"Minimum Effort, Maximum Effect"
Aikido Kokikai focuses taking balance from the attacker, keeping that balance and throwing with as little energy as possible. The attack supplies all of the energy needed to execute technique. Instead of thinking about throwing as an act of applying force to the adversary, Kokikai students think of throwing as leading the opponent to a fall. In that way, we aim to achieve Aikido's ultimate goal of defending oneself and resolving conflict without the need for excessive violence.
Maruyama Sensei was originally a student of Koichi Tohei Sensei, one of Ueshiba Sensei's top students who later founded Ki Society (Shin Shin Toitsu) Aikido. On Tohei's reccommendation, Maruyama Sensei was invited to train under Ueshiba Sensei as an uchideshi (A live-in student).
This was both a great honor and a life changing experience for Sensei. The world was still healing following the events of World War II and Sensei says that, at the time, getting invited to visit the victor country felt like getting invited to board a space ship to the moon.
During this time, he found that Americans were stubborn and non-compliant. They questioned everything that Sensei taught and put his Aikido to the test. This was very different from his experiences in Japan and it forced him to rethink his style of Aikido.
The school Maruyama Sensei built is the result of his unique experiences teaching Aikido in both Japan and the United States. Kokikai Aikido takes the philosophies and techniques of traditional Aikido and tempers them with western empiricism. Kokikai Aikido continues to evolve each and every day as both a community and a martial art.
Kokikai is headquartered at Maruyama Sensei's dojo in Nagoya, Japan. Sensei regularly travels to the United States and Australia to teach hundreds of students at seasonal Kokikai camps and seminars.