Iwama Takemusu Aikido Dojo London
Justin Christou

Morihiro Saito Sensei 9th Dan Shihan 1928 - 2002

Morihiro Saito Sensei was born in Iwama, and by the time he was 18 years old, like most young teenagers, had experienced some form of Japanese martial arts such as Kendo and Karate. It was around this time that he heard about a an old eccentric Master (Morihei Ueshiba) who was practicing some kind of secret martial art up in the mountains in the town of Iwama.

Morihiro Saito Sensei.

Morihiro Saito Sensei 9th Dan Shihan

After plucking up the courage he found himself on the doorstep where Morihei Ueshiba was teaching a few students. Having been left earlier by his friends who where too scared to continue, the young Morihiro Saito stood at the entrance until he was kindly asked by the little old man the reason for his visit.

Explaining that he had come to practice, Morihei Ueshiba invited him in and told him to go ahead and grab or attack as he pleased.With some experience in Karate and Kendo the young Saito Sensei felt confident enough and so proceeded to grab and attack, each time he did he found himself lying flat on his back or held in and arm lock or pinned to the ground not knowing how he got there.

The Great Morihei Ueshiba looked at him and said today's lesson is over, if you wish come again, "I will teach you, you can teach the others".

From that day Morihiro Saito Sensei enrolled as a live in student (Uchi Deshi) and continued to train and serve his teacher everyday for the next 23 years, on many occasions training solely with the Founder. Learning open handed and Aiki weapons, Morihiro Saito Sensei became known throughout the world as the highest skilled practitioner of Aikido.

Morihiro Saito Sensei using bokken.

Morihiro Saito Sensei using bokken.

After Morihei Ueshiba passed away in 1969 Morihiro Saito Sensei became the head instructor at the Iwama Dojo continuing to teach every morning and evening until his death in 2002. His duty was to preserve and pass on the techniques and teachings as he once received from the Founder of Aikido the Great Morihei Ueshiba.

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the founder of Aikido

Quote of the week

"If you want to disarm your foe, seize the initiative step in and cut decisively."

Morihei Ueshiba - the founder of Aikido