The development of Aikido from its many historic antecedents was the life work of Morihei Ueshiba. Called the O’Sensei, Ueshiba was considered one of the greatest martial artist of Japan and a national treasure. O’Sensei married the traditional martial art of Daito-ryu Aikijitsu with the philosophy of harmony and non-aggression. Giving birth of a serious and affective martial that ultimate goal is not to injury or taking life. Aikido was seen by O’Sensei as a way to help reconcile conflict and bring peace to a world ravaged by two world wars. O’Sensei died at the age of 86 in 1969.
Among O’Sensei’s many students, arguably the most dedicated was Morihito Saito Shihan. Part man servant, part retainer the role as Uchi Deshi afforded Morihito Saito an amazing amount of personal attention and insight to the formulation of Aikido. He was given charge of the Iwama Dojo and Aiki Shrine following O’Sensei’s death. Over his 50+ years of study, Morihito Saito became a international figure in Aikido, drawing student from around to world. Morihito Saito is best known for canonizing the hand and weapons forms of O’Sensei’s. Hence preserving the art into what is now called Iwama-ryu Aikido. Saito Sensei died in 2002.
Son of Morihito Saito, Hitohiro Saito Shihan is the head of Iwama Shin Shin Aikishuren Kai Organization. He is one of his generation’s greatest Aikido practitioners. Having grown up in the Iwama Dojo, Hitohiro Saito Shihan has trained directly under O’Sensei and his father since the age of 6.
Pat Hendricks Sensei has developed a reputation as a world-class instructor, teaching seminars around the globe. Fluent in Japanese, Hendricks Sensei was part of the first wave of westerners to become Uchi Deshi. She has studied extensively with Morihito Saito Shihan, often traveling with him as his translator. She is one of the very few instructors to hold the Menkio Kaiden transmission scroll, certifying her mastery of all the Iwama weapon forms.
John Nguyen Sensei has been studying aikido since 1992. He has trained with both Patricia Hendricks Sensei and Hitohiro Saito Shihan as Uchi Deshi and has taught in the Univeristy of Virginia, and Aikido of Charlottesville and Aikido of Arlington.


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