Calvin Tabata Interview

Calvin Tabata

Calvin Tabata, 8th Dan in Ki-Aikido
Founder of the Personal Kiatsu® School

Interview with Calvin Tabata

Calvin Tabata, 8th Dan in Ki Aikido, Okuden Ki rank, and founder of the Personal Kiatsu School, began his training with Master Koichi Tohei at age 3. He is Chief Instructor of the Northwest Ki Federation and Senior Advisor Representing World Headquarters to the United Kingdom Ki Federation.

Tell us about the origins of Kiatsu–how did this training come about?

My teacher, Master Koichi Tohei, introduced the martial art of Aikido to the world, and was recognized by the Japanese government as a Japanese National Treasure. He developed our understanding of Ki, or living energy, and founded the disciplines of Ki Training, Ki-Aikido, and Kiatsu. He was an amazing man and a wonderful teacher.
When Tohei Sensei was a Japanese officer in China during World War II, there were no available doctors and no medicines. He tried treating the illnesses that he developed with Ki, and found that they responded. Subsequently, as he traveled throughout the world, teaching Ki and Aikido, he used Ki principles and Kiatsu to address student’s medical problems. From these experiences, he developed an understanding of using Ki for health.

He started the first Kiatsu school in Japan in 1980 to formalize the art.

How does Kiatsu work?

Ki is living power. It is the energy of the universe that flows through us strongly when we are relaxed, focused, and unify our mind, body, and spirit. Kiatsu is the process of putting Ki into ourselves or another person to help stimulate one’s own natural healing abilities.

Can you share some of your personal experiences with Kiatsu?

My children and I were involved in many sports growing up, and consequently we had many injuries. I pressed myself and my children frequently. Kiatsu minimized the amount of damage from the injuries and greatly accelerated recovery.

Recently, an Aikido student fell badly and had a third-degree (complete disruption) tear of his shoulder AC ligament. As we were in the school conducting a Kiatsu seminar, we pressed him for about four hours. In two weeks, he had pain-free range of motion, and the shoulder healed in place, without a drop. Kiatsu converted the grade 3 injury into a grade 1 injury.

When he was playing college football, my son was knocked unconscious and had a serious concussion two days before final exams. I was at the game, and I started doing Kiatsu in the emergency room, as soon as the scans were completed. I pressed him continuously through the night while he slept, and he was essentially well by the next day.
He took all of his exams and passed them over the next week. My son had none of the common difficulties with headaches and concentration that many people experience with concussions.

I have treated many people with many different problems, teaching them to help themselves using Ki. Almost always, Kiatsu gives them substantial benefit.

Is this something anyone can learn, or does it take a special gift? How long does a person need to study in order to benefit?

Anyone who is capable of listening can learn—Kiatsu and Ki training does not require any special gift. Everyone is capable and can benefit, but training increases one’s ability.
As a society, we have become too dependent on others to care for our health needs.

How might Kiatsu benefit our larger society?

Kiatsu training has the potential to help many people. We have a society that encourages a dependency on others and on drugs to solve health problems. Kiatsu training can help individuals develop their own living power and healing capacity, so that they can live healthier, happier lives.

Why and how did you start the Personal Kiatsu School in Oregon?

Tohei Sensei taught me Kiatsu as I trained and traveled with him as a young Aikido student. Having experienced the benefits for myself and my family, I wished to share Kiatsu training with my students in Oregon. Rather than creating a professional school, we developed Kiatsu as a personal training, using all of the tools Tohei Sensei had developed: coordination of mind and body, Ki training, Ki breathing, Ki health exercises, and Kiatsu. The goal is to help our students increase their living power to improve their health and that of their families, and so become more positive and successful members of their communities.

What are your plans for the future of the Kiatsu program?

Kiatsu has the potential to help many people. We plan to continue to grow the program, develop more instructors, and reach out to help more students. We will also continue to develop the art to make Kiatsu more effective.

What role might scientific research have in the future development of the Kiatsu program?

Our powerful experience of the effectiveness of Kiatsu remains anecdotal. Scientific research can document the benefits of Kiatsu and grow our understanding of how it works.

Calvin Tabata Interview August 31, 2017

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Tigard, OR 97223


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