Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU)
For fifteen years until the Founder’s passing in 1969, Saotome Shihan lived as his personal disciple, studying under his guidance the practice and philosophy of Aikido. In 1975 Saotome Shihan 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.”
The mission of Aikido Schools of Ueshiba is to preserve and disseminate the teachings and principles of Aikido, as transmitted by Morihei Ueshiba O Sensei to his direct disciple Mitsugi Saotome Shihan.The Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU) was founded as the membership organization that affiliates all of the Aikido dojos under the instruction of Saotome Shihan and his students. It is currently established as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The name of the organization reflects a commitment to the vision of O Sensei and not the cultivation of a style or territory. Since its establishment, there have been over 1,000 black belts awarded to ranked members of ASU. ASU is affiliated with Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
Aikido Schools of Ueshiba
6706 N Nebraska Ave #9746
Tampa, FL 33674
Mitsugi Saotome Shihan is the Founder and supervisory instructor for more than 100 affiliated Dojos of the international Aikido Schools of Ueshiba association.
Master Saotome has devoted his entire adult life to the study and teaching of Aikido. He began as a special apprentice with the Founder of Aikido, Ueshiba Morihei (O Sensei) in 1955 and continued for 15 years until the Founder’s death in April of 1969.
From 1960 until 1975 Master Saotome taught at the World Aikido Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. During this period he was accorded many positions, honors 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 Master Saotome 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 national and international seminars, Master Saotome has taught many special seminars including a U.S. Military Special Forces seminar, special training of the U.S. Security Forces in Washington, D.C. and has demonstrated before the United Nations General Assembly.
Master Saotome has published a number of highly respected books on Aikido including A Light on Transmission, Aikido and the Harmony of Nature, The Principles of Aikido, and Aikido: Living by Design. He has also authored several training videotapes.
A detailed biography of Saotome Sensei is been recently written, and is available here: Living By Design, A Biography of Mitsugi Saotome Shihan.