Birankai North America (BNA) and Birankai Canada (BCA) are nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the lives of their members through the practice of martial ways (budo) as exemplified through the study of Aikido, Aiki-weapons, Iaido(the study of the Japanese sword), and Zazen meditation. Birankai North America has instituted standards of conduct and ethics for teachers and members of the organization. Read the Birankai ethics statement here.
HISTORY – BIRANKAI INTERNATIONAL
Birankai International was established in 2000 to bring schools that were under the aegis of Master T.K. Chiba Sensei in Europe, Britain, and North America, together under a single world-wide umbrella organization. Birankai International currently includes the following organizations:
- Birankai Austria
- Birankai France
- Birankai Israel
- Birankai Poland
- Birankai North America (USA)
- Birankai Canada
- British Birankai
- Hellenic Birankai – Greece
- Scottish and Borders Birankai with dojos in the northern United Kingdom,
Chiba Sensei had served as technical director of the United States Aikido Federation – Western Region since his arrival in the U.S., in 1981. In 2006, Birankai North America (BNA) was established as an organization separate from the United States Aikido Federation (USAF), and many of the dojos that had been in the USAF-Western Region became members of Birankai North America (USA).
Birankai North America-U.S.A. received official recognition from the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo in May of 2009. As of 2016, there are 54 dojos affiliated with BNA: 51 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada.
Birankai Canada was formed as a separate organization in 2010, and, in 2014 received official recognition from the Aikikai Foundation World Headquarters as an Aikido organization in Canada. As a sister-organization of Birankai North America, the members of Birankai Canada maintain close connections and coordinates many of its activities together with Birankai North America.
BENEFITS OF BIRANKAI MEMBERSHIP
- Birankai offers access to high-level Aikido instructors. Birankai members have access to a group of highly skilled and qualified Aikido instructors, many of whom trained directly under T. K. Chiba Shihan for a number of years. Chiba Sensei’s approach and training methodology has gained a reputation throughout the larger Aikido community for its rigor, particularly in the area of weapons training and BNA dojos, in general, place a priority on dynamic training, physical conditioning and weapons proficiency. In addition to Aikido training, many BNA dojos also offer training in Iaido, Zazen, and/or Misogi Harai.
- All BNA instructors go through an evaluation and certification process and must meet the organization’s certification standards. All instructors are expected to maintain and to demonstrate their continued progress in the art, on an ongoing basis.
- Birankai members are welcomed throughout the organization’s member dojos, and will find familiar training at any of the organization’s 54 dojos in the US and Canada, as well as at dojos affiliated with the United States Aikido Federation.
- Birankai ranks are recognized around the world. Birankai has affiliated country organizations that are recognized by Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Japan.
- Birankai provides seminar support to member dojos and regional events and provides training scholarships to members.
- Birankai North America offers training materials through its online store and published curriculum outlines.
- Birankai is an inclusive community of Aikido practitioners. Birankai welcomes people of all ages, abilities, beliefs, incomes, races, nationalities, genders, and sexual identities.
Information on how to become a Birankai-affiliated dojo can be found here.
For more information please visit the website of Birankai International, at www.birankai.org.