The British Ki Society is a group of dojos which practice Ki Aikido as developed by Doshu Yoshigasaki.
Shihan Philip Burgess is the Chief Instructor of the British Ki Society and was promoted to Kudan (9th Dan) by Doshu Yoshigasaki in 2021, just before Doshu passed away.
The British Ki Society is affiliated to the British Aikido Board, the national body responsible for Aikido in the UK. The BAB supervises the certification of aikido coaches, arranges insurance for clubs and practitioners and promotes aikido in the UK.
The British Ki Society can trace a connection back to Morihei Ueshiba, who developed Aikido in the early 20th Century.
Morihei Ueshiba (1883 – 1969) was a renowned Japanese martial artist. After being discharged from the army in 1907, he met and studied with Takeda Sōkaku, the founder of Daitō-ryu Aiki-jūjutsu.
In 1919, Ueshiba joined the Ōmoto-kyō
movement, a Shinto sect, where he
served as a martial arts instructor and opened his first dojo. He moved to Tokyo in 1926, where he set up what would become the Aikikai Hombu Dojo.
At the time of Ueshiba’s death, Tohei sensei (1920 – 2011) was chief instructor of the Hombu Dojo, the headquarters of Aikikai. Tohei wanted aikido to focus on the principles of ki, using exercises to both cultivate and test ki in the daily aikido practice. In 1971 he created a separate organisation, the Ki No Kenkyukai or Ki Society, to teach the development of Ki in Aikido. This became known as Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido (Aikido with mind and body unified) or more simply, Ki Aikido. On 1 May 1974, Koichi Tohei officially left the Aikikai organization to concentrate on his newly created Ki-aikido and Ki-society.
Kenjiro Yoshigasaki sensei (1952 – 2021), a student of Tohei sensei, was sent to Europe in 1977 as the Chief Instructor for the Ki Society. In 1986 the British Ki Society was formed. In 2003 Doshu Yoshigasaki formed his own organisation, the Ki No Kenkyukai Association International.
The organisation has around 4000 members in more than one hundred dojo’s in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Slovenia, South Africa and the UK.
Doshu Yoshigasaki was born in 1951 in Kagoshima, Japan. He started to practise Yoga at the age of 10 and Aikido in 1968, at the age of 17. In addition to Aikido, Doshu Yoshigasaki studied many other martial arts as well as Zen Buddhism, Shintoism, Catholicism and Islam.
In 1971 he spent a year in India devoted to the study of Yoga. In 1973 he became an Aikido instructor with the Ki Society, under Koichi Tohei. In 1977 he came to Europe as the chief Instructor for the Ki Society. Since then he also travelled to the USA, South Africa and South America to teach Ki and Aikido.
In 2015 Doshu Yoshigasaki published All of Aikido, a comprehensive explanation of all of the Aikido techniques which he taught. The English version was produced with the help of sensei Mike Hayes and sensei Jayesh Karadia of the British Ki Society.