Michael Williams was first attracted to Aikido while visiting New Zealand in 1974, where he attended demonstrations by Master Koichi Tohei. He was a serious student of Yoga and Wing Chun Kung Fu at that time. Returning to his homeland of South Africa, he began training with Master Jean Claude Delgueldre, Chief Instructor of Aikido in South Africa. He immigrated to New Zealand in 1978 where he continued his training with the New Zealand Ki Society. He moved to Australia in 1981, where he founded Aikido Ki Society Australia and established his first dojo at Griffith University in Brisbane. In 1985 he was appointed Chief Instructor of Australia by Master Koichi Tohei. At that time Master Koretoshi Maruyama was the Chief Instructor of Ki Society International and taught many seminars in Australia and New Zealand. He was an inspirational teacher to one and all and during this time, Williams Sensei and Maruyama Sensei formed a special bond.
In 1989, Williams Sensei relocated to Byron Bay in northern NSW where he built ‘Goshinkan Dojo’. Bordered by forest reserve, ‘Goshinkan’ provides a serene haven for all Australian aikidoists to train together. It was officially opened by Master Koretoshi Maruyama, President of Ki Society International, in May 1991.
Williams Sensei resigned from Ki Society International in January 2002 after a 28-year association with the organisation. At the same time he also resigned from Aikido Ki Society Australia, the group he founded in 1981. After re-establishing contact with Maruyama Sensei, Williams Sensei was requested to act as a facilitator to disseminate Aikido Yuishinkai throughout the world. There are now Aikido Yuishinkai dojos operating in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Argentina, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Michael Williams Sensei was awarded 9th Dan and appointed as International Chief Instructor of Aikido Yuishinkai by the Founder of Aikido Yuishinkai, Master Koretoshi Maruyama, in October 2003. In this role, he acts as facilitator for the expansion of Aikido Yuishinkai International and makes available the resources necessary to disseminate information to affiliated dojos around the world. Assisting in this role are Elisabeth Andel, multimedia coordinator and Valerie Williams, correspondence and promotions.
In May 2006 Michael Williams Sensei and his family had relocated to the Fiji islands to establish Aikido Yuishinkai with plans to build an outer island retreat, catering for aikido, yoga and other arts. However, due to the political upheaval in Fiji, he was unable to realise this dream. Williams sensei and his family have now returned to live in Australia and they are in the process of reestablishing themselves in the Byron Bay area.
In December 2009 Master Koretoshi Maruyama honoured Michael Williams by presenting him with the 10th Dan level in the art of Aikido Yuishinkai.