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Koichi Kashiwaya Sensei is one of the very few full-time Aikido professionals in the United States and has traveled extensively and frequently, teaching on behalf of Ki Society HQ, for his MKF dojo, and occasional seminars for other groups throughout the world. A major emphasis in his teaching is the development of the next generation of instructors and leaders for MKF and Ki Society.

Students from all over the world relish the opportunity to train with this spirited, dynamic teacher who continually inspires his students to polish, refine and explore their arts. His compassion and care for his students have inspired many to take these arts into their daily lives. Literally thousands of people, through his efforts, have experienced the teachings of Ki Society and Tohei sensei.

Kashiwaya Sensei’s official positions include: designated Advisor for Shinshin Toitsu Aikido Kai (Ki Society International) for North America; official Ki Society Headquarters Instructor (Sohombu Shihan) teaching on behalf of Ki Society internationally; and Chief Instructor and founder of MKF, a group of dojos across the USA, Canada and Brazil. He also works to support Ki Society International efforts in Australia, the Philippines and Thailand.

Currently, Kashiwaya Sensei holds the following ranks and certifications from Ki Society International:

Okuden in Ki Development (1977)
Hachidan in Shinshin Toitsu Aikido (1998)
Koshi (Ki Lecturer – full professor) (ca. 1983)
International Taigi Competition Judge (1996)
Special Examiner (2007)
Sohombu Shihan (Headquarters Instructor) (2011)


Kashiwaya Sensei
            Born in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, but his family soon relocated to Tokyo, where he grew up.
1969 – Begins Aikido training while a student at Risshou University.
1971 – Meets and begins training with Tohei Sensei (at the time Aikikai Chief Instructor); is struck by Tohei Sensei's words: If the mind moves, the body follows.
1971 – Tohei sensei founds Ki no Kenkyukai (Ki Society) to teach Ki Principles. Kashiwaya sensei is one of the first members.
1971 – 1973 – Trains with Tohei sensei exclusively until completing his Business Management degree.
1973 – 1975 – Relocates to Seattle, Washington, USA, at Tohei Sensei's request, to assist Hirata Yoshihiko Sensei, with instruction and administration of Seattle Ki Society. (Yoshihiko sensei founded Seattle Ki Society in 1971, as a development of the Seattle Aikikai, founded in 1969).
1974 – Tohei Sensei resigns as Aikikai Chief Instructor and separates from Aikikai organization; begins teaching Shinshin Toitsu Aikido within Ki no Kenkyukai.
1975 – Kashiwaya sensei returns to Japan and undertakes training as uchi deshi with Tohei Sensei. Ushi deshi means "inside disciple" and represents an intense, professional apprenticeship.
1977 – Moves to Boulder, Colorado USA; founds the Rocky Mountain Ki Society.
1980's – Independent Ki-Aikido groups in the midwest began to ask Kashiwaya sensei for guidance, and to become their guiding Chief Instructor.
1983 – Appointed by Tohei sensei as Chief Instructor for Ki Society USA (by election of the US Ki-Aikido Chief Instructors and appointment of Tohei sensei).
1985 – Founding (and Incorporation) of Midland Ki Federation with Kashiwaya sensei as Chief Instructor.
1990 – Relocates to his current home base of Seattle.
1990 – 1998 – Serves as Chief Instructor of Seattle Ki Society in addition to MKF. After 1998 focuses on traveling to teach in MKF dojo and for other groups.
2003 – At Kashiwaya sensei's suggestion, the position of Chief Instructor USA is eliminated. He is the last person to hold this position.
2003 – Appointed by Tohei sensei to the special position of Advisor for Shinshin Aikido Kai in North America, serving as a bridge for Ki Society between the US instructors and membership, and Ki Society HQ.
2007 – KI no Kenkyukai is reorganized as Shinshin Toitsu Aikido Kai with Shinichi Tohei as President and Chief Instructor.
2011 – Kashiwaya sensei is appointed Sohombu Shihan; begins teaching internationally for Ki Society Headquarters, in Australia, the Philippines, Thailand, and other countries.

Kashiwaya sensei has traveled nationally and internationally to conduct numerous seminars, workshops, and intensive training sessions, both as MKF Chief Instructor, and as a Sohombu Shihan teaching on behalf of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido Kai, or at the invitation of other interested groups.

Over the years Kashiwaya Sensei has given many public demonstrations and lectures, including on multiple occasions, for the Consul General of Japan at Kansas City; Greater Kansas City Japan Festival; Cherry Blossom Festival at Independence, MO; Japan week at the St. Louis Botanical Gardens; and the Seattle Cherry Blossom Matsuri festival, to name only a few.
Because of his activities and support of organizations in the Greater Kansas City area, he was made an Honorary Citizen of Kansas City, MO by declaration of the Mayor.

Sensei has taught Ki Principles to many professional athletes, including the defensive line for the Denver Broncos football team, and Alexi Grewal, the Gold Medalist in road race cycling at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

2021 Update: Sensei’s extensive travel schedule -- both international and domestic travel -- has been stopped by COVID restrictions, affecting both him and his destinations. During this time he is conducting a series of Zoom Seminars for his MKF students through MKF, and also occasionally for some other Ki Society friends. It is expected the MKF series will continue into 2022, until domestic travel and face-to-face teaching is deemed safe for all concerned.

The Midland Ki Federation is a US 501(c)(3) Not-for-Profit corporation, which has member dojo in several US states, as well as in Canada and Brazil.