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Aikido Lineage = Quality Control

  • Lineage = Quality Control

    Lineage = Quality Control

    Before reading our lineage, understand the general purpose: Lineage is a time tested method to insure quality control in instruction. You start with one of the great martial artists of all time. That highly realized practitioner certifies his students to go out and teach. The knowledge is passed from one generation to another with teachers standing behind the instruction given by their students. If a student has a serious problem and is considered unqualified to teach, their teacher withdraws support.

  • Organizational Affiliation

    Organizational Affiliation

    Still Mind Aikido - New York Aiki Shuren Dojo, through its association with Iwama Takemusu Aikikai (under Mark Larson Sensei) is part of a large international organization (Aikikai) that encompasses the majority of Aikido schools in the world.

  • Video of Teachers

    Playlist: Our Lineage

    • Morihei Ueshiba - Founder of Aikido
    • Morihiro Saito - Top Student of the Founder
    • Mark Larson - Top Student of Saito Sensei
    • Steve Kanney - Chief Instructor in NY
    • Hoa Newens Sensei - Senior Student of Saito Sensei
Morihei Ueshiba
Aikido Founder
Morihei Ueshiba, Aikido Founder

Morihiro Saito Sensei
9th Dan
Morihiro Saito Top Student of Aikido Founder
Mark Larson Sensei
6th Dan
Mark Larson Sensei
Steve Kanney
6th Dan

While the founder of Aikido had many good students, he clearly marked the leaders for the next generation. Upon his passing, the founder had 2 dojos. He entrusted each to his top students: Tokyo was run by Koichi Tohei under the supervision of his son, Kisshomaru Ueshiba. In fact, for the last 23 years of the founder's life, Tohei Sensei ran the Tokyo school with the founder only visiting once a month. Iwama was taken over by the younger Morihiro Saito only after the founder's passing.

Our Lineage

The founder of Aikido was regarded as one of the great martial artists in history, along with Jigoro Kano, founder of Judo, and Yang Lu Chan, founder Yang Style Tai Chi. Morihiro Saito Sensei, the longest (23 years) live in student of the founder, was widely known as one of his two top students. He took over the founder's dojo as well as the Aiki Shrine in Iwama after his death. Mark Larson Sensei studied intensively with Saito Sensei for nearly 10 years, and was given the name Takuto by him. Takuto means the preeminent leader of a tradition with the responsibility to maintain it. Thusly our dojo's lineage directly accesses the feeling of training with the founder as it was preserved by Morihrio Saito.

Saito Sensei specifically named Larson Sensei's dojo as an Aiki Shuren Dojo (“austere training of Aiki”), along with his own son. We are honored to have the opportunity to train with the person who most closely represents Saito Sensei in the United States, and to have our dojo also given the Aiki Shuren name.

Steve Kanney, chief instructor of New York "Still Mind" Aiki Shuren Dojo, attended seminars with Morihiro Saito (9th Dan) 1979 to 1997. He was unable to move to Japan to become his direct student. He studied the system of flowing technique as practiced in Tokyo from Sugano Sensei (8th Dan - a direct student of the founder for 6 years) from 1989 to 2009. Nobayashi Tamura (9th Dan), most senior teacher in the Western Hemisphere in that system, explained the teachers that the founder dispatched to the US in the 1960's were sent to teach basics. Sugano Sensei was sent in 1989, after building federations in Australia and Belgium.


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