Aikido of Hilo to Host World Renowned Teacher

Registration has begun for Aikido of Hilo’s upcoming Fall Seminar with Morito Suganuma. The seminar will be held during Labor Day weekend from August 31st to September 2nd at the Aikido of Hilo Dojo on 29 Shipman Street.

Morihei Ueshiba

According to Aikido of Hilo Chief Instructor, Barbara Klein, “Aikido is the Japanese martial art of peace and reconciliation.”

Suganuma who was born in Fukushima, Japan holds the title Shihan, master teacher, and is an 8th degree black belt. He began studying Aikido in 1963 and studied under the martial art’s founder Morihei Ueshiba and Ueshiba’s son Kisshomaru. In 1967, Suganuma received the honor of becoming the founder’s last uchideshi, a full time live-in student at the Aikido Headquarters in Tokyo.

After Morihei Ueshiba’s death in 1969, Suganuma was sent to Japan’s southern island of Kyūshū to represent the Aikido Headquarters in that area. In Kyūshū, Suganuma founded and is the head of the Aikido Shoheijuku Dojo, which today encompasses about 70 dojo and 4000 students. Suganuma is also a noted master in Japanese Calligraphy and a practitioner of Zen meditation and yoga.

“In Aikido there are only two 8th degree black belts in the United States and only a handful in the world. Having someone of Suganuma Shihan’s stature come to Hilo and teach is an incredibly rare opportunity,” said Klein.

Klein and her husband, prominent Hilo chiropractor, Dr. Robert Klein, both hold 6th degree black belts and have been teaching Aikido in Hilo for over 30 years.

The upcoming fall seminar has already attracted students from the U.S. Mainland, Canada, Japan and across the State of Hawai‘i. “There is still some limited space for Aikido students that want to study with Suganuma Shihan,” said Klein.

For more information and to register for Aikido of Hilo’s Fall Seminar go to the dojo’s website at