Aikido Journal Home » Encyclopedia » SWEDEN, HISTORY OF AIKIDO IN. Aiki News Japan


Aikido was first introduced to Sweden by Gerhard Gosen who began aikido training in 1961. Gosen trained in France and invited Masamichi NORO to Sweden later in 1961. Another early practitioner was Jan Beime who established the Stockholm Aikikai, still one of Sweden's largest dojos. Beime invited Mutsuro NAKAZONO in 1965 and the latter visited the country thereafter on several occasions. Nobuyoshi TAMURA has also made periodic visits to Sweden beginning in 1966.

Toshikazu ICHIMURA, a student of Shoji NISHIO, moved to Sweden in September 1966 as the representative of the AIKIKAI HOMBU. Under his guidance several dojos were set up in Stockholm and Uppsala. In August 1969, Takeji TOMITA, a student of Morihiro SAITO, also took up residence in Stockholm. Tomita moved to Gothenburg in 1971 where he stayed for one year before returning to Stockholm where he has remained since. His organization includes many dojos in Sweden.

Beginning in the 1970s, the growth of aikido in Sweden acquired momentum and the first Swedes went to Japan to train. Visits were made by other Aikikai-affiliated Japanese instructors residing in Europe such as Katsuaki ASAI, Masatomi IKEDA, and Tamura. Tomita opened his own dojo in 1976 and the same year Sweden hosted a visit by DOSHU Kisshomaru UESHIBA. Morihiro Saito visited for the first time in 1977.

SHINSHIN TOITSU AIKIDO was introduced in the 1980s and has enjoyed steady growth. Ichimura returned to Japan in 1986 after a 20-year stay. Various well-known Japanese teachers have made periodic visits to Sweden in recent years including Shoji Nishio, Yasuo KOBAYASHI, Seiichi SUGANO, and Morihiro SAITO. WAKASENSEI Moriteru UESHIBA also conducted a seminar in 1989. Aikido continues to grow steadily and the number of practitioners doubled during the decade of the 1980s to reach about 2,500 practitioners. Organizationally speaking, aikido became part of the Swedish Budo Federation in the 1960s. Early chairmen of the Aikido Section include Stig Forsberg, Lars Sundin, and Sven-Yngve Gyllsjo. The latter also served as Treasurer of the EUROPEAN AIKIDO FEDERATION. Sweden hosted the European Aikido Federation Congress in Stockholm in 1987.