Winnipeg Aikikai joined the Winnipeg martial arts community in 1982 when Bernard Viau began giving classes at the University of Winnipeg. Aikido practise was very basic until Tom Czyczko, a student at the time, invited Kawahara Shihan (master instructor) to visit Winnipeg from British Columbia. In 1990, Tom moved to Vancouver and trained directly under Kawahara Shihan where he obtained his shodan. In 1991 Tom moved to Tokyo and trained at the Aikikai World Headquarters, Hombu Dojo, for 5 years. He took instruction from Ni-Dai Doshu Ueshiba Kisshomaru, son of the founder of Aikido, and other legendary instructors. Tom was asked to return to Winnipeg and resume teaching by Kawahara Shihan. In 2012 Tom retired for medical reasons and his student, Warren Bard, took over dojo-cho duties.
All instructors at Winnipeg Aikikai have trained at Hombu Dojo in Tokyo. All kyu and dan certificates are registered through Hombu dojo and carry world-wide recognition.
When Tom left Hombu Dojo he was presented this gift, from Kisshomaru Doshu, son of the founder of Aikido.