Ki News #3
Dear all Aikido people
This issue of Ki News, is mostly about the gathering April 24 2021.
Here many dojo instructors meet to share visions and inspire each other.
Below is a summary from the meeting that Angus, Ki Society Inverness, Scotland made.
Also you can read a personal blog from Paolo, Ki Dojo, Italy
If you want to know more from the meeting please ask your Sensei, as he will have the full report.
As always there are online Aikido classes you can join!
Ki News is a newsletter for all Aikido students of Ki no Kenkyukai Internationale.
If you want to receive a mail when it is published or if you want to contribute to the Ki News, contact via mail, email@example.com
Summary of Ki no Kenkyukai Internationale Zoom Meeting
24 April 2021
The meeting was attended by approximately 150 people from 21 different countries and was facilitated by Marjeta from Slovenia and Jose from Columbia.
Michael opened the meeting and said the purpose was for everyone to talk together and imagine a new future. This had already been started by the shared Visions sent in from the dojo's.
Messages had been received from Marie-Rose and from Anne on the structure of Ki no Kenkyukai Internationale and they will speak about this later.
We need to progress one step at a time and the day should be an opportunity to find out about each other and find a way forward together.
It is not possible to go through all the visions but some common trends are appearing which are presented below.
The meeting started by going through the agenda and Marietta helped people become familiar with Zoom and set up a place where questions and comments could be recorded.
- Welcoming each other (in small groups)
- Summary of Marie Rose & Anne message
- Summary of the visions
- Small groups (2 rounds) reflections
- Key insights from small groups (in plenary)
- Recap and next steps
After meeting there would be virtual lounges to hang out in and chat together.
Marie Rose & Anne message
Michael explained that a message had been received from Marie Rose saying that she was happy that we continue in the way Doshu had established, using Ki no Kenkyukai Internationale.
In particular :
"Since it is obvious that the organisation is important in many aspects for many of you, instructors and of dojos, we decided to keep the organisation alive. We want to keep it as it was before, when Sensei was alive. The structure of the organisation will probably have to change"
The structure of KnKi was summarised briefly and it was confirmed that Marie-Rose Meysman, Anne van der Aa and Iris Scanlon were the three member KnKi and all dojos are associated members
Anne has confirmed that the directors had read all the Visions and that KnKi was able to remain to support the growth of Aikido:
It is our wish to guarantee a certain continuity and harmony within the community.
Our main goal is to support everything that could contribute to the collaboration and pooling, in the broadest sense, between you, without any interference in the affairs of the dojos, the content of your classes, the organisation of seminars, your choice of shihans and so on
Our tasks will be mainly administrative and will include:
- keeping a list of all the members and their grades
- keeping a list of the affiliated dojos and a list of the instructors
- validate and issue the diplomas in order to guarantee an international recognition.
In the future we would like to turn the association into a truly international non-profit organisation so foreigners could join the board of directors if necessary. We have to figure out how this can be achieved
Finally, once more we do not want to interfere with any content of your teaching, we count on your commitment and your desire to exchange and develop together. Many beautiful ideas have been put forward in visions of the future, it is up to you to develop them. Keep the standards of aikido and the vision of Doshu alive.
Marie-Rose then explained that it would be possible to continue the use of Furosato, Yoshigasaki Sensei's dojo in Belgium.
In the past the arrangement had been that KnKi paid a rent for the use of Furusato. This had stopped in March 2020 at the start of the first COVID lockdown. This was understandable because it was not being used but now we would have to decide what to do with Furosato going forwards. How it is to be used, how is it paid for and how is it maintained.
The latest book from Doshu, Aikido in Real life, will be published. Marie-Rose is working together with the people that have been part of it with translations, pictures and so on. This will take some time, so please have patience.
Summary of Visions
Michael then explained that having looked through all the Visions submitted, there were clearly some matters where most people are in agreement:
- Most importantly, everyone wants to continue to practice Aikido and to follow Doshu's teaching.
- Almost everyone wants to keep Ki No Kenkyukai Internationale as a unifying framework. With a light touch limited to keeping a list of dojos, members and grades and issuing grading certificates.
- Most dojo's would like to continue to be independent, within an internationally recognised group, as Doshu established.
- Almost all dojo's value their relationships with others within KnKi and would like to build on these through seminars etc.
- Most dojo's appreciate the need for a central website and a greater use of the internet for communication.
- Even united in some way people also want room for diversity.
- There are also those that would like a more structured way. The beauty of the model of keeping the old way of non-controlling KnKi is that locally those that agree can get together and develop a more structured way if they want
There has been a suggestion that we hold a memorial seminar once a year and this is being be considered.
Main Comments from Plenary Session
Examinations and Gradings
Examinations and gradings in the future were a concern of many.
Michael said he expected these generally to just continue as now but higher dan grades perhaps need to wait meantime.
There is no definitive list of Shihans who could do this.
The role of Shihan could be to act as mentors, to become teachers teachers.
Perhaps the existing Shihans and other higher grades could be a Council of Elders. It is hoped a meeting could happen soon to consider this, not to decide matters but to meet and discuss.
It was noted that the current grading syllabus established by Yoshigasaki Sensei provided a carefully considered and structured path of learning and development to 4th Dan.
After the meeting Paolo Riccardi wrote a very good article on the subject of examinations which put many of the discussions in a good perspective.
See more in the article below this summary.
Everyone was encouraged to network to help each other in, for example, teaching children, teaching older people, managing insurances, setting up websites etc.
In general most people would like regional seminars to continue and be able to learn from different teachers. The welcoming, friendly atmosphere between people at the meeting that were often completely new to each other, was highlighted. A lot of travelling will probably happen, after the pandemic, to meet all the (new) Aikido people
Database / Website
Most people saw the benefit of a central website which could hold information on dojo's, seminars and the like. Michael noted that there were 186 dojo's in 24 countries associated with KNKI and following Doshu's teaching. We should remain united but appreciate and respect the inevitable diversity because we are not all the same.
Some other relevant points raised were:
- The website should look good and create an attractive identity in order to attract new members – good marketing
- Some information should be private such as lists of members and grades.
- Should articles by the Doshu be part of the website and if so public or private.
- What about video, pictures.
- We need to consider GDPR for current members. (Data protection)
- Who will have access to the website and to any databases.
Michael has liaised with Helmut to establish a full list of dojo's and has a list of all Examinations from Sensei. He proposes moving all Doshu's lectures etc. from his website to the new one. However setting up a new website cannot be left to one person and we need to establish a group to do this and to deal with the administration and maintenance. Please contact Michael if you can help
A website platform is not decided yet so if you know about CMS systems, ProcessWire, Typo3, Wordpress, setting up online databases and the like please contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to technical geeks we also need good photographs and layout. If you want to be part of the web-team please get in touch.
Michael summarised the meeting saying that this meeting itself was not so important but it was rather what went before in preparing and thinking about everyone's Visions and what will happen after the meeting.
Please continue networking and working in groups. If anyone wants to set up a particular group or contact anyone Michael will facilitate.
If you have any skills that can help the Ki no Kenkyukai move forwards in the ways outlined above please don't be shy and get in touch with Michael who can help put like minded people together.
The meeting closed with a round of applause for Marjeta and Jose who facilitated it so well!
After the meeting there was a very happy feeling of optimism for the future.
Until we meet again - hopefully soon
and on the tatami!
Why do we practice?
We all know that the examination path can be a great motivation booster for beginners, it also provides a clear technical framework that helps us define our school globally.
But as we progress and as our awareness grows, maybe grades carry much more value than that.
We'll start from how the grading system has worked so far and we will try to figure out what it will take to make it work in the future.
How do you measure a Dan? What's his value and how much it should matter? Has it something to do with responsibility and to the enduring fall of aikido demographics?
In the end there is only one question that matters... Why do we practice?
Read the whole article on the website Ki no Nagare:
Spanish Classes in Ki Aikido Buenos Aires during May:
During May we will have:
Zoom Classes: Saturdays 8/5, 22/5 and 29/5 since 16:00 to 18:00 hours (Buenos Aires time).
We have two parts of the class:
Beginners: we study articles or videos related with Hitori and Kumi Waza.
Advanced: we study articles written by Doshu.
You are welcome to participate in every class, they are free.
You just need to ask the link to participate by Whatsapp:+54911 6911-3055
On-site Seminar: Saturday 15/5 since 9 to 12 (Buenos Aires time).
For more information you can send a message by Whatsapp:+54911 6911-3055,
Write to Sensei Norberto Kiman by email or visit or website:
Morihei Ueshiba explained the significance of misogi like this:
"the only cure for materialism is the cleaning of the six senses (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind). If the senses are clogged, one's perception is stifled. The more it is stifled, the more contaminated the senses become. This creates disorder in one's life and, consequently, throughout the entire world, and that is the greatest evil of all. In order to protect the world, we must first rid ourselves of defilements."
From: "The Essence of Aikido" Spiritual teachings of Morihei Ueshiba, compiled by John Stevens (1993)
Next silent Misogi Online meeting will be
May, 30, from 18:00 - 19:00 (MEZ)
Everybody is welcome to join. For link send email to Heike:
Aikido with Michael / toitsu.dk
International online class in English.
Next time May 8, 12-13.
Long time ago in France!