Tohei Koichi-sensei established the Ki Society International in 1971 and later founded Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido (Aikido with Mind and Body Coordinated) in 1974. The official name is Ki No Kenkyukai, meaning a society for the study and research of Ki. Ki No Kenkyukai is authorized by and is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan. The Ki Society celebrated its twentieth year anniversary with the opening of the new World Headquarters (Ki no Sato) in 1990. This includes a two thousand square meter dojo, a meditation hall, a museum and dormitories. The Ki No Sato is the home of Tohei Gakuen, International Taigi Competition, and the Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido World Camp.
Tohei-sensei was born in 1920 and grew up in Tochigi Prefecture, just north of Tokyo. He was a sickly child and was introduced to judo by his father in order to strengthen his mind and body. Later, he became involved in Ichikukai training and studied with Dr. Tempu Nakamura. These events and training shaped much of what he was to develop later in life.
In 1939, he met Morihei Ueshiba-sensei and was introduced to and quickly became a serious student of Aikido. After training for a short time, he was drafted into the army and
spent time in China. After the war he returned to his role as uchi-deshi of Ueshiba-sensei, becoming one of the most influential and well-known figures within the Aikido world. In 1953, he was sent by Ueshiba-sensei to Hawaii, becoming the first teacher to introduce Aikido to the United States. It was during this period that his Aikido underwent a lot of change, since teaching and training with large Americans was quite different from Japan.
Tohei-sensei rose to the position of Chief Instructor at the Aikikai Hombu dojo and was the only person awarded 10th Dan by Ueshiba-sensei and issued with a formal scroll of rank.
Tohei-sensei had very clear ideas about the best way of teaching Aikido, ideas that were based largely on the principles of Body/Mind Unification taught by Dr. Nakamura Tempu. He proposed to introduce this system of teaching Ki within the Aikikai but met with much resistance. So in 1971, while still the Chief Instructor of the Aikikai, Tohei-sensei founded the Ki no Kenkyukai to teach the principles of Ki and Unification of Mind and Body. This continued for a few more years until Tohei-sensei resigned in 1974. He then founded Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, to teach Aikido in accordance with the Ki principles.