Aikido Kenkyukai International
Aikido Kenkyukai International (AKI) means 'Aikido Research Group' and is an international network of like-minded aikidoka (Aikido practitioners) inspired by the teachings of Shihan Yoshinobu Takeda, 8th Dan. AKI members are part of the Aikikai Foundation (Aikido World Headquarters), and all dan grades (black belts) are awarded from the Aikikai Japan Hombu Dojo.
Takeda Shihan is a contemporary master of the art who continues the development and inspiration of Aikido through his own intuitive and powerful style. Takeda Shihan received his Aikido instruction from Seigo Yamaguchi Shihan, 9th Dan, who was one of the longest serving students of O-Sensei and trained with O-Sensei until O-Sensei passed away. Yamaguchi Shihan passed away in 1996.
Takeda Shihan is President of Aikido Kenkyukai International and a member of the Aikikai Board. Takeda Shihan has a number of dojos in Japan, with his own dojo in Kamakura near Tokyo. There are clubs in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, South America and throughout Australia. Takeda Shihan's leading Senseis often travel around the world to run training camps.
Aikido Kenkyukai began in Australia in 1980, when Takeda Shihan agreed to help Aikido students in Canberra. This was the first AKI dojo outside of Japan. Since then the movement has spread to NSW, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia, and internationally to Canada, USA, New Zealand, Germany, Chile and Uruguay.
Australian Dojos and regions are quite autonomous, and classes are taught by qualified instructors, who receive training from Senior Australian Instructors. Special training camps are lead by Japanese senseis, who often visit Australia, or Senior Australian or International Instructors.
AKI has dojos up through the east coast, from Melbourne to Canberra (several dojos), Sydney (several dojos), and Noosa. Regional dojos can be found in Moruya, Bowral, Orange, and Blue Mountains. There are also dojos in Adelaide and Hobart.