Morihiro Saito’s 8 Aikido Textbooks as downloadable PDFs

Aikido Journal has published a series of ebooks authored by Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, in high-resolution PDF format. The collection currently consists of 8 volumes in which Saito Sensei covers more than 430 empty-handed aikido techniques.

Click here to view a list of Morihiro Saito’s Aikido Textbooks


Morihiro Saito’s “Lost Seminar” DVDs: The Keys to Your Aikido Training Success…

Unbelievable offer of $97.95 for 7-DVD Set! Top-level instruction!

How does a devoted aikidoka go about exploring all of aikido’s core techniques in detail? You would have to find a skilled teacher with an extensive background who would breakdown aikido’s techniques into categories and explain the nuts and bolts of the execution of each in turn. You would also want the teacher to point out common mistakes and show how to eliminate bad habits. Such a teacher would also place the techniques in historical context and show how they fit into the curriculum devised by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.

Does such a teacher even exist? Is there really a resource that covers hundreds of techniques that would enable you to jump to the next level in your training?

The “Lost Seminars” DVD set captures the contents of many of the 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 aikido aficionados an in-depth glimpse of the teaching methodology of this great instructor, one of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba’s closest disciples. These 7 DVDs include 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.

Below is a list of the numerous techniques covered in the 7-DVD “Lost Seminars” set. A working knowledge of the Iwama Aikido curriculum will improve your skills in basics through more advanced techniques. There is no better aikido technical reference source available today!

Seminars in Turin, Italy — February 3-5, 1985 / Osimo, Italy – February 8-10, 1985

Tai no henko ▪ Morotedori kokyuho plus variations ▪ Shomenuchi ikkyo omote ▪ Shomenuchi kotegaeshi ▪ Shomenuchi nikyo ▪ Katatedori shomenuchi ▪ Happogiri ▪ Kumitachi ▪ Ki musubi no tachi ▪ Shomenuchi iriminage ▪ Koshinage introduction ▪ Jo awase ▪ 20 jo suburi ▪ Public demo (jiyu waza, jodori, kumijo)
Seminar in Osimo, Italy — June 1986

20 jo suburi ▪ 31 jo kata ▪ 31 jo kumijo ▪ Koshinage (numerous variations from multiple attacks) ▪ Kokyunage (numerous variations from mulitple attacks)
[Read more…]


Watch Video of Morihei O-Sensei’s Aikido: “Powerful, fluid, and dynamic”

“You are sure to find how powerfully these images will affect your aikido now, and in the future whenever you again view the Master in action.”

Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba is one of the most famous of Japanese martial artists. His unique art is of a sophistication seldom seen. Though thousands were inspired by his art and personality, few had the opportunity to learn from him extensively in the postwar era due to his spontaneous lifestyle and frequent travels. Fortunately for today’s practitioners, there are a number of surviving films of Morihei that capture the sheer magic of his aikido.

Aikido Journal has edited and made available an outstanding collection of Six DVDs that cover the evolution of Morihei Ueshiba’s art from 1935 through shortly before his passing in 1969. There are some truly amazing moments in this film legacy that today’s technology permits us to share with a worldwide audience. We have even captured the Founder’s voice and provided meticulous translations to allow you to catch a glimpse of his charismatic personality.

This week we are offering these precious films together as a 6-DVD set available at $89.95, heavily discounted from the retail price. You are sure to find how powerfully these images will affect your aikido now, and at future intervals whenever you again view the Master in action.

Click here for the inspiring set of videos with Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba!


The Forgiving Martial Art: Shoji Nishio’s “Aikido — Yurusu Budo”

“O-Sensei’s thinking was great. He made a tremendous change from
the former unforgiving, lethal martial arts to a ‘forgiving martial art.’”

This 208-page technical volume is the only book written by one of the greatest teachers of the postwar era, Shoji Nishio Sensei, 8th dan. This book and is presented in bilingual, Japanese-English format for an international readership. “Yurusu Budo” contains hundreds of technical photos illustrating Nishio Sensei’s empty-handed techniques along with detailed explanations and commentary on their interrelationships with the ken and jo, and the deeper principles of aikido.

Click here for more information on Shoji Nishio’s “Yurusu Budo.”


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.


50 techniques that Morihei Ueshiba taught that we know about with certainty

Morihiro Saito presents “Budo,” O-Sensei’s 1938 Technical Manual!

This week’s special includes two treasures for those interested in studying directly the techniques taught by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. The first item is a fascinating DVD titled “Budo: Commentary on the 1938 Training Manual of Morihei Ueshiba” by Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, that is a recreation of all of the 50 techniques of Morihei Ueshiba’s 1938 training manual “Budo.” This video is a gold mine for aikidoka desiring to go to the source and familiarize themselves with the actual techniques executed by the Founder, rather than the various derivative forms seen today.

[Read more…]


Behind the Scenes: “The 1st Aikido Friendship Demonstration” by Stanley Pranin

A bright idea turns into a nightmare followed by a narrow escape!

Back in 1985 while living in Japan, I had a bright idea, or so I thought. The idea was to invite top aikido instructors from different organizations to appear together on the same stage to explain and demonstrate their approach to the art. Others had had similar ideas in the past, but no one had taken on the challenge of turning this concept into reality. I could never have imagined what would happen next.

The first step was to draw up a list of invitees, and assess the likelihood that each person might accept our proposal. Another consideration was how comfortable a given individual might feel in the presence of certain others. It was like a jigsaw puzzle. I can’t remember everyone’s name, but I can assure you the list read like a “Who’s Who” of top teachers in the aikido world. Naturally, at the head of the list was Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba. If he would agree to participate, then others might be more inclined to do so.

Consequently, we arranged a meeting with Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei, and one of my staff members and I visited his home on December 4, 1984. Our purpose was to explain the concept of the “Aikido Friendship Demonstration,” and to extend to him a personal invitation to attend. Doshu listened attentively to our proposal, and was keenly interested in knowing who else we were planning to invite. It would later become apparent that his interest was more than simple curiosity. As it turned out, Kisshomaru Sensei declined our invitation to participate citing some vague reasons which I don’t recall. To be quite honest, we anticipated this. In Japan, etiquette is everything, and what was important was to inform him and invite him first.

We published a short notice of the fact that we had met with Doshu to discuss the Friendship Demonstration in the December 1984 issue of “Aiki News.” I sensed it was important to have a written record of this fact, and my intuition proved correct. In any event, Doshu was later kind enough to write a greeting for the program we prepared for the demonstration.

A few weeks later after much scurrying about, the following six senseis had all agreed to appear: Yasuo Kobayashi, Mitsugi Saotome, Yoshio Kuroiwa, Kanshu Sunadomari, Shoji Nishio, and Morihiro Saito. Gozo Shioda, the founder of Yoshinkan Aikido, had initially accepted our invitation, but later withdrew for reasons I may write about someday. (He did, however, send me a formal letter of apology, and appeared in the Friendship Demonstration the following year.)

What happened later, only a few short weeks before the demonstration, proved a nightmare. It turned out that pressure had been applied behind the scenes to convince several of the teachers to withdraw from the event. This was successful in the case of Shioda Sensei as mentioned above. In addition, four of the six participants informed us of their intention to withdraw after becoming nervous about participating. Everything about the event was done outside normal organizational channels. This was the main bone of contention, and some invitees were uncomfortable with the fact. Had these teachers actually withdrawn, it would have sunk the event and resulted in a catastrophic financial loss. We, as the organizers of the Friendship Demonstration, were fully committed by then.

The person who stepped in to save the day was Yasuo Kobayashi Sensei. He adamantly refused to yield to the pressure, and insisted on honoring his promise. Kobayashi Sensei’s act of courage while under a lot of peer pressure earned my eternal gratitude. One by one, I and my staff made phone calls to the teachers who were thinking of bowing out. Our means of persuasion was to point to Kobayashi Sensei’s courage as a budoka, and the importance of being able to rise above political considerations to display a public spirit of friendship and cooperation.

Fortunately, everything somehow worked itself out, and we succeeded in weathering the storm. This was a sobering experience to say the least, and I learned a great deal about Japanese culture and the politics of large organizations.

The First Aikido Friendship Demonstration drew over 900 people and was a resounding success. We went on to sponsor three more events in subsequent years, the last taking place in 1988. The Aikido Friendship Demonstrations were among my most unforgettable experiences in Japan. Thankfully, the video record of these events remains as a testimony to the skills and willingness of the participating instructors to share the stage in a spirit of harmony. I think the Founder, Morihei O-Sensei, would have been pleased.

For a taste of what it was like that spring day in 1985, have a look at the video trailer above.

The 1st Aikido Friendship Demonstration DVD set is available in our product catalog


Aikido’s Bible of Basics: “Takemusu Aikido — Background & Basics” by Morihiro Saito, now an Ebook!

“The Bible of Aikido Basic Techniques!”

This work, Takemusu Aikido: Background & Basics, is the first of Morihiro Saito’s final series of Aikido technical manuals. In this authoritative 270-page volume, Saito Sensei, 9th dan and one of Aikido’s leading experts, presents more than sixty variations of ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, and yonkyo techniques, the most essential of the art’s basic forms. Illustrated with over 600 photographs and accompanied by detailed step-by-step explanations, Background & Basics provides an indispensable guide for both beginning and advanced practitioners.

Morihiro Saito is the author of the highly acclaimed technical series, Traditional Aikido, published in the early 1970s. Saito enrolled as a student of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba in 1946. One of the art’s foremost technicians, he was the acknowledged authority on Aikido weapons training. Saito operated Ueshiba’s private dojo in Iwama, Japan and served as caretaker of the Aiki Shrine for more than 30 years. He traveled extensively throughout the world for over three decades teaching his comprehensive aikido training methods.

Stanley Pranin is a 5th degree black belt and editor-in-chief of Aikido Journal. Pranin began Aikido practice in 1962 and started training under Morihiro Saito in Iwama in 1977. He served as Saito Sensei’s interpreter at numerous international seminars during the 1980s. Pranin is the author of The Aiki News Encyclopedia of Aikido and Aikido Masters, a collection of interviews with prewar disciples of the Founder. He contributes an in-depth historical essay on Aikido and the Founder as an introduction to this book.

Morihiro Saito training outdoors in Iwama with Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba

Right click here to download the sample PDF file of Takemusu Aikido, Volume 1

66 techniques: Exercises (3 techniques), Ikkyo (16 techniques), Nikyo (23 techniques), Sankyo (17 techniques), Yonkyo (7 techniques)


Introduction • Preface

Part One: Background

What is aikido? • An overview of aikido history • Training under O-Sensei • Spreading Iwama Aikido worldwide

Part Two: Basics

Basic techniques • Exercises • Tai no henko • Morotedori kokyuho • Suwariwaza kokyuho


Shomenuchi ikkyo omote • Shomenuchi ikkyo ura • Yokomenuchi ikkyo omote • Yokomenuchi ikkyo ura • Katatedori ikkyo omote • Katatedori ikkyo ura • Ryotedori ikkyo omote • Morotedori ikkyo omote • Sodeguchidori ikkyo omote • Sodedori ikkyo omote • Munadori (katate) ikkyo omote •
Katadori ikkyo omote • Kosadori ikkyo omote • Ushiro ryotedori ikkyo omote •
Ushiro eridori ikkyo omote • Ushiro eridori ikkyo ura


Shomenuchi nikyo omote • Shomenuchi nikyo ura • Yokomenuchi nikyo omote • Yokomenuchi nikyo ura • Ryotedori nikyo omote (1) • Ryotedori nikyo omote (2) • Ryotedori nikyo ura • Morotedori nikyo omote • Munadori (katate) nikyo omote • Katadori nikyo omote • Kosadori nikyo omote • Munadori nikyo henka (1) • Munadori nikyo henka (2) • Munadori nikyo henka (3) • Munadori nikyo henka (4) • Munadori nikyo henka (5) • Munadori nikyo henka (6) • Munadori nikyo henka (7) • Munadori nikyo henka (8) • Katatedori nikyo henka (1) • Katatedori nikyo henka (2) • Katatedori nikyo henka (3) • Sodedori nikyo henka


Shomenuchi sankyo omote (1) • Shomenuchi sankyo omote (2) • Shomenuchi sankyo ura (1) • Shomenuchi sankyo ura (2) • Yokomenuchi sankyo omote • Yokomenuchi sankyo ura • Katatedori sankyo omote • Katatedori sankyo ura • Morotedori sankyo ura • Katadori sankyo omote • Ushiro ryotedori sankyo henka • Ushiro ryotedori sankyo ura • Shomenuchi sankyo henka (1) • Shomenuchi sankyo henka (2) • Shomenuchi sankyo henka (3) • Shomenuchi sankyo henka (4) • Shomenuchi sankyo henka (5)


Shomenuchi yonkyo omote • Shomenuchi yonkyo ura • Yokomenuchi yonkyo omote • Yokomenuchi yonkyo ura • Ryotedori yonkyo ura • Morotedori yonkyo ura • Katadori yonkyo omote


Words of the Founder


I ordered this book and have found it to be a great reinforcement to the training received at class. I recommend this book to anyone who is considering purchasing it. The photos are clear and from excellent angles that show the techniques very well. The explanations that go with the photos are also very helpful. The book is a great companion to Saito Sensei’s Lost Seminars DVD set.


“Takemusu Aikido, Volume 1: Background & Basics” is an essential volume covering the core aikido basic techniques of ikkyo through yonkyo. Morihiro Saito is a master teacher who explains and demonstrates with great clarity each technique in succession. You will have your personal copy safely downloaded to your computer and be reading this volume within minutes of your purchase. This 270-page ebook in PDF form costs only $8.99, less than 1/3 the retail price of the print version. It is no longer necessary to pay for shipping, customs charges, or lost packages. Nor is there any need to wait!


“I had this Daito-ryu pin applied to me, and I thought I would die!”

“The pain was excruciating, and I was left with
no doubts about Daito-ryu’s effectiveness!”

“One day about 20 years ago, I visited Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei’s Shimbukan Dojo in Tokyo. We had just finished a photo shoot for a book. During our discussion after filming, Kondo Sensei began to demonstrate various Daito-ryu techniques on me.

I don’t remember all of the techniques he applied, but I sure remember the one shown in this picture. My leg was twisted like a pretzel. The pain was excruciating and I was left with no doubts about Daito-ryu’s effectiveness!

I am very thankful that I had a good deal of exposure to the history and techniques of Daito-ryu during my years in Japan. It really helped me put the evolution of aikido techniques in perspective.” – Stanley Pranin

Katsuyuki Kondo: Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu – Part 2

Part 2 of Katsuyuki Kondo’s Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu instructional videos continues the presentation of the art’s 10 Tachiai or standing techniques. These represent a portion of the basic Daito-ryu curriculum that form the historical basis of aikido techniques.

Morihei Ueshiba began studying Daito-ryu jujutsu under Sokaku Takeda in Hokkaido in 1915. He was an enthusiastic student and was responsible for Sokaku moving to Shirataki village in order to instruct Morihei and his companions. As a result of his years practicing under the tutelage of Takeda, Morihei made the decision to pursue a career as a martial arts instructor. The result of his long study and refinement of Daito-ryu techniques was modern aikido.

Click here for more information on Katsuyuki Kondo’s Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Hiden Mokuroku video


Remarkable hi-res video footage of Noriaki Inoue, long-term collaborator of Morihei Ueshiba

“There is a strong flavor of prewar aikido,
yet with a smooth, modern edge.”

This video is the second part of a collection of rare footage of Noriaki Inoue, a nephew of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba and a man of tremendous importance to the early history of aikido. Inoue was raised during a part of his youth in the Ueshiba household. He was in Hokkaido at the time Morihei Ueshiba met Sokaku Takeda, and became a member of the Omoto church just prior to his famous uncle. Inoue also collaborated with the Founder during the early years in Tokyo and Osaka and played a significant role in the early spread of Aiki Budo in Japan.

Continuing where part 1 left off, this video contains rare footage of Noriaki Inoue from 8mm films shot between 1972-1976. The techniques covered in this section are “tachiwaza,” or standing techniques, of which there are a bewildering variety. The technical content of these films is fascinating. There is a strong flavor of prewar aikido, yet with a smooth, modern edge. A viewing of this footage will suggest to today’s practitioners that many aikido techniques from an earlier age have been forgotten, thus somewhat diluting our technical legacy. Serious practitioners of the art will dig in, and study these films in every technical detail, to glean insights that will benefit them in their own practice.

Price: $4.99
Duration: 18:04
File size: 272 mb
Frame size: 720 x 480

This video contains extremely rare footage of the amazing Noriaki Inoue, nephew and collaborator of Morihei Ueshiba. It is offered here in a high-resolution mp4 format for your personal video collection. You will be watching your video within minutes of your purchase. This video is affordably priced at only $4.99. It is no longer necessary to pay for shipping, customs charges, or lost packages. Nor is there any need to wait!


Rinjiro Shirata — Prewar “Aiki Ken,” Part 1, Hi-res video

“Echos of Morihei’s Prewar Sword!”

This video is a very important historical document as Rinjiro Shirata demonstrates a lengthy series of Aiki Ken suburi and kata based on the prewar swordwork of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. The sword content in this video program follows Morihei Ueshiba’s sword in the 1935 Asahi News film. There is no other source of similar material as many of the uchideshi of the prewar era ceased training following World War II. This video was recorded in 1981 when Shirata Sensei was 69 years of age in Yamagata Prefecture in northern Japan. The sounds of all of his movements and breathing are clearly audible and this is an indispensable document for those interested in the evolution of the sword in aikido.

Born on March 29, 1912 in Yamagata Prefecture to a family of Omoto believers, Rinjiro Shirata was accepted into the Kobukan Dojo of aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba as an uchideshi in 1932. Known for his modest character and great physical strength, he quickly became one of the star pupils of the “Hell Dojo,” as the founder’s early school was called. Shirata later spent a short period teaching Aiki Budo in Osaka before being drafted into the Japanese Imperial Army. He spent the war years stationed in Burma until his repatriation.

Shirata’s training was interrupted for several years due to the war, but he began actively teaching again in Aomori in 1959. In 1962, he received the 8th dan rank from the founder. At this time, his teaching activities were concentrated in his native Yamagata. Shirata was awarded 9th dan in 1972 by Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba and is one of only a handful of people ever to have achieved this rank. Shirata was also active in the International Aikido Federation following its establishment in 1976. He occupied several high posts and served on the technical council. He traveled to Honolulu in 1978 in connection with the IAF and to Chicago in 1984 at the invitation of Akira Tohei Sensei. On both occasions, foreign practitioners responded enthusiastically to his skillful, yet gentle approach to teaching.

Devoted to the spread of aikido and one of the staunchest supporters of the Ueshiba family, Shirata was a regular participant over the years in major Aikikai-sponsored events such as the All-Japan Aikido Demonstration, the Iwama Taisai, and the Kagami Biraki New Year Celebration at the Tokyo Hombu Dojo.

Duration: 34:07
File size: 516 mb
Frame size: 720 x 480

Click here to purchase Rinjiro Shirata’s 1981 Aiki Ken video