Nihon Goshin Aikido

Nihon (Japanese) Goshin (Self-Defense) Aikido was founded by Master Shodo Morita in Hokkaido, Japan. Soke (founder) Shodo Morita was a student of Sokaku Takeda and Yoshida Kotaro in Daito Ryu Aiki Jiu-Jitsu. Master Kotaro also trained in his family's system of self-defense. 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. This resulted in a highly effective system of self defense for today's man or woman.

Shihan Bowe


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 was the first American to achieve the rank of Sho-Dan (First Degree Blackbelt) in 1961 after training daily for two and a half years. Master Morita passed away in 1962. His stepson, Tominosuke Nara became the new Master until he passed on in 1978.

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 is considered a "pioneer" in the martial arts industry for his efforts in passing on his art. Mr. Bowe continues to teach a class for Black Belts in his North Bergen dojo. The school has remained in business for over 42 years.

(Shihan Bowe and Shodo Morita)
(Tominosuke Nara)