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August 15, 2011

Report of Farewell Reception for Koichi Tohei Sensei

Report of Farewell Reception for Koichi Tohei Sensei

The Farewell Reception for Koichi Tohei Sensei was held on 17th July 2011, at the Tsukiji Hongan-ji Temple in Tokyo. Despite the extremely hot weather, more than a thousand people attended. In addition, we received a number of flower tributes and condolences. Thank you very much for your kind arrangements.

Koichi Tohei Sensei was not only an irreplaceable teacher to me, but he was also my father.

He was born in 1920, in January of this year, he celebrated his 91st birthday. Since then he had been enjoying his good health, however, he got pneumonia. He was hospitalized at the Tokyo Women’s Medical University Hospital, and on the 19th of May, he eventually passed away.

Fortunately, I was able to care for him and witness his last moments. Tohei Sensei’s face at that time, seemed very calm and happy. Moments after he passed away, I felt a deep sorrow, but soon after, I felt that the whole room was filled with plus Ki for the future.

Tohei Sensei had been teaching the principles of Ki through Shinshin Toitsu Aikido around the world. By knowing the principles of Ki in daily life, we can apply this method and learn to go through life in a strong and positive way. At present not only members, but also Major League players are studying this teachings.

As the successor of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido, I will continue to spread the teaching more deeply and widely in the future, and also continue to be committed to supporting people who wish to grow and develop. Together with everyone, I walk towards the future.

Finally, to everyone who attended the Farewell Reception, also to everyone who tried to attend but could not attend, and also to everyone who helped and supported the Farewell Reception to be held in any way, I hereby express my sincere appreciation.



Teaching is Communication

A Short Instruction:

The purpose of this article is to apply the Ki principle (mind moves the body) which is the fundamental of Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido to our daily life.

It is not enough just to read, but it is important to positively practice the subject given each month. Learning through practice will be your lifelong asset.

Teaching is Communication

I am the President of the Ki Society.  We have more than 300 instructors in Japan. Instructors teach in each dojo throughout the country. Ki Society holds regular seminars for instructors and I teach “Teaching methods” and “Rules for Instructors” directly to them.

As there is always a first time for everybody, there is also a first time for instructors to teach. It was the same for me. When I first started teaching, I was immature as instructor. Inexperienced instructors tend to convey too much of their own knowledge and skills, that is “teaching too much”. Nevertheless to say even this is out of kindness.

From the students’ side, if they are taught too many things at once, they will become confused and not be able to understand.

Teaching is not one-way communication from instructor to students, but two-way communication between instructor and students.

It is important to observe your students well, in order to know what they need and to teach with the best timing. This is the same as doctors prescribing for patients.  Doctors look at the patient`s condition then select the appropriate drug for the patient. If a doctor were to prescribe all kinds of medication that he knows to his patient, it will become very confusing for the patient.

If you do not observe your students very well, you may say unnecessary things and this may impair the student. To be able to see and feel the condition of the student, it is especially important to observe their Ki. Here is one example.

Students who understand what you teach extend plus Ki. We feel comfortable when we can understand something. Students who do not understand what you teach extend minus Ki. We feel uncomfortable when we cannot understand well. The feelings of anxiety and frustration in the student, can be seen through changes in facial expressions and gestures.

That is, if you see and feel students’ Ki carefully, you can know whether the student understands or not.

If the student extends plus Ki after you teach, the teaching is regarded as appropriate. On the other hand, if the students extend minus Ki after you teach, the teaching is not regarded as appropriate. Also when you teach too much the student always extends some signal.

By trying to make the students understand through trial and error in teaching, your teaching skill will improve dramatically. By teaching a one-way method, (teacher to student), your teaching skill does not improve.

When giving directions, “Present Location” and “Goal” are required to know. If you only know the goal, it is difficult to provide directions. It is also very important to know the students’ present location, where they are.

Depending on the present location, it may change whether you go on foot, or use trains, or use a car to get to the goal.

For teaching, it is not enough if you only think “what you want to teach”, but also it is essential to know “what condition the students are in”.

Thus, there is necessary guidance needed for teaching. That is, I can say in English “Teach how to teach”, “Coach how to coach”.

Recently, many companies have developed an interest in applying Principles of Ki that are taught for Shinshin Toitsu Aikido instructors training, with the idea to improve the communication skills and teaching skills of the company personnel.

Communication skill that is used for “Teaching” is important not only for Shinshin Toitsu Aikido but also for every kind of activity.


August 10, 2011

Development of Children

A Short Instruction:

The purpose of this article is to apply the Ki principle (mind moves the body) which is the fundamental of Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido to our daily life.

It is not enough just to read, but it is important to positively practice the subject given each month. Learning through practice will be your lifelong asset.

Development of Children

I play the role of the president of Ki Society. One of the main goals of Ki Society is to contribute to the society by using Shinshin Toitsu Aikido. In addition, we concentrate on resource development. Among our various activities, an especially important activity is the “Development of Children”.

Recently in Japan, it was reported in the newspaper and television news that there has been a decrease in the ability to exercise in children. It was noted that this is because of not only the lack of physical activity, but also bad posture.

In general, many people think that the good posture is a posture that is tense, the spine being forced upright and the chest tightened. In fact this is not a correct posture. If you tense your body, you will quickly become tired, making this posture difficult to sustain. On the other hand, one may become utterly absent-minded with the spine collapsed and curved unnaturally. One may establish a pattern of repeating both the tense posture and collapsed posture.

Essentially, a good posture is actually a “Natural Posture”. In Shinshin Toitsu Aikido, it is called “Toitsu-tai (a posture with mind and body coordinated)”. The posture that satisfies the below three conditions is “Natural Posture”.
1) The most comfortable posture
2) The most sustainable posture
3) The most stable posture

For example, if you make your posture limp and collapsed, for the moment you feel comfortable. However, soon you will feel discomfort and be unable to maintain this physical attitude for long. In other words, this cannot be said to be a “Natural Posture”.

Natural Posture has natural stability. In Shinshin Toitsu Aikido, we use “Ki Test” to make sure the stability of the posture:

In various poses such as the standing posture, the sitting posture while in a chair, the sitting posture in Seiza and lying down posture, you can check the stability of the posture. Also you can check the stability during a motion, such as walking. Through these training practices, you will be able to master the “Natural Posture”.

Let me go back to the original point.
A bad posture means an unnatural posture and an unnatural posture means an unstable posture. To improve the ability to exercise, it is important to check and maintain the basic posture.

Some time ago, I was teaching a child who was reluctant to attend the physical education class in school, because he was unable to walk across a balance beam. The child’s posture was unnatural with the weight on the heels. He was even wobbly when standing. However, very soon after I taught the basic posture and trained him to maintain stability, he was able to walk across on the beam.

Now, it seems that he has become in favor of all sorts of physical exercises. As for the child’s inability to walk across the beam, the cause was not a lack of ability to exercise, but his posture was simply not good. There are many children who are in this same condition.

Bad posture also affects a child’s physical growth. Recently it has also been learned that bad posture affects a child's brain development.
Stiff neck and back pain are also very common among elementary school children.  This caused by bad posture as well.

This basic posture is important not only in Aikido, but also in other sports and in everyday life. Therefore, one of the priorities of Ki Society is to spread awareness and practice of good posture to elementary schools and junior high schools.

In reponse to requests from schools, instructors are sent to schools to teach teachers, parents and children on a voluntary basis.
Many people have commented that they have been able to learn the basic posture and improve their ability to exercise.  Also, they have stated that they improved in concentration and motivation thereby making a better impression.

For school officials that may be interested in this, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Also from my book “Kokoro wo Shizumeru (Calm your mind)”, more can be read about the basic posture.

I have lately been teaching the players and coaches of a major league baseball team, LA Dodgers.  The first thing I teach them is the basic posture.  As a result, many players have improved their performance by learning this basic posture.

Whatever you do, correct posture is essential.


2011 USA National Seminar in Las Vegas


I taught for USA National Seminar held in Las Vegas from 4th August 2011 (Thursday) to 7th August 2011 (Sunday). The USA National Seminar is held once every year in the USA. Many instructors from each branch organization in the USA gather and I teach for all classes in English. The previous seminar in Las Vegas was held six years ago. The participated members this time are not only from USA but also from South America, Europe and Japan and even though USA suffers from long lasting recession, thankfully 160 members participated.

Based on Ki Principles, I taught Katatedori, Yokomenuchi, Ushirotekubidori, Kokyudosa etc to each participant by the hand. Also I taught all the way through the seminar, the correct way of “Ki Testing” that is the most important for Shinshin Toitsu Aikido training and teaching.

The seminar has finished successfully. The instructor who has trained for 50 years was given the award. Also a large amount of donations were collected from many instructors and members for the use of the earthquake disaster reconstruction in Japan. Thank you very much for all of your kind thoughts.

At last, I would like to express sincere appreciation for the members of Northern California Ki Society who took the role of host for the seminar. Thank you.








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