T.K. Chiba, 1940-2015

Chiba Sensei noticeOn behalf of Birankai International, with deep sorrow, Birankai North America announces the death today, June 5th, 2015, of our founder and teacher T. K. Chiba Shihan.

Martial artists here and around the world salute his life as they mourn his passing. During more than 50 years of training and teaching, Sensei inspired, forged and changed the lives of generations of students.

United in gratitude for the great gift he gave us, we offer our condolences to his family.

88 Replies to “T.K. Chiba, 1940-2015”

  1. I saddens me to hear of his passing. He was a marvelous instructor tho I only had the pleasure of training with him once. He left me with inspiration and awe regarding his knowledge and skill as an instructor. He will be missed by all in the Aikido family.

  2. My sympathies to Mrs Chiba, Kotetsu and Kano. A great loss to the aikido world. While Chiba sensei and I departed ways several years ago, he will always be my aikido teacher, and I will miss him.

  3. It is with great sadness that I received word of Chiba Sensei’s passing. He was a major influence on me both as an aikido instructor and as a person. I will forever be grateful for his presence in my life and how he has helped me touch the lives of many at Tenzan Aikido. May he rest in peace. My heart felt condolences go out to Mrs. Chiba, Kano and Kotetsu.

  4. Mis condolencias a sus familiares, es una pena el tener que dejar ir a un maestro de un gran arte como lo es el AIKIDO, un abrazo para todos sus alumnos y maestros ayudantes.

  5. i’m just have a profound regret at moment. His soul will happy in heaven, my idol !
    From District 9, Vietnam

  6. Rest In Peace Sensei Chiba. You gave many wonderful gifts to the Aikido community and your legacy lives on through your many students.. Condolences to the Chiba family.

  7. Bonjour. C’est avec une profonde tristesse que j’apprends la disparition de Maître CHIBA. Encore une page de l’Histoire de l’Aikido mondial qui se tourne et une grosse perte pour les budokas. Je présente humblement tous mes respects, toutes mes condoléances à sa famille, ses élèves. Qu’il repose en Paix. Gassho, Namaste.

  8. Goodbye Sensei. A major influence on my life since I first walked on the mat with you at the age of 12.

    We hadn’t seen much of each other in recent years but that didn’t diminish our relationship.
    Rest in peace and thank you for everything

  9. Awesome man he will be greatly missed . I have very fond memories of him in Cardiff S Wales when he visited us on many occasions in Wales in the early years. Respect to his family and to those of you who were close to him.

  10. Una gran perdida la marcha de otro gran maestro condolencias a la familia por la perdida y un emotivo Domo arigato, hasta siempre maestro.

  11. You will be greatly missed by all your students worldwide, a hard but fair teacher who gave me inspiration from our first meeting in 1969.
    Condolences to Mrs Chiba and family from all the members of Lancashire Aikikai

  12. It’s a big loss for Aikido world Chiba sensei is original student from O sensei and a great teacher there is no replacement. Aikido Zanshinkan Dubai dojo sending Condolence and deapest sympathy to the entire family of Chiba sensei and his students worldwide. Chiba sensei’s spirit lives for ever.

  13. My sympathies to Mrs Chiba,my condolences to his family and students.I will forever be grateful for his presence in my life.Thank you Sensei ,you gave me the opportunity to feel the spirit of Budo.

  14. Truly a sad day for the aikido community. Chiba sensei’s style is so distinctive and exceptional. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to experience both his aikido and his strength of spirit. My deepest condolences, Chiba sensei will be truly missed.

  15. So sad. Chiba Sensei was an inspiration, a truly kind and compassionate man who led by example. He helped form my life in my early years and I am forever grateful to him. The world is so much more empty without his presence.
    My condolences to his wife and family.
    He made such a difference to so many people – a truly great man

  16. It is with greatest sadness that I heard that Chiba Sensei has passed away. I am forever grateful for his presence in my Aikido life. May he rest in peace. My deepest condolences to Mrs. Chiba and family.

  17. I am especially saddened to hear of the death of T. K. Chiba Shihan. I started Aikido in the late 80’s as a 14 year old boy in the Aikido Schools of NJ. Since the USAF included a Western as well as an Eastern Branch, all knew of the great Chiba Sensei along with Kanai, Sugano, and finally our founder Yamada Sensei. All of these great masters except one is still living, and time has swiftly passed. Chiba Sensei’s style of Aikikai Aikido maintained what so many have surrendered over time as we drift further away from the era in which O’ Sensei was living among us; and that is, a beauty in technique that never compromised martial effectiveness, and a commitment to the practice of Aiki weapons with taijutsu. Everyone knew that Chiba Sensei’s techniques were real, and martially effective which is more than I can say for most. When you approached Chiba Sensei on the mat I am told, his application of Aikido technique was loved and feared all at the same time. I always admired Chiba Sensei from afar along with so many other Shihan who are no longer with us. My prayers are for his family who loaned him to the Aikido world, his students, and the Aikido World who are now only beginning to perceive the void created by the loss of this great man. I can remember when going to preach in San Deigo, that I insisted that the person take me to the San Deigo Aikikai to practice at the dojo of the great Chiba Sensei; not the typical request from clergy on a speaking engagement. Nevertheless, now at 39, I can say thanks to Chiba Sensei for inspiring a 14 year old boy from afar in NJ, because he was one of many now gone that fostered my love with the practice of Aikido.

  18. Our most sincere feelings Chiba family and to all his students by this huge loss. A great human being. Rest in peace grandmaster, thanks for everything, Gassho!

  19. This is sad news. The training at his dojo in San Diego left a permanent impression in all that trained there. It will never leave me. He was a true warrior from a different age and the most intensely focused Aikido instructor I have ever witnessed. He was not only a deshi of Osensei but a disciple who carried on his teachings. On the mat, his presence was almost frightening but off the mat, he and his wife showed interest in his students as human beings. I will miss him

  20. Mis más sinceras condolencias a su familia, amigos y alumnos.
    Es a mi gusto y hablo de lo poco que he visto uno de los mejores sensei del mundo, y siempre me quedará la pena de no haberlo conocido ni practicado con él.

  21. It is with great sadness that I am writing this message, and knowing that I will no longer have the privalige a practicing with such a great exponent of Aikido. I will, however, always carry the memories of being so very fortunate to have been taught by and practiced with him during his early years in the UK. A very sad loss to Aikido world wide. He will always be remembered.

  22. With great sorrow I learned about Chiba Sensei’s passing.
    I will always will remember him as my first great aikido master.
    Sensei have been always a great inspiration to me.
    I offer my deep condolence to his wife and children.
    Sinserely yours. Erik Louw

  23. Chiba Sensei’s love, acceptance and humanity left an indelible impression on me from the moment I met him in 1980. A great teacher, he was a passionate and uncompromising seeker who demanded much and gave back even more. My deepest condolences to his family and students. RIP Sensei.

  24. Deepest condolences to Chiba Sensei’s family, friends, and students… Undoubtedly one of the greatest martial artists and teachers ever, the world is poorer today because of his loss. Just being in his presence made one sharper, humbler…better. RIP Chiba Sensei.

  25. Chiba sensei ,will remain deep inside my heart with my most grateful happy trainning moments in my spirit will live alway for a great man a best instructor never imagine i would had a privilege to know to learn true love and budo of aikido. I trly sincerely give my deepest simpaties to all his familyv,his friends ,and to all aikido studens. Rest in peace my heart aikes my gratitud to him and all aikido class.

  26. My deepest condolences on Chiba Sensei’s passing. Although I did not personally know him, I did correspond through various forums with some of his students over the last 30 years and even though Yoshinkan Aikido is somewhat different we had much common ground and, as such, I’d come to greatly appreciate the man and his Aikido. I just wish I’d had the opportunity to meet him. May he rest in peace.

  27. My heartfelt condolences to the Chiba family and to the Birankai International organization and students. A great teacher who will be greatly missed. R.I.P. Sensei.

  28. On behalf of the WAAI membership, my sincere condolences to the Chiba Family, Mrs. Kazuo Chiba, Kotetsu and Kano, and the Birankai members. An honor and privilege to serve with Chiba Shihan. In Gassho

  29. on behalf of the ffenics aikido club cardiff south wales whos sensei is the late colin pike who was a student of chiba sensei we pray that chiba sensei is resting in peace god bless and may eternal light shine upon him amen

  30. Un long recueillement à la nouvelle de cette disparition. Chiba Sensei est un des maîtres dont je porte profondément dans ma pratique la marque. Après mon maître Tamura Sensei voilà que c’est Chiba sensei qui part…

  31. My teacher, my friend for so many years. Thank you for giving me so much. Now rest in peace. To Mrs Chiba and family – I feel so sorry god bless you all.

  32. Condolences from Toronto Canada. I was very happy to see Sensei 3 years ago at a Montreal seminar.. He owned the room, but always looked out for the beginners by encouraging the yusanshas to mingle with the white belts. My knees were butter after the previous day’s none stop suwari, but I was happy in the pain to experience Sensei.

    I was disappointed my seminar fee did not include a souvenir T shirt: “I survived ukemi for Chiba Sensei” … 🙂

    We will miss you Sensei. Thank you for all the lessons and videos you have left us..

  33. First I would like to express my most sincere feelings of sorrow and loss to my old neighbor Mrs. Chiba, and the whole family. I had the honor of attending classes at San Diego Aikikai under the direction of Professor Chiba for 6 years in the early 1980’s. Those years in the “pressure cooker” dojo and also on University Ave. were some of the greatest times of my life. The quality of instruction that Sensei had was of the highest caliber. It impressed me to become a full-time professional Sensei which I have been for over 23 years. I was fortunate enough to see him in Albuquerque a few years back and have very meaningful and profound conversation with him. I am proud to say that he was not only my teacher, but also my friend and I will miss him.
    Be at Peace Chiba Sensei…..

  34. He is the reason the Cardiff aikikai was founded in 1968… His visit to Cardiff and blessing for th development of our dojo lead to the growth of aikido in the uk and planted the strong foundations for one of the oldest aikido dojos outside of london to be founded. Rip sensei, your legacy lives on…

  35. My sincere condolences to Mrs Chiba and her family. One of the last of the warrior philosophers, Chiba Shihan loved his art and his students ardently, like the lion who threw his cubs from the cliff. May your sword and your spirit rest well, Sensei.

  36. 訃報に接し心からお悔やみ申し上げます。
    50年以上先生の事一度も忘れた事はありません。どのような言葉でお礼を言えるのか見つかりません、どうぞ安らかにおやすみください ご冥福をお祈り申し上げます。

  37. My condolences to Mrs Chiba and her family.

    Let’s honor Sensei’s memory by carrying his teachings forward.

  38. On behalf of the Kokusai Seirenkai Kyokai, I extend our deep condolences to Chiba Sensei’s family, students and organization, as well as to the global Aikido community. I had the chance to meet Chiba Sensei and hear him speak only once –at the funeral of Kanai Sensei. His emotion and spirit was visceral and left a very powerful impression on me. May his lessons and final message of Shoshin live on and secure his legacy for generations to come. Dan Cohen, Seirenkai

  39. Deepest condolences to Mrs Chiba and family from Dornbirn, Austria. Thank you Sensei for everything you have done for me and Birankai Austria. You have changed and touched my life so much. Thank you for a fantastic seminar in 2008 in Dornbirn Austria and my visit to San Diego in 2005. I will always keep you in my heart Sensei!
    I deeply bow to you in gratitude.
    Rest in peace Sensei.

  40. On behalf of the Canadian Aikido Federation, I would like to pass on our most heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Chiba, her family, and students of Chiba Sensei. Chiba Sensei visited Canada many times over the years and touched the lives of many CAF students. The spirit he brought to Aikido will be deeply missed, but never forgotten.

    Rest in peace Sensei.

    David Yates
    President, Canadian Aikido Federation

  41. From the San Diego Bay to all parts of the USA
    Our heads are lowered
    because of Sensei
    passing away.

    The protector of the art of aikido
    left us all a message to recall
    From rolls to throws to pins
    Sensei Chiba said
    for us
    to keep our minds always in

  42. new to aikibudo( aikido) green belt, researching and getting to know all these great masters. rest in peace sensei!

    god bless

  43. I was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Chiba Sensei recently. I among many others began my Aikido training under Sensei in Leicester,UK in 1966.Other fellow practioners and teachers at the old Secular Hall Dojo were: Fred Brown, Teacher, Alan Wade, Sid Connolly, Dudley Wakefield, Pete Eames, Roger, Bob, Ian Smith and Dave Seviai from Birmingham and many others whose faces I can see but cannot remember their names. 49 yrs of practice due in no small way to Chiba Sensei. Western Canada has been our home now for the past 33 yrs. I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Mrs Chiba and family.

  44. I had the good fortune to train with Chiba Sensei for 20 years, from his arrival in San Diego in 1981. From him, I learned to face my fears, enhance my strengths, and shore up my weaknesses.
    My sincere condolences to his family, who always made me feel part of their family.

  45. As I have recently stated the passing of Chiba Sensei had left me shocked in disbelief. Now after several days of thought , contemplation and several phone calls to others I would like to offer my own tribute to one whom I believe was one of the most enigmatic teachers of Aikido we have ever seen. We may never see his like again. When we first met on the mats in Birmingham UK in 1967 I was 23 and he was 28. At our home Dojo in Leicester UK,we would have monthly seminars with Sensei over a 6 to 7 yr period. It was always a time of both anxiousness and excitement leading up to the weekend. Who would he select for Ukemi. Fear mixed with the pride at being selected were a common theme among the up and coming younger students. We reveled in it. Also in those days the term Sensei was not commonly used he was Mr Chiba to us, a term of respect in the British tradition and he both accepted and respected it. Sensei became a friend and an Inspiration to me that lasts to this day.His legacy is seen in the Dojos of the UK, Europe, USA and throughout the World.God Bless you Sensei, we will miss you. Again my sincere condolences go out to Mrs Chiba and family; students and those who feel called to follow and continue his work and example in the practice of the art he loved Aikido.

  46. I had started my Aikido with Chiba in 1970/71. The moment I set my eyes on him, I could visualize a grand master. He captured my imagination as a young man, and I new I had a teacher/master to follow.
    Every time I enter a dojo I see him first in Zazen sitting. Every time I extend my arms, I see him first extending.
    He was all to all of us around the globe. Chiba directed and assisted the spiritual forecast and training on the mat day to day. He was my Aiki spiritual leader. Thank you

  47. My deepest condolences to Mrs Chiva, Kotetsu, Kano, and the Birankai Org.
    I will miss you Chiba Sensei!
    I will miss your intensity!
    I will miss your Precense!
    We will all miss you as a point of reference!
    May you rest in peace.

  48. I had the great privilege of attending San Diego Aikikai in the ’90’s. I often took instruction from Chiba Sensei..as often as I could.
    I am greatly saddened to hear of his passing, and offer my condolences to his family.
    The Aikido community has lost its best.

  49. it breaks my hart more than ever after the loss of my Mother to hear about Sensei s’ passing on the same year. a BIG BOW for a real master and amazing human. My deepest sympathy for his family and the family of the Akidokas all over .A grate loss. R.I.P Sensei may your spirit guide us & the generations to come trough your universal legacy .

  50. The passing of Chiba Sensei is a sad personal loss for me, and a great loss to the world of Aikido – R.I.P. TK Chiba Sensei.
    We offer our condolences to Madam Chiba and family from the ` Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido `.
    I first met Chiba Sensei in 1966 when he first arrived in the UK at the invitation of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.
    I had been an instructor at the Hut Dojo since 1957 .
    In 1967 I left the Hut dojo to join Chiba Sensei as his assistant from 1967 – 72.
    I met Sensei on his last visit to the UK, where we shared a pint of beer at the Hut pub and talked of the ` old days ` .
    Chiba Sensei will never be forgotten.
    Henry Ellis

  51. One day in the early 1970’s, I walked into the Dojo (London, U.K), as I was a little too early, to find Chiba sensei, practicing Iaido alone. The lights were not switched on yet, only, the day light from the windows. Then suddenly, there was a lightening outside and at each thunder lightening, the light shun on his face and the blade. I found total inspiration from seeing him there, and it was then that I realized I found the true master for me who would guide me through the years to come.

    Like many, my heart leaps to say that I am fortunate so to have encountered one such as Chiba Sensei.

    Today with confidence I know that his legacy will travel through times and ages.

    Thank you.
    Ross Shirazi

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