Sensei Don Ellingsworth

Aikido Sensei Don Ellingsworth

Don Ellingsworth Sensei is a Head Instructor and Founder of Aikido Chuseikan, and holds the rank of godan (fifth degree black belt), as recognized by the Aikido World Headquarter (Aikikai). He has been awarded the Ueshiba Juku designation by Saotome Shihan, and is authorized to wear Saotome Sensei’s own “Ueshiba Juku” calligraphy on his professional uniforms.  Literally “the Academy of the Founder”, this indicates that Saotome Sensei recognized him for his loyalty and dedication to promoting O Sensei’s vision, and that he is not only a true Deshi of Saotome Sensei and an inheritor of his teachings, but is also part of O Sensei’s own school and pure lineage as only a true Uchi Deshi of O Sensei can recognize.  He and Sensei Hagen are the youngest recipients of this honor to date.

Ellingsworth Sensei was previously regular instructor at the Ji On Juku Aikido Academy from 1999 to 2012.  He began his training in 1989 at the University of Florida.

Ellingsworth Sensei has been a personal student of John Messores Shihan (7th dan) since 1993. Messores Shihan is one of Saotome Shihan’s senior-most US instructors, and among the highest ranked Americans affiliated with Aiki Hombu (the world Aikido headquarters). Messores Sensei was featured in the 1986 book Aikido and the Harmony of Nature (Shambhala Press) by Saotome Shihan, the 2002 production The Budo Experience (Budo Productions LLC), and the 2002 international Aiki Expo Demo video. Messores Shihan also has an Aikido encyclopedia listing with the Aikido Journal and the Aikido FAQ, and is the founder and senior instructor of the Ji On Juku Aikido Academy of Warrior Spirit in Largo, Florida.

Ellingsworth Sensei has a direct lineage from the founder of Aikido, O Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, through Mitsugi Saotome Shihan.  Saotome Shihan is one of the few living direct uchi deshi (disciples) of O Sensei, and has been regarded by many as one of O Sensei’s foremost students and heirs. Ellingsworth Sensei has been recognized as a personal student of Saotome Shihan, and as Sensei’s current principle travel Otomo (travelling assistant) he has the honor of being one of Sensei’s top demonstration assistants at seminars throughout the US.

Ellingsworth Sensei also serves as the Administrator for the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba organization, where he is responsible for all of ASU’s membership and promotion processing.

Photo by Toivo Voll