About Wadokai Aikido
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.From Wadokai
About Aikido in General
Aikido is essentially a modern manifestation of the Japanese martial arts (budo).
It is orthodox in that it inherits the spiritual and martial tradition of ancient
Japan, first recorded in the eighth-century literary and historical works, Kojiki
(Record of Ancient Matters) and Nihongi (Chronicle of Japan). This does not mean
that aikido blindly carries on the tradition of the ancient martial arts, merely
preserving and maintain its original form in the modern world.
The ancient fighting arts are a historical and cultural legacy, originating on the
battlefield in periods of civil strife and later formalized as budo, the Way of
martial arts, in the Tokugawa period (1603-1868). They need to be properly assessed
and appreciated. In their original form they are unacceptable to people today and
are out of place in the modern world, which in the case of Japan begins with the
Meiji Restoration (1868).
The founder of Aikido, Master Uyeshiba Morihei (pictured above), was born on December
14, 1883. Living in the turbulent time of Japan's modernization, he dedicated himself
to establishing a martial art that would meet the needs of contemporary people but
would not be an anachronism. The following factors were at the core of Master Uyeshiba's
primary concerns: an abiding love for traditional martial arts, the care that it
not be misunderstood and a deep wish to revive the spiritual quality of budo. He
sought to achieve his goal through a relentless quest, given substance by constant
training in the martial arts, for the truth of budo throughout the vicissitudes
of modern Japanese history.
Ultimately, Master Uyeshiba concluded that the true spirit of budo is not to be
found in a competitive and combative atmosphere where brute strength dominates and
victory at any cost is the paramount objective. He concluded that it is to be realized
in the quest for perfection as a human being, both in the mind and body, through
cumulative training and practice with kindred spirits in the martial arts. For him
only such a true manifestation of budo can have a raison d'etre in modern world,
and when that quality exists, it lies behond any particular culture or age. His
goal deeply religious in nature, is summarized in a single statement: the unification
of the fundamental creative principle, ki, permeating the universe, and the individual
Ki, inseparable from breath power, of each person. Through constant training of
mind and body, the individual ki harmonizes with universal ki, and this unity appears
in the dynamic, flowing movement of ki-power which is free and fluid, indestructible
and invincible. This is the essence of Japanese martial arts as embodied in Aikido.
The Spirit of Aikido, Kisshomaru Uyeshiba, pp 14-15.