T. K. Chiba shihan was uchideshi at hombu dojo (the central dojo in Tokyo) and was deshi to O'sensei, travelling with him around Japan as his personal assistant and uke. He was sent to establish Aikido in the UK in the 60's. After returning to Japan and holding the post of secretary of the International Aikido Federation, he was invited to move to California where he set up San Diego Aikikai and was the technical director of the United States Aikido Federation, Western region before he established Birankai which is the organisation representing all of his students world wide. He passed away in 2015.
Chiba sensei's style is characterised by total commitment to the technique which developes the uke's (attacker's) responsiveness and resilience, as well as their physical and psychological flexibility.
He also put a lot of emphasis on the value of weapon work to help educate the body/mind about timing, distance and line of attack. In Birankai, there are 4 areas of training which are all important and complementary:
1). Body art - Aikido techniques between unarmed partners
2). Weapons training - individual and partner training with the bokken (wooden sword) and jo (staff)
3). Iaido - the art of drawing and cutting with a real sword
4). Zazen - meditation