actually the ki of the universal. Even though that ki is encased in flesh, it is in conflux with and active as a part of the universal. When we breathe, we breathe the ki of the universal in with our entire body. When the conflux of our ki and that of the universal is unimpaired, we are in good health and are lively.

We live in harmony with the Universe.
Harmony means to interact with the Ki of the Universe.
Breathing is important to keep this harmony. We breathe the Ki of the Universe throughout our body.
Ki Breathing is to activate and interchange with the Ki of the Universe. This is the best way to activate your life power and keep your health.


September 12, 2005

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei Sensei (2)

This article is translation of Koichi Tohei sensei's book, "Ki breathing (Ki no Kokyuho)". We will upload new article every Monday.

Shinichi Tohei

History of the author

Koichi Tohei was born in Shitaya, Tokyo, in 1920. When he was three years old, he went back to his home town located in Tochigi prefecture. He was very weak when he was young. He always needed a doctor. His father worried about him. So his father started to teach Judo to Koichi Tohei. He was awarded black belt in Judo when he was 14 years old.

When he was 16 years old, he entered Keio University. He practiced Judo very sincerely. But he practiced it so intensely that he contracted pleurisy. As a result, he had to take a year off from the University. During recuperation, he read many books. He then began a serious self examination period, which concluded with the understanding that his mind was too weak. After he recovered from his illness, he practiced Zen and Misogi breathing earnestly.

When Koichi Tohei was 19 years old, he became a disciple of Master Morihei Ueshiba and started to practice Aikido. (In 1969, Koichi Tohei was awarded the 10th dan, the highest rank, from Master Morihei Ueshiba.)

Koichi Tohei entered the army soon after graduating Keio University. He was 23 years old at the time. He became a platoon leader in the army and was sent to China for four years. He discovered that if on the battle field, one's defenses are down for just a moment, this could mean death. Considering this circumstance, he decided to do Ki breathing 200 times a day. By doing Ki breathing on the battle field, he mastered keeping one point. Sometimes he could not calm his breath even though he did Ki breathing. When he felt like this, he noticed that it was because the enemy was hidden somewhere nearby.

After the war, he returned to practicing Zen, Misogi and Aikido. He also became a disciple of Master Tenpu Nakamura and mastered the principle “Mind moves body” through Master Tenpu's teaching. This then became the center of his own teaching.

In 1971, Koichi Tohei founded the Ki Society to spread Ki principles.


Mr. Sadaharu Oh (Japanese professional baseball player)
When Mr. Oh joined the Giants (Japanese professional baseball team), his personal growth seemed sluggish. Koichi Tohei taught him one point in the lower abdomen and to stand on one foot with Ki. This is known as “Ippon-ashi dahou”(Hitting ball standing on one foot) 

Mr. Shigeo Nagashima (Japanese professional baseball player)
Koichi Tohei taught Mr. Nagashima, who was also a professional baseball player. He taught Mr. Nagashima how to hold the bat with Ki. Soon Mr. Nagashima began to understand. After that, he hit many home runs. After Mr. Nagashima retired from baseball, he became the coach of the Giants. When his team had slumped to bottom in the league, he sent all the baseball players in his team to the Ki dojo and asked them to study the principle of Ki from Koichi Tohei.

Koichi Tohei went to the US and Europe numerous times to teach Ki principles and Ki-Aikido in over 20 states in the US and all over the world.


Takamiyama (Japanese Sumo wrestler)
Koichi Tohei taught Ki principles to Takamiyama at the request of his student in Hawaii. After this, Takamiyama became a champion of the tournament. However, by this time in his Sumo career, his stable master would not permit him to study anything other than Sumo. Therefore, he could not study Ki after that.

The Dragons (Japanese professional baseball team)
A year after the Giants became the Champions of the league for the ninth time in a row, Koichi Tohei taught Ki principles to the Dragons. In the season, the Dragons defeated the Giants and became the new Champions.


Chiyo-no-fuji (Japanese sumo wrestler)
At that time, Chiyo-no-fuji had just become Yokozuna (highest rank in sumo). At this point in his career, he had a match which resulted in the dislocation of his left shoulder. He was afraid that it would take a long time to heal, and he began to worry about a come back. However, he received Koichi Tohei's Kiatsu, and he recovered completely. After that, he won sixty-nine times in a row. This is a stupendous achievement.

The Lions (Japanese professional baseball team), Mr. Tatsuro Hirooka
Mr. Tatsuro Hirooka, who was a coach of Lions at that time, learned Ki principles from Koichi Tohei. He let each baseball player in the Lions club to study Ki principles. Each of the players came to Shinjuku dojo, and learned Ki principles. Starting from this year, the Lions became the Champions of the league for many years.


Koichi Tohei put emphasis on seminars for companies and the training of business people. Koichi Tohei taught over 400 businessmen who attended “Koichi Tohei's Ki Dojo”, which was sponsored by Japan Management Consultants Association. And before Mr. Hideki Matsui went to the US, Koichi Tohei taught him Ki principles. Koichi Tohei taught him to send Ki to the tip of the bat and how to relax.
Koichi Tohei has taught Ki principles to many people over the years including a world famous pianist, photographers, artists, singers, Kabuki and Noh actors, calligraphers, philosophers, policemen, narcotic investigators, the body guard of President of the US, and more from throughout of the world. They learned Ki principles and they achieve remarkable success.

Especially Ki breathing is studied by many of these people. For example, narcotic investigators learn Ki breathing to ease their mental pressure from their cases. Also, musicians and opera singers also learn Ki breathing to develop her vocal skills. Photographers are also learning Ki breathing to be one with the Universe.


September 08, 2005

Ideal Expectations

Let’s characterize the appropriate attitude towards others.

For example, a husband and wife; a husband has and ideal image of his wife. And a wife has an ideal image of her husband.

Similarly, in a company’ the executive officer has an expectation of his workers, and the workers have expectation of him.

This is the same as between parents and children, teachers and students, friends and team mates.

However, we do not share this ideal each other in many cases. We just keep it in our mind. Especially, in Japan, it is virtue to understand each other without words. This virtue is important, but sometimes it becomes a cause of bad human relationships.

This is an example.

A husband considers the role that he should play in home. If his ideal and his wife's expectation are different, the more the husband tries, the more the wife will be discontent with her husband's attitude.

As a result, the husband begins to think that even if he does his best, his wife will not appreciate his efforts and he developes a grievance against his wife. This means both the husband and the wife do not understand each other even if each of them do their best. And there will a be bad relationship between husband and wife.

The only solution is for the husband to share his ideal with his wife and for the wife to similarly share with her husband. Some people think the husband’s role is to work hard at his office, some people think it is to spend time with his family as much as he can. The balance of those is up to each couple.

I often receive marriage counseling questions from my friends. Since I am still young, I do not have much experiences. However, I always tell them to share their ideals with each other. If their ideals are different, they should not fool themselves into believing they are automatically compatible, just because they have romantic feelings.

Many people tend to think that if they get married, their differences will be solved naturally. However, this is difficult if their fundamental thinking is different. On the other hand, if the couple’s thinking is fundamentally the same, other minor problems can be easily overcome.

This is the same as in team work.

A team leader has his ideal expectation of the team members. The team members have their ideal expectation of their leader. Let’s assume that the team leader thinks his role is to show his ability to take action. And the team members think that leader should communicate well with the members. In this case, the more the leader makes an effort, the less the team members appreciate their leader.

The key to success is to share each other's ideal.

Mind moves body. In another words, the state of mind decides the quality of the action. Therefore, it is difficult to change only action. It is important to share your concepts of value with each other, first.

Do you share your ideals with others around you?

Let's practice it together.


September 05, 2005

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei Sensei (1)

Koichi Tohei sensei wrote a new book, "Ki breathing (Ki no Kokyuho)" in Japanese on March 2005. This book has been best selling book in Japan. Many people have started to study Ki through this book. Many overseas members requested us to translate this book into English. Therefore, we decided to translate this book into English and upload it on this weblog. We will upload translation every Monday. If you choose "Special - Ki Breathing" from category, you can read the translations in a row. I hope you will learn Ki principles more through this book. Thank you very much.

Shinichi Tohei



I reach the age of eighty-five this year. I have been teaching Ki breathing all over the world beginning with Japan, U.S.A., Europe, Russia, Asia, Australia etc.

If you do Ki breathing correctly, it will help you to overcome any kind of illness naturally. Most modern diseases are caused by lack of oxygen in the cell.

If your cells lack oxygen, you may have cold hands and feet, headaches, stiff shoulders, rough and/or dry skin. In addition you may experience problems with your tongue and nails or inflammation of the eyes.

It is easier to get cancer, cerebrovascular disease and dementia if your cells are lacking oxygen.

Therefore, it is important to bring fresh oxygen through every capillary vessel to maintain your health.

Modern people live with a lot of stress and they become irritated or upset. This causes blood vessels to contract and makes it difficult to bring fresh oxygen throughout the body effectively. Bad posture will also constrict blood flow. This is a weakness in modern people.

What kind of breathing exercise can we do to maintain our health?

There are many breathing methods in this world, such as Tanden breathing, Yogic breathing and so on. In some methods of breathing, exhale and inhale time are decided. In another method, you expand your lower abdomen when you inhale and hold in your lower abdomen when you exhale.

These breathing methods cause you to inhale strongly or stop your breath intentionally, or put strength in your lower abdomen. These breathing methods make your capillary vessels to contract making it difficult to carry oxygen throughout your body. They are just practicing deep breaths, which only exchange air in your lungs temporarily.

The breathing method that will carry fresh oxygen throughout your whole body is "Ki Breathing".

Ki breathing methods come from an old Shinto breathing called Misogi no Kokyuho "Nagayo no den". (Misogi breathing)

Based on the oneness of mind and body, I designed this breathing method to be whole body breathing and named it "Ki Breathing".

Characteristics of Ki breathing are breathing with oneness of mind and body, and to breathe naturally. Ki breathing does not require you to control you breath nor to stop your breath intentionally. You just breathe easily with a natural posture.

It is greatly misunderstood that if you strain in labored breathing, it is good for your health. It is difficult to continue labored breathing, however if the method of breathing is easy, natural and effective, anyone can continue.

The important thing is to know “What is natural?” “What is breathing naturally?” “How to breathe naturally?”

If you read this book through to the end, you will understand what is oneness of mind and body, and what is natural.

My hope is for all the people in the world to have a bright, happy life.

About thirty years ago, I founded “Ki no Kenkyukai (Ki Society)” to study Ki principles together.

We have many branches all over the world now. And I am very glad that many people practice Ki principles with great earnestness and have a positive life.

Those people who can come to these classes and practice Ki have a desire for truth, motivation and health.

There are many people who do not have the energy to attend class because they are suffering from disease or misfortune. I especially hope for these people to study Ki principles, become conscious of the great power that is
naturally ours, and overcome their misfortunes.

It is difficult to study anything by oneself. If you study with your friends and encourage each other, you will be able to continue studying Ki principles. Therefore, I hope you will study Ki breathing with your companion and/or friends and continue the Ki breathing everyday.

It is my great pleasure that this book will help those people.

About forty years ago, I published a book, “KI IN DAILY LIFE” to the U.S. and Europe. This book has been reprinted about several thousand every year in straight succession. And this remains a long seller book.

This book is based on the book, “KI IN DAILY LIFE”. And concerning Ki breathing part, I have updated the way of teaching the Ki Breathing methods to be easy to understand for beginners.

Many people practice Ki breathing and they have proven the effectiveness of Ki breathing. There are many benefits.

  • Boost immune function (to activate life power and increase one's resistance to disease )
  • Relax both mind and body (both mind and body become calm)
  • Have good blood circulation whole body (improve cold feet and hands, inability to conceive)
  • Become healthy and have radiant skin ( gain your beauty)
  • Less stress (to be able to control your emotions)
  • Get high quality sleep (to improve apnea and fatigue)
  • Improve climacteric disorder, autonomic ataxia and depression (recover from disease of mind and body)
  • Having positive relationship in your home and office.
  • When your Subconscious mind becomes plus (realization of the dreams and success)

By doing Ki breathing, whole body's blood circulation becomes good. Therefore, people who have developed diabetes can lower the level of sugar in the blood. Also, you can recover from cold feet or hay fever. Broken bone
recovers very fast. Hairline fracture will be cured in a few days.

By doing Ki breathing and Kiatsu therapy, many people recovered from cancer, after effect of brain infarct and cerebral apoplexy.

Mind becomes calm, therefore, you can get over autonomic ataxia or depression.

I will teach you Ki breathing based on oneness of mind and body in the book.

First, I will explain to you basic ways of thinking to understand Ki breathing. Then, I will teach you a posture which is a fundamental of the Ki breathing and Ki breathing itself. I hope as many readers as possible understand natural posture, natural breathing and natural life. And by doing Ki breathing, I hope you will live a more fulfilling life.

March, 2005
Koichi Tohei


September 01, 2005

To know yourself

We cannot see ourselves directly with our own eyes.

We need to be very aware of our own weak points, because we tend to see others’ weak points easier than own.

There are two ways that we can know ourselves: to ask others to tell us, or to look in the mirror.

Koichi Tohei sensei has told me that the most important thing is to be humble.

Some people misunderstood that to be humble means to be obedient to someone. However, this is not the true meaning of humility.

There are many books which tell us to be humble. However, the definition of humility is wrong in the most of those cases

Meaning of humility is not “show a humble attitude toward people” but “accept the Universe humbly”.

For example, let’s say that someone makes a big mistake.

Some people do not accept the reality of things and think “I am unfortunate!” “Why me…?”. Then they try to find an excuse outside of themselves.

In this way, the person ignores the cause of the mistake, and the same mistake will happen again in the same situation.

If the person is humble, he or she thinks “Something is wrong in my thinking or behavior”. Then, they will accept the mistake and try to find the cause inside of themselves.

As a result, we grow by not repeating the same mistakes.

To be humble is necessary to our growth.

To be humble is important in our communication also.

A humble person may get unpleasant but wholesome advice from others. Others let him know his own nature, which he may not be able to see for himself.

If we do not have a friend who can give unpleasant but wholesome advice, this is very serious situation. Because we cannot get any feedback, and therefore we cannot realize our own mistake or weak point.

If you have someone who gives unpleasant but wholesome advice, this person is a treasure.

If you think how many people who give unpleasant but wholesome advice you have, this will be a good measure of your level of humility.

How about you?

A practical way to know yourself is to do Ki breathing.

When your breath becomes calm, your mind also becomes calm.

If your mind becomes calm, you can see things as they are. Your bias, delusion and excuses will dissolve away.

If you get angry with someone, you can find your mistake during Ki breathing.

Ki breathing lets you know the shape of your mind. This is like you are reflected in the mirror.

The essence of learning Ki is to know yourself well.

When you know yourself correctly, you will gain confidence and correct your mistake or weak points.

Let’s try to know ourselves together.


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