Daniel Toutain - Iwama Ryu Aikido
 Daniel Toutain - pupil of Aikido Master SAITO

Daniel Toutain - 6th Dan Aikido Iwama Japan
Pupil of Morihiro SAITO Sensei

Daniel Toutain, has been a certified French instructor ('Diplôme d'Etat') since 1977. He was a direct student of the late Master Morihiro Saito.
He now perpetuates the teachings of Master Saito within the Daniel Toutain International Academy, which has numerous representatives in France and abroad (see the list of representatives of the Daniel Toutain International Academy)

40 years in Aikido...

Daniel Toutain
Daniel Toutain - 6th Dan
Daniel Toutain began practising Aikido in 1968 with Masamichi Noro Sensei, and remained his student until 1978 (full-time from 1976).

Between 1978 and 1982 he trained intensively under Nobuyoshi Tamura Sensei, following almost all of his weekend seminars as well as his regional teacher-seminars, which were one week long at that time. During this period, Daniel Toutain was in charge of a 150-student Aikido Dojo in Paris and also practised Iaido. It was in this Dojo that he received a visit from Tsunemori Kaminoda Sensei and Risuke Otake Sensei, as well as Donn F. Draeger, during their European tour organised by Tiki Shiwan and Daniel Leclerc. Up until 1982, he successively held the positions of D.T.R (Regional Technical Delegate), at the U.N.A. (National Union of Aikido), and then R.T.N. (National Technical Supervisor) at the F.F.L.A.B. (French Free Federation of Aikido and Budo).
He continued to study with Tamura Sensei until 1987, albeit episodically.

Daniel Toutain moved to Rennes in September 1981 and has been teaching Aikido there ever since. He remains grateful to his first two teachers, Master Noro and Master Tamura, for everything that they taught him. In particular, he has great respect and esteem for Master Tamura, who occupies a special place in his development.

Master Morihiro Saito - Iwama Ryu

Daniel TOUTAIN with his master,
Morihiro SAITO Sensei in Iwama (Japan)
In April 1993, Daniel Toutain became a student of Morihiro Saito Sensei, 9th Dan Aikikai, in charge of the Dojo of Master Ueshiba in Iwama, as well as the Aiki Jinja (the shrine dedicated to Aikido). Master Saito is recognised throughout the world as the only veritable Aikido weapons specialist and the person who most accurately transmitted the techniques taught by O-Sensei, because he lived at the founder's side for twenty-three years.

To study under Master Saito was a long-awaited dream for Daniel Toutain. From his first contact with this historic master, he was captivated by Master Saito's mastery and knowledge, and equally touched by the great humanity of this teacher. He became deeply attached to him and was profoundly marked when Master Saito passed away in May 2002.

Daniel Toutain's teaching - Iwama Ryu

Daniel Toutain
Daniel TOUTAIN (Uke : Mehmet S. DOGU) in front of the Aiki Jinja in Iwama (Japan)
Daniel Toutain's technique corresponds strictly to that perpetuated in the Iwama Dojo, where Saito Sensei conferred on him the grade of 6th Dan in March 2002. In addition, Saito Sensei awarded Daniel Toutain the grade of 5th Dan in Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo, which is the highest Iwama grade for Aikido weapons.

In all his classes and seminars, Daniel Toutain strictly follows the teaching that he received from Master Saito. He makes every effort to promote Iwama Ryu, the name used by Saito Sensei to designate the traditional Aikido of Iwama, and to preserve the Aikido of O-Sensei.

Daniel Toutain and SAITO Sensei
M. SAITO Sensei and his pupil,
Daniel TOUTAIN in the
Rennes Dojo (France)
Daniel Toutain has hosted Master Saito in France on several occasions, as well as his son Hitohiro Sensei.

Daniel Toutain has been responsible for the French translation of the last series of books written by Saito Sensei, in collaboration with Stanley Pranin, TAKEMUSU AIKIDO (Published by BudoConcept).

Before meeting Master Saito, Daniel Toutain had many questions about his own technique. In 1987, almost twenty years after starting Aikido, he began to take an interest in other martial arts and sought to complement his training by studying Wing Chun (a style of Chinese boxing) with a Chinese Master based in London. He found this experience very valuable, but ended the research after four years.

For a long time Daniel Toutain had been fascinated by the teaching of Morihiro Saito Sensei, having discovered his books and films towards the end of the 70's. Daniel Toutain was able to meet this historic Master for the first time at a seminar held in Italy, in November 1992. Like many teachers throughout the world, he had, until then, been inspired by the detailed explanations in Master Saito's books and films. However, he realised from the first class that these documents were no substitute for lessons taken directly from the Master. This seminar was a veritable revelation.

He had at last found what he had been searching for: a genuine Budo style that was logical and effective yet preserved Master Morihei Ueshiba's message of peace. He also came to understand that Saito Sensei was teaching and faithfully preserving the authentic Aikido style of O-Sensei. At this seminar in Turin, Daniel Toutain was introduced to Master Saito by Paolo Corallini, a 7th Dan Iwama Ryu teacher from Italy (who is, together with Ulf Evénas from Sweden, the highest graded student of Saito Sensei in Europe).

It was during this first meeting that he was accepted as an Uchi Deshi (a student intern, living close to the Master). He travelled twice to Iwama in 1993, staying there for several weeks in April and October. Since then he has regularly return there to perfect his knowledge. In fact, he has visited the founder's Dojo fifteen times and brought with him a large number of students. Moreover, he attended virtually all of the regular European seminars given by Saito Sensei.

Training and Development

International summer camp in Auray
Daniel TOUTAIN - Uke: Serge MANIEY
International summer camp in Auray (2004)
All representatives of the Daniel Toutain International Academy train regularly during the numerous seminars directed by Daniel Toutain. In particular, there are workshops specifically for black belts (Yudansha) and teachers (dojo cho), as well as student internships (Uchi Deshi).

Each year, Daniel Toutain is contacted by teachers and practitioners in France, and other countries, who desire to discover and explore the Aikido of Iwama taught by Saito Sensei. Subsequently, many would like to join the Daniel Toutain International Academy.
The Daniel Toutain International Academy is effectively open to all teachers and practitioners who would like to study the Aikido of Iwama.
To contact us, click here.