The Aiki Shrine is located in Southwest Florida, on the site of the former private ranch of Mitsugi Saotome Shihan and Patty Saotome Shihan. Saotome Sensei built this shrine as a place where advanced students could study the highest and most spiritual ideals of O Sensei’s vision. The Aiki Shrine was built to recreate and preserve the deep sense of spirituality and connection to nature that he recalled of the original Iwama Shrine from his years serving and living with O Sensei as uchi deshi. In 2016, Saotome Sensei transferred ownership of the Aiki Shrine to ASU to preserve as a lasting and physical legacy, and to unify future generations of ASU students and instructors through a living heritage and lineage to the spirit of O Sensei.
A New Future for the Aiki Shrine
The Aikido Schools of Ueshiba organization has accepted responsibility for the care, maintenance, and preservation of the Aiki Shrine, and the development of its future. The daunting task of securing the preservation of the Aiki Shrine was the undertaking of a dedicated, small group of Aikido visionaries, leaders and donors. Under the blessing of Saotome Sensei, the ASU leadership is developing an ambitious plan for the Shrine, which will include unique training events throughout the year which will be open to ASU members.