Recommended reading: “Interview with Paolo Corallini” by Stanley Pranin

The interview below with Paolo Corallini Sensei of Italy, one of the closest students and supporters of Morihiro Saito Shihan, 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.

Toward the end of my first stay in Iwama, Saito Sensei handed me a letter containing several questions, which thanks to the help of Mr. Pranin I succeeded in understanding. He wanted to know what I thought of his teaching method, the Iwama-style, and my experiences with this form of aikido. In addition, he requested that if my response was positive that I talk about Iwama aikido upon my return to Italy. I realized at that point that I must do something and that it was not fair that I was the only one to have the good fortune of such a marvelous experience. One evening after explaining the aikido situation in Italy and central Europe to Saito Sensei, I sincerely invited him to come to my country to conduct a seminar. After a long silence, Saito Sensei accepted my invitation. This event determined my future. From that moment on I dedicated myself completely to him, in order to make his technical and spiritual genius known to all of those with whom I would come into contact.

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  1. …to me Saito Sensei’s modesty and humility were the outstanding aspects of his character. most senior instructors show off their advanced abilities. Saito Sensei showed O Sensei’s basics by which he attained his rarely demonstrated advanced abilities.

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