Ki Kubari – External Mindfulness and Martial Awareness

Recently – and most notably at this year’s Cherry Blossom seminar at the Shobukan Dojo in D.C., Saotome Sensei has been using the term “kikubari.”  Over a private visit with Sensei, I and a few others (Don Ellingsworth, and Gary and Ania Small) had the opportunity to visit with Sensei about the term, and why […]

Saotome Sensei’s Significance of Leadership (Part 1)

This the first of a few articles that Saotome Sensei asked me to help him write on the subject of leadership. “Leadership” is an important concept for Saotome Sensei, and one that he thinks has critical significance for all teachers of martial arts.  He frequently mentions the term in his seminars, and at recent instructors […]

Shihan Mitsugi Saotome and the Healing Breath

In 2013, I was visiting with Saotome Sensei at his Aiki Ranch in Sarasota over lunch. We took our conversation into a stroll through the acres of beautifully landscaped property surrounding the Aiki Shrine and the home he shares with Patty Saotome Sensei.  As we walked, he pointed out how his “garden” has changed since […]

Saotome Sensei and the Meaning of Ikkyo

At this year’s Winter Intensive training seminar in Florida, Saotome Sensei spoke a lot about the meaning of “ikkyo”. Ito illustrate, he shared a story about a time from when he was training with the Founder, O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba: O-Sensei would frequently say, ‘ikkyo whole life.’ Once, I responded, ‘Sensei – I already know ikkyo!’ […]