Larson Sensei began Aikido in 1990. After 17 years of competitive sports and practicing various martial arts, Mark’s aikido studies took him to the birthplace of Aikido, Iwama, Japan, in 1992 where he learned and trained as a live-in/direct student (uchideshi) for the next 10 years at the Founder’s Dojo under Master Morihiro Saito.
Larson received the highest weapons (Aiki-ken, Aiki-jo) certification (menkyokaiden) from Master Saito and currently holds a 6th degree black belt in Aikido from the World Aikido Federation (Aikikai) Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan.
Mark returned from Japan in 2002 to open an Aikido dojo. He has taught and demonstrated Aikido to people worldwide in addition to various military and law enforcement personnel. While in Japan, Mark participated six times in Japan’s top Aikido demonstration (Zennippon Aikido Embutaikai), performed Aikido at the 6th World Games, and earned Most Valuable Practitioner Honor at the Kashima Shimbuden Air Self-Defense Forces Aikido Gassyuku. He also founded the Minnesota State University-Akita, Japan, Aiki Shuren Dojo.
Today, Mark continues to teach Aikido seminars both nationally and internationally-traveling to countries in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. He is the founder and chief instructor of Minnesota Aiki Shuren Dojo, Nowthen, MN, and chief technical advisor for various Aikido dojos both in the USA and Japan.