The AikidoSphere reflects the teachings of perhaps the most prominent group of Aikido Shihan (master teachers) living outside Japan today. This group consists of Nobuyoshi Tamura, Yoshimitsu Yamada, Akira Tohei, T.K. Chiba, Mitsunari Kanai, Seiichi Sugano, Yutaka Kurita, Yukio Kawahara and Ichiro Shibata.

These Shihan, most of whom were uchi deshi (live-in disciples) of O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, were in close contact with him during the height of his creative development of Aikido.

They studied under his direction and in the company of many of the greatest exponents of the art, including Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Kisaburo Osawa, Hiroshi Tada, Sadateru Arikawa and Seigo Yamaguchi Senseis.

Beginning in the early 1960's they left Japan and moved abroad to teach the Aikido they had learned from O-Sensei. They became the pioneers of the growth of Aikido throughout North and South America, Western and Eastern Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and the Middle East. In spite of their physical separation, they maintained a close association with Aikikai Hombu Dojo and each other for over 50 years.

These Shihan bear of a unique part of O-Sensei's legacy. As a group they reflect the creatively individual nature of Aikido, having each cultivated their own understanding from their personal experiences as direct students of O-Sensei. This is reflected in their daily lives, their own research and in their teachings of Aikido's fundamental principles and practices. They share a deep devotion to Aikido's spiritual and technical integrity and an unwavering sense of purpose in their never-ending study of this art.

The AikidoSphere has been created to be an information center for this invaluable resource: the art of Aikido as learned and experienced by these Shihan. It is our intention, as their students and recipients of their legacy, to make the AikidoSphere a place where their accumulated knowledge and insight is made available and is share. We also want the Aikidosphere to be a forum where knowledge can be exchanged, and where understanding and communication can expand. In short, we want the AikidoSphere to be a resource for the continuing growth of this special lineage of O-Sensei's Aikido.

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