Learn the fundamentals of the art from Koichi Tohei, one of Aikido’s greatest masters!
We are pleased to announce the launch of an exciting new DVD featuring one of the most famous Aikido teachers of all time: Koichi Tohei, 10th dan. This new production is titled Koichi Tohei: Aikido with Ki, and explores the early phase of Tohei Sensei’s career while he was Chief Instructor of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo. This represents the heyday of postwar Aikido and the period when the art experienced steady growth to assume a prominent role among Japanese martial arts.
Tohei Sensei was known for his unique approach to Aikido based on the principles of ki. He devised an elaborate technical curriculum that included a series of ki development exercises in addition to Aikido techniques. Tohei Sensei’s theories and methodology enjoyed a large following with the Aikikai and abroad, especially in Hawaii and the mainland USA. His many publications in both English and Japanese further enhanced his popularity to the point that, by the late 1960s and early 1970s, his fame eclipsed that of the Founder and the Second Doshu.
Tohei Sensei left the Aikikai organization is 1974 and formed his own school called “Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido,” Aikido with mind and body coordinated. He has followed his own independent path since his departure from the Hombu Dojo. With the passage of time, much of the Aikido world has forgotten the many accomplishments of Koichi Tohei and the huge debt he is owed, both technically and philosophically, for the shaping of modern Aikido. The purpose of this DVD is to revisit Tohei Sensei’s early career and draw attention to his extraordinary contributions among today’s practitioners of the art.
The centerpiece of Koichi Tohei: Aikido with Ki is a newly-discovered 36-minute film of a 1974 seminar conducted by Tohei Sensei in San Francisco. The quality of this film is amazing as it has been digitally remastered through a special process where each film frame is scanned individually at high resolution. This seminar coupled with the documentary written and narrated by Stanley Pranin, the introduction to Tohei Sensei’s technical system, and a collection of exciting demonstrations make for a thoroughly engrossing study of this famous teacher.
- 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 exercises 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 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.