T.K. Chiba, Shihan
T.K. Chiba was born in 1940 in Tokyo. At 14 years of age, he began serious judo training at the International Judo Academy; two years later, he began the study of sho to kan karate. Dissatisfied with these martial arts, he searched instead for an art that would satisfy his yearning.
In 1958, Chiba Sensei found aikido and began seven intensive years of live-in study as an uchideshi, or O Sensei's private student, at Hombu Dojo. 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 went to the United Kingdom. He formed the Aikikai of Great Britain, which later changed its name to the British Aikido Federation, in Sunderland. Currently Chiba Sensei is the Technical Director of the British Aikikai, a group formed by his long-standing students in Britain.
In 1970, he was awarded the title of Shihan, meaning "teacher of teachers," and received 6th dan as well. In 1975, Chiba Sensei returned to Japan and served as Secretary of the International Department of Hombu Dojo.
In 1981, after studying zen meditation in Shizuoka Prefecture, he accepted an invitation from the United States Aikido Federation (directly affiliated with Hombu Dojo, Aikido World Headquarters, and currently headed by Moriteru Ueshiba Doshu) and moved to San Diego, California. There he formed San Diego Aikikai and founded Birankai International. He holds the rank of 8th dan.
T.K. Chiba Shihan passed away on June 5th, 2015. Brooklyn Aikikai is deeply saddened by the death of Chiba Sensei. He was instrumental in the creation of our dojo and in teaching our chief instructor. To honor his memory, we will pass on his teaching to the best of our ability. His dedication to aikido has been and will be felt by generations of students around the world.