Video: Koichi Tohei teaches Ki Society Seminar in Osaka, 1983 — Part 1


“What was Koichi Tohei teaching after the Aikikai?”

Koichi Tohei Sensei needs no introduction. He is one of the most important figures in the postwar development of aikido, and was the first and only person to be officially promoted to 10th dan by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. Tohei Sensei played a pivotal role in spreading the art in Japan and the USA from the early 1950s through the mid-1970s. He traveled abroad on numerous occasions during his active years conducting seminars and demonstrations. He is also a prolific author, having published many works in Japanese and English. His publications had a strong influence both technically and philosophically on early aikido practitioners.

This video is the first part of several hours of rare video footage taken during a seminar taught by Koichi Tohei Sensei in Osaka in July, 1983. It provides an answer to the question of what Koichi Tohei was teaching after his departure from the Aikikai. In fine physical condition, Tohei Sensei demonstrates and explains the essential principles and techniques of his Ki system. Start with this introduction, and watch for the rest of the seminar clips to come shortly.

Duration: 19:13 minutes
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  1. Thanks,
    Great to see how Tohei Sensei uses the Ki in his way of Aikido.

  2. Shareef Muhammad says:

    “Koichi Tohei Sensei…was the first and only person to be officially promoted to 10th dan by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.”

    Wasn’t Hikitsuchi Sensei promoted to 10th dan by the founder as well?

    • The operant word here is “officially.” Tohei Sensei was the only person promoted by O-Sensei to 10th dan through normal administrative procedures. There were at least 3 others promoted “orally” by O-Sensei, but these ranks were not processed through official channels. You will find further discussion of this issue on Aikido Journal.

  3. MinoruTANAKA says:

    A very precious video to beginners like me ! It’s awfully regrettable that Tohei sensei is hardly audible there. Stan, could you raise somehow the sound level when uploading this video ?

    • I’ll have another look at the sound. You must remember this is an old VHS tape, and the audio is not great even under good conditions. Also, Tohei Sensei spoke in a low, guttural voice that was sometimes hard to understand. When listening to these old recordings, your best bet is to use a headset, otherwise you will have trouble catching the words.

  4. mahasam says:

    Thank you for this video and all your good words about Tohei-sensei!
    Do you have the rest of the video and is it possible to get it somehow?

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