Koichi Tohei's 1974 resignation letter

posted 14 May 2012, 15:52 by Dan James
tohei resignation

Many years ago (before most of us were even practicing aikido). Koichi Tohei, the first 10-dan of of aikido resigned from the mainline aikido style (Aikikai) to form his own school (Ki no Kenkyukai, or Ki research organisation). It rocked the aikido world at the time and set in place many of the divisions between aikido organisations that exist today. Stanley Pranin, the well known aikido historian who runs what is today known as the aikido journal,  has released the letter to the public (previously it was only available to subscribers). 

You can download the letter after registering at http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2012/05/13/free-pdf-download-koichi-toheis-1974-letter-of-resignation-from-the-aikikai-hombu-dojo/

The letter details Tohei's reasons behind forming his own organisation, his substantial achievements in the spread of aikido and a window into the aikido hierachy at the time. Most interestingly for me it shows why  Ki Society Aikido was practiced the way it was (and still is today) and explains somewhat why the antipathy still exists today. 

Its also a cautionary tale of sorts demonstrating that while a goal of the art is to seek unificatipn and peace - it is stil fraught with humanity along the way. Many thanks to Stanley Pranin for this gift to the aikido community.