"We Turn the Spotlight on the Life of Aikido Master Michio Hikitsuchi Sensei"


Michio Hikitsuchi 1923-2004 was an Aikido master and chief instructor of the Kumano Juku Dojo, in Shingu, Japan, for about fifty years.

He first met Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei as a child and studied several martial arts. He was verbally awarded 10th dan by Ueshiba in 1969.

At the age of 9, he began studying kendo and later ken-jutsu, ju-jutsu, bojutsu and karate. Hikitsuchi trained extensively in jukenjutsu (bayonet) as a young man, and was highly skilled in both iaido and kendo.

When he was fourteen years old, he met master Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei for the first time. Even though he was too young to study budo with O'Sensei, they made an exception for him.

Hikitsuchi said he cut off the tip of O'sensei’s bokken. The piece flew off, and he searched throughout the dojo for it. Eventually, Ueshiba pulled it out of the folds of his kimono, praising him highly for his skill.

Months later, Ueshiba gave Hikitsuchi a scroll in bojutsu, illustrated by a famous artist, it was Ueshiba's written explanations of techniques, titled, 'Bojutsu Masakatsu Agatsu', which means True Victory is Self-Victory.

According to Clint George, one of Hikitsuchi’s former students who trained in Shingu for 15 years, “Shingu bojutsu” consisted of...

Ikkyo - fundamental solo form

Nikyo - solo form that explored circular movement

Sankyo - solo form that explored three dimensional, spherical movement

Yonkyo -

Jiyuwaza - free, un-choreographed movement

Michio Hikitsuchi received his 10th dan from O'Sensei in 1969.

Morihei Ueshiba developed the martial art of Aikido from his combat studies of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu with Sokaku Takeda, and his spiritual studies with Onisaburi Deguchi and the Omoto Kyo .

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Michio Hikitsuchi
A Unique Aikido Master


Michio Hikitsuchi taught as chief instructor of Kumano Juku Dojo, which was in Shingu, Japan, until his death in 2004. His dojo was founded by O'Sensei in 1953. Some of his senior students were...

  • Anno Motomichi 8th Dan
  • Tomio Ishimoto 8th Dan
  • Gerard Blaize 7th Dan
  • Tsutomu Sugawa 7th Dan

He traveled twice to the United States, and regularly to European countries, teaching at dojos that had been started by his students.

American Aikido instructors who trained extensively under Hikitsuchi Sensei and the other senior instructors at Shingu include...

Mary Heiny (Seattle), Linda Holiday (Aikido of Santa Cruz), Jack Wada (Aikido of San Jose), Laurin Herr (San Francisco), Tom Read (Northcoast Aikido), John Smartt (New School Aikido), Clint George, and Daniel Caslin (Aikido of Owensboro)

Hikitsuchi was described by other aikido teachers in Shingu as 'an Aiki computer' because of his ability to recite, almost word for word, the speeches O'Sensei had given.

He also had extensive knowledge of Shinto Norito (chanting) and the spiritual teachings of the Kojiki, areas of personal emphasis by Ueshiba.

Hikitsuchi Sensei's reverence for O'Sensei, and his message, was total.

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