“My own teacher, Morihiro Saito told me on more than one occasion that he skipped two ranks in his advancement to 9th dan”
The other day I found an interesting article in the 33rd issue of the “Aikido Shimbun” published in March 1962. You may recall that the Aikikai Hombu Dojo began publishing this four-page newsletter in 1959. The newsletter has appeared continuously through today, an enviable publishing run of over 52 years!
What caught my eye was an announcement listing the dan promotions awarded on January 15 of the same year at the annual Kagami Biraki celebration. A number of famous names are mentioned in that list, some of them prewar students of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba, while others began training following World War II.
Rinjiro Shirata (1933)
Hajime Iwata (1930)
Takaaki (Shigemi) Yonekawa (1932)
Morihiro Saito (1946: 16 years to 7th dan)