Reiki and the Martial Arts connection

Mikao Usui the developer of the Usui Reiki system is said to be related to the famous samurai Tsunetane Chiba from the 1500s. The Chiba clan was once an influential Samurai family in Japan during this time.

At the age of 12 Mikao Usui began to study the martial arts of Aiki Jutsu and an early form of Daito Ryu a form of jujutsu. He attained a high level of proficiency in both weaponry and grappling.

He was said to be associated with well know martial artists of his time. Some of them were Gichin Funakoshi the founder of Shotakan karate, Morihei Ueshiba the founder of Aikido and Jigoro Kano the founder of Judo. It is said that the ranking system of Reiki was based on the ranking system set up by Jigoro Kano for his judo students.

The first four levels of Reiki were combined into one called Shoden. It would have included the martial art rankings of rokyu, gokyu, yonkyu and sankyu. Equivalent to mid and upper level rankings of beginning students.

The second level of Reiki was split into two parts called Okuden Zenki (1st part) and Okuden Kuki (2nd part). These would have been equivalent to the martial arts ranking of nikyu, ikkyu, shodan and nidan which are upper level rankings of beginning students and the first two black belt ranks.

The master level of Reiki is called Shinpiden and was equivalent to sandan which is the third degree black belt rank.

Of course in Reiki as in the martial arts one was to achieve a level of proficiency and time in that rank before moving on to an advanced rank. It was expected that one should practice diligently in the martial arts and the same can be said for Reiki practitioners.

It is my belief that all martial artists should learn Reiki as a wonderful adjunct to their martial arts training.








In researching information about Reiki for the third book I had come across some interesting books which opened my eyes to the way Reiki was being taught in the west. The Takata lineage was supposed to have been the only one in the west and that there were no other Reiki masters in Japan after World War II. It seems that information has been incorrect.

Frank Arjava Petter and William Lee Rand write about finding Mikao Usui’s memorial stone in Japan and some of his students who were still teaching in Japan. They also write about the Reiki Ryoho Gakkai the organization thought to be founded by Mikao Usui. In reading the works by these authors I have come to learn that during Mikao Usui’s travels he was a student of Qigong or Kiko in Japanese. His system of healing was originally being used for spiritual healing for oneself and not specifically for healing others. That is not to say that it was not being done but the original intent was for self healing.

Mikao Usui’s original teachings did not use symbols for Reiki treatments and healings but something called kotodama which is translated as spirit words. The symbols came later towards the end of his life and used by Chujiro Hayashi and then Hawayo Takata. I hope to be able to show in my new book the differences and similarities between Reiki and Qigong and how they both benefit the health and well being of anyone who takes the time to learn them.

Old Man From the Hill 3 Cover