“In 1986 my father took a handful of students and taught the Philosophy and the Spiritual aspects of our Family Art, which was taught to him in secrecy by his grandfather Hanshichi Saito. He had never before taught at this high a level. I was very fortunate to be invited to this particular class. My father expressed patience. He expressed the willingness to believe. There were large pieces of paper taped to the wall stretched out across the room. He lectured philosophy and spirit as he wrote on the walls from one end of the room to the other. He revealed moves to us in some of the dances we learned that he had never shown us before. We trained and practiced at a different level. He taught more self defense and fighting. Every night he had taken all the Martial Arts he had taught over the years and tied it all together with the Philosophy that was passed to him from his grandfather. His words were... ‘This is the magic’ ” - Master Maui Saito
The Great Grand Master Mark K. Saito, Sr.
Saito Ninjitsu was a highly kept, Saito family bloodline, martial art secret up until April 6th, 1966, when the Saito Clan gave Master Mark K. Saito Sr., Master Maui Saito's father, permission to open the first school outside of the providence of Fukushima Valley, Japan. As a Great Grand Master (10th degree, 8 levels of Mastery, Hachi Dan), Master Mark Saito Sr. opened the school, Shorinjin Ryu Saito Ninjitsu, in Redwood City, California.
The late Grand Master Mark Saito Sr. undertook a life-long study with his grandfather Hanshichi Saito, who immigrated to Hawaii from Japan in 1906. Here is his story…
“In 1932 when I was four years old. My grandfather, Hanshichi Saito, immigrated to Hawaii from Fukushima Valley, Japan. At that time he brought along his wife and daughter. His daughter is my mother, Un Saito from Fukushima Valley. They grew up on the Eva side of Oahu. For one reason or another Grandpa Hanshichi divorced and my mother lived with her mom in Eva. Hanshichi Saito resides in Aiea Plantation.”
“In the old days people traveled by train, it used to be steam train, believe it or not. They used to come to Honolulu by way of the train. My job was to get to Hanshichi who worked on the plantation. Thousands of people immigrated from the Philippines, from Japan and from China. People lived on the farms and plantations. Now it was so long ago, that the housing is too old and they are all torn down. For many years I was taught by my Grandfather Hanshichi, which was a top secret, NINJITSU MASTERY!”
“I have many stories about Japan and Hawaii in the old days… Fukushima Valley where the Saito clan is from, about the War Lords of Japan, about the legend of my people and the gift of the Shorinjin and NINJITSU MASTERY. There are forty separate Martial Arts studied. My stories include my training with other Masters such as Mikami Kendo Gakko taught swordsmanship in Kapahulu, Professor William Chow taught Kenpo Karate at the Temple on Nuuanu Ave. , Professor Okazaki taught judo and massage training in his back yard on the platform. Goza Shioda and Ueshiba, both are Masters with whom I’ve trained. I’ve trained with Thomas Makiyama who taught Yoshikan Aikido, Professor Yamaguchi who taught Tsuyoi Karatedo of Okinawa and many others. I’ve trained with only the best, all along, secretly training with my Grandpa, Hanshichi Saito. Nobody could touch him. I’ve many stories to share with you. “
“Tomotso Saito who is my cousin was a psychic healer. He was a Kamikaze pilot in the war, crashed his plane at Pearl Harbor and broke all of the bones in his body. The doctors told him he will never walk again. When I met him in Japan, I saw him walking on his own dressed in a beautiful suit. He had self healed himself and he had helped heal thousands of patients. During the Tokugawa Dynasty, all of the most revered and trusted body guards were from the Saito clan of Fukushima Valley Japan. At one time in Japan’s history, all of the Saito’s where related. During America’s attack on Japan there were two Saito Ninjitsu temples lost in the atomic bombing. One in Hiroshima and the other in Nagasaki. All of the scrolls and various documents of the Tokugawa Dynasty were destroyed.”
"Saito Ninjitsu is unlike any other form of Ninjitsu, The Art, a combination of 40 different Martial Arts teaches that all of the physical fighting adds up to just 1% of Ninjitsu Mastery. This is where all other Martial Arts stop. I have been to many dojos and have seen a lot of quality Martial Arts. The advanced levels of other Martial Arts lead to the next technique and again the next. It ends there. Our family Martial Art teaches the other 99%, which is Mental and Spiritual.
The self-defense teachings of this ancient 2000 year old Art will be taught here at its highest level, for the very first time. The ancient wisdom of these Hawaiian and Japanese warriors is alive today for those with the heart and the desire to learn the Spirit of the Art.
“I practiced the same Dances, the same forms for over 38 years seeking perfection. Each year the Dances have unveiled a new gift, a new level of awareness, like the growth circles on a tree. Every layer adding wisdom, every layer adding heart and spirit. We were taught that as we defend ourselves, we do not fight alone. The warriors of ancient times and our ancestors stand with us in a time of need and in our everyday lives. We were taught to fight with Spirit." - Master Maui Saito