Hitohira Saito Sensei with the Aikido Institute, during a seminar held October 14-15, 2005.
In October 2005, Hitohira Saito Sensei was invited to Rohnert Park (SSU), California, to give a seminar. A group of 14 or so students from the Aikido Institute made the trip.
The Aikido Institute’s KIAI newsletter published Saito Sensei’s message to us at that time:
LETTER FROM HITOHIRA SAITO SENSEI
Dear fellow Aikidoka,
I am honored to be here in the U.S. to train with all of you. I really appreciate the invitation and hard work of the Takemusu Aiki Association and its members.
It is my understanding of the Founder’s teachings that Aikido starts with the acknowledgement of a partner. In daily practice it is impossible to train without a partner. We really need to take this to heart of how important our training partners are.
In the past Iwama was known for the bad habit of blocking others from performing their technique. Possibly this came from the fact that some of the sempai had trained in Judo and transferred a more competitive feeling to their Aikido.
The main concept of Aikido is “world peace”! The first Aikido practice is to acknowledge your partner who is right in front of you, secondly understand proper manners, and thirdly realize moderation. When we understand these three points, then we can really train, “on purpose”. The Founder said that we should train so that we make continuous progress in our daily practice. It is my understanding that for Aikido to have true power, and influence true peaceful interaction in the world, we must practice Aikido in the light of God. Let’s practice Aikido and let it help you in everything that you do.
The KIAI is the Aikido Institute's official blog, consisting of articles, announcements and other postings from dojo members. The KIAI was originally a paper newsletter, founded by Howard Hoa Newens Sensei during his tenure as dojo-cho of our dojo. It started in it's early format in 1995. (Currently, some of the early issues are missing from our collection!). It was remixed into this blog starting in April 2017..
Part of the idea is that reflecting and writing about Aikido furthers and strengthens our practice. We welcome articles and other works from all dojo members and from others as well (send us a note below!).