The name of Morihiro Saito is known almost universally among aikido practitioners. He was one of the giants of postwar aikido and among the closest students of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba, having trained with O-Sensei in Iwama beginning in 1946 through the Founder’s death in 1969. Saito Sensei had the rare opportunity to train one-on-one with the Founder, especially in aikido weapons, during this time frame.
Saito Sensei left a strong imprint on modern aikido due to his extensive travels both in Japan and abroad. He also published more than 10 technical volumes on aikido technique, including taijutsu and weapons, that have been translated into many languages.
This particular videotape was shot in 1992 on the occasion of Saito Sensei’s promotion to 9th dan. This was also around the time of the opening of the new Iwama Dojo on Saito family property. The demonstration portion of this footage was taken entirely inside the new dojo, and there is a scene in which Saito Sensei is seated holding his 9th dan certificate. Saito Sensei demonstrates the basic forms of the Aiki Ken and Jo, as well as several taijutsu fundamentals. This videotape is an important historical document as it was made in commemoration of this auspicious occasion.
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