MIND BODY COORDINATION
"Like the calm, still surface of the water that reflects the moon and a flying bird,
true living calmness is the condition of our mind that reflects all things clearly. This is
our original and natural state. By understanding these principles, we can acquire true
— Koichi Tohei Sensei
In our natural state, our minds and bodies function together and are we are able to harmonize
with our environment. The demands of modern life have caused us to abandon this natural state.
We often rely on analytical thinking when we should be feeling. There is nothing wrong with
thinking analytically when it is appropriate, but when that is the only way that we use our
minds, we become less present in our bodies. This may not seem like a problem on the surface,
but it can lead to many health conditions and safety concerns in the long term. Our bodies
have become deconditioned by our modern lives as well. We were not designed to be in the
(chair) sitting position for long periods, and yet we drive, sit at desks, etc. Our eyes are
not designed for long term close work and yet we read, use palm pilots, text message on cell
I, for one, am very grateful that I live in a time when I can get information in print and
can go long distances over relatively short periods by driving or flying. But these perks come
at a cost.
The lifetime work of Koichi Tohei teaches that the mind and body were originally one.
Master Koichi Tohei is the founder of the Ki Society International. In his
early years, he studied meditation (zen and misogi), martial arts
(judo and aikido), and Shin Shin Toitsu Do
(the Way of Mind Body Coordination aka Japanese Yoga).
His mastery of these disciplines drew great respect from his teachers - aikido founder,
Morehei Ueshiba, chose him as his chief instructor and international representative and
Dr. Nakamura Tenpu (the developer of Japanese yoga) asked him to continue his teachings.
He soon began spreading Ki (Ch'i) Development principles all over the world.
While the majority of his students were practitioners of aikido and kiatsu ryoho
(a healing therapy he developed), he has also taught business people and an number of famous
Japanese sports figures the principles of Mind Body Coordination. After almost 50 years of
spreading these principles, he developed his "secret weapon" - the Oneness Rhythm Exercise. His
hope is to now offer everyone a means of improving health and vitality through this easy to learn
Aikido is a martial art that is non-aggressive. There are no punches, no kicks, no counter
attacks used for defense. It is not about punishing an attacker, but redirecting the energy
of the attack so that no one is injured. The founder of aikido called it an "art of love".
When properly performed, it is effortless and can be beautiful to watch. Broken down it means:
ai = harmony
ki = universal energy
do = the way
At the age of 19, Koichi Tohei met Morehei Ueshiba (frequently referred
to as O Sensei -
Japanese for "great teacher), the founder of aikido. Tohei was soon able to realize that
the seemingly miraculous ways in which O Sensei executed his techniques was due to
O Sensei's ability to relax completely while doing them. O Sensei often used mystical
and religious references when he taught and there were many rumors of his "supernatural powers".
Recognizing Tohei's unusual skill, O Sensei made Tohei his representative and chief
instructor (a position Tohei Sensei held until several years following the founder's death.
Tohei Sensei believes that everyone is capable of learning to coordinate their minds and bodies
and does not believe - or teach - that mysticism has a place in aikido.
Aikido relies more on stability, awareness, and a calm mind than on 'technique'. The
Ki Society teaches aikido from the perspective that mind body coordination is necessary in order
to be in the proper state to perform the techniques. In fact, Ki Aikido is also known as
Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido or Aikido with Mind Body Coordinated.
The Ki Society teaches that aikido is a vehicle (and a fun way) to gain a higher understanding
of having our minds and bodies coordinated. Some students who only study mind body coordination
(and not aikido) have reported that they have avoided being the victim of assaults, merely by
following the principles of Mind Body Coordination.
Tohei Sensei still runs the Ki Society and supervises all instruction. His son,
Shinichi, is training to follow his father and travels all over teaching ki aikido
and ki principles.