The late Sugano Shihan was from a nearly lost generation (only a few are left) of key uchi deshi (live-in-students) who studied daily and directly with the founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, otherwise known respectfully as O-Sensei to aikidoist worldwide. As part of his training with O-Sensei, Sugano Shihan studied weapons and particularly with the bokken. Unfortunately, O-Sensei never established a systematic way of practicing with the sword. Sugano Shihan was a master swordsman and, like the rest of his aikido technique, known for his power, speed and uncanny sense of timing.

The Fundamental Patterns

There five fundemental patterns (icho no ken, ni no ken, san no ken, yon no ken, and go no ken) presented over the course of two volumes (taped several years apart). These two volumes (available on DVD or for download) are available now from the Shin Do Kan Aikido dojo in California.

Sugano Shihan Summer Camp

Sugano Sword System 2

How to order your Sugano Sword System DVD

Purchase a DVD Copy with Case – $50.00 each

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Systematic Learning Approach

Even as Sugano Shihan worked to create a systematic approach to practice with the sword, his instruction had always remained incredibly dynamic and constantly evolving. Sugano Shihan’s weapons instruction was organic and free from any kind of formal kata. At the Shin Do Kan dojo in Newport Beach, California (where Sugano Shihan would teach twice a year), he would pair off the students and have them practice basic sword patterns with the bokken designed to develop correct body positioning (hanmi), timing, and increased awareness of distance. These patterns would have been lost to the world of aikido if it were not for his key students Tony Smibert Shihan, Robert Botterill Shihan, and Hanan Janiv Shihan, but chiefly Sensei Gentil Pennewaert who supervised the video taping of Sugano Shihan’s way of practicing with the bokken.