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Cheryl Matrasko
James Loeser
Matthew O'Connor


Cheryl Matrasko
James Loeser
Matthew O'Connor


Review of Koichi Kashiwaya  2004
Chicago Aikido Seminar

Subir Trivedi

Koichi Kashiwaya, 8th Dan on the right, instructs sankyo at the University of Chicago.
Pictures courtesy of Leila Zajac

On February 10th and 11th, Kashiwaya Koichi Sensei visited the University of Chicago for the first time, for a two-day seminar that included a Ki and Ki-Aikido kyu-rank test, a private jo/bokken class, and two seminar classes open to the public.

Kashiwaya Sensei, 8th Dan, Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido and Okuden in Ki Development, is the Chief Instructor of Midland Ki Federation, the Head of Ki Aikido USA, and is the representative of Ki no Kenkyukai and its founder Koichi Tohei, 10th Dan - in the United States, Canada and Brazil.

The visit was the first date on his 2004 Spring teaching tour of Midland Ki Federation dojos. The University of Chicago Genkikai Ki-Aikido Club was the local Midland Ki Federation affiliate that hosted the event. Co-hosting the event was the University of Chicago Aikido Club, which invited Kashiwaya Sensei to teach a special class as part of its 30th anniversary commemorative series of classes taught by leading shihans this year. The Chicago Ki Society also lent their support to the event, which was attended by members of all three of these dojos, as well as by members of the Kokikai Aikido Club at the University of Chicago, and by other members of the Aikido, martial arts and energy bodywork communities at the University of Chicago, and in the Chicago area at large.

The classes focused on the principles of natural, efficient and coordinated movement of mind and body, for optimal effect. Some techniques used to illustrate these principles were variations on Munetsuki, Kote-oroshi, and the Katame Waza from Ikkyo to Yonkyo applied to Kata-Dori attacks. Kashiwaya Sensei amazed the audience, which included many who had never seen him, or that level of Aikido before, with his remarkably precise, sharp and crisp movement. Sensei combined deep relaxation with blinding speed and explosive power, in a manner that looked totally natural and effortless. Sensei smiled constantly, and was
extremely approachable, friendly and helpful, both on the mat and off the mat, during the several social occasions that also were part of this visit. One had a sense that Kashiwaya Sensei was the very embodiment of the principles he was teaching, and yet, he surprised all by his
unassuming and modest manner.

The Genkikai Ki-Aikido Club at the University of Chicago will be inviting Kashiwaya Sensei for a second visit in the autumn of this year. For more information on the Club, and both seminars hosted this year, please go to 

Sabir Trivedi

Many thanks to Subir Trivedi for taking the time to write such a fine review and giving us the heartbeat of the seminar through this article! We very much appreciate Subir's generosity and his kindness!

Also, thank you to Leila Zajac for sharing her great photos!
All photographs here are copyright 2004 Leila Zajac.


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Michio Hikitsuchi 10th Dan 1978
(C. Matrasko as uke)
1978 C. Matrasko

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