Stanley Pranin’s Video Blog: “Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba’s Direct Students”


“Collectively, these well-known Aikido teachers who studied under the Founder are responsible for the modern forms of the art more so than the Founder Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei.”

In this video, Stanley Pranin presents an overview of the principal students of Founder Morihei Ueshiba who have been the most influential in the spread of aikido in the postwar era. Such well-known figures as Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Koichi Tohei, Kenji Tomiki, and Gozo Shioda form part of the older generation of teachers who led the way and developed many top instructors. A younger group consisting of Morihiro Saito, Sadateru Arikawa, Hiroshi Tada, Seigo Yamaguchi, Michio Hikitsuchi, Nobuyoshi Tamura, Yoshimitsu Yamada, and others were among the most active in spreading aikido abroad. If you want to understand how aikido became an internationally practiced martial art, this video will go a long way toward providing the answer.

Click here for a complete list of Stanley Pranin’s video blogs

Click here to view Stanley’s Pranin Video Blog: “Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba’s Direct Students” on youtube



  1. Stan,

    Fantastic blog entry, as usual. I really like this new blog series you’re doing. There’s so many places to go with it.

    One thing I noticed is that you didn’t include Kisaburo Osawa (unless I missed it). How long did he study? I thought the Osawa family was rather close to the Ueshibas and that Kisaburo had quite an influence within the early Aikikai, with his training starting before the war, right? :)

    • Hi Luke,

      Thank you very much for your reply. There were several people who might have been included. One of the focuses of the video was on people who played major roles in developing aikido internationally. People like Osawa Sensei, Okumura Sensei, Yasuo Kobayashi, and others were important figures but their activities abroad were not as extensive. It’s hard to make a list like this because different people would choose differently.

  2. Daniel Côté says:

    Thank you for this interesting overview. Why did you omit Mochizuki Minoru Sensei from this list?

    • As I stated in the video, it was a partial list. Minoru Mochizuki’s period of study under Morihei Ueshiba was brief compared to the others mentioned. The emphasis was on important postwar figures. Anyone attempting to come up with their own list would necessarily get questioned as to why they omitted such and such a figure. It is a subjective exercise.

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