The study of Budo and the development of Aikido was the life work of Morihei Ueshiba, a figure of great renown who traveled the length and breadth of Japan studying under the greatest masters of many arts. Deeply interested in the study of spiritual thought, he also practiced many different spiritual disciplines. "Budo is not felling the opponent by force; nor is it a tool to lead the world into destruction by arms. True Budo is to accept the spirit of the universe, keep the peace of the world, and correctly produce, protect and cultivate all beings in nature." For Morihei Ueshiba his art was the sword; his creative way was Budo. Aikido is creation, not destruction. It is a positive energy which creates harmony and justice out of violence. This is the essence of Budo. It is not the art of fighting, of narrow technique, but an art of personal refinement and of protecting the quality of life. Aikido is first and always Budo. Without the heart of a warrior and the deep desire to protect society, to protect all life, Aikido becomes an empty dance. Budo is its spirit.
These principles are the life blood of Master Instructor Mitsugi Saotome, founder of Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU). For fifteen years until the Founder's passing in 1969, Saotome Sensei lived as his personal disciple, studying under his guidance the practice and philosophy of Aikido. In 1975, Saotome Sensei left a highly respected position as a senior instructor at the World Aikido Headquarters in Tokyo to come to the United States. When asked why he made this decision, he replied, "I meditated on O-Sensei's (Great Teacher) spirit for three days and three nights and I felt it was his wish that I should go. This country is a great experiment, a melting pot of people from many different cultural backgrounds living together, the world condensed into one nation. The goal of Aikido and O-Sensei's dream is that all the peoples of the world live together as one family, in harmony with each other and with their environment. The United States has the opportunity to set a great example."
Aikido is not a sport. It is a discipline, an educational process for training the mind, body and spirit. An Aikido dojo is not a gymnasium. It is the place where the way of the discipline is revealed. Physical technique is not the final objective, but a tool for personal refinement and spiritual growth. The correct attitude of respect, sincerity and modesty, and the proper atmosphere are essential to the learning process. And as Aikido is a martial way, they are essential to the safety of each individual. The following rules are necessary to the maintenance of this atmosphere and vital to your study of Aikido.
From the ASU Student Handbook.
About Bushinkan Dojo Aikido
BuShinkan Dojo was originally called Bushin Dojo when it was first established in 1989 under Kevin Sparkman, Yondan. It was renamed by Mitsugi Saotome, Shihan in 2013 to “BuShinkan” Dojo which can be loosely translated as a place for warrior spirit. But it also implies that this school is a place to cultivate a warrior’s heart, a warrior’s discipline, a warrior’s courage.
Bushinkan Dojo is born of the union of its head instructors Steve Matthews and Erwin Ricafort. While both began training under different instructors, each found commonalities in their expression of this art and share a love for Aikido. Together they hope to build a school whose students develop martial skill as well as develop a bond through training and lasting friendship. We are an affiliate of the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba under the diection of Mitsugi Saotome, Shihan.