Information and Dojo History

Aikido Shobukan Dojo was founded by Mitsugi Saotome, Shihan and his students, and remains as a major center for the study and practice of Aikido.

We engage in training throughout the entire year; with morning, evening and weekend classes. Students from abroad are welcome to visit us and train at any time.
The dojo supports seminars ranging from the annual Cherry Blossom Seminar, to ASU Summer Camp.

If you are interested in practicing Aikido, please stop in to observe or attend classes. There will be students and teachers willing to answer any questions that you may have.

This dojo is a non-profit organization.

Mitsugi Saotome, Shihan

Mitsugi Saotome, Shihan is our head instructor at Aikido Shobukan Dojo and Founder of Aikido Schools of Ueshiba.

For fifteen years until the Founder's passing in 1969, Saotome Sensei lived as his personal disciple, studying under his guidance the practice and philosophy of Aikido. In 1975 Saotome Sensei left a highly respected position as a senior instructor at the World Aikido Headquarters in Tokyo to come to the United States. When asked why he made this decision he replied, 'I meditated on O Sensei's (Great Teacher) spirit for three days and three nights and I felt it was his wish that I should go. 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 with their environment. The United States has the opportunity to set a great example."

While Saotome Sensei resides and teaches at the Shrine Dojo in Florida, he often lives and teaches at Aikido Shobukan Dojo, in Washington, D.C. for about eight weeks every year. He also travels to Aikido Schools of Ueshiba associated dojos which he and his students have opened throughout the country leading seminars and training camps.

Saotome Sensei has given many demonstrations of his art both here and abroad, among them demonstrations for the International Peace Academy and Diplomatic Community at the Japan House in New York City. He has written two books: Aikido and the Harmony of Nature, an in-depth study of the relationship of Aikido with the moment and process of natural phenomena, and The Principles of Aikido, both published by Shambhala Publications, Inc.

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