Recommended reading: “Interview with Hitohiro Saito” by Sonoko Tanaka

The interview below with Hitohiro Saito Sensei has been selected from the extensive archives of the Online Aikido Journal. We believe that an informed readership with knowledge of the history, techniques and philosophy of aikido is essential to the growth of the art and its adherence to the principles espoused by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.

The foundation of aikido training is forging yourself. You cannot do this if you start practicing ki no nagare (ki-flow techniques) from the beginning. The basic training consists in allowing your partner to hold you firmly. By doing so he is doing you a favor. Your partner restrains you and only then do you start practicing a technique. This is the first step on the path. One of the founder’s instructions was to start with tai no henko. You should not neglect even one tai no henko practice. This is what we teach in Iwama.

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