Judan in Aikido (10th degree black belt)
This page is informative only. Hikitsuchi Sensei has passed and what follows is a mere reflection of his legacy left behind.
Michio Hikitsuchi (引土道雄Hikitsuchi Michio, July 14, 1923 – February 2, 2004) was an aikido instructor and was the Dojo Cho of the Kumano Juku Dojo, in Shingu, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, for fifty years.
At nine years old he began kendo and later kenjutsu, jujutsu, bojutsu and karate. Hikitsuchi trained extensively in Jūkendō (bayonet) as a young man, and was very skilled in both iaido and kendo.
When he was fourteen years old, he met Morihei Ueshiba for the first time. At that time there was an age requirement for studying budo with Uesiba, but they made an exception for Hikitsuchi.
Hikitsuchi recounts a midnight, lights-out training with Ueshiba, in which he cut off the tip of Ueshiba’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 entitled “Bojutsu Masakatsu Agatsu” - True Victory is Self-Victory. The scroll was extensively illustrated by a famous artist, and contained Ueshiba's written explanations of techniques. Meik Skoss, who has viewed the scroll, wrote, “One of the phrases on the scroll is very interesting, ‘each of these pictures is the seed for a hundred techniques; study them well.’”
Michio Hikitsuchi received his 10th dan in 1969, three months before Ueshiba's death.
Hikitsuchi taught as chief instructor of Kumano Juku Dojo in Shingu, Japan until his death in 2004. The dojo was founded by Ueshiba in 1953. Hikitsuchi traveled twice to the United States, and regularly to European countries, teaching at dojos that had been started by his students.
Hikitsuchi was described by other teachers in Shingu as 'an Aiki computer' because of his ability to recite virtually verbatim the speeches Ueshiba had given. He also had extensive knowledge of Shinto Norito (chanting) and the spiritual teachings of the Kojiki—areas of personal emphasis by his teacher, the founder of aikido. Hikitsuchi's reverence for Ueshiba and his message was total.