Wadokai Aikido is the international organization of the students of Sensei Roy Suenaka. More a family than an organization, Wadokai Aikido was founded in part to further the growth and spread of Aikido, the way of harmony. The members of Wadokai are a close-knit group, and every Wadokai dojo teaches Suenaka-Ha Tetsugaku-Ho Aikido, or “Suenaka style, philosophical way.” At the heart of this philosophical way is the unification of the martial and spiritual elements of Aikido, training that requires austere study and practice that takes decades, if not one’s entire life. In Suenaka-Ha Aikido, equal emphasis is placed on physical and personal development. Suenaka Sensei, a direct student of Aikido’s founder O’Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, incorporates all of O’Sensei’s teachings into his style of Aikido. Also a student of many other arts and masters, Suenaka Sensei imbues a wealth of knowledge and experience into his own teaching. The result is a martial art that is powerful and effective, yet respectful of all living things. Aikido is a rigorous and dynamic physical practice conducted in a joyful, welcoming atmosphere, without conflict or machismo. A student of Wadokai Aikido can expect to train his body, mind, and spirit in a familial (and often very humid) atmosphere.
The word dojo means a sacred place of training. A hombu dojo is not just a place of training, but also an organizational headquarters, the center of operations where administrative and managerial duties are carried out. The Wadokai Aikido Hombu Dojo, located in Charleston, SC, is not merely the organizational headquarters—chief instructor and founder of the organization, Roy Suenaka, Soke, teaches Aikido there on a regular basis. Wadokai Aikido senior students and assistant instructors share the administrative duties of the organization, while also offering further instruction and classes at the Hombu Dojo, allowing Sensei Suenaka more time to do what he loves to do—practice and teach Aikido.
For more information about the Hombu dojo, including class times, visit:
Suenaka Martial Arts School
1856 Belgrade Ave. Unit B2
Charleston, SC 29407
The Roots of Wadokai Aikido
After the passing of O’Sensei in 1969, Sensei Suenaka maintained his close relationships with both Aikikai Hombu-cho Koichi Tohei and Kissomaru Ueshiba, the founder’s successor and second Doshu of Aikido. Its great popularity and rapid spread led to contention over the future of Aikido, and these two masters eventually went their separate ways: Tohei Sensei founded The Ki Society, while Doshu remained head of Aikikai. Rather than side with Tohei Sensei, who seemed to be concentrating on ki rather than technique, or Doshu, who seemed focused on technique while losing sight of ki, Sensei Suenaka created his own organization—Wadokai Aikido. The goal of Wadokai has always been to promote the Aikido that Sensei Suenaka learned from his days at the Hombu Dojo under the founder O’Sensei, the physical and the spiritual, the philosophical way.
In addition to spreading Aikido true to what O’Sensei taught, Wadokai Aikido has allowed Sensei Suenaka to focus on a small group of students, a group that is very much like family.
Sensei Suenaka does not teach for the sake of profit, promotion, or personal gain—he teaches for the love of Aikido and has always valued and cherished the relationships he’s built with his students in these small learning environments.
The Future of Wadokai Aikido
With over twenty dojo across the country and four international dojo in China, Wadokai Aikido continues to grow under Suenaka Sensei’s leadership and instruction. With Sensei’s guidance, Wadokai assistant instructors and students strive to continue the development and improvement of Aikido through intense training, focused study, and true spirit.
Instruction in Suenaka-Ha Tetsugaku-Ho Aikido is only available through authorized Wadokai Aikido dojo and their satellite locations. For more information on training opportunities in your area, contact the nearest Wadokai dojo.