Master Shodo Morita founded the art of Nihon Goshin Aikido in 1946 in Hokkaido, Japan. He was trained by Yoshiro Kitaro, an instructor of Daito-ryu-Aikijitsu. Master Kitaro also trained in his family's system of self defense. Master Morita trained in Judo, Kobudo (weapons), Karate, and Jujitsu, in addition to his training in Daito-ryu. 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 defense: The karate arts focused on striking, the judo arts focused on throwing, and the jujitsu arts focused on joint locks. Master Morita combined the techniques and principals of each system into the highly effective system we call Nihon Goshin Aikido today.
While stationed in Japan, Richard A. Bowe studied Nihon Goshin Aikido under Master Shodo Morita, becoming the only westerner to earn a black belt rank from him. Upon Master Morita's death in 1962, Nara Tominosuke, Shodo Morita's stepson, became head of the organization. Mr. Bowe returned to the United States to open the first Nihon Goshin Aikido school in North America. Mr. Bowe kept in close contact with Master Nara after coming back to the U.S., and for his continued training and promoting of the art, received the title of Shihan from Master Nara.
Hokkaido, Japan dojo. The men in suits are Shodo Morita (left) and Tominosuke Nara (right). Richard Bowe, the only American in the group, is standing far right.