“Pat Hendrick’s Incredible Aikido Odyssey,” by Stanley Pranin

The early days

Back in 1975, an attractive young blond woman joined my aikido class in Monterey, California. From the very start, she attended class religiously and displayed an uncommon enthusiasm toward training. I immediately noticed she was very athletic and quick to pick up techniques and falling skills. She insisted on being treated on a par with male students, was afraid of nothing, and approached practice with a laser determination. I wondered how far she would go along the aikido path. I had seen enthusiastic students before, some who continued training for years, only to slowly drift away from the art. I needn’t have worried, for this was Pat Hendricks.

Pat dedicated herself over the next couple of years to improving her martial skills and participated in classes and workshops all over northern California. Women in aikido were just coming into their own at this stage, and Pat forged many friendships with some of the top female instructors in the area that continue to this day.

First trip to Iwama

Uke for Morihiro Saito in Iwama Dojo c. 1988

By the summer of 1977, I had relocated to Japan and immersed myself in training at the Iwama Dojo under the tutelage of Morihiro Saito Sensei. For her part, Pat was pursuing her practice at the Oakland Institute, also learning the Iwama style of aikido. One day, later in that same year and to my great surprise, Pat strolled down the path leading to the Iwama Dojo. She had taken a tremendous leap of faith deciding to leave her life in the States and journey to the source of aikido, O-Sensei’s country dojo in Iwama.

Possessing virtually no Japanese language skills, but full of determination, Pat immersed herself into Japanese life as an uchideshi of Saito Sensei. Typical of her character, she threw herself headlong into her training, and quickly earned a reputation as a promising up-and-comer and a favorite uke of Saito Sensei. Almost daily, Pat could be seen inside the Iwama Dojo taking impressive high falls, her blond hair tied up in a pony tail whipping from side to side. The dojo was full of strong young foreign students and practice was vigorous.
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Welcome to the Aikido Journal Members Site!

— Welcome to the Aikido Journal Members Site —

For nearly 40 years, we have been researching and documenting every aspect of aikido…

Get it right here, right now! Subscribe today and you will receive a free downloadable book or video with your membership!

What is Aikido Journal?
Aikido Journal is the outgrowth of an aikido newsletter begun by Stanley Pranin in 1974. It has been published continuously, first as a print publication, and then online, for over 38 years! The Aikido Journal resources consist of thousands of articles, interviews, photos, videos, and other reference sources.

What products do you offer?
Aikido Journal has a large selection of DVDs, books, posters in our catalog, as well as subscriptions to the Aikido Journal Members Site.

Who are your readers?
Aikido Journal counts readers from all over the world among its visitors with especially large concentrations in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Europe and Latin America.

Featured Aikido Masters…

  • Morihei Ueshiba, Aikido Founder
  • Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Second Doshu, Aikikai Hombu Dojo
  • Koichi Tohei, Ki Society
  • Morihiro Saito, Iwama Aikido
  • Gozo Shioda, Yoshinkan Aikido
  • Kenji Tomiki, Tomiki Aikido
  • Minoru Mochizuki, 10th dan
  • Seigo Yamaguchi, 8th dan
  • Shoji Nishio, Nishio Aikido
  • Noriaki Inoue, Shinei Taido
  • Christian Tissier, 7th dan
  • Shizuo Imaizumi, Shin Budo Kai
  • Kenji Shimizu, Tendokan Aikido
  • Katsuyuki Kondo, Daito-ryu
  • Seigo Okamoto, Roppokai

and many more!
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The Finest in Books, Ebooks, DVDs, Videos, and more…

We would like to invite all aikido enthusiasts to peruse our Aikido Journal Store for a large selection of downloadable products including books, ebooks, DVDs, videos, and other items featuring Aikido’s most important teachers. There are many instructional products which will be of benefit to serious practitioners who wish to improve their understanding of the techniques and philosophy of the art.

Some of the teachers whose books and videos are available for those interested are:

Morihei Ueshiba — Founder of Aikido, a true martial arts genius with a humanitarian vision for his art

Koichi Tohei — Aikido’s first 10 dan, and one of a few responsible for the dissemination of the art in Japan and the USA

Morihiro Saito — One of Morihei Ueshiba’s closest and most talent students who codified a superb curriculum including both empty-handed and weapons techniques.

Seigo Yamaguchi — A postwar student of the Founder whose individualistic style of aikido broke new ground and attracted thousands of students in Japan and Europe.

Shoji Nishio — One of the art’s most innovative instructors with an eclectic background who developed his own unique style like no other.

Noriaki Inoue — A nephew of Morihei Ueshiba, and one of those who most contributed to his uncle’s success as a professional martial arts instructor. Also, one of the art’s most skilled performers and a dead ringer for Morihei.


New Ebook: “Takemusu Aiki – Koshinage” by Morihiro Saito Now on Sale!

“A rare technical manual by Morihiro Saito, the most complete treatise ever compiled on “Koshinage,” aikido’s hip throws, is yours for download within minutes!”

This ebook consists of a rare technical manual originally published in 1981 containing a detailed treatise on the koshinage techniques of aikido. A total of 26 koshinage–hip-throw techniques–are presented with sequential photos accompanied by both English and Japanese explanations. This volume is the most complete compendium available on this portion of the aikido curriculum by one of the art’s most famous masters.

At the time of the publication of “Takemusu Aiki: Koshinage,” Saito Sensei was 50 years old and in his physical prime. His mastery of technique and ability to organize and explain aikido’s vast curriculum are legendary. Saito Sensei’s skills and great attention to detail will be readily apparent to readers of this volume.

This manual is based on photos taken in the late 1970s inside the Iwama Dojo that record many aikido techniques, both basic and advanced. All together, two manuals were published, this one on koshinage, and an earlier volume presenting numerous techniques from katatedori grabs. The preparation of these manuals took the form of Saito Sensei tape-recording explanations for the respective techniques while viewing photo layouts. From this, a Japanese text version was created which was then translated into English.

We are pleased to offer this precious training manual, “Takemusu Aiki: Koshinage,” in ebook form for the first time. Readers will be able to download their PDF file within minutes of their purchase. The digital format allows us to offer the ebook at the affordable price of only $3.99. No more paying for shipping, no more customs charges, or lost packages, no more waiting! You can view the PDF book on your mobile device for portability and convenience. Act now and boost your skills!

“The whole purchasing process was smooth and fast. Got my copy in some 5 minutes and confirm that the download went without problems. Thank you very much for your efforts in publishing these hidden gems!” – A.V.

Click here for more information and to purchase
Morihiro Saito’s Koshinage ebook for only $3.99!

Downloadable Books & Videos

“Check out our ebooks and videos to enhance your collection”

Among the technical volumes authored by Morihiro Saito, certainly the most unique must be his publication of “Takemusu Aikido – Special Edition.” This 176-page book is an exhaustive analysis of the famous 1938 technical manual published by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba in 1938. This prewar volume is a landmark document that provides the missing link to understanding the technical evolution of aikido from its Daito-ryu jujutsu origins to the modern form of the art.

Now for the first time, Aikido Journal is offering Saito Sensei’s wonderful treatise on Morihei’s technique in ebook format. This PDF publication is extremely high-quality and affords readers the opportunity of being able to zoom in to inspect details of the images of Saito Sensei performing each technique. This is a tremendous advantage in that fine points such as hand and foot position become easily discernible, something not always possible in the print edition.

The 50 techniques covered include preparatory exercises, basic techniques, knife (tantodori), and sword-taking techniques (tachidori), sword vs. sword forms (ken tai ken), mock-bayonet (juken) techniques, and finishing exercises (shumatsu dosa).

Click here for more information and to purchase this ebook

This rare seminar filmed in the Iwama Dojo in 1988 captures the seldom-taught jo taking and throwing techniques (jodori / jonage) of aikido. Morihiro Saito Sensei offers detailed explanations and demonstrations of each of the jo techniques from multiple angles. He taught these specialized weapons techniques only occasionally, and we are fortunate to have had this videotape survive.

Those who were lucky enough to attend a seminar conducted by Saito Sensei, or have viewed videos of seminars taught by this great master, will appreciate his unique ability to present the fine points of technique at all levels, from basic to advanced. In this video, Saito Sensei takes great pain to stress important details necessary to be able to successfully execute these advanced jo techniques. He also describes the common errors that many practitioners commit, and explain why such methods don’t work and precisely what does.
For the first time, we are offering this video in high-resolution for download to your hard disk. What this means is that you will have a clear video image that can be watched on a large screen or your handheld device. And remember, you will have continuing access to this video saved “on the cloud” for your convenience.

Click here for more information and to purchase this downloadable video

This is the first of two technical volumes produced by Morihiro Saito Sensei in collaboration with Aiki News (precursor of Aikido Journal) based on a series of several hundred black and white photos shot inside the Iwama Dojo. “Takemusu Aiki: Katatedori” was published in 1979 and contains 22 techniques, all from katatedori, the single-hand grab. The text explaining the technical photos is produced both in English and Japanese to allow access to the widest possible reading audience of aikidoka.

Given the time frame in which the photos were taken (1978-79) and the available technology, Saito Sensei would stop his movements at key points in the movement to allow the photo to be taken. Because of this, the natural flow of movement is lacking in these images, a trait characteristic of technical manuals of this sort. By contrast, the pausing of a movement at critical points allows the reader’s eye to focus on essential details for deeper understanding.

At the time this photo series was taken, many foreign aikido students were coming to the Iwama dojo to spend varying periods of time as uchideshi, or live-in students. Saito Sensei’s reputation was growing steadily largely due to the publication of a series of five technical volumes titled Traditional Aikido appearing in the mid-1970s. Like this manual, these books had English and Japanese text, and were must-reading among serious practitioners of aikido in Japan and abroad.

Click here for more information and to purchase this ebook

This ebook consists of a rare technical manual originally published in 1981 containing a detailed treatise on the koshinage techniques of aikido. A total of 26 koshinage–hip-throw techniques–are presented with sequential photos accompanied by both English and Japanese explanations. This volume is the most complete compendium available on this portion of the aikido curriculum by one of the art’s most famous masters.

At the time of the publication of “Takemusu Aiki: Koshinage,” Saito Sensei was 50 years old and in his physical prime. His mastery of technique and ability to organize and explain aikido’s vast curriculum are legendary. Saito Sensei’s skills and great attention to detail will be readily apparent to readers of this volume.
This manual is based on photos taken in the late 1970s inside the Iwama Dojo that record many aikido techniques, both basic and advanced. Some of the technical sequences from this collection of photos were published during this time frame in bilingual format in “Aiki News.”

Only about 200 or 300 copies of this “Koshinage” manual were printed. Most of these were sold within a relatively short time. The booklet eventually went out of print. High-resolution scans from an original copy of “Takemusu Aiki: Koshinage” were made to produce this ebook

Click here for more information and to purchase this ebook


“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.
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Special Offer… Subscribe to the Aikido Journal Members Site and receive a Free DVD!

The Aikido Journal Members Site has the world’s largest archive of Aikido-related material including articles, interviews, images, chronologies, and audio and video clips. As an Aikido Journal Members Site subscriber, you will have access to all of the thousands of resources reserved exclusively for members.

What will I find on the Aikido Journal Members Site?

  • Full access to the ever-growing Aikido Journal archives consisting of more than 675 articles filling over 5,000 pages of essential information.
  • Full access to Stanley Pranin’s “Encyclopedia of Aikido” featuring some 800 entries with over 200 rare photos.
  • Full access to an ever growing collection of technical and historical video clips featuring many of the best-known exponents of aikido, Daito-ryu aikijujutsu, and other martial arts
  • An expanding collection of audio interviews and lectures by some of the leading teachers in aikido history

How will this personally benefit you?

  • Imagine the impact of having this rich resource of well-organized and indexed information at your fingertips 24/7
  • The answer to virtually any question regarding aikido you might have can be discovered through a few mouse clicks and a little–or a lot–of reading
  • You will have direct access to the wisdom and techniques of many of the aikido masters of the prewar and early postwar generations–those that developed and spread the art the world over.
  • Read the experiences, and questions and answers of many just like yourself who have come to aikido wishing to master the art and develop self-confidence, and a healthy body and mind.

To sweeten our subscription offer especially for the fast-approaching gift-giving season, we are also offering one-year subscribers one free dvd, and two-year subscribers two free DVDs of their choice. The same offer applies to those renewing for one or two years. You pay only the cost of shipping and handling the DVDs.

Here you will find a complete list of all available DVDs. Choose any you like!

Please subscribe for your choice of one or two years here.

After purchasing your subscription, email us here to inform us of your DVD choices.


Spotlight on one of Aikido’s most historic events

“It’s never happened before or since…”

How many times did the likes of Morihiro Saito, Gozo Shioda, Minoru Mochizuki, Yoshio Sugino, and Kenji Shimizu demonstrate together on the same stage? Only once, on October 25, 1986. Aiki News, the forerunner of Aikido Journal, organized and sponsored the event known as the “2nd Aikido Friendship Demonstration.” We have the video of the complete demonstration for you, fully translated into English.

Imagine the impact on your training had you been able to be there in person. Alas, all but one of these martial arts’ greats have left us. But their visual and spoken record remains intact for posterity, and you have access to it now.

A closer look at the participating senseis…

Morihiro Saito: 9th dan, and one of aikido’s most respected teachers. Saito Sensei was one of O-Sensei’s closest students and achieved worldwide recognition due to his numerous international seminars and the publication of many authoritative technical books.

Gozo Shioda: One of O-Sensei’s most skilled students from the prewar era and founder of Yoshinkan Aikido. Shioda Sensei taught an effective, martial-style of aikido that attracted tens of thousands of students over his long teaching career. He is also the author of numerous technical manuals on Yoshinkan Aikido.

Minoru Mochizuki: A leading student of judo founder Jigoro Kano sent to study with O-Sensei in 1930. Mochizuki Sensei underwent rigorous training in numerous martial styles during his career and created Yoseikan Budo, an eclectic martial art incorporating aikido, judo, karate, swordsmanship, and other arts. He was one of the only students to have learned extensively from both Jigoro Kano and Morihei Ueshiba.

Yoshio Sugino: A judo and Katori Shinto-ryu master who studied under O-Sensei in the prewar era. Sugino Sensei was one of Japan’s most famous martial artists, and choreographed the fighting scenes in Kurosawa movies such as “The Seven Samurai,” “Yojimbo,” and others.

Kenji Shimizu: One of the last and most talented students of O-Sensei who came to aikido after a successful judo career. Shimizu Sensei later created Tendokan Aikido, and developed a following of thousands of students throughout Europe.

Why are these DVDs a must for your collection?

A careful study of the 2nd Aikido Friendship Demonstration DVDs will fill in important gaps in your understanding of aikido’s roots and evolution into its modern form. These videos contain a wealth of information on aikido and koryu techniques, as well as explanations of key principles necessary for a well-rounded development in the martial arts, from which you will greatly benefit. Although all but one of these senseis have since passed on, their legacies live on through documents such as these DVDs that are readily accessible to Aikido Journal readers. Now is your opportunity to deepen your study and further hone your skills. It will soon show in your dojo training!

Order 2-DVD Special Offer Now!


Stanley Pranin’s Video Blog: “Aikido History 101”

We have uploaded a video clip of Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin introducing an outline of a six-article series on the life and work of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba available free of charge to readers. He briefly presents the contents of each article in the series which collectively touch upon the highlights of Morihei’s life and the creation of aikido.

Below are links to each of the six articles:

Morihei in Tanabe
Morihei’s Ueshiba Juku
Kobukan Dojo Era (1)
Kobukan Dojo Era (2)
Iwama: Birthplace of Aikido
Aikido in the Postwar Years

We encourage all readers desiring to deepen their knowledge of aikido history and its relevance to their training today to download and study these articles.


Improve your Aikido dramatically with Morihiro Saito as your mentor!


Aikido Journal offers some of the most important aikido pedagogical materials available anywhere. The crown jewel of our collection is the 7-DVD set of instructional seminars by the famous Morihiro Saito Sensei, 9th dan.

This 7-DVD set contains detailed contents of seminars conducted by Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, during his foreign travels in the period of 1985-1994. A study of these excellent materials will provide aficionados of Iwama Aikido and in-depth glimpse of the teaching methodology of this great instructor, one of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba’s closest disciples. This set includes more than 14 hours of seminar footage and literally hundreds of techniques. Each DVD contains complete English subtitles allowing viewers to closely follow Saito Sensei’s instruction.

If you already have some of the “Lost Seminars” DVDs and just need certain ones, feel free to take advantage of our special discount offer and choose only the titles you are missing.


This Week’s Special Offer: “Founder of Aikido”

We as aikidoka have benefited from Morihei’s foundational work through our own teachers who were his students, and his student’s students. We are three, four, or even five generations removed from the Founder.

Consider the following: where should we go for inspiration and to discover the root principles that underlie aikido? Is it farfetched to suggest that the art’s Founder is a good place to start?

Click here for more information and to purchase the “Founder of Aikido” DVD