ABOUT BIRANKAI NORTH AMERICA
Birankai North America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of its members through the practice of martial ways (budo) as exemplified by Aikido, Weapons, Iaido (the study of the Japanese sword), and Zazen meditation.
For our full values, mission, and vision, click here.
BNA prides itself on its standards for teachers and members. Read our ethics statement here.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
Birankai North America denounces systemic racism and violence against the Black community. We stand with the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community, and we pledge to continue to work toward a future of greater empathy and inclusion. In the words of Morihei Ueshiba, “True Budo is the loving protection of all beings with a spirit of reconciliation. This means allowing the completion of everyone’s mission.”
Birankai North America is a part of Birankai International, an organization established by T. K. Chiba in the year 2000. Chiba Sensei had led the Western Region of the United States Aikido Federation since his arrival in the U.S.. In 2006 Birankai North America was established as a separate organization from the USAF, and many of the dojos that had been in the USAF Western Region became members of BNA. Birankai North America-U.S.A. received official recognition from the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo in May of 2009. As of 2019, there are 49 dojos affiliated with BNA: 46 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada. While Birankai Canada is officially recognized in its own right by Aikikai Hombu Dojo, Birankai Canada dojos and members also maintain membership and participate fully in the activities of Birankai North America.
ABOUT BIRANKAI INTERNATIONAL
Birankai International, which was established in 2000, brought schools under Chiba Sensei’s aegis in Europe, Britain, and North America together under a single umbrella organization to support their training. In 2001, Chiba Sensei wrote this account of the formation of Birankai International.
Birankai International currently includes Birankai North America, with dojos in the United States and Canada, Birankai Europe, with dojos in France, Austria, Germany, Poland, Greece and Israel; British Birankai, with dojos throughout Britain; and Scottish and Borders Birankai, with dojos in the northern U.K.
BENEFITS OF BIRANKAI MEMBERSHIP
• BNA offers access to high-level Aikido instructors.
Birankai members have access to a wealth 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 lineage has gained a reputation throughout the larger Aikido community for its rigor, particularly in the area of weapons training. BNA dojos in general, place a high priority on physical conditioning and weapons proficiency. Many BNA dojos offer training in Iaido, Zazen, and/or Misogi, in addition to Aikido study.
All BNA instructors must meet the organization’s certification standards and are expected to demonstrate their continued progress in the art on a regular basis. Furthermore, Birankai members are welcomed, and will find familiar training, at any of the organization’s 54 dojos, as well as at dojos affiliated with the United States Aikido Federation.
• BNA is directly affiliated with Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Japan.
• BNA provides seminar support to member dojos and regional events and provides training scholarships to members.
For more information on BNA’s seminar and scholarship programs, click here.
• BNA offers training materials through its online store and published curriculum guidelines.
• BNA is an inclusive community of Aikido practitioners and welcomes people of all ages, abilities, beliefs, incomes, races, nationalities, genders, and sexual identities.
HOW TO BECOME A BIRANKAI NORTH AMERICA DOJO
• Information on how to become a BNA dojo can be found here.
OUR ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
BNA is governed by three equivalent bodies: The Senior Council, the Teachers’ Council, and the Board of Directors.
Birankai North America comprises the following structure: