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