Master Shodo Morita founded the art of Nihon Goshin Aikido. He was trained by Yoshiro Kitaro, an instructor of Daito ryu Aikijitsu. Master Kitaro also trained in his family’s system of selfdefense. In addition to training in Daito ryu, Master Morita trained in Judo, Kobudo (weapons), Karate, and the esoteric arts. After mastering these arts, Master Morita realized that although they were highly effective, no single style was complete. Each art focused on a separate element of self-defense: The karate arts focused on striking. The judo arts focused on throwing. The jujitsu arts focused on joint locks.
Master Morita incorporated principles and techniques of each system into a new system called Nihon Goshin Aikido. It is significant to note that he did not merely choose the best techniques from each system, but a variety of techniques, recognizing that what works well for one person may not be effective for a second person due to height differences. Nihon Goshin Aikido is a highly effective form of martial arts due to its variety of principles.
Nihon Goshin Aikido was brought to the United States by Mr. Richard A. Bowe. Mr. Bowe was stationed on the island of Hokkaido during his military career. While there he reviewed a variety of systems, including karate and Aikido (Ueshiba style), but due to his previous training he felt that, although he respected those arts, they did not contain what he sought in a martial art. He continued his search until he came across Shodo Morita. Mr. Bowe was impressed with the ease with which Master Morita’s students were able to throw him. Mr. Bowe trained with both Shodo Morita, who awarded him a black belt, and with Shodo Morita’s adopted son, Tominosuke Nara, who took over the system after Master Morita.
Mr. Bowe returned to the United States and began teaching Nihon Goshin Aikido in 1962 at a local karate school. On September 12, 1963, he opened his own dojo in Gutenberg, New Jersey. In 1976 Mr. Bowe was promoted to 5th degree black belt by Master Nara. Shortly after that Master Nara retired from public teaching. As far as we know, Nihon Goshin Aikido is no longer taught in Japan. However, the Black Belts from Mr. Bowe’s dojo and the students of his students are teaching in numerous dojos throughout the United States. Mr. Bowe continues to
teach a class for Black Belts in the Nutley, NJ dojo.
Sensei Robert B. MacEwen, Jr.
Sensei Robert B. MacEwen, Jr., director of the Aikido School of Self Defense , holds a fourth degree black belt in Nihon Goshin Aikido, third highest in the world. He also holds a fifth degree black belt in Jujitsu and a first degree black belt in Ninjitsu and Karate. He has been in the martial arts since 1972. Sensei MacEwen studied directly under Richard A. Bowe and John Lehman. Today, Sensei MacEwen is one of the top-rated practitioners of Aikido in America. His explosive style has been recognized by Martial Arts publications and organizations all over the world. His dedicated approach to teaching and his outstanding skill have earned him a place in the National Martial Arts Hall of Fame four times. For the past few years, Sensei MacEwen has been working as a stunt choreographer and actor in the motion picture industry.
Began training with Sensei Robert B. MacEwen, Jr. in 1982 in Middletown, NY. He earned his first degree Black Belt in August, 1989 and his second degree black belt in 1999.
During college at Suny Albany, he started the SUNYA Aikido Club with Sensei Earl Layumas. In October 12, 1992 he opened the Aikido School of Self Defense.
In 2009, he left the Nihon Goshin Aikido Association and created Kaizen Aikido. He is now ranked as a San-Dan, or 3rd degree black belt. He received his San-Dan through a testing committee of higher ranked martial artists made up of various styles.