Dento Iwama-ryu Aikido (Traditional Iwama Style Aikido)
The Saito family has had a long association with the founder of Aikido,
Ueshiba Morihei, often referred to as O'sensei (great teacher).
Morihiro Saito studied continuously under O'sensei for more than 20 years from 1946 till O'sensei's death in 1969. Morihiro Saito sensei not only trained under O'sensei but he and his family cared for O'sensei and his wife, as well as maintaining the Aiki Shuren Dojo and the neighboring Aiki Jinja (Aikido Shrine) along with their surrounding grounds.
Hitohira Saito, the only son of Morihiro Saito sensei, started his Aikido training under O'sensei aged seven, and then continued under his father's guidance until 2002. With the death of his father in that year Hitohira Saito sensei became the natural successor to the legacy of his father and through him to the founder of Aikido. In 2004 Hitohira Saito sensei established his own organisation the Iwama Shin Shin Aiki Shuren-kai, Dento Iwama-ryu.
Aiki Kunren Dojo
The Aiki Kunren Dojo is the only Dento Iwama-ryu Aikido (Traditional Iwama style Aikido) dojo in Sydney, Australia, with a direct connection to the Iwama Shin Shin Aiki Shuren-kai in Japan.
In 1983 Mic Marelli made the first of many visits to the Aiki Shuren Dojo in Iwama Japan as an apprentice to Morihiro Saito sensei.
The Aiki Kunren Dojo was founded in 2000 and with the death of Morihiro Saito sensei and subsequent formation of Hitohira Saito sensei's Iwama Shin Shin Aiki Shuren-kai, Dento Iwama-ryu we continue our commitment and support of the Saito family and the art of Aikido as taught by Morihei Ueshiba the founder of Aikido in Iwama Japan.
Dento Iwama-ryu Aikido training
Aikido as a term was first registered by O'sensei in 1942. This style of aikido reflects the art of O'sensei as taught approximately between the years of 1946-1955.
Training at the Aiki Kunren Dojo follows closely the form, intent and pedagogy as emphasised by Morihiro and Hitohira Saito sensei. At least half of training incorporates Aiki ken & Aiki jo, the sword & staff training that O'sensei passed onto Aikido students training regularly in Iwama, Japan. Taijitsu or empty hand training incorporates the remaining training with a strong emphasis on solid basics before moving on to more fluid forms.