Kokikai's founder, Sensei Shuji Maruyama began his study of Aikido in 1953 with the famed master Koichi Tohei, who at that time was the Chief Instructor under Morihei Ueshiba, Aikido's founder. Upon graduation from Nippon University, Maruyama Sensei apprenticed for many years under both Tohei and Ueshiba.

In 1966, Maruyama Sensei arrived in the United States at the invitation of the Ohio Judo and Karate Associations to instruct Aikido to association members for two years. During this time Sensei encountered features of modern combat such as lightning-fast kicks and jab punches that were unknown to the traditional Aikido practiced in Japan. As a result of this experience, he began to adapt Aikido techniques to better meet the challenges of modern fighting. This experience of overcoming the limitations of the traditional art led Maruyama Sensei to a revolutionary realization that a correctly coordinated mind-body yields a natural, powerful feeling that enables one to achieve maximum effect with minimum effort.

In 1968, Sensei relocated to Philadelphia, where he taught and further evolved his adaptation of traditional Aikido to modern combat for the next fifteen years.

In 1986, Maruyama Sensei founded the Kokikai International Federation to promote the practice of this extraordinary new martial system. To date, Sensei actively instructs Kokikai in Japan, Australia, and the United States. 



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