Uploaded on Feb 14, 2009
1900 Kenji Tomiki was born on the 15th March 1900 at number 50 Kakunodate Machi, Senboku in Akita Prefecture. He was the eldest son of Shosuke and Tatsu Tomiki. He began wielding a Bokken (Japanese Wooden Sword) when he was only 6 years old. At the age of 10, after entering the local Kakunodate primary school, he joined the town Judo Club.
1913 He entered the Prefectural Yokote Junior High School. He did very well in the Judo club and on graduating from the school he was awarded top prize in both academics and physical education. In November of 1919 he received 1st Dan in Judo. After graduating he became very ill and was confined to bed for three and a half years. During this time he received much encouragement and support from his uncle Hyakusui Hirafuku who was a very famous painter of the time.
1924 He entered the Political Economics Department of Waseda University. He was famous for his brilliant Judo skills and this was during the so-called "Golden Age" of the Waseda Judo Club. He worked as secretary of the Students Judo Association in Tokyo and was greatly influenced by Jigoro Kano Sensei of the Kodokan.
1926 Tomiki first met the Daitoryu Aikijujitsu Master Morihei Ueshiba. He was impressed by Ueshiba Sensei's techniques and immediately decided to join Ueshiba Sensei's Dojo. Later Ueshiba Sensei was to start his own school and change the name of his style to "Aikido". Tomiki's lifelong Aikido training had begun.
1929 Whilst working for the Department of Electricity in Miyagi Prefecture, he was chosen to represent Miyagi in the first National Judo Tournament before the Emperor. The tournament was the showpiece for the yearly All Japan Tournament which began the following year.
1931 Tomiki returned to Akita Prefecture and took up a post as teacher at the Kakunodate Junior High School. He met Hideo Ohba (formerly Tozawa) who began a lifelong effort to help Tomiki realize his Budo ideals. In 1934 he left the school and moved to Tokyo so that he could train in Aikibudo under Ueshiba Sensei.
1936 Became a part time instructor at the Daidogakuin University in Manchuria and taught Aikibudo to the Kanton Army and The Imperial Household Agency.
1938 Became an Assistant Professor at the new Manchurian Kenkoku University. He instructed Aikibudo as part of the regular curriculum and gave lectures on Bugaku.
1940 Was presented with the world's first Aikido 8th dan by Morihei Ueshiba and began work on modernizing Budo. For the next 4 years during the summer months he instructed senior Dan grades at the Kodokan.
1945 He continued to work on his ideas of modern Budo even whilst in detention in Siberia after the defeat of Japan in the Second World War.
1953 Along with Kotani Sumiyuki and Otaki Tadao he went to America as part of a Judo delegation to instruct The U.S Airforce in 15 states.
1954 Became a professor at Waseda University and headed the university's Physical Education department. He Published the Judotaiso.
1956 Published a book in English called "Judo with Aikido" which was later called "Judo and Aikido"; the French version was published in 1960. This helped bring Aikido to the West.
1958 Founded the Waseda University Aikido Club and was sworn in as the club's first Director. He published "Aikidonyumon" which is still in print today. At about this time he began to develop Aikido Kyogi.
1964 Became Senior Professor coinciding with the start of a new post graduate course in physical education at Waseda University. He published "The New Aikido Textbook" (Shin Aikido Text).
1967 He opened the Shodokan Dojo as the first Dojo established exclusively for the study of Aikido.
1970 During this year Tomiki retired from Waseda University, published "Taiiku To Budo" (Physical Education and Budo), and presided over The First All Japan Students Aikido Tournament. The ground rules for competitive aikido had been laid.
1971 He received 8th Dan in Kodokan Judo.
1974 The Japan Aikido Association was founded with Tomiki as the first President.
1975 Became the Vice President of The Nippon Budo Gakkai (The Martial Art Society Of Japan).
1976 The new Shodokan Headquarters and Main Dojo of the JAA was established in Osaka with Tomiki Shihan as Director.
1977 In the spring he visited Australia at the invitation of the Australian Aikido Association.
1979 Tomiki Shihan passed away on 25th December 1979 aged 79 years.
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