The Aikido is the marvelous action of the Aiki of Takemusu.
ITAF is an international federation of which the object is the coordination and the administration of an international policy of development of the Takemusu Aikido.
Directly or through its national representations, ITAF provides to the instructor of Aikido as with the beginner all the infrastructure necessary, as well on the administrative level as in the field of the constant improvement of knowledge.
The members of ITAF are national federations which work in their country on the development of Takemusu Aikido.
In each country, ITAF grants a delegation of powers to a single national federation which becomes thus its official representative in the country considered. This national federation remains completely independent. It has a relationship with ITAF only within the limit of the delegation of powers which has been granted.
This delegation of powers authorizes in particular the national representation to deliver passport ITAF, to examine the candidates with ranks ITAF, to deliver these ranks in the name of ITAF, like organizing national demonstrations of Aikido placed under the aegis of ITAF, such as the continuing education of teachers or public training courses.
International Takemusu Aikido Federation
If one withdraws from Aikido the dimension which Takemusu confers upon him, then one reduces the art of O’Sensei to a sport or to an elegant choreography.
Aikido is generally perceived as a sport. In the majority of countries its competence is covered by the Ministry of Sport. Admittedly, an aikidoka exerts his body, and this physical exercise is excellent for his health and fitness. Moreover, when the body acts the spirit is not isolated, it is involved. Sporting practice develops such virtues as attention, concentration, observation and analysis, decision-making, sense of effort, courage, respect of adversary...
One must be very pleased if the spirit and body grow together this way. In this respect, if Aikido were only a sport it would still be interesting.
The Universe has not been created without rules. Life does not appear without a principle working behind the apparent forms. The idea that Aikido techniques solely aim martial effectiveness or body and spirit coordination is mistaken. Neither is the aim solely esthetics of form.
The reason for the movements of Aikido is to teach the practitioner how to act in conformity with the laws at the heart of the Universe.
But how can the movements of a body and a spirit be in conformity with the intention of the Universe? How does man behave so that – thanks to his movements – his personal destiny merges with the destiny of the Universe?
To become one with the Universe, through a unified movement of the body and spirit which respects and uses the principle around which this universe is organized, is the objective which is proposed to the practitioner of Aikido who turns his face towards Takemusu. It is the search of a lifetime.
The three fields of study which form together the program of training (the spear, the sword and empty hand) seem at first very different. It takes years of assiduous practice before the thread which links them appears finally, clearly, to the sincere student. This relationship in Japanese is given the name, riai.
Teaching in question is completely concrete it is not vain speech. It is verifiable by experimentation. It is not a simple trend of Aikido, it is not a style, it is the Teaching of the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba.
ITAF is the concrete expression of an international will to make known and to transmit the takemusu Aikido. All the practitioners of Aikido, whatever their federal origin, are welcomed to the training courses organized by ITAF.
ITAF Training courses are not reserved to the members of the federation. They are open to all the practitioners of Aikido regularly insured and interested by the teaching which is proposed in these demonstrations.
Refer to the website of each country for the advertisements of national training courses, or on this website for the advertisements of international training courses.
The system of ranks ITAF, from 6th kyu to 8th dan, is founded on a program of examination worked out starting from the techniques of weapons as well as of the techniques with empty hands. This progressive program is conceived easier towards most difficult: knowledge of the preceding levels must be thorough, at the same time as new knowledge is required.
The ranks until the 4th dan included are exclusive responsibility of the national representation. From the 5th dan, the candidates pass their examination before an international commission of experts among whom the national representation plays a paramount role.
It is not possible to present an ITAF degree without being a member of the federation through an affiliate. It is the federal passport of a person who attests to its membership.
An evaluation of the progression of the practitioners is organised by means of their classification in a system on three levels corresponding to the three traditional phases (Shu, Ha, Ri) of the evolution of an individual. This progression is sanctioned by a certificate on three levels (Kirikami, Mokuroku, Menkyo-Kaiden).
It is not possible to obtain this certificate without being a member of the federation through an affiliate. It is the federal passport of a person who attests to its membership.
A list of dojos established country by country makes it possible to know the places immediately where ITAF is represented and where it is thus possible to be registered and to practice. Refer to the website of each country to obtain these addresses.
The licence-insurance is delivered by the national representations within the limit of the regulations in force in each country. It covers the risks incurred by the practitioner because of his practice. Refer to the website of each country for more details on the insurance and the procedure for obtaining this license.
Whatever my personal history in Aikido, my formation, my federal origin, I can practice within the framework of ITAF, affiliate my dojo with national ITAF representation of my country, or possibly work to constitute this national representation if it does not exist yet in the country concerned.
The teaching licence-insurance delivered by the national representations covers the risks incurred by the teacher because of his teaching.
The international passport of Aikido ITAF is identical for all the countries and designed to follow the course and the progression of the practitioners and to witness the engagement of the instructor in his work of continuing education. ITAF passport is delivered by the national representation.
Refer to the website of each country to obtain more details on the insurance, e.g. on the procedure to be followed for obtaining this licence.
The continuing education of the teachers is organized on the national plan by the national technical commissions and on the international plan by the international technical commission.
Only official representation ITAF is entitled in its country to organize demonstrations under the aegis of ITAF. This representation can possibly delegate this power to a dojo or a group of dojos, but the potential organizers must necessarily obtain his prior agreement.
The members of ITAF are national federations. An isolated dojo cannot thus directly become a member of international ITAF. It must be affiliated with the existing national representation and will thus become, through her, a member of ITAF.
The members of ITAF being federations of dojos, a dojo only does not meet the requirements to become national representative. In a country where there is no ITAF representation, a dojo must join other takemusu dojos so that their union takes the shape of a moral person who can become the national representation of ITAF.