In 1965 Koichi Tohei, the chief instructor of Aikido Hombu in the World Aikido Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan visited the Aikido schools in Manila, Philippines and held Aikido exhibitions along with Benjamin Galarpe throughout the Philippines.
Later that year, Koichi Tohei went on to promote Benjamin Galarpe to the rank of Sandan.
The schism between Aikikai doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba and the head master Koichi Tohei in the early 1970s pressured Galarpe to take sides and choose his loyalty between the Aikikai and Koichi Tohei’s Ki Society. In the end, Galarpe chose Koichi Tohei and joined Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido. The now orphaned Manila Aikido Club, which Galarpe founded for the Aikikai, was left in the hands of his student Manuel “Omar” Camar.
As far as he was concerned, Galarpe’s decision to ally himself with Tohei was his personal choice and was not supposed to involve any of his students nor the Manila Aikido Club. However, three of his students, Ernesto Talag of Quezon City, Chan Hok-seng of Pampanga and Max Tian of Cebu, did decide to follow Galarpe’s example and remain loyal to Koichi Tohei.
Ernesto Talag joined Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido and founded the Ki Society of the Philippines. Max Tian did the same thing and established the Cebu Ki Society.
To be continued…