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  1. Morehei Ueshiba O'Sensei The founder and creator of Aikido. First dojocho of the Iwama Dojo. True originator of Iwama Aikido training..
  2. Morihiro Saito Shihan- Direct, most faithful and the longest time disciple of Morehei Ueshiba. Unlike many of Ueshiba's student Morihiro did not choose to create his own style of Aikido but faithfully transmitted his only teacher's style of Aikido. Coined the name Iwama Aikido to distinguish the training method in the founder's dojo from training method done else where.
  3. William Witt Shihan The first and most senior Gaijin deshi (foreigner disciple ) at the iwama dojo. Briefly trained with the founder before the latter's death. Continued to be a disciple of Morihiro Saito until Morihiro's death. Currently serves as a shihan for the Takemusu Aikido Association. Witt Shihan is one of the very few non-Japanese shihan dully recognized by the Aikido Headquarters in Tokyo.
  4. Hitohiro Saito Soke. Son of Morihiro Saito., who formed his own organization and transformed his Iwama Style to a separate Iwama Ryu. He briefly trained with the founder as a small child in the Iwama Dojo. His main teacher is his father. After separating form the Aikikai , Hitohiro formed his own Aikishurenkai.
  5. Wolfgang Baumgartner Shidoin- Direct disciple of Morihiro Saito. Currently ranked as 6th dan by the Aikikai. He is one of the few who received the "menkyo kaiden" (complete transmission) certificate for Aikido weapons.
  6. Aviv Goldsmith Shidoin Disciple of Morihiro Saito and a student of Baumgartner. Currently kaicho's Iwama adviser.



Joseph Sumalbag Sensei started Aikido in Mertro Manila in 1992 under the instructions of Rolando dela Cruz .  Rolando dela Cruz is a ranking Shorin ryu (Okinawan) Karate, kobudo and Aikido practitioner and a student of the Manila  Aikido pioneer Manuel "Omar" Camar. Camar was the student of  Bejamin Galarpe. And Galarpe was the student of the late Harry Eto .

In 1995 he left Manila for Ontario, Canada for a consulting job where he briefly trained with the Ottawa Aikikai group under Don Dickie and senior students. While practicing with the group he  attended a few Aikido classes  in a Canadian naval base with Richard Ostrofsky on an invitation of an officemate.

Due to the proximity of the dojo he left the Ottawa Aikikai to join up with the Ottawa Yoshinkai  in Takahashi Dojo under Margaret Maplebeck . While training with the Yoshikai group, he met and trained very influential teachers such as Yoshinkan's Takeshi Kimeda Shihan (a student of Soke Shioda), Peter Bussel who was a follower of  Soke Shioda and later Koichie Tohei, and the late Rev William Brickford, a follower of Koichie Tohei.  After completing a year of living in Canada , he left on another job assignment to Minneapolis MN. There he briefly trained with the Twin City Aikikai but later transferred  training with the Ki Society under the late  Tony Aducci at the Linbergh Center in Minnetonka MN. After completing his assignment in Minneapolis he was sent on another  job assignment  to Framingham,MA where he trained with William Gleason Sensei in Boston's Shobu Aikido Dojo. He met and trained with several influential individual such as Mitsugi Saotome Shihan and many other senior teachers.  Concurrently with training with Gleason Sensei  he alternately trained with Iwama Aikido instructor Steve Kalil in Worcester.  In several occasion while in Worcester he received a few Daito Ryu transmission from a Japanese guest teacher. After completing a year assignment he moved to Connecticut and continued training with Gleason's student Rob Liberti. He then moved and briefly trained with Yahe Solomon a follower of Chiba Shihan and later  trained with Lawrence Main .

After working for 6 years Sumalbag Sensei left his career as a consultant and moved to the Mid Atlantic region where he started teaching Aikido. During this time he met  Aviv Goldsmith Sensei who became his primary Iwama teacher.He continued his training with Bill Witt Shihan and the second generation teachers of Iwama Aikido. His renewed interest on Aikido through Morihiro Saito's transmissions has never been stronger