Michael Field Sensei has been issuing Iwama Ryu Aikido Dan Ranks exclusively in Australia since 1994 when Morihiro Saito Sensei gave him the sole authority to do so. (Witness Stanley Pranin Sensei, Editor Aiki Journal) In the year 2000, during his last seminar in Australia, Morihiro Saito Sensei (Soke of Iwama Ryu Aikido) honoured Michael Field by making him head of Iwama Ryu Aikido in Australia. Present were Ulf Evenas Shihan then head of Iwama Ryu Aikido in Northern Europe and Saburo Takayasu Shihan head of Takemusu Aiki Australia.
Iwama Ryu Aikido Internationally
Aikido instructors in many parts of the world were connected to Saito Sensei and many of them and their students also loyally practice Aikido as taught to them by Saito Sensei. The connection of the instructors and their clubs to Saito Sensei and the Iwama dojo was usually signified by the use of terms such as Takemusu Aiki, Iwama Style, Traditional Aikido among others. Most of these clubs have their ranks issued by the Aikikai.
The Iwama Ryu dojos distinguish themselves by using Iwama Ryu ranks. The instigation of the use of Iwama Ryu ranks was brought about by the specific situation in Europe in regard to the group of clubs that solely trained Aikido under Saito Sensei and therefore wished to receive their ranks directly from him.
In 1992 Saito Sensei made the decision to establish a network of clubs under the heading "Iwama Ryu." Saito Sensei chose at this time to change the English word "style" in Iwama Style, to the Japanese "Ryu." Saito Sensei's wish was to create what he calls a "preservation society" (hozonkai) for the Aikido that was taught by O-Sensei in Iwama.
Ulf Evenas was the choosen representatives of Saito Sensei in Northern Europe.
Paolo Corallini Shihan, was the choosen representative for Saito Sensei in Southern Europe.
Mark and Ute von Meerendonk, were the choosen representatives of Saito Sensei in Germany.
Ethan Weisgard, Saito Sensei's choosen representative in Denmark.
Daniel Toutain, Saito Sensei's choosen representative in France.
Michael Field , Saito Sensei's choosen representative in Australia.
Iwama Ryu Aikido Today
Iwama Ryu practitioners are committed to carrying on the legacy that Saito Sensei was the figurehead of: the preservation of the Aikido which Saito Sensei was taught in Iwama by O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba from 1945 until his death in 1969.