Soon after arrival Chiba Sensei started teaching at Busen Dojo in King’s Cross, the old Judo dojo where Kenshiro Abbe had started. There were approximately twenty students practicing, most of which were associated with George Stavrou. When the mats Mr Iyengar had ordered arrived the dojo moved to a new location Seven Sisters Road in Finchley, London. The new space was a community hall rented for two nights a week until they were able to find a better and more suitable location in the Greater London Sports Club in Chiswick where they had semi-permanently laid down the tatami mats. In 1972 the dojo relocated once more into a large Church hall in Earl’s Court with a better atmosphere for a dojo and remained there until Chiba Sensei left for Japan in 1976. It was during this period that Chiba Sensei began the first kenshusei program that incorporated Aikido, weapons, iaido, and Zazen.
Chiba Sensei also formed the Aikikai of Great Britain (AGB) which grew steadily and expanded into several major cities in the UK, namely Birmingham, Leicester, Sunderland, Durham, Manchester, Liverpool, Cardiff, and Glasgow. In the early 1970s Chiba Sensei had a serious commitment to development of Aikido in Europe through the European Aikido Cultural Association (ACEA), the representative organization recognized by Hombu Dojo in Europe. He managed to reestablish his relationship with Tada Sensei, who was teaching in Italy, and joined his annual International Summer Course held at Lake Grada in Northern Italy near Verona. All activities combined he was traveling somewhere in the UK or the European continent nearly every weekend of the year.
in 1975 Kisshomaru Ueshiba conducted a tour of the UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, and Monaco. It was while Nidai Doshu was in Madrid that the International Aikido Federation (IAF) was formed, and the first congress of the IAF was scheduled to be held in Tokyo in May 1976. During that interval with strong recommendation from the directing committee of the ACEA Chiba Sensei was nominated to be the first secretary of the International Affairs for Hombu Dojo.
Return to Japan
In addition to his duties within the Aikikai after returning to Japan, Chiba also began serious study of Musō Shinden-ryū iaido under Takeshi Mitsuzuka. There was a time he lived in the Ichikukai Dojo where he practiced Zen, Misogi, and received his Zen-Buddhist name Taiwa which stands first in T.K. Chiba.
Chiba Sensei moved to San Diego, California in 1981 on an invitation from the United States Aikido Federation and formed the San Diego Aikikai. Under Chiba Sensei’s direction, San Diego Aikikai served as the headquarters for the Western Region of the United States Aikido Federation (later Birankai North America), an organization directly affiliated and recognized by Aikido World Headquarters (Hombu Dojo)] in Tokyo, Japan. For the next twenty-seven years Chiba continued to work diligently to promote aikido worldwide by teaching numerous seminars and by creating a rigorous teacher training program for his own students. In 2008, after 50 years in Aikido, Chiba retired from active teaching.