About Our School

The guiding purpose of the the Aikido of Suenaka-Ha of Bloomington is to continue to spread the understanding and practice of Suenaka-Ha Aikido into the Midwest area. Much as the motivations of O'Sensei when he travelled to Hawaii in 1961 to introduce and spread Aikido, so are our desires to share this wonderful and dynamic art with you.

Our atmosphere is familial and supporting. We welcome individuals of all backgrounds and physical abilities who express a sincere desire to learn more about the classical martial arts specifically Wadokai Aikido. What sets us apart is our approach to training: traditional, serious, and committed. We seek various ways to enrich our practice by focusing on the world outside of ourselves through commitment to each other, to our families, and to our community through various service projects.

The ideal Aikido student

Aikido is practiced by individuals from all walks of life, both young and old. We accept new students on an ongoing and contingent basis, which provides for an opportunity to evaluate a mutual fit for continued studies. We encourage individuals of reasonable fitness levels to consider Aikido practice as a key supplement to a healthy and active lifestyle. Please note, the minimum age to train is 16 years with parental consent.

Aikido study is a lifelong journey in which we seek to take a balanced approach to our training in mind, body, and physical development, which benefits us holistically both on and off the mat. Prospective students who may not be the most fit will find our approach to Aikido reasonable and motivating. Over time, continued and regular practice will lead to increased levels of fitness and participation. Reasonable accommodation will be made in the case of physical limitations, to ensure a safe and productive practice atmosphere for everyone. As the great swordsman Miyamoto Mushasi once said, it may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.

Our program is tailored to the traditional study of Japanese martial arts and the art of Wadokai Aikido in particular. In as much, we require a commitment to your training in all aspects of your study, including physical technique, proper etiquette and attitude, as well as thorough understanding of our history. While this may seem daunting at first, students find that these attributes develop naturally over time through the joy of regular Aikido practice, as well as through additional training opportunities throughout the year.

Aikido of Suenaka-Ha Indiana is an equal opportunity organization, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, ethnic group, age, or sexual orientation.

How to get started

All that is required to join is a decision to visit our school to observe or participate in a free class. First time students should wear comfortable clothing such as a tshirt and sweats that allow for comfortable movement. Shorts are not recommended, due to tumbling and groundwork activities.

Classes are on-going and new students are welcome to start at any time. Every class reviews the fundamental techniques of how to fall and roll safely, basic techniques, as well as basic stretching and warmup exercises. New students are always welcome – after all, we were all beginners once!

Please visit our How to Join page for class times and fees. You will also find our Frequently Asked Questions and Rules & Etiquette pages helpful.

Your Instructor

Senseis Suenaka and Laudeman Paul Laudeman Sensei is currently ranked sandan in Wadokai Aikido under Roy Suenaka Sensei, and has been training in a variety of martial arts since an early age. In 2005, Laudeman Sensei began his training in Aikido under Jerome Legions Shihan in Ashland, Virginia. Since relocating to Indiana in 2007 and opening the Bloomington dojo, Laudeman Sensei has continued his studies directly with Suenaka Sensei at camps and seminars, as well as with many other noted shihans and senseis from the overall Wadokai organization.

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