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 Science of Multiple Attackers

Among O Sensei’s uchi deshi, Mitsugi Saotome Shihan has a reputation for his amazing and martial randori (multiple attacker) demonstrations. As you may have read from Sensei’s biography, he has consulted and demonstrated for the Pentagon and the US Army Special Forces about multiple attacker and “gauntlet” scenarios. Randori is a special interest of mine, […]

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!’ […]