Koichi Tohei: Aikikai Hombu Dojo – 1962, hi-res video

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This film is a compilation of footage featuring the famous Koichi Tohei, then chief instructor of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. This is some of the best surviving footage of Koichi Tohei, especially considering its early date of 1962. Tohei Sensei conducts an aikido class performing a number of “ki” exercises as well as demonstrating free-style and multiple-attack defenses. Also appearing are Seiichi Sugano, Mitsunari Kanai, Nobuyoshi Tamura, Mitsugi Saotome, and American aikido pioneer Terry Dobson. This is Koichi Tohei at his best!

“Aikido’s first 10th dan puts on spendid demonstration featuring Terry Dobson!”

This film is a compilation of footage featuring the famous Koichi Tohei, then chief instructor of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. This is some of the best surviving footage of Koichi Tohei, especially considering its early date of 1962. Tohei Sensei conducts an aikido class performing a number of “ki” exercises as well as demonstrating free-style and multiple-attack defenses. Also appearing are Seiichi Sugano, Mitsunari Kanai, Nobuyoshi Tamura, Mitsugi Saotome, and American aikido pioneer Terry Dobson. This is Koichi Tohei at his best!

This rare film was shot by an American film-making team at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan in 1962. The planned documentary on aikido was never completed, and the 16mm footage remained in storage until its discovery by Stanley Pranin in California in 1985.

Tohei Sensei was one of the most influential figures in the international dissemination of aikido and later went on to establish a separate aikido organization with an emphasis on ki. He authored many books on aikido in Japanese and English in the 1960s and 70s. Technically and philosophically, his theories, curriculum, and pedagogy were central to the early development of aikido.


Koichi Tohei was born in 1920 and began his study of Aiki Budo in 1940. After World War II, he resumed is training in the art then called “aikido.” By 1952, Tohei had been awarded the 8th dan. For the next 10 years, he alternated between the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo and teaching in Hawaii, where he had established a successful aikido network. Tohei was the chief instructor of the Hombu Dojo for many years until his resignation from the Aikikai in 1974. He created his own independent organization the Ki no Kenkyukai and referred to his art as Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, that is, aikido with mind and body coordinated. He taught actively until his final years and passed away in 2011 at the age of 91.

Duration: 9:16
File size: 137 mb
Frame size: 720 x 480

Koichi Tohei, Videos


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