“Tohei Sensei’s many contributions and impact on the early development of aikido were unceremoniously deleted and relegated to the dustbin of history.”
The Aikikai Hombu Dojo located in Tokyo is by far the largest aikido organizational entity in the world, dwarfing all others. During the late 1950s through 1974, the best known figure of the Aikikai was its chief instructor, Koichi Tohei, the first man to have ever been awarded the lofty rank of 10th dan.
Tohei Sensei had a strong character and wished to have his pedagogical approach emphasizing ki adopted by the entire teaching staff at the Aikikai. This did not come to pass, and Tohei Sensei resigned from the Aikikai in 1974 causing a huge chasm in the aikido world. For a time, this event impeded the development of aikido.
This led to the ascent of Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba who then took control of technical and administrative matters at the Aikikai leaving his personal stamp on modern aikido. In the process, Koichi Tohei, 10th dan, was systematically written out of the Aikikai’s official history of the art. Tohei Sensei’s many contributions and impact on the early development of aikido were unceremoniously deleted and relegated to the dustbin of history.
As an aikido practitioner, why should you care about such events that happened long ago? Watch the video below for an eye-opening look at how the history of aikido has been manipulated, how this affects you, and how you can remedy the situation!