Minnesota Aiki Shuren Dojo is a Japanese Budo Dojo that teaches Traditional Aikido in the spirit of its founder and chief-instructor’s master, Morihiro Saito Shihan. Saito Shihan was the longest direct-disciple of the Founder of Aikido (from 1946 – 1969). In 1969, prior to the passing of Aikido’s Founder, Morihiro Saito Shihan was asked by the Ueshiba Family to teach at the Founder’s Dojo and serve as Guardian of the Aiki Shrine (Aiki-jinja), both located in Iwama, Japan. Saito Shihan devoted the next 33 years, and nearly 60 years of his life, systemizing and preserving the Aikido he learned directly from the Founder.
In 1993, Minnesota Aiki Shuren Dojo founder and chief-instructor Mark Larson Sensei met Morihiro Saito Shihan in Iwama and learned under his tutelage for the next nine plus years (1993 – 2002) until Saito Shihan’s passing in May of 2002. Before Saito Shihan’s passing, at the request of Morihiro Saito Shihan, Mark Larson Sensei founded Minnesota Aiki Shuren Dojo–a name that Saito Shihan placed on his dojo. Today, we at Minnesota Aiki Shuren Dojo preserve the Aikido that Morihiro Saito Shihan taught our instructor directly for nearly a decade.
The aikido I teach at Minnesota Aiki Shuren Dojo is the aikido Morihiro Saito Sensei taught in the early 1990’s until his untimely passing in 2002. As it was Morihiro Saito Sensei’s mission to preserve the Aikido of his teacher, Founder Morihei Ueshiba, it is my mission to preserve the Aikido I learned directly from my teacher, Morihiro Saito Sensei, in the latter years of Saito Sensei’s life–precisely as he taught it at the Founder’s dojo (Ibaraki Aiki Shuren Dojo) in Iwama, Japan. This is what has come to be known as IWAMA AIKIDO. Mark L. Larson (Takuto)–Minnesota Aiki Shuren Dojo-cho