For fifteen years until the Founder’s passing in 1969, Saotome Shihan lived as his personal disciple, studying under his guidance the practice and philosophy of Aikido. In 1975 Saotome Shihan left a highly respected position as a senior instructor at the World Aikido Headquarters in Tokyo to come to the United States. When asked why he made this decision he replied, “I meditated on O Sensei’s (Great Teacher) spirit for three days and three nights and I felt it was his wish that I should go. This country is a great experiment, a melting pot of people from many different cultural backgrounds living together, the world condensed into one nation. The goal of Aikido and O Sensei’s dream is that all the peoples of the world live together as one family, in harmony with each other and with their environment. The United States has the opportunity to set a great example.”
The Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU) was founded as the membership organization that affiliates all of the Aikido dojos under the instruction of Saotome Shihan and his students. It is currently established as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The name of the organization reflects a commitment to the vision of O Sensei and not the cultivation of a style or territory. Since its establishment, there have been over 1,000 black belts awarded to ranked members of ASU. ASU is affiliated with Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
Aikido Schools of Ueshiba
6706 N Nebraska Ave #9746
Tampa, Florida 33674