Roy Y. Suenaka

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Roy Y. Suenaka
Born(1940-06-25)June 25, 1940
StyleFounder of Wadokai Aikido

Roy Yukio Suenaka (born June 25, 1940 in Honolulu) is an American martial arts practitioner, author, and founder of the Wadokai Aikido.[1][2][3]

Early life[edit]

As a child in Hawaii, Suenaka suffered from severe asthma, which was treated by his grandfather with reiki. He began martial arts training with his father, Warren Suenaka, from an early age, learning the family styles of jiujitsu and kenjitsu. Suenaka credits this training with the remission of his asthma.

As well as training with his father, Suenaka also studied under Henry Okazaki and James Mitose. He also studied judo. Suenaka attended Koichi Tohei's aikido demonstrations in 1953, and at his father's behest began training primarily in that art. He also took up the study of kendo in 1955.[1]

Military career[edit]

In 1958, Suenaka enlisted in the United States Air Force. In 1960, although he originally planned on becoming a pilot, he put this on hold to go to Japan to study under O'Sensei. He worked primarily as an electrician and engineer. At his request, he was transferred in 1961 to Tachikawa Air Base in Japan, which enabled him to study directly under Morihei Ueshiba at the Hombu dojo in Tokyo.

Effectively employed as the personal electrician of his commanding officer, Suenaka was able to subcontract most of his work to the barracks houseboy. This enabled him to spend most of his time in Japan living and training at the Hombu dojo. He also spent time training at the Kodokan under Kyuzo Mifune.

In 1961 he was transferred again to Naha, Okinawa. At the airbase there, he set up his own dojo, and aikido became popular with the servicemen stationed there.[1][4]

Wadokai Aikido[edit]

Wadokai Aikido is an aikido organization founded by Suenaka in 1975 and it is based in Charleston, South Carolina.[5] Wadokai teaches Suenaka-ha Tetsugaku-ho Aikido, which means "Suenaka style, philosophical way."[3] Wadokai Aikido has dojo throughout the United States and China.[6] Suenaka was a 4th generation student of aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba. Originally organised as "Aikidos" American International Ki Development and Philosophical Society,[7] Wadokai Aikdio teaches a method of aikido that is both martial and spiritual.[2] This philosophy is where the term "Complete Aikido" comes from.[1] Suenaka received a menkyo kaiaden from Ueshiba in 1961 when he was stationed at Tachikawa Air Base in Japan.[1][4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Suenaka, R. & Watson, C. Complete Aikido, Tuttle Publishing, 1998.
  2. ^ a b Suenaka, R. & Watson, C. "Spiritual Versus Martial Aikido – Explanation & Reconciliation," Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Vol. 5 # 1, 1996.
  3. ^ a b Wadokai Aikido
  4. ^ a b Black Belt Magazine May 1972, p11
  5. ^ Andalusia Star: Aikido master shares extensive knowledge Retrieved 08.02.2012
  6. ^ Wadokai Dojo List
  7. ^ Encyclopedia of Aikido

External links[edit]