The book about Chiba Sensei’s life is almost ready! We are in the final stages of the publication process after two years of work. The book is nearly 400 pages long and incorporates information from dozens of in-person interviews along with Chiba Sensei’s entire body of published writings, plus the work of excellent Aikido historians like the late Stanley Pranin and translator Christopher Li. Thanks to everyone who helped bring this project to fruition and especially to the Chiba family, who have been generous with their time and support.
Sign up now to reserve a copy of the hardcover first edition, which we are pricing at $40. Please indicate how many copies you would like to reserve — we are anticipating the finished book to be available for distribution starting on July 20 at Birankai Aikido Summer Camp in Tacoma, Wash. Quantities will be limited and paperback, ebook and Amazon distribution are not planned for the immediate future.
Two more questions: Let us know if you would be interested in an audio podcast incorporating some of the interview and other material we have gathered. In addition, we want to know if people are interested in a visit to their dojos by author Liese Klein, who can answer questions about the book and the research process.
Please fill out the form below by July 1 to reserve a copy of “The Life-Giving Sword”; you will be contacted via email when the book is ready for purchase. (You should receive an email back right away requiring a click to confirm your signup: Gmail users should check the “Promotions” folder in their inbox for the confirmation and be sure to click or you won’t be signed up!)
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This article originally appeared (circa 1993) in issue No. 70 of Terry O’Neill’s Fighting Arts International, a magazine published in the United Kingdom. The interviewer was one of Chiba Sensei’s long time students, Arthur C. Lockyear.
Sensei please tell me how you came to study Aikido?
Well, I was very keen on the martial arts from when I was little, and I decided early on to train seriously in at least one of them. I began with Judo and stayed for four years. I then moved to Karate.
You trained at the Shotokan headquarters I believe: what was the training like there?
Oh, I really loved it, it was a very hard spirit in the training, very satisfying, I liked it a lot. Nakayama Sensei was the Chief Instructor but I did see the Master, Funakoshi Gichin on a number of occasions. I joined the Japan Karate Association about a year before Master Funakoshi died I remember that there was a big ceremony to mark his passing.
Where any of the present-day Shotokan Masters there at that time?
Yes. Nishiyama Sensei, Okazaki Sensei and Kanazawa Sensei. Kanazawa Sensei was first Kyu then, or maybe 1st Dan, I’m not sure. Asano Sensei was 3rd Kyu level and Kase Sensei was there also.
Was there anything in particular that converted you to Aikido?
Well, when I was 1st Kyu (the level just below Black Belt) in Judo I entered a competition and happened to be drawn to fight against my senior from the dojo – a second Dan, I think. So I beat him and afterwards he came over to me and said: “You have taken away my Judo, but I still have Kendo.” He issued me a Continue reading “The Challenges of Aikido – Aikidosphere Interview with Chiba Sensei”