Kazuo Chiba (February 5, 1940 – June 5, 2015) – has been an 8 Dan Aikido Aikikai teacher. He learned directly from the Morihei Ueshiba and his son Kisshomaru. Dedicated life to Budo where 50 years were about the Aikido in the first place.
Kazuo Chiba was doing Judo since he was 14. At 16 he also began to study Shotokan Karate. As 18 years old teenager he was looking for more and it was the O-Sensei’s picture in a book that made him come to the Hombu Dojo as an uchi-deshi. For 7 years stay in the Hombu Kazuo Chiba has become a travel assistant to Morihei during the Aikido trips.
In 1966 Sensei moved to Great Britain to form the Aikikai Organization. He spent there ten years and promoted Aikido in the countries that were near geographically, mostly European.
In 1975 Chiba Sensei came back to Japan and learned Muso Shinden-Ryu Iaido under Takeshi Mitsuzuka. There was a time Kazuo Chiba lived in the Ichikukai Dojo where he practiced Zen, Misogi, and received his Zen-Buddhist name Taiwa which stands first in T.K. Chiba.
All this experience he applied when he moved to San Diego, USA in 1981. He established the Birankai Aikido organization that was officially recognized by the Aikikai Foundation. He developed his own style and a system of learning weapons that are being used even outside of the Birankai circles these days.
Next 27 years Chiba Sensei spent teaching, developing, spreading Aikido until retirement in 2008.
Sensei cared much about the efficiency of the techniques. His ukes really felt it and because of that his profile still remains ambiguous and some think he was too cruel.
His students still continue what he started. They are great teachers of these days. Get in the articles of Piotr Masztalerz and Robert Savoca, and Juba Nour, of course, to see how Chiba Sensei’s future looks like.