Video: Michio Hikitsuchi, 10th dan, at the 1983 All-Japan Aikido Demonstration

Michio Hikitsuchi Sensei in sword demonstration with Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba c. 1965

Michio Hikitsuchi Sensei is well-known in the aikido world as one of the art’s 10th dan. Since he was awarded this rank directly by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba, the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, for many years, never officially recognized his 10th dan. Notwithstanding the controversy over his dan status, Hikitsuchi Sensei was regarded as a gifted teacher and influenced many foreign aikidoka who trained with him in Shingu, near O-Sensei’s birthplace of Tanabe. He also traveled abroad on several occasions visiting the USA and European countries.

Hikitsuchi Sensei wore his trademark white hakama while instructing. Keep in mind that he was also an ordained Shinto priest, and personally considered his oral 10th dan ranking from O-Sensei as a high honor whose authenticity was beyond question.

This video clip is representative of his flowing, dynamic approach to aikido where many of his movements are reminicent of the Founder himself.

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  1. bruce baker says:

    When I was very young… maybe 7 years old.. I saw an Aikido like demonstration at the Swimming River Grammar School just out side Red Bank New Jersey, about 1960. When the demonstration was over.. the old man went into the crowd of children and asked them what they thought. I got to ask .. why is everyone moving so slow, why do they fall down so easily when you touch them? I still ask that question as a grown man, although Now I have some better explanation from experience, I still ask… are there ways to not hurt people instead of using brute force? Maybe that is why with all the reading and research I do.. I find myself being drawn back to Aikido again, and again, and again.

    Realize I never studied any martial arts until I was 38 years old and I started with about five years of Kempo Karate until my first teacher found that Aikido was being taught on Long Beach Island. We both tried it, but the body gets old and gets sick, so now I must listen to the body that says.. no more falling and rolling.. but I am drawn back to practice with opportunity of a No Fall class? Well, we might do some gentle falls, or simple very slow motion let down to the mat.. but the point is… the PRACTICE has so much short hand that can easily be adapted to nearly any style of martial arts or add skills one may not have from specific training in JUST ONE martial art.

    For that that one thing.. that there is no one martial art that teaches you what you need to know.. to pursue knowledge where ever you may find it .. I am eternally grateful to my first teacher who not only taught me martial arts but HOW to teach myself by learning to find knowledge everywhere. For me.. Aikido unlocked a lot of puzzles..

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