Morihiro Saito Shihan bequeathed Iwama Takemusu Aikikai to Mark Larson and Kenichi Shibata, and appointed these two students to establish brother dojos. This charge was made at the Founder’s Dojo (Ibaraki Aiki Shuren Dojo) in Iwama, Japan, in the presence of the Iwama Dojo Members, town dignitaries, worldwide guests, high ranking aikido instructors as well as the Aikikai representatives during Tai Sai, April 29, 2001.
“Mark, you must make brother dojos with Shibata.”
Morihiro Saito Direct-disciple of Morihei Ueshiba–Founder of Aikido
Ibaraki Aiki Shuren Dojo-cho (Iwama Dojo)
Guardian of the Aiki-Shrine
9th dan Aikikai Shihan
Our honorable teacher’s desire came to fruition on April 3, 2008, at Kenichi Shibata Shihan’s First International Aikido Teaching Seminar, held in Minnesota, USA.
“Saito Sensei said that Iwama Aikido will shift to America in the future. Now I know he was talking about you, Mark.”
Direct-disciple of Morihiro Saito
Shiogama Aiki Shuren Dojo-cho
7th dan Aikikai Shihan
Iwama is [now] Minnesota.