Feb 16

Aikikai to Aikido

Eighth Dan Aikido Shihan Visits Vancouver

On a yearly visit from Fukuoka Japan, Shihan Morito Suganuma came to Trout Lake Community Centre in East Vancouver to teach and test students over a three day open to the public.

Tamami Nakashimada Sensei and Shinobu Matsuoka Sensei oversaw the event.

Shihan Suganuma trained under the founder of aikido—ŌSensei Morihei Ueshiba.

Aikikai is the founding school of aikido. Over many years, ŌSensei Ueshiba implemented changes to the art of Aikikai, ultimately resulting in aikido.

Aikido stands out from other martial arts via its de-emphasis of striking techniques. The art is performed by unifying the movement and momentum of the attacker with your own. Essentially, the goal is to manipulate and redirect the force of the attack without resisting it.

The following clip sees Aikidoist Jojo La Rosa, 2nd dan, at last year’s seminar, defending himself from an attacker.

Shohei Juku Canada (formerly Pacific Aikido Kensankai) represents the Canadian branch of Shihan Suganuma’s organization which is based in Fukuoka, Japan. In addition to offering Aikido classes to all levels of interested students, the dojo hosts a yearly seminar with Shihan Suganuma in Vancouver.

Here we see a man defend himself against two attackers.

The Shohei Juku Canada primary dojo operates out of Trout Lake Community Centre, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Shohei Juku Canada was established to promote the art of Aikido as practiced by Shihan Suganuma (Aikikai 8th dan).

I was able to attend only one afternoon of the three day seminar. I was given the following manuscript.

The paper had this image on one side:

A whole life in one day.

A whole life in one day.

And this letter was on the other side:

Morito Suganuma, Dojo-cho Aikido Shohei Juku.

Morito Suganuma, Dojo-cho Aikido Shohei Juku.


I would like to start by thanking you for inviting me to this year’s Shohei Juku Aikido Canada Seminar. This year in particular, is a year for celebration. It is the 10th year since adopting the name, “Shohei Juku Aikido Canada,” and also the 15th year since you began inviting me to seminars in Canada. Congratulations!

I have been very impressed and want to express great respect for Nakashimada Sensei. Though she maybe small,  she has been training with many with many big people in the dojo and has built, and is operating, a solid organization. I cannot begin to express how much hard work she has put in to reach this point. She has been instructing students and operating the dojo with the support and cooperation of her family and many friends.

I am turning 70 this year, an occasion called “Koki” in Japan. It is also exactly 50 years since I started Aikido.

It is a milestone year, both for Shohei Juku Aikido Canada and for me—it is a year to be commemorated. We need to treasure these milestones and continue to grow together.

I am not sure how many years I have left, but I want to make the most of every single day, taking as my watchword, “A whole life in one day,” each day is a portrait of a whole life.

I would like to offer my congratulations and good wishes for the continued growth of Shohei Juku Aikido Canada, and for the good health for all of its members!

Morito Suganuma, Dojo-cho Aikido Shohei Juku.


Tamami Nakashimada Sensei

The first of the next two clips shows Nakashimada Sensei defending herself against two different attackers. Nakashimada Sensei began her Aikido training with Shihan Suganuma in 1978, at the Shohei Juku dojo in Fukuoka, Japan. In 1985 she came to Canada to become the Chief Instructor of Shohei Juku Canada. She currently holds the rank of Godan (5th dan black belt).

Shihan Morito Suganuma

The second of the next two clips shows Shihan Suganuma himself. Please forgive the camera battery for running out ;-)

Tamami Nakashimada Sensei:

Shihan Morito Suganuma:

If you have any questions or comments, just post them below.

Thank you for visiting.

Wael Elazab.



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