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What is Aikido?

Aikido (eye-kee-doh) is a Japanese martial art founded in the late 1930s by Morihei Ueshiba (MOHR-ree-hay oo-Way-see-bah), who is often referred to by martial artists as O'Sensei or 'Great Teacher'.

O'Sensei studied many martial arts in his youth, including sumo wrestling, spear and bayonet arts, arts using a wooden staff, sword arts, and the ancient grappling art of ju-jitsu. As he grew older, he realized that the purpose of martial arts should not be to harm other people, but to defend oneself while preserving the attacker, bettering one's self in the process. O'Sensei combined the martial arts he had studied into Aikido which means 'The Way of Harmony'.

The hallmark of Aikido technique is flowing, circular movements that enable the defender to off-balance an attacker, blending with the attacker's energy in such a way that the attack is neutralized with minimal effort and bodily harm. Aikido technique incorporates throws and immobilizing limb and joint locks, and tumbling skills so that one can receive techniques during practice without bodily harm.

Aikido students develop strength, balance, and flexibility of both body and mind, and in so doing learn self-discipline, moderation, and compassion for others. Because Aikido techniques do not rely on physical size or strength to be effective, it is ideal for men and women of all fitness levels.

The Suenaka School of Martial Arts teaches Suenaka-ha Tetsugaku-ho Aikido, which means 'Suenaka style, philosophical way'. Equal emphasis is given to martial prowess and personal development. Suenaka Sensei incorporates all of O'Sensei's teachings in his style, combined with his extensive experience in real-world self-defense. The result is a martial art that is street-effective yet respectful of all living things, conducted in a dynamic, joyful, and welcoming atmosphere, without conflict or machismo.


Welcome to Yamanoshita Suenaka-Ha Aikido of Seattle!  Our dojo is a branch of the Wadokai organization founded by Roy Suenaka Sensei. The study of Aikido is an exciting, lifelong journey of not only perfecting physical technique but also applying the principles in everyday life.

Under the tutelage of great his great teachers, Suenaka Sensei found inspiration, humility, insight, and guidance to follow the path.  In our practice we develop and achieve excellence in our character, remember that the essence of our individual ideals and philosophies, and embody the teachings of O'Sensei.  

O'Sesei Aikido
“The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.”


Roy Y Suenaka Sensei
Suenaka Sensei, Wadokai Aikido Founder


Why Learn Aikido?

There are a number of benefits to practicing Aikido.  Practitioners of Aikido, or Aikidoka, often find themselves transformed by the art. Below you will find a few benefits members from our organization have enjoyed since joining Wadokai.

  • Ability to defend oneself from threats

  • Patience and self confidence

  • Enhanced mind/body connection

  • Improved spiritual awareness

  • The Wadokai Ohana, our family

  • Greater sense of purpose

  • An engaging and challenging hobby

  • A productive outlet for everyday stress

  • Calmness and control of oneself

Aikido is a lifelong journey that cultivates the Aikidoka into warriors of peace. We have found learning Aikido to be a humbling, empowering, and incredibly rewarding experience. If this interests you then please contact us to learn more.  Your first class is free so you can assess if Wadokai Aikido is right for you.

Call Us Today


Opening Hours
Monday   8:30-10:30PM 
Friday      8:30-10:30PM
Sunday    2-4PM

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