Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba, to whom we refer as O Sensei (“Great Teacher”). O Sensei lived from December 14, 1883, to April 26, 1969.
We are a member Dojo of the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU), founded by Mitsugi Saotome Shihan, an international shihan of Aikido World Headquarters. Saotome Shihan was a student of O Sensei for 20 years, during 15 of which he was a full-time, live-in student, or uchi deshi.
Saotome Shihan was a senior instructor at the Aikido World Headquarters before moving to the US in 1974. He travels extensively to conduct seminars and has written three widely acclaimed books on Aikido, in addition to producing many seminal videos of the art.
ASU is an internationally respected Aikido organization and is recognized and certified by the Aikido World Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan, as an overseas organization. ASU is a 501(c)(3) educational charity.
You will become a member of ASU as soon as you have successfully completed your 6th kyu test. Dues for ASU are included in your monthly fees, as long as you maintain continuous Dojo membership. If you wish to receive rank through the offices of our head instructor, you need to be a member of the Dojo and of ASU in good standing. Prakash Sensei is authorized to test for promotions through shodan (1st degree black belt) and, in a panel with fellow senior instructors, to sandan (third-degree black belt). For higher dan ranks, Prakash Sensei makes recommendations to the Executive Board of ASU.
Kyu certificates are signed by Saotome Sensei and Prakash Sensei and arrive a few weeks after the kyu test has been successfully completed, to be handed out in a formal ceremony during the next testing period. Dan certificates arrive from Hombu Dojo in Japan and take somewhat longer to arrive. Dan ranking for fourth degree and above is by Prakash Sensei’s recommendation to Saotome Shihan.
Click here for information on rank and testing at Redlands Aikikai