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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.

1950s

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.

1970s

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.

1980s

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.

1990s

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.

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