Aikido is training of mind and body. Its purpose is to produce sincere people.

Aikido Founder, Ueshiba Morihei

Aikido is a traditional Japanese martial art combining open-hand, sword and staff techniques together with the principles and practice of awase (connection) and kokyu (abdominal breath power).

We are a branch dojo of Iwama Shin Shin Aiki Shuren Kai Japan, headed by Saito Hitohira Soke son of the late Saito Morihiro Sensei and technical heir to the Founder’s personal dojo located in the small town of Iwama, Ibaraki-prefecture, Japan.

Founded in 1998 and now based in Eltham we offer three evening and two morning classes a week, instructed by Simon Harris, 6th dan. Simon has trained Aikido for over 20 years and has regularly trained as a live-in student at the headquarters dojo in Iwama, Japan since his first trip in 1988 at the age of 15. Simon is committed to the practice of Aikido as taught by his instructor Saito Hitohira Soke.

Practitioners of varying levels train together at our Eltham dojo and we warmly welcome new students of any age, gender, background and fitness-level. Regular students range from 3rd degree black-belts through to beginners, and co-contribute to everyone’s development; in a safe, friendly and disciplined practice. Feel free to get in contact for inquiries, or to register your interest in attending a beginners’ workshop.

Group photo from the 10th Anniversary Demonstration in Tokyo, Japan 2014


A modern Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba incorporating joint-lock and throwing techniques applied in self-defense with the intent of not injuring or causing only minimal damage to the attacker.

Stanley Pranin, The Encyclopaedia of Aikido

Aikido is a relatively contemporary martial art though it’s technical origins date back many hundreds of years. Founder Ueshiba Morihei—also known as O’Sensei—studied and perfected these techniques and principles and after a life of vigourous martial arts training and experience, had an epiphany. He realised that the traditional, confrontational, nature of martial arts went against what he saw as the true meaning of Budo: conflict-resolution through peaceful means. From that point on, O’Sensei dedicated his life to developing and transmitting a martial way that emphasised technical excellence, personal discipline and self-growth: what we now call Aikido.

Much of the founder’s research took place at his private “outdoor” dojo in the quiet farming community of Iwama, Japan. Thus, the name of the style we practise is often referred to as Dento Iwama Ryu, which literally translates as Traditional Iwama Style reflecting the technical and spiritual roots.

On his passing in 1969, O’Sensei’s left his dojo in the care of his longest serving live-in student, Saito Morihiro Sensei. On the passing of Saito Morhihiro Sensei in 2002 the style passed to Saito Sensei’s son, Hitohira.

Simon Harris performing Kote Gaeshi at the 10th Anniversary Demonstration in Tokyo, Japan 2014


The instructor can only impart one portion of the teaching. To be able to utilize technique, one must learn it through his/her own experience of diligent and ceaseless training.

Aikido Founder, Ueshiba Morihei

Simon Harris is ranked 6th dan in Aikido, a practice he began more than 20 years ago, and has been the head instructor at the dojo since its inception over 10 years ago.

Since his initial stay of 10 months as a 15-year-old in 1988, Simon has travelled to the headquarters dojo in Iwama, Japan, every few years to ensure consistency of technical and spiritual direction and development. Consequently, Harris Sensei has spent more time studying in Iwama than any other Aikido instructor in Melbourne.

His approach to teaching follows as closely as possible that of his current instructor and mentor, Saito Hitohira Soke and before that of the late Saito Morihiro Sensei. Classes focus on the fundamentals of each technique, with instruction and correction tailored to the needs of each student.

Simon Harris teaching at one of the dojo's regular workshops


In your training do not be in a hurry. Never think of yourself as an all-knowing, perfected master; you must continue to train daily with your friends and students and progress together in Aikido.

Aikido Founder, Ueshiba Morihei

Our classes cater for beginners of any age, gender, background and fitness-level, to help you get started in your aikido practice safely and effectively. After 3 months you will have a thorough grounding in the basics, feel set up for the best possible training practises, and be ready to take a test for your first coloured belt. Your first class is free and we encourage all beginners to get on the mat and give Aikido a try.

Tanren Kan Headquarters Dojo, Iwama, Japan 2014


The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.

Aikido Founder, Ueshiba Morihei

All classes are held at Eltham North Primary School.

Age: 14+
Evening: Tuesday and Thursday 7pm-8:30pm
Morning: Sunday 10:30-11:30am


Simon Harris
P: +61 417 505 611
E: [email protected]
Eltham North Primary School
35/47 Wattletree Rd
Eltham North VIC 3095
P: +61 417 505 611
E: [email protected]