Nihon (Japanese) Goshin (Self-Defense) Aikido (the way of Harmony) was founded by Master Shodo Morita in Hokkaido, Japan. Soke (founder) Shodo Morita was a student of Sokaku Takeda and Yoshida Kitaro in Daito Ryu Aiki Jiu-Jitsu.
Master Kitaro also trained in his family’s system of self-defense. In addition to training in Daito Ryu, Master Morita trained in Judo, Kodudo(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 Jiu-Jitsu arts focused on joint locks.
Master Morita incorporated principles and techniques of each system into a new system we call 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 art due to its variety of principles. This results in a highly effective system of self defense for today’s man or woman.
Nihon Goshin Aikido was brought to the United States by Mr. Richard A. Bowe in 1962. 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.
In 1961, after training daily for two and a half years, Mr. Bowe became the first American to achieve the rank of Sho-Dan (1st Degree Black Belt) in Nihon Goshin Aikido. Upon Master Morita’s death in 1962, Nara Tominosuke, Shodo Morita’s stepson, became head of the art. Mr. Bowe returned to the United States and began teaching Nihon Goshin Aikido at a local karate school, also in 1962. On September 12, 1963, Mr. Bowe opened his own dojo in Gutenberg, New Jersey. In 1976, Master Nara promoted Mr. Bowe to Go-Dan(5th Degree Black Belt) shortly before retiring from public teaching. Master Nara passed in 1978. It is not believed that Nihon Goshin Aikido is taught in Japan any longer. However, 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. The school remained in business for over 55 years. Shihan Richard A. Bowe turn the Art over to Sensei Robert B. MacEwen Jr. November 01, 2018 and is now U.S. Director of the Nihon Goshin Aikido Association. Shihan Richard A. Bowe Promoted Sensei Robert MacEwen Jr. to the rank of Roko-Dan 6th Dergee Black Belt on May 18, 2019.