Mitsugi Saotome was born March 7, 1937. Mitsugi Saotome was a direct disciple of the Morihei Ueshiba. At the age of 16, Saotome began his martial arts training in judo and placed first in the City of Tokyo in Judo competition. At the age of 18, he entered the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo in order to train under Ueshiba. He became an uchi-deshi in 1958 and trained there for a total of 15 years until his teacher’s death in 1969.
Saotome began teaching at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in 1960. He was very well respected as an instructor, receiving many honors. He obtained the title of shihan and ultimately was appointed a senior instructor. As a senior instructor in Aikido he was the Chief Weapons Instructor at Hombu and he held that position until 1975.
Mitsugi Saotome currently resides in the state of Florida in the US. He continues to teach at the Aiki Shrine Dojo in Myakka City, Florida, but spends approximately 6 weeks each year teaching at the Aikido Shobukan Dojo, the home dojo of the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba in Washington, DC. He also travels extensively, teaching seminars throughout the US.