The Aiki Shrine

History of Aiki Shrine

The Aiki Shrine is located in the rural countryside of Central Florida. It was designed and built by Saotome Sensei and his devoted students in the late ’90s as a place where advanced practitioners could study and practice O-Sensei’s vision of Aikido.

The structure of the Shrine itself was built to recreate and preserve the sense of spirit and connectedness to nature that Saotome Sensei recalled from his years living with O-Sensei and serving as uchi-deshi at the Iwama Shrine in Japan in the 1960s.


Erecting the new torii gate in July 2021
January 2022: Ceremony to hang the shimenawa protection rope

A New Future for the Aiki Shrine

In 2016, Saotome Sensei transferred ownership of the Aiki Shrine to the ASU Organization to preserve it as a lasting legacy, a mecca for ASU teachers and students, and to unify future generations through a living line to the spirit of O-Sensei.

Train at the Aiki Shrine!

“Shrine Sessions” are intensive Aikido training retreats held at the open-air dojo in the pristine, natural environs of the Aiki Shrine. Sessions help students deepen their practice while discovering mentors and making lasting friendships.


Weekend Training Sessions with
Mitsugi Saotome Shihan


**Spring 2023 Session Dates**
March 10-12
Led by Saotome Sensei and Bill Gleason Sensei

April 15
Special Saturday Session

**Fall 2023 Session Dates**
October 6-8
Led by Saotome Sensei and John Messores Sensei

November 10-12
Upper Dan Ranks and Dojo Cho combined Session

Questions? Email

The Aiki Shrine staff hosts training events throughout the year, open to ASU Yudansha, and ikkyu and nikyu students by recommendation. Attending a Session at the Aiki Shrine is considered an honor–Sessions allow students an opportunity to practice at an Aikido haven like no other on the grounds of the
Aiki Corral in sunny Florida.

Each session is small (approximately 20 people) and intimate, which allows for one-on-one interaction with Saotome Sensei, visiting teachers, and students’ cohorts. Attending a Session provides a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet Aikidoka from all over the globe.  Many Aikidoka have created lifelong relationships with peers from all over the ASU community. 
What discoveries lie waiting at the Aiki Shrine for you?

Your Donations Are Tax Deductible

ASU NOW – The ASU Fundraising Campaign

Continuing and growing the legacy of the Aiki Shrine is a significant and ongoing challenge.  The ASU is announcing ASU NOW, an evergreen fundraising campaign to support the maintenance of the Aiki Shrine, and to create a sustainable foundation to support special facets of the ongoing mission of the ASU.

The ASU has been established as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and has established the Craig Eddy Foundation as the repository for all charitable contributions.  All donations to ASU and the Foundation can be tax deductible.  Your contributions declare your commitment as a member and supporter of the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba. Please consider making a contribution to the future of ASU and Aikido, and the shared vision of O Sensei and Saotome Sensei for bringing harmony to the world.


Make a charitable donation to the ASU Foundation by personal or cashier’s check sent to:

6706 N Nebraska Ave #9746
Tampa, FL 33674


Donate at your convenience online. No amount too big or too small.


Add an amount to your annual ASU membership dues; talk to your Dojo Cho to make sure your contribution is noted.

Estate Contributions

Please consider including the ASU Foundation when planning your will or estate. For more information, contact:

C/O Gary Small
6706 N Nebraska Ave #9746Tampa, FL 33674