The traditional art of Nihon Goshin Aikido was created on the island of Hokkaido, Japan by Shodo Morita. He opened his first school in the city of Chitose. Before opening his school, Morita studied various martial arts and earned black belts in Karate, Judo and Daito-ryu Aiki-Jiujitsu. After his many years of training, he felt that one art was incomplete without another to back it up. Hence, he combined the arts of Karate, Judo and Aiki Ju Jitsu to form a system of complete self-defense. Morita felt Nihon Goshin Aikido (Japanese SelfDefense) would be the most modern system of self defense designed to meet the needs of today's unarmed citizen.
Master Morita trained many students. Among his students were his stepson, Tominosuke Nara and later an American Army enlistee by the name of Richard A. Bowe. 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 home in 1962 and started teaching the art of Nihon Goshin Aikido in an Okinawan Karate school. Shortly after, with the help of his students, he opened the first Nihon Goshin Aikido School in Guttenberg, New Jersey. Mr. Bowe is considered a "pioneer" in the martial arts industry for his efforts in passing on his art. The school has remained in business for the over 40 years. Mr. Bowe achieved the rank of Go-Dan (5th Degree Black Belt) and then was promoted to Shihan (professor) by Master Nara before his passing.