|History of aikido
· Origins (from old style jujitsu to aikido/judo)
· Sokaku Takeda and Morihei Ueshiba
· Morihei Ueshiba and Kenji Tomiki
· Jigoro Kano and Kenji Tomiki
· The development of aikido competition
In the autumn of 1926 Kenji Tomiki was introduced to Morihei Ueshiba in Tokyo by his friend Hidetaro Nishimura (formerly Kubota) from the Waseda University Judo Club. Tomiki was immediately impressed by Ueshiba's aikido techniques. The techniques were different from judo but left a deep impression on him. After this, with his younger brother Kensaburo, Tomiki started going to Ueshiba's dojo in Gotanda every day. During the following summer holiday in 1927 Tomiki went to Ayabe, because Ueshiba had moved there, and trained with him for a month.
At that time, Ueshiba spoke about his own teacher Sokaku Takeda. He said that faith in the Omoto religion had made him stronger and recommended it to Tomiki. Tomiki was a graduate student and started to read the Omoto scriptures as well as working for Ueshiba. In Tokyo, Ueshiba's only uke then was Yoichiro Inoue who only attended occasionally so Tomiki promptly took his place.
Tomiki then became a junior high school teacher in his hometown of Kakunodate and continued practising aikido during his occasional holidays. In 1934 he resigned and returned to Tokyo where he set up home one minute away from Ueshiba's Kobukan Dojo and continued to study aikido seriously. In that year he became an army officer and, with Ueshiba's permission, went to Manchukuo to teach as an instructor of Ueshiba-ryu Aikijujitsu. His techniques were praised enthusiastically by the chief of staff Hideki Tojo which promoted the spread of aikido there. In March of 1936 he became a lecturer at the Daido Institute that had been established in Manchukuo. In the spring of 1938 he moved to the newly established Kenkoku University lecturing in budo and was in charge of a new course in aikibudo (the name used by Ueshiba at that time) on the curriculum.
From this period Tomiki made great progress in his research and he wrote various books and papers, such as 'The Future Of Judo and Aikibudo' (1937), explaining the significance of judo and budo in aikibudo. As a result, he received recognition and support from many people in budo and judo including Jiro Nango, the second president of Kodokan.
Through his favourite pupil, Ueshiba's aikibudo became established as a form of educational budo. Between 1940 and 1942 Ueshiba visited Manchukuo and took great pleasure demonstrating aikibudo. In 1940 he established a grading system and made Tomiki his first 8th dan.