Author Archives: Iwama Shin-Shin Aiki Shuren Kai

Sensei’s 60th Birthday anniversary

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On the 11th of February 2017, there was a big party in Iwama, to celebrate Hitohira Saito Jukucho’s 60th anniversary.

In the morning, many of Sensei’s students and family members got together in the Tanrenkan to spend some time with Sensei and take personal and group pictures with him.
Dressed in formal kimono, both Sensei and Okusan looked very dashing and distinguished. Everybody wanted to take pictures with Sensei and with the couple.
Pictures were taken with Sensei’s extensive family, children and grandchildren.
Then a group picture was taken with all the guests and students.
After this, all the group walked to Yoshi, a fabulous restaurant near the Tanrenkan, owned by Kazunari-san, Sensei’s nephew.

The food was very delicious and in great variety. Beautiful and tasty dishes were presented to the guests, in a continuous flow, for about two hours. Sake, shochu, beer, wine, whiskey, all drinks possible were included in the superb menu. Desert too was served.

Sensei was presented with traditional gifts by his grandchildren and also he received many others from students and guests.
During the party there were some amusements by the guests as well as some very interesting speeches made by Sensei.

Finally the party was over and many guests proceeded to the Shin Dojo for the traditional second party. In an ambience more relaxed but much more merrier, Sensei entertained his guests and students for a few more hours.

Everyone had a very nice time and was very happy to join Sensei on this special occasion.

From overseas Stefan Kurilla, Mats StrÖmgren, Malou Klock StrÖmgren and Tristão da Cunha also came to celebrate this important event with Sensei.

Congratulations, Sensei, on this important occasion.
Many happy returns!

Sensei and hisakkosan

Sensei and family 2017

SEnsei 6oth

during the party

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Thank you very much to Tim Haffner, Nahoko Okada Attey, Takemusu Aikido Goteberg and Hisako Saito, for the pictures.

SAITO Hitohira sensei – seminar in Murmansk – 2016.

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The world-famous master, Hitohira Saito Shihan, head of the Traditional Aikido school in Japan – visited Murmansk to instruct a seminar.

Sensei was invited by the Zapolyarniy fans of martial arts. This seminar was to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first aikido clubs in the region.

It was the first time that Saito Hitohira Sensei came to Murmansk. The Russian masters recognized and appreciated his high level of training.

According to Saito Hitohira Sensei, the purpose of those who decide to study Aikido, is to achieve internal, spiritual purification.

For this seminar, there was a participation of Aikido lovers from different Russian cities: Moscow, Saint-Petersburg. Ivanovo, Apatity and Murmansk.
During this seminar, we practiced a variety or techniques, such as, Taijutsu: Morote dori – kokyu ho;
Ikkyo, nikyo and sankyo (osae waza, nage waza);
Shiho nage; yokomenuchi – irimi nage, kotegaesi. Ninin dori and sannindori – kokyu nage; Bukiwaza:
Ken suburi;
Ken awase, 1-7,
Kumi tachi 1,2,3,4, with variations;
Jo suburi – 1-21;
31 no kata;
13 no kata and 13 kata awasе; We also practiced kumi jo – 1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9 For the special keiko, we trained Ken tai jo – 1,2,3,4

After the seminar, Sensei visited the aquarium with sea animals and an aboriginal settlement in Murmanska- Pomerania.

Thank you Sensei, for this wonderful seminar.

Alexandr Kravchuk

SAITO Hitohira sensei – International seminar in Rennes. France – Nov.2016.

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120 participants joined this fourth international seminar in Rennes. It has been a real pleasure to welcome Sensei and people from many various countries. People from Italy, Germany, Iran, Portugal, Morocco, Belgium, England, Switzerland, United States, Japan and of course France joined this seminar.

The visit of Sensei in Rennes, started on Thursday with a great moment as we meet up with a professional sculptor. Sensei was invited to make a “performance” by sculpting a bloc of clay with a theme of his choice. So that the sculptor and Sensei worked on different bloc of clay with a common theme. Sensei realized for his first experience a beautiful sculpture of a Dragon’s head. We all were amazed by how Sensei felt the sense of it and how he gave to the clay the shape of a dragon’s head. We shared a great moment.
Seminar started on Friday. Sensei had very kind regards on each one of us and was really involved in making adjustments to people’s moves and explaining us the sense of the techniques. He lays the emphasis upon his research on Ô sensei’s Aikido and gave many explanations upon how Aikido spread around the world in different ways. He also focuses on the importance to improve ourselves in our daily practice by using different key exercises.

After training, we had on Saturday a user-friendly party with sensei at the dojo.
The atmosphere was really close to an uchi-deshi party in Iwama and thanks to sensei, the represented dojos performed a specific song… So we had a very chilled out atmosphere and we all enjoyed this particular and privileged time.

Saito hitohira ken Rennes nov2016

This seminar really reinforced the strong links between the different Dojo and Aïkidoka. SAITO Hitohira sensei really rallied everybody under his incredible Aikido and showed us the importance of being all together to practice and feel such powerful instant. Sensei showed us beyond doubt that Aikido unifies people. During this seminar we felt very close to that old saying of Ô sensei:
“The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your inner enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.”
Arigatou gozaimashita, sensei.

Olivier Eberhardt
Rennes – France.

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Saito Sensei in the USA – 2016

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In keeping with the long tradition of Iwama Aikido in Sonoma County, Dennis Tatoian and Takemusu Aikido of Sonoma (TAOS dojo group) were proud to host Hitohira Saito Soke for another great seminar in late October marking the third annual International Seminar for Aikidoka of all ages and skill levels from around the globe and United States.

Keiko this year focused on Bukiwaza and emphasized the importance of serious practice and the fundamental basics of the Aikiken and Aikijo curriculum of O’Sensei’s weapons practice that was codified into a uniform system of training by the great Morihiro Saito Shihan.

Sensei was quite gracious in his demeanor and spirits were high on the mat, which was full of many good friends who were all happy to train together and receive instruction from one of the world’s foremost practitioners of Aikido.

Many thanks to all our friends from local and far away dojo as well as cross-country and international travelers who made the long journey to wine country. We all eagerly look forward to next year’s seminar Octorber 13-15, 2017. Mark your calendars and join us!!!

Julian Shay

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