“Aikido Pioneers – Prewar Era” – The book that will change your view of Aikido’s origins!


It is our pleasure to announce the availability of one of the most important books on Aikido history ever published, Aikido Pioneers-Prewar Era by Stanley Pranin. This new title weighs in at a hefty 364 pages and contains in-depth interviews with twenty of the most important early students of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. These early disciples of the art witnessed and participated in the process that culminated in the birth of modern Aikido. Their testimonies constitute an invaluable source of information for those seeking an understanding of the roots of aikido.

The list of those appearing in Aikido Pioneers and sharing their remembrances and stories reads like a Who’s Who of Aikido: Yoichiro Inoue, Kenji Tomiki, Hisao Kamada, Hajime Iwata, Minoru Mochizuki, Shigemi Yonekawa, Rinjiro Shirata, Gozo Shioda, Yoshio Sugino, Kiyoshi Nakakura, Takako Kunigoshi, Zenzaburo Akazawa, Bansen Tanaka, Tenryu, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Minoru Hirai, Koichi Tohei, Kisaburo Osawa, Shigenobu Okumura, and Kanshu Sunadomari.

Click here to view or download (right click) a sample PDF file of Aikido Pioneers-Prewar Era containing about 1/4 of the pages of the book

Click here for further information and to order Aikido Pioneers – Prewar Era

Much of what you believe and have been told about the birth and development of aikido is not fully accurate or just plain wrong. Aikido Pioneers-Prewar Era will go a long way towards rectifying many of the misconceptions and errors that have persisted for decades and bring the character, technique, and accomplishments of Morihei Ueshiba into sharp focus. After reading this book, there is little doubt that you will become an authority on the subject! For readers who would like to further deepen their study of the origins of Aikido, we have prepared a special set titled “The Pillars of Aikido” that contains Aikido Pioneers-Prewar Era, Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu: Conversations with Daito-ryu Masters, and The Great Onisaburo Deguchi. A reading of these three pivotal books will give you a deep understanding of the roots of Aikido and inform you all about Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu, the technical precursor of the art, and Onisaburo Deguchi, the famous religious leader who guided Morihei Ueshiba through a spiritual transformation. Want to learn still more about Aikido history? Click here for more information on the “Pillars of Aikido” set and to receive a 20% discount.


  1. I have been looking forward to this piece especially because it deals with an essential part of Aikido that I know next-to-nothing about.


  2. It would be nice if a similar book could be done for Daito ryu.

  3. Such a book on Daito-ryu does indeed exist:



  4. Brandon Clapp says:

    I have seen the proof of the new book and I can say after reading the original that this one will delight both people who have never read these interviews as well as previous owners of the older edition. There are many pictures in this edition that I have never previously seen before (I don’t think some have even been published before). That alone is a great reason to get the new edition, but it also has new interviews as well. I remember enjoying the story unfolding as I read the responses from each Sensei giving me a vivid picture of the training of that period and the events that lead to Aikido as we know it today.

  5. Will there be ebook version of this?

  6. We don’t have any immediate plans to offer an ebook version of “Aikido Pioneers-Prewar Era.” As this market develops in the future, we would surely consider the idea.

  7. I just read the early pages, and flipped through to get the concept of the book’s layout. The format looks accessible and readable. I am thankful for this since I knew I would be reading about historical figures who probably were not fluent in the only language I know.

  8. Stan,
    Many, many thanks,
    The Book, AIKIDO PIONEERS Prewar Era, arrived today. I could not put it down till I reached the end. I will be re-reading it many times over. A big, thick, heavy book worth its weight in gold and a treasure to have on my bookshelves.

    Transcribing it all must have been a Herculaean labour of love and it’s good to see these interviews and discussions all in one volume. Like happens with the salvaged historical DVDs, this volume, as with your other books, will invariably reveal new tidbits each time they are read.
    Now I have the must-read historical set including: Aikido Masters; Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu; The Great Onisaburo Deguchi and Aikido Pioneers. Insights galore.

    Best regards,

  9. Nev, you’re a better man than I am. I received mine yesterday and look forward to reading it. The more we know about the art, the better we may pass it along.

  10. Chris Gutierrez says:

    Will this be available via Amazon?

    I would love to put something like this on my Wish List…



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