Sofia University to Establish Aikido Center in Memory of Aikido Master, Hiroshi Kato

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Robert Frager, Founder of Sofia University, trained with the late “Kato Sensei”

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The new Aikido center at Sofia University will house two exclusive multimedia archives: the Morihei Ueshiba archive featuring more than 5,000 photographs of the Founder of Aikido, and the Hiroshi Kato archive featuring both video and photo collections.

Sofia University (formerly Institute of Transpersonal Psychology) plans to establish an Aikido center to be named after the late Aikido master, Hiroshi Kato, better known as, “Kato Sensei.” The Sofia community was deeply saddened at the recent news of Kato Sensei’s death in Japan. Kato Sensei had visited the university twice a year since 2000 to teach Aikido.

Sofia University founder, Dr. Robert Frager, had a special connection with the Aikido master. Frager trained with Kato Sensei in Japan starting in 1965, then later studied with him in the U.S. in 1996 onward. Both Frager and Kato were students under the original Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba (“O’Sensei”).

The new Aikido center at Sofia University will house two exclusive multimedia archives: the Morihei Ueshiba archive featuring more than 5,000 photographs of the Founder of Aikido, and the Hiroshi Kato archive featuring both video and photo collections. In addition, the Aikido center will sponsor Aikido events such as trainings, conferences and publications, as well as sponsoring Aikido research— for example, the psychological and spiritual effects of Aikido training, working with Aikido and conflict resolution, and other related topics.

Aikido has long been a part of the transformative, transpersonal curriculum at Sofia University, formerly ITP. The school is best known for its experiential educational model that integrates six aspects of human existence into coursework: intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual, creative, and relational. Frager commented, “Aikido and the other body aspects of the six areas of study at Sofia University make it possible for us to embody transpersonal principles.”

Psychology students at Sofia University learn Aikido practices that are focused on developing therapeutic presence, staying centered when challenged by clients, and blending empathically with clients. Because Aikido deals specifically with conflict and its peaceful resolution, the study of Aikido, complete with its philosophy and practice methods, therapists report that it is helpful in keeping them grounded, centered and connected within themselves while simultaneously being more sensitive and aware of the client.

About Sofia University

Formerly the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP) Sofia University is a private, non-sectarian graduate school accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. For over 35 years, within the context of scholarship and research, the school has offered transformative education for the whole person, probing the mind, body, spirit connection. As Sofia University, the school is broadening its mission, reaching into multiple disciplines and adding undergraduate study. For more information, visit http://www.sofia.edu.

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Kristen Sato
Sofia University
(650) 493-4430 249
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