An interview was taken on June 9, 2018, during a seminar with the Shihan at Chisinau, Moldova. Hiroyuki Sakurai held 6 Dan at the time. During the 2020 Kagamibiraki ceremony, Sensei received 7th Dan from the Aikikai.
Mitsugi Saotome Shihan is one of the few former OSensei’s uchi-deshi’s still alive. He saw with his eyes all those things we read about. Sensei fully devoted himself to the Aikido and Ueshiba’s and you will learn why inside.
Yasuno Masatoshi was born on September 7, 1948, in Kanazawa city which is in the Ishikawa prefecture, Japan. Yasuno Masatoshi is a Hombu Shihan with an 8 Dan Aikikai rang and is considered to be Yamaguchi Sensei’s technique heir along with the Seishiro Endo, Yoshinobu Takeda and Christian Tissier.
Shoji Seki Shihan was born on 6 March 1950 in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. While he was a student in a Musashi Institute of Technology in Tokyo a group of the aikidokas was giving a demonstration and in 1969 Shoji joined.
Koichi Tohei (20 January 1920 – 19 May 2011) was a first one to be promoted to a 10 Dan by the Morihei Ueshiba ever. He taught people like Hiroshi Tada, Seigo Yamaguchi, Mitsugi Saotome, Sadateru Arikawa, Kazuo Chiba, Yoshimitsu Yamada, Steven Seagal and many others.