One of the most important Aikido instructors–a man known worldwide for his early efforts in disseminating the art–is Koichi Tohei, 10th dan. Tohei Sensei’s contributions to the art are legion: development of a technical curriculum based on ki principles, later known as Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido; publication of many of the first books in English on Aikido; personal training of several prominent athletes including home-run hitter, Sadaharu Oh, and sumo champion, Chiyonofuji; the first man to receive a 10th dan in Aikido, directly from the Founder Morihei Ueshiba.
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This video is an introduction to the documentary film titled “Koichi Tohei: Aikido With KI.” It discusses the considerable influence of Koichi Tohei, aikido’s first 10th dan, in the early prewar era prior to his departure from the Aikikai Hombu Dojo organization in 1974.
- Documentary: a presentation tracing the early life and aikido background of Koichi Tohei through his years as Chief Instructor of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, through his establishment of Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido in 1974. Many historical photos capture the highlights of Tohei Sensei’s stellar career and explain why his efforts and accomplishments have left such an indelible imprint on modern aikido.
- Warmups and preparatory exercises: this section presents the elaborate warmups and exercise system developed by Tohei Sensei as a prelude to training in aikido techniques. They emphasize stability, relaxation, and the proper use of ki.
- Techniques: a presentation of the technical curriculum taught by Tohei Sensei during the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s, during his tenure at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. Tohei Sensei demonstrates most of his “50 Arts of Aikido” from a 1967 film.
- Seminar: nearly 40 minutes of rare film footage of a 1974 seminar conducted by Tohei Sensei in San Francisco. Scores of techniques from his curriculum are clearly demonstrated. This historical film has been digitally remastered for the highest possible image quality.
- Demonstrations: bonus footage of four demonstrations by Tohei Sensei: 1952 demonstration outdoors, also featuring Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Tadashi Abe; 1967 All-Japan Aikido Demonstration; 1968 Special Demonstration at Hombu Dojo; 1973 All-Japan Aikido Demonstration.