“An undisputed technical genius goes abroad for
the first time and captures the hearts of the Americans!”
This long-lost film was made in 1974 in San Francisco and Oakland, California on the occasion of Morihiro Saito’s first American seminar. He was 46 years old and in his prime and traveling abroad for the first time. Saito Sensei made a lasting impression for his technical and teaching skills and was invited back many times.
Sensei’s uke and traveling companion on that trip was Shigemi Inagaki Sensei, then a 5th dan and a formidable aikidoka. David Alexander and Dennis Tatoian also formed part of Sensei’s entourage from Japan. A number of his early foreign uchideshi including Bill Witt, Bruce Klickstein and Hans Goto were based in northern California, and Sensei had been invited to conduct seminars on this occasion by them. He taught back-to-back seminars at the old Aikido of San Francisco and at Stanford University on October 5-6 and October 12-13, respectively. Saito Sensei also taught a class at the Oakland Aikido Institute during this tour.
Below is a report by Stanley Pranin on Saito Sensei’s visit from Aiki News dated October 1974: