Founder of Aikido, O-Sensei Ueshiba Morihei

Aikido and Aikibojitsu

Aikido is a sophisticated and powerful martial system based upon the principles of non-resistant power. Created in the mid 1900s by Master Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei, Aikido is now practiced by a wide spectrum of serious individuals worldwide as a Way by which to approach the challenges of life. Aikido is meditation as much as it is a martial art form. A major part of Aikido study involves work with a staff; Ueshiba O'Sensei was a master of staff work, and considered it one of Aikido's foundational pillars.

Aikibojitsu's philosophy and technique with the staff resembles the philosophy and technique that was taught at the Kumano Juku Dojo in the early 1970s. But due to many factors, Aikibojitsu has come to be substantially different from its martial parent. As an example, in addition to focus upon achievement of control of uke (the attacker), Aikibojitsu also places emphasis upon doing so in light of the exponential nature of Reality.

Through understanding of both the theoretical foundation and practical techniques of Aikibojitsu, Aikidoists will come to a better understanding of why Aikido techniques take the forms that they do. They will come to a deeper understanding of where and how both power and silent stillness are best expressed in Aikido technique. Aikido practitioners and other martial artists who encounters Aikibojitsu will be inspired by it, empowered by its clear illustration of the complex web of forces that underlie perfection in movement.


Aikibojitsu Founder John Thomas Read

O-Sensei training with Michio Hikitsuchi Sensei

O-Sensei training with Michio Hikitsuchi Sensei

Every advanced art form is built upon the effort of dedicated individuals who have devoted their lives to their work. Aikibojitsu is such an art form, the product of a very special lineage that began in the inspired work of Master Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei. Morihei Ueshiba spent his entire life studying martial arts, and became an acknowledged master in several schools of jiu-jutsu and swordsmanship. But his real accomplishment was the creation of Aikido, a powerful and beautiful martial system based in compassion, non-resistance, and spiritual understanding.

One of Ueshiba Sensei's top students (soto deshi) was Michio Hikitsuchi, who also spent his entire life devoted to study of martial arts. Hikitsuchi Sensei, himself an acknowledged master of swordsmanship and staff work, was also a Shinto priest, and all those who trained with him in the Kumano Juku Dojo were deeply affected and influenced by the powerful spiritual focus of his teaching. Hikitsuchi sensei was one of a very few who were promoted to 10th dan in Aikido by Master Morihei Ueshiba.

Yasushi Tojima was a senior teacher at the Kumano Juku Dojo, known for his unpredictable nature, ready sense of humor, and explosive intensity. Tojima sensei was central to the creation and development of Aikibojitsu spending time and energy as mentor to Tom Read Sensei, Aikibojitsu's founder.

Tojima Sensei with the staff

Tojima Sensei with the staff

John Thomas Read Sensei began formal Aikido study in 1969 as a way to broaden and deepen his study of Zen meditation. In 1974, Read Sensei moved to Japan where he studied under Masters Michio Hikitsuchi, Yasushi Tojima, and other senior teachers of the Aiki Kumano Juku Dojo. After returning from Japan, Read Sensei opened Northcoast Aikido in 1977 with formal written sanction from Master Michio Hikitsuchi. Read Sensei began to develop the staff work of Aikibojitsu in 1985 after he experienced a powerful spiritual awakening to the fullness of Aikido's foundations.


Although Aikibojitsu continues to evolve and is different in many ways from its martial roots, Read Sensei still considers the art form to be the staff work of Aikido, and considers Aikibojitsu staff work to be a natural extension of the staff work of Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei.