Photo courtesy Kerry Connell


Mitsugi Saotome Shihan is the chief instructor of the Aikido Shobukan Dojo in Washington, D.C. and also serves as the supervisory instructor for more than 70 affiliated dojo of the international association, Aikido Schools of Ueshiba.

From 1960 until 1975 Saotome Sensei taught at the World Aikido Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. During this period he was accorded many positions, honor and achievements. He appeared publicly at many events in Japan and abroad for the purpose of spreading the understanding and knowledge of Aikido.

In 1975 Saotome Sensei decided to leave his highly respected position as a senior instructor at World Aikido Headquarters in Tokyo to come to the United States. When asked about his decision to leave the home of his birth he responded: “The eyes of the world are on the United States. This country is a great experiment; a melting pot of people from many different cultural backgrounds living together, the world condensed into one nation. The goal of Aikido and O-Sensei‘s dream is that all the peoples of the world live together as one family, in harmony with each other and their environment. The United States has the opportunity to set a great example.”

In addition to regularly scheduled seminars both national and international, Saotome Sensei has given special seminars, including a U.S. Military Special Forces seminar, special training of the U.S. Security Forces in Washington, D.C. and has spoken before the United Nations General Assembly on the role of Aikido in world peace efforts.

Saotome Sensei has written two published books on Aikido: Aikido and the Harmony of Natureand The Principles of Aikido. He has also made several videotapes.

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