suenaka martial arts located in charleston south carolina

Roy Yukio Suenaka Sensei Primary Budo Instructors

While his father supervised his early budo training, Suenaka Sensei is fortunate to have had the opportunity to train with many of contemporary budo's most celebrated practitioners, beginning in Honolulu, Hawaii and later, in Japan and Okinawa. Suenaka Sensei brings his rich experience with these great teachers to his instruction at Suenaka School of Martial ArtsTM.

Suenaka Sensei's primary budo instructors follow, in alphabetical order.

Kazuo Ito - 1898-1974

Judan-ranked (10th degree black belt) judo instructor and meijin (distinguished master). Even into his 70s, was impossible to defeat in judo competition. A deshi (apprentice) of celebrated judoka Meijin Kyuzo Mifune. Taught at the Kodokan in Tokyo, Japan, the international judo and jiu-jitsu headquarters. Suenaka Sensei studied judo and jiu-jitsu under Ito Sensei and often served as his deshi at the Kodokan from 1961 until 1972. Ito Sensei sponsored Suenaka Sensei's Kodokan promotion to sandan (3rd degree black belt) in judo and jiu-jitsu in 1970.

Kyuzo Mifune - 1883-1965

Celebrated judo judan (10th degree black belt) and meijin (distinguished master). Chief instructor at the Kodokan, the international judo and jiu-jitsu headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Suenaka Sensei occasionally studied with Mifune Sensei at the Kodokan while a student of Kazuo Ito Sensei.

Shuji Mikami - 1892-1986

Began teaching kendo in Hawaii in the 1930s, then again in 1945 following his school's World War II closure. A celebrated teacher and widely-acknowledged leader in popularizing kendo in the United States. Suenaka Sensei studied kendo under Mikami Sensei from 1955 to 1958, receiving the rank of nidan (2nd degree black belt).

James Masayoshi Mitose - 1916-1981

Credited with introducing kempo to the United States. Born in Hawaii, Mitose Sensei studied his family art of Kosho-ryu kempo there and in Japan, where he lived from 1920 to 1937. Returning to Hawaii, he taught there until 1952-early 1953, when he relocated to Los Angeles, CA. Suenaka Sensei studied Kosho-ryu kempo under Mitose Sensei from 1949 until Mitose's departure for the mainland.

Henry Seishiro Okazaki - 1890-1951

Founder of Okazaki-ryu Kodenkan jiu-jitsu, later known as Danzan-ryu. Born in Japan, emigrated to Hawaii in 1906, where he lived and taught until his death. Widely credited with popularizing jiu-jitsu in the United States. Suenaka Sensei studied under Okazaki Sensei from 1948 until 1951.

Hohan Soken - 1889-1982

Legendary Okinawan grandmaster of Matsumura Seito and Hakutsuru Shorin-ryu Karate and Kobudo, the latter often referred to as the "White Crane" style of karate. Emigrated to Argentina in 1924 to search for work. Upon his return to Okinawa in 1945, taught karate to a limited number of students until his retirement in 1978. Suenaka Sensei was a private student of Soken Sensei from 1961 until 1972, and received from him the rank of rokudan (6th degree black belt).

Warren Kenji Suenaka - 1913-2003

Roy Suenaka Sensei's father and his first martial instructor, beginning when Suenaka Sensei was four years old. Warren Suenaka Sensei was dan-ranked in aikido, kempo, judo and jiu-jitsu, and meticulously shepherded his elder son's early martial education. He also studied karate, wrestling and boxing, and was an experienced street fighter.

Koichi Tohei - b.1920

Former judoka who began his aikido study in 1939. Served as aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei's chief instructor at the Aikikai Hombu (headquarters) in Tokyo, Japan until O'Sensei's death in 1969. Tohei Sensei formally broke with the Aikikai in 1971 and formed the Ki no Kenkyukai (International Ki Society), teaching his Shin-Shin Toitsu-style of aikido. Suenaka Sensei first studied with Tohei Sensei during the latter's historic visit to Hawaii in 1953, resuming upon his arrival in Tokyo in 1961. Suenaka Sensei received an okuden (advanced inner teachings) certificate from Tohei Sensei and served as a shihan (senior instructor) for the Ki no Kenkyukai from 1971 until 1975, as well as and Southeastern U.S. director from 1972 to 1975, whereupon he resigned to form the American International Ki Development and Philosophical Society (AIKDPS)™.

Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei - 1883-1969

Founder of aikido, referred to even by non-aikidoka as O'Sensei, or "Great Teacher." Combined traditional sword, spear and bayonet arts with Daito-ryu aikijiu-jitsu to develop fundamental aikido techniques. Profoundly spiritual, O'Sensei declared that "The true nature of budo is in the loving protection of all things," and that to intentionally or maliciously harm one's attacker is to harm oneself, all of which is contrary to nature. Recorded on film performing near-mystical feats of martial prowess. Suenaka Sensei studied under O'Sensei at the Aikikai Hombu (headquarters) in Tokyo for eight years, frequently serving as uchi deshi (live-in apprentice). In 1961, O'Sensei presented Suenaka Sensei with an aikido menkyo kaiden (master-level proficiency) teaching certificate.

Yukiso Yamamoto - 1904-1995

Veteran judoka, he commenced his aikido study upon Koichi Tohei's 1953 visit to Hawaii. Before his departure, Tohei Sensei awarded Yamamoto Sensei a sandan (3rd degree black belt) in aikido and appointed him chief instructor of the newly-formed Hawaii Aikikai. Suenaka Sensei studied both judo and aikido under Yamamoto Sensei, as well as assistant chief instructors Kazuto Sugimoto Sensei and Isao Takahashi Sensei, from 1953 until 1961.

Home | Roy Y. Suenaka | Aikido in Charleston, SC | Karate in Charleston, SC | Events | Affiliate Dojos | Shop
All information contained in this site is the copyright of Roy Y. Suenaka Kaiso.
Martial Manager Student Login | Facebook