T. K. Chiba

T.K. Chiba was born in 1940 in Tokyo. At 14 years of age, he began serious Judo training at the International Judo Academy and two years later he began the study of Sho To Kan Karate. He became dissatisfied with these martial arts however and searched instead for an art that would satisfy his yearning.

In 1958, Chiba Sensei found Aikido and successfully petitioned to become an uchideshi, a private live-in student of the founder of the art Master Morihei Ueshiba, or O-Sensei. He trained intensively under O-Sensei at Hombu Dojo for seven years. By 1960, he had earned the rank of San Dan, 3rd degree black belt, and was assigned to Nagoya City to establish a branch school and serve as its full-time instructor. In 1962, he earned 4th Dan and began teaching at Hombu Dojo. Within three years, during which time he taught at many local universities, Chiba Sensei completed his training as uchideshi, earning promotion to 5th Dan.

In 1966, Chiba Sensei came to the United Kingdom. There he formed the Aikikai of Great Britain, which later changed its name to the British Aikido Federation.

During 1970, he was awarded the title of Shihan, meaning “teacher of teachers,” and received 6th Dan. In 1975, he returned to Japan where he served as secretary of the International Department of Hombu Dojo and resumed teaching duties. During this period he also studied Zen meditation in Shizuoka Prefecture.

In 1981, Chiba Sensei accepted an invitation from the United States Aikido Federation and moved to San Diego, California, where he established San Diego Aikikai. He holds the rank of 8th Dan.

Chiba Sensei has maintained a lifelong connection with his students in the United Kingdom. In 2001, he formed Birankai International, to bring together his students from across the world under one umbrella organisation. Scottish and Borders Birankai maintains a direct connection with Chiba Sensei, our teacher and founder, and with the Birankai community across the world.