Etsuji Horii Sensei was born on May 4, 1964, in Osaka, Japan. He holds a rank of a 7 Dan in Aikikai and is a founder of the Aioikai Aikido Dojo in Sanda.
At the age of 14, during the school days, he joined a local Aikido club. At the spring break, Sensei went to Hombu for a week and fell in love forever. Two years later Etsuji Horii joined the technical college where the Aikido Club was absent. He organized his own and spent 5 years more years doing Aikido there. Right after the graduation, Sensei joined Hombu again but this time as an uchi-deshi.
Becoming an uchi-deshi meant to become a professional in a perspective. It was very much about attending all the classes from the early morning till the evening and having the Hombu Dojo solicitudes in between. Yukimitsu Kobayashi, Sugawara Shigeru and Takanori Kuribayashi were among the uchi-deshi at the period. Okumura Sensei, Yamaguchi Sensei, Arikawa Sensei, Tada Sensei, Ichihashi Sensei, Masuda Sensei, Watanabe Sensei, Sasaki Sensei, Moriteru Ueshiba of course and his father Kisshomaru Ueshiba were teaching. All Etsuji Horii Sensei was thinking about was to make good falls and soon he was able to improve enough to take ukemi for the Waka Sensei and the Doshu. He joined a group of the best ukes like Tsuruzo Miyamoto, Yoshiaki Yokota and Osawa Hayato. You know them well today.
Etsuji Horii was also honored to be an Otomo for Doshu, Waka Sensei (Moriteru), Shoji Seki Sensei and Okumura Sensei. Otomo’s job was to accompany a teacher during the trips, take falls and take care of things. This made him travel around the world with the Aikido early but was a very hard job at the same time.
Horii Sensei stayed at Hombu for 3 years as an uchi-deshi and 7 more years as a soto-deshi. Soto-deshi meant pretty much the same but living in his own apartment, not the Dojo. Five of these years Sensei was teaching a beginners class. After ten years with Hombu Sensei decided to open his own Dojo at Sanda, Japan. This is the Dojo he runs today and the name is Aikido Aioikai. There’s a kanji for “Aioi” in the Japanese which symbolizes the strong relationship of a couple. Aioikai Aikido celebrated 20 years Anniversary in 2017.
Etsuji Horii Sensei has a very powerful Aikido technique and makes a strong base in the first place. He converts simple moves to the advanced ones step by step. He is a 7 Dan Aikikai certified Shihan today.
At an early age, Sensei made around 4 years of the Kendo and he developed his own Bokken style as an Aikido teacher after. You may often see him giving classes with Jo also.
Shihan has big respect in the Birankai Schools of Chiba Sensei. He is very welcomed around the world and gives seminars on a regular basis in countries like the USA, Bulgaria, Moldova, Poland, Vietnam, Malaysia and many others. This means he has lots of students anywhere he goes.
The previous seminar in Moldova was in October 2018. The seminar gathered all Aikikai practitioners around. Here’s a 2019 event. You can also join a facebook group ETSUJI HORII Sensei Annual International Seminars in Moldova to stay tuned.