Shinichi Tohei Sensei succeeded and took over the teachings of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido from Soshu Koichi Tohei Sensei .Shinshin Toitsu Aikido Kai was launched as an official Organization and Shinichi Tohei Sensei became the president.
Founder, Koichi Tohei Sensei(1920 - 2011)
Soshu Koichi Tohei Sensei was born on 20th January 1920 in Tokyo. He graduated from the Economics Department of Keio University.
When he was young, he suffered from pleurisy and he was very weak. Determined to strengthen both mind and body, he undertook intensive training in Zen meditation and Misogi breathing methods.
At the age of 19 he began the study of Aikido under the founder Morihei Ueshiba Sensei and ultimately achieved the highest level of 10th Dan. After the war, he studied mind and body unification from Tempu Nakamura Sensei.
From 1953, he traveled alone all around the world and spread Aikido, starting with the United States of America.
In 1971, he established the Ki society which focused on spreading of the Ki Principles and Shinshin Toitsu Aikido (Aikido with Mind and Body Coordinated) and started growing many instructors throughout the world.
He was well known for having taught Ki Principles and applications to a number of professionals, such as baseball players Mr. Tatsuro Hirooka and Mr. Sadaharu Oh.
In 2007, he let his son Shinichi Tohei succeed his teachings. Since then, he retired from the forefront of teaching and watched the development of ShinShin Toitsu Aikido.
On 19th May 2011, he passed away at the age of 91.
He was also the author of a number of best-selling books such as "Ki in Daily Life", " Kiatsu" and several other books.
TimeLine - The History Of The Founder Of Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido
He was born in Tokyo on 20th January. He was very weak when he was young, and always needed medical care. To strengthen his body, his father taught him Judo. He became a black belt of Judo at the age of 15.
At the age of 16, he enrolled in a preparatory course at Keio University. During Judo practice he suffered a strong hit to the chest resulting in a Pleurisy attack. He was advised by his doctor to take a leave of absence of one year from school and ordered to bed rest. During his confinement, he had an opportunity to reflect on himself and realized that not only physical health was important, but that the condition of his mind was also important and he found out that his mind seemed very weak. He decided that even though his body condition was getting worse, he could still strengthen the condition of his mind. He studied Zen under Mr. Josei Ohta, the Zen master at Daitokuji Temple in Kyoto and Misogi breathing method from Tetsuju Ogura Sensei who at that time was teaching at Ichikukai Dojo. It was truly a training that was rigorous, bordering on life and death. But even though the training was difficult, or maybe because of that, it helped cure him of his Pleurisy condition completely and it showed him how important it is to keep one's mind strong and how that affects the state of body.
At the age of 19, he was introduced to Morihei Ueshiba Sensei and started learning Aikido. (In 1969, he was awarded a 10th dan which is the highest level in Aikido.)
At 23 years old, soon after he graduated from Keio University, he was dispatched to Utsunomiya East 36th platoon. He became a second lieutenant and was sent to the Central China front. Showered with bullets, he realized through personal experience that true battle is very different from sports matches. He learned the importance of keeping mind calm and keeping one point on the battle field, where the briefest slackening of Ki could mean death. He recognized that he was a part of the Universe and that the Universe was him. Since then, he always had the idea of following the way of the Universe. Reaching the end of the War, after he was demobilized from Central China, he continued studies in Zen and misogi breathing method, and practiced Aikido again. He also met and studied with Tempu Nakamura Sensei. This lead him to master the Ki Principles and the concept of mind moves body. This changed his view of Aikido and this became the basis of his teachings.
At the age of 33 years old, he went to the United States alone to spread the teachings of Aikido to the world. As there were no airplanes at that time, he had to sail by ship which took about a month to reach Hawaii. Not having any pupils (students), he started to spread the Ki Principles, and showed Aikido to Judo or Karate wrestlers who could take Ukemi for him. As a result, many students began to follow him. Since then, he was always committed to spreading Aikido to the United States. He became the Head Instructor of Aikikai, taught many students and grew many world level instructors.
Morihei Ueshiba Sensei passed away.
The difference in understanding of Aikido became clear between him and the successor Mr. Kisshomaru Ueshiba, and finally he decided to resign the position of the Head Instructor and withdraw from the Aikikai Foundation. He founded ShinShin Toitsu Aikido in the same year in order to spread Aikido based on the Ki Principles. He presided over "Ki no Kenkyukai" as president. From this point he started to spread Shinshin Toitsu Aikido around the World. To focus on the learning of Ki Principles, he founded "Shinshin Toitsudo". He taught Ki principles not only to students of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido, but also to athletes, artists and companies. The story of his teaching famous baseball players such as Tatsuro Hirooka and Sadaharu Oh was well known.
He founded "Kiatsuho" which was based on using Ki principles as a healing method to maintain good health.
He opened the Ki Society Headquarters with a Dojo that held 520 Tatami mats in Haga-gun, Tochigi, where his ancestor's house was. This was to be a place for all students of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido from all over the world to come together and practice. He also opened some seminars for the companies and professional athletes. In the same year he became the Soshu of ShinShin Toitsu Aikido.
His son, Shinichi Tohei, the future successor started the Uchideshi training.
Seeing that Shinichi Tohei was sufficiently developed in his Aikido training, Soshu made him the official successor of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido. From this point, he retired from the forefront of teaching and continued to watch the development of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido.
Year 2011, 19th of May
He passed away at the age of 91. His farewell ceremony was held at Tsukiji Honganji Temple. Over 1,200 people from around the World attended the ceremony to say their last goodbye.
Successor Shinichi Tohei Sensei
Since childhood Shinichi Tohei was guided and taught by his father Soshu Koichi Tohei Sensei, the 10th dan Aikido Master.
Currently, as successor, he is engaged in an effort to spread the teachings of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido in Japan and Overseas.
He also serves as a liberal arts part time teacher of Keio University and teaches Shinshin Toitsu Aikido at classes and the official Keio University Aikido Club.
In addition, he applies the teaching in communication seminars, guiding the development of human resources for business leaders, professional athletes and artists.
Book : "Calming the Mind" (Gentosha Inc.) "Dojinai" (Gentosha Inc.)
Time Line - Succession and Development of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido
He was born in Tokyo on 18th August. At the age of 2, he started to learn Shinshin Toitsu Aikido based on the Ki Principles from his father Soshu Koichi Tohei Sensei.
He enrolled in Tokyo Institute of Technology and majored in Bioscience.
He became Uchideshi and started learning and training directly under Soshu Koichi Tohei Sensei. He also started teaching Shinshin Toitsu Aikido at the Keio University official Aikido Club.
He became a liberal arts part time teacher at Keio University and taught Shinshin Toitsu Aikido.
Completed his Uchideshi training and began teaching Overseas. From this point on, Shinichi Tohei Sensei conducts a National Seminar in the United States in such places as Hawaii, Seattle, Las Vegas, Oregon, Colorado, or Washington D.C., where instructors from all over the U.S. and Overseas come together to practice.
He took over from Soshu Koichi Tohei Sensei officially, started teaching all over in Japan, conducting seminars and workshops at Ki Society H.Q. in Tochigi, Tokyo Main Office, Osaka Main Office and also at the other branch dojos. In the same year, he began teaching the Ki Principles to managers and company owners. He also started conducting seminars at Sports organizations, Schools and Universities.
He was requested officially to teach the players and coaches of representatives of Japan Ladies Softball team. The team won a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics.
At the request of the Los Angeles Dodgers major league baseball team, he went to the United States to conduct Ki trainings for the young players and coaches. Over 100 people attended this training.
"ShinShin Toitsu Aikido Kai" was founded and it is authorized by the Legal Affairs Bureau in Japan and he became the President of the organization. As of 2011, there are about 400 dojos for practicing with over 10,000 members in Japan. Shinshin Toitsu Aikido Kai's aim is to work actively to contribute to society. One example is sending instructors on a volunteer basis to elementary and junior high schools to teach students how to maintain natural posture and also how to sense and respond when being confronted with danger.