Our Teachers

Soshu Koichi Tohei Sensei

Soshu Koichi Tohei Sensei was born on 20th January 1920 in Tokyo. He graduated in Economics from Keio University. When he was young, he suffered from pleurisy and he was very weak. Determined to strengthen both mind and body, he undertook intensive training in Zen meditation and Misogi breathing methods. At the age of 19 he began the study of Aikido under the founder O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba and ultimately achieved the highest level of 10th Dan. After the war, he studied mind and body unification from Tempu Nakamura Sensei. From 1953, he traveled all around the world to spread Aikido, starting with Hawaii and the USA. He was Chief Instructor of Aikikai Hombu Dojo from 1956 until 1974.

In 1971, he established the Ki Society which focused on spreading of the Ki Principles and in 1974 founded Shinshin Toitsu Aikido (Aikido with Mind and Body Coordinated). Through his teaching efforts he trained many instructors throughout the world. He was also well known for having taught Ki Principles and applications to a number of artists, companies, and athletes, such as baseball players Mr. Tatsuro Hirooka and Mr. Sadaharu Oh. In 2007, he let his son Shinichi Tohei Sensei succeed his teachings. Since then, he retired from the forefront of teaching and watched the development of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido. On 19th May 2011, he passed away at the age of 91. He was also the author of a number of best-selling books such as “Ki in Daily Life”, ” Kiatsu” and several other books.

Kaicho Shinichi Tohei Sensei

Kaicho Shinichi Tohei Sensei was born in Tokyo on 18th August 1973. At the age of 2, he started to learn Shinshin Toitsu Aikido based on the Ki Principles from his father Soshu Koichi Tohei Sensei. From 1993 he studied at Tokyo Institute of Technology and majored in Bioscience. In 1997 he became Uchideshi and started learning and training directly under his father. He also started teaching Shinshin Toitsu Aikido at the Keio University official Aikido Club. In 2000 he also became a liberal arts part time teacher at Keio University. In 2002 he completed his Uchideshi training and began teaching overseas. From this point on, Shinichi Tohei Sensei conducts a National Seminar in the United States in such places as Hawaii, Seattle, Las Vegas, Oregon, Colorado, or Washington D.C., where instructors from all over the U.S. and overseas come together to practice.

In 2007 he took over from Soshu Koichi Tohei Sensei officially, conducting seminars and workshops at Ki Society H.Q. in Tochigi and teaching all over Japan. He also started conducting seminars at companies, schools, universities and sports organizations, such as the Japan Ladies Softball team in 2008 (they then won the gold medal in the Beijing Olympics), and in 2010 the Los Angeles Dodgers major league baseball team. Since 2010 he is the President of the newly formed Japanese organization “ShinShin Toitsu Aikido Kai”. He is the author of several books on the application of the Ki principles in various areas of life.

Christopher Curtis Sensei – ​Hachidan, Okuden, Lecturer, and Special Examiner

Head Instructor – Maui Ki Aikido (1996)

Chief Instructor – Hawaii Ki Federation (2000)

Ki Society Advisor – Europe Ki Federation (2004)

Curtis Sensei’s first encounter with Aikido was in 1968, with then student of Koichi Tohei Sensei, Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei, in New York City.  Later, after attending a three-year meditation retreat, Sensei began training with his teachers Koichi Tohei Sensei (Japan) and Shinichi Suzuki Sensei (Maui) in 1974.  Curtis Sensei served as Suzuki Sensei’s otomo for many years, accompanying him as he traveled to attend and teach seminars in Japan, the United States, South America, and Europe.

Curtis Sensei taught many seminars in the United States, Holland, Germany, and Spain. Authoring several books, “Letting Go,” “Ki Aikido on Maui – A Training Manual,” and “Otomo – A Journey.” He was a prolific writer, speaker, and teacher.
Curtis Sensei passed away on June 9, 2023. Curtis Sensei was devoted to training, and like his teachers, he led by example and asked everyone not just to believe him but to aspire to experience all that was available to everyone.  Curtis Sensei truly stood on his teachers’ shoulders and provided a teaching of Aikido that was simple and unique. His guiding light continues through all those he touched.