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Koichi Kashiwaya Sensei, Chief Instructor of Ki Society USA, also heads the Midland Ki Federation. He is one of the very few Aikido professionals in the United States and travels extensively throughout America, Canada, and South America teaching Aikido and Ki Development.

In 1998, Kashiwaya Sensei established Ki-Aikido USA in order to expand Tohei Sensei's principles in North America. Projects produced by this program included educational training videos for Ki Society members.

Students come to Seattle from all over the world 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 has inspired many to take these arts into their daily lives.

Kashiwaya Sensei was born in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. He began Aikido training in 1969 while he was a student at Risshou University. Upon meeting Tohei Sensei in 1971, he was struck by Tohei Sensei's words, If the mind moves, the body follows.Thereafter he trained with him exclusively until completing his Business Management degree at the University in 1973.

At Tohei Sensei's request, Kashiwaya Sensei traveled to Seattle in 1973 and assisted Hirata Yoshihiko Sensei, who had founded Seattle Ki Society in 1971 (Initially founded as Seattle Aikikai in 1969). In 1975, Kashiwaya Sensei returned to Japan and continued professional intensive training as uchi deshi for Tohei Sensei. Upon completiton of uchi deshi training in 1977, Kashiwaya Sensei moved to Boulder, Colorado where he founded Rocky Mountain Ki Society. During this time he also founded The Midland Ki Federation with dojos in Denver; Kansas City, Lawrence KS; St. Louis, MO; and Austin, TX. During this time Kashiwaya Sensei gave many public demonstrations and lectures for the Consule of Japan at Kansas City, Cherry Blossom Festival at Independence, MO, Japan week at the St. Louis Botanical Gardens. He was made an Honorary Citizen of Kansas City, MO by the mayor, and taught professional athletes such as the defensive line for the Denver Broncos football team, and Alexi Grewal, the Gold Medalist for the Los Angeles Olympics in road race cycling.

In 1983, Kashiwaya Sensei was appointed Chief Instructor for Ki Society USA by Tohei Sensei. He also oversees dojos in Brazil and Canada. In 1990, he relocated to Seattle and continues to travel nationally to conduct numerous seminars, workshops, and intensive training sessions in his role as Chief Instructor USA. He now occasionally performs for the public particularly at the Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival. Currently, Kashiwaya Sensei holds the rank of Hachidan in Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, Okuden in Ki Training, lecturer in teaching for Ki Society International, and is a judge for the International Taigi Competition. In 1998, Kashiwaya Sensei was instrumental in setting up and organizing the First US OpenTaigi Competition and Demonstration for the Western Region which took place February 1 1998 in Seattle, WA.

Excerpt from: http://ki-aikido.net/KASHIWAYA/SENSEI.html