Aikido Kenkyu Kai International (A.K.I.) is an affiliation of aikido clubs inspired by the teachings of Shihan Yoshinobu Takeda 8th dan AIKIKAI of Kamakura Japan. Takeda shihan was in turn, a longterm student of Yamaguchi Seigo shihan, a honbu instructor and student of Osensei. Kenkyu Kai International came into being due to Takeda shihan's students relocating to different countries and finding his group name "Shonan Aikido Renmei" not really applicable outside of Japan. "Shonan" being a region in Japan around Kamakura. The calligraphy says "AIKI". -The "DO" or "WAY" is missing. This is to signify that each student or practitioner must "find his own way" through practical experience and sincere research. Hence the name of the group - Aikido Kenkyu Kai International -"Kenkyu Kai" means "study or research group". It is not another independant or breakaway group of Aikidoka but rather a group of Aikikai Japan students' dedicated to researching the inner meaning and spiritual qualities of Aikido. What Takeda shihan is saying is - as an art, Aikido is a living creation and each student should express it according to their individual nature. Therefore it is perfectly correct that each student discovers and expresses the knowledge that is held in the form (techniques). Not just to repeat techniques for the sake of defeating another, or because one was told to do it a particular way. The essence of this approach is simply to increase ones awareness of body, mind and nature. Then the delightful treasure is revealed.