Mitsunari Kanai Sensei, 8th Dan, Shihan

Chief Instructor of New England Aikikai (1966-2004)

Kanai Sensei was one of the last group of O-Sensei's direct students, entering the Hombu Dojo in 1958 as an uchi-deshi. He moved to the United States in 1966 and subsequently founded the New England Aikikai.

Kanai Sensei was instrumental in the early development of aikido in the United States and Canada, and taught seminars widely throughout the United States, South America, Canada and Europe. He was one of the founders and a Technical Director of both the United States Aikido Federation and the CAF.

Kanai was also skilled in iaido and subsequently taught this art to his senior students, many of whom hold dan rank in both iaido and aikido. He was also highly respected for his metalworking skills and deep historical knowledge of the Japanese sword, the katana, serving at times as a specialist advisor to the East Asian Collection at the nearby Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Kanai Sensei passed away on March 28, 2004.

Kanai Sensei Articles

An Interview with Kanai Sensei

By Julien Neves-Pelchat, Aikido de la Montagne, Montreal, Canada
(reviewed by Helena Neves-Pelchat, Julien’s mother)

My name is Julien, I am 10 years old and I’ve been practicing Aikido for a year. I have passed my yellow belt exam and I am now working hard for my orange belt.

I love Aikido. During my life, I’ve had the opportunity of visiting different Aikido dojos and I’ve always been impressed at seeing the different techniques and the amazing tobiukemi.

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A Thought on Reigi Saho

by Mitsunari Kanai

Fundamental Philosophy of Reigi

The motivating principle of human survival, based upon the instinctual needs of food and sex, is power. The ability to effectively use power is crucial for the sustenance of life itself. The technology of fighting, pre-modern and modern, is an expression of this power, and the human race has survived to this point in history because of the ability to properly use this power. In fact, the development of this technology has given rise to new ideas, scientific advances, civilization, and culture. The basic principle of power is deeply rooted in life itself, and it is still the basis of human society as we know it today.

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Kanai Sensei Speaks in Ireland

by R.A. Whelan

Note by R.A. Whelan:

I had the good fortune of traveling to Dublin, Ireland to attend Kanai Sensei’s seminar at Trinity College. The event was organized by John Rogers, 5th Dan, head of the Irish Aikido Federation. It was a terrific seminar (or rather it was “grand” or “brilliant”) with much goodwill shared by the many international attendees.

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Kanai Sensei Videos

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Technical Aikido

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