Koichi Tohei was born in Shitaya, Tokyo, in 1920. When he was three years old, he went back to his home town located in Tochigi prefecture. He was very weak when he was young. He always needed a doctor. His father worried about him. So his father started to teach Judo to Koichi Tohei. He was awarded black belt in Judo when he was 14 years old.
When he was 16 years old, he entered Keio University. He practiced Judo very sincerely. But he practiced it so intensely that he contracted pleurisy. As a result, he had to take a year off from the University. During recuperation, he read many books. He then began a serious self examination period, which concluded with the understanding that his mind was too weak. After he recovered from his illness, he practiced Zen and Misogi breathing earnestly.
When Koichi Tohei was 19 years old, he became a disciple of Master Morihei Ueshiba and started to practice Aikido. (In 1969, Koichi Tohei was awarded the 10th dan, the highest rank, from Master Morihei Ueshiba.)
Koichi Tohei entered the army soon after graduating Keio University. He was 23 years old at the time. He became a platoon leader in the army and was sent to China for four years. He discovered that if on the battle field, one's defenses are down for just a moment, this could mean death. Considering this circumstance, he decided to do Ki breathing 200 times a day. By doing Ki breathing on the battle field, he mastered keeping one point. Sometimes he could not calm his breath even though he did Ki breathing. When he felt like this, he noticed that it was because the enemy was hidden somewhere nearby.
After the war, he returned to practicing Zen, Misogi and Aikido. He also became a disciple of Master Tenpu Nakamura and mastered the principle "Mind moves body" through Master Tenpu's teaching. This then became the center of his own teaching.
In 1971, Koichi Tohei founded the Ki Society to spread Ki principles.
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