the larger community
Birankai North America is a part of Birankai International, an organization established by T. K. Chiba in the year 2000. Chiba Sensei had led the Western Region of the United States Aikido Federation since his arrival in the U.S.. In 2006 Birankai North America was established as a separate organization from the USAF, and many of the dojos that had been in the USAF Western Region became members of BNA. Birankai North America-U.S.A. received official recognition from the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo in May of 2009.
As of 2016, there are 54 dojos affiliated with BNA: 51 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada. While Birankai Canada received official recognition in its own right from the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in 2014, Birankai Canada, its dojos and members also maintain membership, and continue to participate fully in the activities of Birankai North America.
The Aikikai Foundation is the main worldwide organization dedicated to fostering the international development of Aikido. Its headquarters is in Tokyo, Japan, serving both as an active dojo (“Hombu Dojo”) and as the organizational hub.
The headquarters dojo (Hombu) is managed by the Ueshiba family, direct descendants of Aikido’s founder, known as Doshu (keeper of the Way.)