Recommended reading: “The Dawn of Tomiki Aikido” by Seiji Tanaka

The article below on Tomiki Aikido has been selected from the extensive archives of the Online Aikido Journal. We believe that an informed readership with knowledge of the history, techniques and philosophy of aikido is essential to the growth of the art and its adherence to the principles espoused by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.

First of all, I would like to explain how, where and why Tomiki Aikido started. It goes back to the month of April, 1958 when Waseda University approved our Aikido Club as an officially sanctioned sport club (called “Undo Bu” in Japanese), while no other universities recognized any Aikido clubs as such. Instead, all other Aikido clubs were called “Doko-Kai”, meaning a loosely organized club made up with people of the same interest. These unsanctioned sport clubs had neither the prestige nor the status of other sanctioned clubs such as Judo, Kendo, Karate, baseball, soccer, and other major sport clubs.

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  1. The reason now we have so much discord amongst those who agree and disagree as to whether or not competition would enhance Ueshiba’s aikido…..
    Tanaka sensei has put it very simply…….
    My belief is Tomiki Shihan was spot on!!!!

  2. I find it interesting that “His teaching philosophy encouraged the students’ own application and development after having learned the basic Aikido principles.” I agree wholeheartedly, in that some of us are older, some heavier, some shorter and some taller than our instructors and would benefit from adapting the techniques to fit ourselves.

  3. As you can see most Tomiki Aikido turns into Judo like competition…but nothing wrong with that…is their?

  4. Taisho,
    It’s what aikido essentially is, just done softer that’s all…. There you go…..
    To me Judo and Aikido are one…..
    Your thoughts?

  5. 100% agreement…all REAL budo has sparring with max resistance to any waza, as in the street encounter…otherwise your fooling yourself against a MMA type attack.

  6. From a link below this one…

    Among the many distinguished disciples of Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido, Kenji Tomiki stands out for his intellectual stature and skill in articulating the historical and ethical rationale of the art. Whereas the founder viewed life and, consequently, his budo, mainly in religious terms, Professor Tomiki espoused a view of aikido which included competition and placed it within the larger context of the history of Japanese martial arts. An academician as well as an athlete, Tomiki authored several books and formulated a theoretical basis for aikido that was understandable by the average person. In this article we will briefly touch upon Professor Tomiki’s background, his relationship with Jigoro Kano and Morihei Ueshiba, and his contributions to present-day aikido.

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