Aikido Kenkyukai International (A.K.I.) is an international network of Aikido dojos inspired by the teachings of Yoshinobu Takeda Shihan (8th dan) of Kamakura Japan. Takeda Shihan was in turn, a long-term student of Yamaguchi Sensei (9th dan), a Hombu Dojo Shihan and student of O-Sensei.
Aikido Kenkyukai International is affiliated with Aiki-kai Japan and students are dedicated to researching the inner meaning and spiritual qualities of Aikido. In A.K.I. dojos, keiko (practice) tends to be high energy and fast paced with an emphasis on sensitivity and adaptability to our partner’s movement.
Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei (1924-1996) (Photo by Aikido Journal)
The name “Kenkyukai” means “study or research group” and is indicative of the groups approach to the pursuit of Aikido. We recognise that as martial artists each of us are unique with different bodies, abilities and interests and each person will ultimately express their own style in their Aikido. With a grounding in basic techniques from our internationally recognised technical syllabus, we use an exploratory and creative approach to Aikido study with an emphasis on sensitivity, connection and adaptability to capture the feeling of the movement (rather than forcing techniques). This is emphasised without losing the martial aspect of Aikido movement which keeps us focused, alert and aware and avoids us slipping into a pattern of choreographed movements.
The scroll found in an A.K.I. dojo comprises only two characters: “ai” meaning harmony, and “ki” meaning spirit. The third character “do” (meaning path or Way, as in Ai-ki-do) has been deliberately omitted. This is because Takeda Sensei is encouraging us to find our own Way, to discover and develop the Art for ourselves. This approach is challenging, exciting, inspiring, and lots of fun!
Takeda Sensei says that Aikido is a living creation and each student should express it according to their individual nature. Therefore it is perfectly correct that each student discovers and expresses the knowledge held within the techniques. Students are encouraged to internalise and express their technique with the aim of increasing ones awareness of body, mind and nature. Then the delightful treasure is revealed.
In A.K.I. Australia we believe the journey is most important as only through concentration and being in the present moment can the goal be realised. In reality, the journey and the goal are united by the present moment. Progress is only possible by helping each other to realise our full potential.
Aikido is a melody of life,
Resonance of energy,
Visualization of dreams,
Purification of the soul,
And a song to re-acknowledge our unlimited possibilities which begins now.
— Takeda Yoshinobu Shihan
AIKIDO KENKYUKAI AUSTRALIA
A.K.I. Australia’s origin dates back to 1979, when Yasuyuki Suzuki arrived from Japan to study English in Australia and began training with Stewart Letford, Ralph Pettman & Bob Gibbon. From then like minded Aikido-ka (Aikido Practitioners) in Australia formed a relationship with Suzuki Sensei’s teacher, Sensei Yoshinobu Takeda. From there the group has grown in strength, facilitated by regular visits to Australia over the years from Takeda Sensei and his “sempai” (senior students).
Aikido Kenkyukai Australia has dojos across New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.
Click here for the directory of A.K.I. dojos in Australia.
For more information on the history of AKI in Australia click here
Yasu Suzuki Sensei in Sydney 2011