Spreading the Teachings of Kodo Horikawa, an Interview with Takeo Nishikido

Of Sokaku Takeda's direct students, Kodo Horikawa is one of the most well known. Having been born in 1894, Horikawa trained in the art of Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu his whole life and received both the Hiden Mokuroku and the Hiden Okugi Mokuroku scrolls in the year 1931.

Kodo Horikawa established his own school of Daito Ryu in 1950 named the Kodokai in Kitami, Hokkaido where he taught until his passing in 1980. Unlike many martial arts instructors, Kodo Horikawa did not teach kata, or pre-arranged movements. Every class was jiyu waza (free techniques). Takeo Nishikido is one of the few fortunate to have trained under Horikawa who has shared these techniques with the world.

"Horikawa never showed us how to do his techniques", says Nishikido, "I had to steal his techniques."


Takeo Nishikido was born in 1940 and spent his youth in Kumamoto, Japan where at the age of 19, he began learning Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu. After 15 years of training in the art, he met Kodo Horikawa. This meeting with Horikawa, and feeling his techniques had a strong impression on Nishikido who immediately decided to follow Horikawa's teachings.

Even though he had 15 years of training already, Nishikido threw away everything he had learned and decided to follow Horikawa with a beginner's mind. Nishikido went back to Tokyo where he had been teaching Daito Ryu, and renamed his dojo the Kodokai Tokyo Shibu Dojo. From Tokyo, Nishikido made the journey to Hokkaido once a month for 2 years. After 2 years of regular training, Kodo Horikawa told Nishikido to move to Kitami for intensive training. Nishikido listened to his teacher and moved with his family to the northern island of Hokkaido.

Nishikido stayed in Kitami for 3 years where he trained every day except Sunday. It was during these private lessons that he learned the secrets of Ai Suru Aiki, the seemingly magical techniques that require minimal effort to unbalance and control the attacker sometimes, without any physical contact. When asked how he can perform such amazing techniques, Nishikido sensei's reply was First you take the attacker's power and then you return this power to him. This can only be done when you truly understand aiki.

Nishikido sensei has started his own organization to spread the teachings of Kodo Horikawa called Hikarido (The Way of Light). Nishikido chose this name for two reasons. First, according to Nishikido, when you learn true budo, your body will shine wherever you go, all the time. Secondly, Kodo Horikawa's techniques were so fast that they can be said to be as fast as the speed of light. Now Nishikido sensei has 6 dojos throughout Japan  Tokyo, Kyoto, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Dazaifu, and Kumamoto.