Morihiro Saito (March 31, 1928 – May 13, 2002) was born in the Ibaraki prefecture, Japan. He practiсed Aikido for 56 years and been one of the few 9 Dan-holders in the Aikikai.
As a teenager, Morihiro used to do Kendo, some Karate and Judo but at the age of 18, he heard about a man who developed a completely unknown Budo in Iwama. Koichi Tohei, Tadashi Abe, Gozo Shioda were learning from the O-Sensei when Saito was accepted for training.
The next 23 years he spent caring for the Ueshiba family and Iwama Dojo. During these years he received a special education, which is unique among all students of the Founder especially concerning weapons in the Aikido. Indeed, O-Sensei only showed weapons but never taught them outside the Iwama. Saito Sensei was the only student present often and he practiced with the Morihei Ueshiba extensively.
Before the passing O-Sensei left Saito in charge of the Dojo and Aiki Jinja (Aikido Shrine). In 1970 Takemusu Aikido was born which is known as the traditional style. For more than 20 years over thousands of students came to Saito Sensei to train by the methods of the Founder. Shihan’s books and videos are relevant even in the current stage of the Aikido evolution.
Morihiro Saito was able to concentrate on the seminars and Iwama garden in the late years because his son, Hitohiro Saito took responsibility for the Dojo. Which he still does.