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Aikido Of Atlanta
Aikido of Atlanta
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Aikido is a Japanese martial art that on a purely physical level is an art involving some throws and joint locks. The art of Aikido does not focus on striking opponents, but rather on using their own energy to lead them off balance, gain control of them, and to throw them away from you or toward the floor. It is not a static art, but places great emphasis on motion and the dynamics of movement. Aikido is non aggressive as it depends on the energy of the attack. Aikido of Atlanta seeks to stay true to the original intent of O'Sensei while learning practical techniques that work.


Aikido of Atlanta is sad to announce that classes have been canceled for the foreseeable future. For the closest Wadokai school, please visit Villa Rica Aikido

Welcome to the home page for Suenaka Ha Tetsugaku Ho, Aikido of Atlanta.  This site contains information about Suenaka Ha Tetsugaku Ho Aikido currently being taught in Smyrna, GA a suburb of Atlanta.  Smyrna is located approximately Northwest of Atlanta Georgia just outside of the I-285 perimeter in Cobb County.  The dojo is located in the atrium of the River City Church, 300 Village Green Circle, Suite 200, Smyrna, Ga, 30080 in the Smyrna Market Village (across from City Hall).  Below is information concerning the particulars of the class.
Please Note: Aikido Of Atlanta has moved their location. We will begin classes Tuesday, February 5th at the new location.
The class meets on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM, and lasts till 9:00 PM. If visiting, please plan your first visit on a Tuesday.
Click here for more information.
Class Fees
Class Fees are $60/Month. Association and insurance dues also may apply. See below for details.
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Visitors and First Time Students
Please note that a requirement of the class is that you sit and watch at least one class before signing up.
Click here for more information.
The class location is 300 Village Green Circle, Suite 200, Smyrna, Ga, 30080.
Click here for more information.

Aikido Of Atlanta

Class Information

Class Schedule
Classes meet Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7:00 till 9:00

Additional Training Opportunities.
By Signing up with Aikido of Atlanta, you can visit our affiliate dojo in Villa Rica, GA. Please see Villa Rica Aikido Website for details about their schedule and location.

Monthly Class Fees
Classes are $60 / Month with no contracts to sign. Payment is month to month and you can cancel at any time. Students who attend regularly and have been with the school for some time may qualify for discounts. See instructor for details.

Yearly Association and Insurance fees.
Our school belongs to the American International Ki Development and Philosopical Society (AIKD&PS) founded by Suenaka Sensei. All practicing students must join the AIKD&PS. Fees are $25 first year initiation fee. $35 Yearly association fee. e.g. Your first year is $60 and each year after that is $35.

First Time Visitors
First time visitors to the class are required to observe one class first before signing up. This can be waived at the instructor's discretion. All practioners must sign a liability waiver before being allowed to participate in class.

Age Requirements
By policy of the Wadokai, the age limit for classes is 13 or older. This is for the safety of all students. Please see the instructor for any concerns.

Get the Book
Suenaka Sensei has authored a book which contains valuable informatoin about our style, history and techniques. Complete Aikido : Aikido Kyohan : The Definitive Guide to the Way of Harmony (Tuttle Martial Arts). This book details the history of the Wadokai and demonstrates the correct way to perform many of the practice exercises and techniques. Books are never a replacement for actual instruction but can be a valuable supplement.

Information for Visitors or Beginning Students.

The class is going to start at 7:00 PM sharp.  Please try to arrive a few minutes early so that you may begin stretching out and be ready to help with anything the class needs before we begin.

Uniforms and Clothing
Wear something comfortable and loose but no shorts.  Since we will be tumbling on the mats, you will want some type of protection for your legs.  Sweats or loose pants are OK.  Make sure it is something you can stretch in.  If you want, you can purchase a uniform later.  The facility has facilities for you to change clothes in if you wish to bring a change of clean clothes.

Students visiting from other dojos
In keeping with Japanese tradition, all visiting students that are not members of Wadokai are asked to wear a white belt when visiting the class.  Also, our students do not wear a hakama until a certain rank is attained. If you are ranked with Suenaka Sensei, you should wear your rank.

Try before you buy
If after you observe a class, you are still unsure whether you want to sign up, come by for a free trial class.

Student Notebook
When you sign up for classes, you will receive a student notebook which will help you with more of the detail of the class.

Safe Practice
We will be doing exercises, tumbling, and techniques that are at some points advanced.  Beginning students do not need, and are not expected to perform at this level.  All students are encouraged to increase their skills gradually to avoid injuries.

About Aikido

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 Main Website

Our School Motto:   "Let us have a universal spirit that loves and protects all creation an helps all things grow and develop. To unify mind and body and to become one with the universe is the ultimate purpose of my study"

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.


Suenaka Sensei, Wadokai Founder

Suenaka Sensei

Roy Yukio Suenaka Sensei, founder of Wadokai Aikido™, is one of contemporary budo's most experienced practitioners and best-kept secrets. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Suenaka Sensei's martial instruction began under his father, Warren Kenji Suenaka, who taught his son budo basics and carefully selected his primary martial tutors. These included such legends as Okazaki-ryu Kodenkan Jiu-jitsu founder Henry Seishiro Okazaki, Kosho-ryu Kempo's legendary James Masayoshi Mitose, judoka (and later, aikidoka) Yukiso Yamamoto, and celebrated kendoka Shuji Mikami, from whom Suenaka Sensei received a nidan (2nd degree black belt).

Suenaka Sensei began his aikido study upon Koichi Tohei's 1953 visit to Hawaii, and continued his study directly under Founder Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei at the Aikikai Hombu for eight years, beginning in 1961. That same year, Suenaka Sensei received an aikido menkyo kaiden (master-level proficiency) teaching certificate from O'Sensei, and became the first person to open a successful aikido dojo in Okinawa. He also commenced eight years of private study with renowned Matsumura Seito and Hakutsuru Shorin-ryu Karate-do Grandmaster Hohan Soken, receiving from him the rank of rokudan (6th degree black belt). In addition, Suenaka Sensei continued his judo and jiu-jitsu education at the Kodokan under famed Meijin Kazuo Ito, who personally sponsored Suenaka Sensei's promotion to sandan (3rd degree black belt) in judo and jiu-jitsu.

In 1972, Suenaka Sensei relocated to Charleston, S.C., where he served as Southeastern U.S. director for Koichi Tohei's International Ki Society until 1975, when Suenaka Sensei resigned to form the American International Ki Development and Philosophical Society (AIKDPS)™. Suenaka Sensei currently teaches Suenaka-ha Tetsugaku-hoTM Wadokai Aikido™ and Matsumura Seito Hakutsuru Shorin-ryu Karate-do. He is author of the best-selling Complete Aikido, and in 2003 celebrated his 50th year of aikido study.

(This biography is from Suenaka Sensei's website.  For more information on Suenaka Sensei, please visit his website at www.suenaka.com)

Scott Kelley Shihan, Dojo Cho

Kelley Shihan with Suenaka Sensei
after Gasshuku 2006

Shihan Kelley began his Aikido career in 1991 under the instruction of Sensei Jeff Baygents in Douglasville, GA.  Shortly after joining Sensei Baygents' class, the class joined the American International Ki Development and Philosophical Socitey.  The head instructor in Atlanta at the time was Sensei Fen Ackerman in Lilburn.  He continued to study in Douglasville under Sensei Baygents until 1993 when Sensei Baygents left AIKD&PS to pursue other ventures.  At this time Douglasville was an independent Dojo until Julio Roque (Ikkyu), also a student of Sensei Suenaka and Sensei Fen Ackerman, began to lead classes.  Around 1995, the Douglasville dojo dissolved and he began training directly under Sensei Fen Ackerman in Lilburn. In June of 1999, he tested for and received his Nidan.  In October of 1999, he started the Marietta, GA branch of the Atlanta Wadokai dojo in the Marietta YWCA.  He has taught in Marietta until 2017 when the class moved to Smyrna.  In May of 2004, Sensei Fen Ackerman formally resigned from the Wadokai making the Marietta Branch the only Wadokai school for the Atlanta area.  On January 1st, 2008, the class moved to Marietta Martial Arts.  Shihan Kelley was promoted to Godan (5th degree) in June of 2011. In June of 2017, Shihan Kelley moved the class to Smyrna. That year he was promoted to Rokudan (6th degree) and currently holds that rank.  Atlanta is currently home to two Wadokai branches, Shihan Kelley in Smyrna and Shihan Gene Cross in Villa Rica, GA.  Shihan Kelley continues his affiliation with Wadokai, the AIKD&PS and Sensei Suenaka and is a certified dojo in good standing.

Personal Information:
I am happily married to the greatest woman in the world, and have a beautiful son Joshua who was born in December 2002 and daughter Amanda who was born in June 2007.  I have also studied Kung Soo Do Karate since 1984 under Sensei Stan Broome and am ranked a Rokudan in good standing with Sensei Broome's organization, the American Classical Karate Association.  I was born in 1967 in Marietta, GA and have lived in the Atlanta area ever since.


300 Village Green Circle,
Suite 200,
Smyrna, Ga, 30080
Contact the Instructor:
(404) 374-2759
The dojo is located in the atrium of the River City Church, 300 Village Green Circle, Suite 200, Smyrna, Ga, 30080 in the Smyrna Market Village (across from City Hall).

Additional Wadokai Schools

Affiliated Dojos

Below is a list of links to dojos that teach Suenaka Ha Tetsugaku Ho Aikido and are affiliated with the Wadokai

Wadokai Aikido Dojo (Headquarters) - Charleston, SC - Charleston, South Carolina

Chief Instructor
Roy Suenaka, Kaiso
Location Information
1856 Belgrade Ave. Unit B2
Charleston, SC 29407
(843) 607-2066
Additional Notes

Wadokai Aikido at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College - Andalusia, AL - Andalusia, Alabama

Chief Instructor
Herb Riedel Shihan, 6th Dan
Location Information
1000 Dannelly Boulevard
Andalusia, AL 36420
(334) 881-2212
Additional Notes
Practice times are Monday and Wednesday, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m., and every other Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Mailing Address: P. O. Box 1418, Andalusia, AL 36420.

Wadokai Aikido of Orlando - Maitland, FL - Maitland, Florida

Chief Instructor
C.J. Mella Shihan, 5th Dan
Location Information

(321) 460-2877
Additional Notes
Please call for more information.

Wadokai Aikido of Winter Park - Winter Park , FL - Winter Park, Florida

Chief Instructor
Charles Doc Mella Shihan, 5th Dan

Location Information

(407) 677-9786
Additional Notes
Please call to arrange a visit to the dojo.

Villa Rica Wadokai - Villa Rica, GA - Villa Rica, Georgia

Chief Instructor
Gene Cross Shihan, 6th Dan
Location Information
3357 Liberty Rd.
Villa Rica, GA 30180
(404) 308-0783
Additional Notes
In the "Cross & Sons" building

Aikido of Suenaka-Ha Indiana - Bloomington, IN - Bloomington, Indiana

Chief Instructor
Paul Laudeman Shihan, 4th Dan
Location Information
223 S. Pete Ellis Drive, Suite 19
Bloomington, IN 47408
(812) 671-0319
Additional Notes

Wadokai Aikido of Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN - Indianapolis, Indiana

Chief Instructor
Dusty Blair Sensei, 1st Dan
Location Information
4243 W 96 St
Indianapolis, IN 46268
(317) 657-8916
Additional Notes
Saturdays: 10 am–12 noon Sundays: 5–7 pm

Aikido-Arnis of Farmville - Farmville, NC - Farmville, North Carolina

Location Information
3725 West Wilson St
Farmville, NC 27828
(252) 531-8476
Additional Notes

Aikido of Morehead - Morehead City, NC - Morehead City, North Carolina

Chief Instructor
Brad Jones Shihan, 4th Dan
Location Information

(919) 418-2575
Additional Notes
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/116007708545/

Aikido of Raleigh - Raleigh, NC - Raleigh, North Carolina

Chief Instructor
Robbie Harris Shihan, 5th Dan
Location Information
3601 Capital Blvd. Suite 117
Raleigh, NC 27604
(919) 803-1060
Additional Notes
Aikido Classes are held at the Triangle Kung Fu and Arnis Academy

Saluda Aikido - Saluda, NC - Saluda, North Carolina

Chief Instructor
Danny Beck Sensei, 3rd Dan; Cassandra Nelson Sensei, 1st Dan

Location Information
64 Greenville St. Saluda Center
Saluda, NC 28773
(843) 697-0047
Additional Notes
Contact Danny Beck Sensei (843) 697-0047 or Cassandra Nelson Sensei (864) 326-8923

Aikido of Suenaka-Ha Buffalo at Kin-Tora - Buffalo, NY - Buffalo, New York

Chief Instructor
Mike Hawley Shihan, 6th Dan
Location Information
1827 Niagara St.
Buffalo, NY 14207
(716) 871-1260
Additional Notes
Class times are Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30pm to 7:00pm, and Saturday morning at 10:00am.

Yamanoshita Suenaka Aikido (East) - Williamsville, NY - Williamsville, New York

Chief Instructor
Valerie L. Wang Shihan, 6th Dan
Location Information
4209 Transit Rd
Williamsville, NY 14221
(716) 939-1890
Additional Notes
Located in the Western New York Karate Center, near the corner of Main St. and Transit Road.

College of Charleston Aikido Club - Charleston, SC - Charleston, South Carolina

Chief Instructor
Bill Epperson Shihan, 4th Dan
Location Information

(843) 822-8695
Additional Notes

Suenaka Martial Arts - Charleston, SC - Charleston, South Carolina

Chief Instructor
Trey Davidson Shihan, Hombu Cho, 4th Dan
Location Information
1856 Belgrade Ave. Unit B2
Charleston, SC 29407
(843) 607-2066
Additional Notes

Zenzan Suenaka Dojo - Greenville, SC - Greenville, South Carolina

Chief Instructor
Kenneth Gardner Shihan, 4th Dan
Location Information
1116 Rutherford Rd.
Greenville, SC 29609
(864) 275-4441
Additional Notes
Dojo informational contact Eve Chandler

Brandermill Aikido Club - Midlothian, VA - Midlothian, Virginia

Chief Instructor
Christine Golden Sensei, 3rd Dan
Location Information
13501 East Boundary Road, Brandermill Office Park
Midlothian, VA 23112
(804) 464-3713
Additional Notes

Aikido RVA - Rockville, VA - Rockville, Virginia

Chief Instructor
Jerome Legions Shihan, 5th Dan
Location Information
Gym Quest Gymnastics, 2196 Lanier Ln
Rockville, VA 23146
(804) 537-0526
Additional Notes

Aikido of Suenaka-Ha Nova - Springfield, VA - Springfield, Virginia

Chief Instructor
Erin Sanders Shihan, 4th Dan
Location Information
7550 Reservation Drive
Springfield, VA
(843) 324-5002
Additional Notes
Register online or stop by and pay a mat fee. Ask for Sanders Shihan.

Yamanoshita Suenaka Aikido (West) - Bellevue , WA - Bellevue, Washington

Chief Instructor
Valerie L. Wang Shihan, 6th Dan
Location Information
1910 132nd Ave. NE , Suite 11
Bellevue , WA 98005
(716) 939-1890
Additional Notes
Co-located with Koei-Kan Academy

Wadokai Aikido of Wisconsin - Oconomowoc, WI - Oconomowoc, Wisconson

Chief Instructor
David Bock Shihan, 4th Dan
Location Information
Abundant Joy Yoga & Wellness, W359 N5002 Brown St. Suite #211
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
(262) 567-1309
Additional Notes

Borneo Wadokai Aikido & Kali - Sabah, Malaysia - Borneo, Malaysia

Chief Instructor
Zegna Bashov Sensei, 1st Dan
Location Information
16, Lorong Ikan Juara 3, Karamunsing, 88000 Kota Kinabalu
Sabah, Malaysia
Additional Notes

Wadokai Aikido of Chaozhou - Guangdong, China - Guangdong, China

Chief Instructor
Allen Chen Sensei (陈文平), 2nd Dan
Location Information
NO.13 Lianxing Road, Lianrao Town, Chaozhou
Guangdong, China
Additional Notes
Address (Chinese): 地址: 广东省 潮州市 饶平县 联饶镇 联兴路 13号。 We Chat ID: indoorfly, Schedule: Sat: 19:30-21:30 : Wed 19:30-21:30‍‍

Wadokai Aikido of Guangzhou - Guangzhou, China - Guangzhou, China

Chief Instructor
Sonny Roobin Shihan, 7th Dan
Location Information
13 Yi Yuan Nan Road, Room 405H, Building 12
Kecun; Haizhu District,Guangzhou, China
See Notes
Additional Notes
广州市海珠区客村艺苑南路13号大院12栋405H, English speaking people (86)18922446648, Chinese (86)15812666621

Wadokai Aikido of Haikou - Haikou, Hainan Province, China - Haikou, China

Chief Instructor
Owen Newby Sensei, 2nd Dan
Location Information
Shengliang Gym (opposite Haida North Gate)
Haikou, Hainan Province, China
+186 0891 7305
Additional Notes
For updated hours and more information Tel. +186 0891 7305.

Wadokai Aikido of Xiamen - Xiamen City, Fujian, China - Xiamen City, China

Chief Instructor
Chad Taylor Shihan, 7th Dan
Location Information
No.439-441, West Area, 2nd Floor, Mingfa Shopping Mall, Siming District
Xiamen City, Fujian, China
15711501602 (Taylor Shihan)
Additional Notes
中文: 18205927199 (李希希) Address (Chinese): 地址: 福建省厦门市思明区莲前东路加州广场旁牛庄23号5楼 QQ number: 908775162 Group QQ number:89416292 Schedule: Sat: 17:30-19:30 Mon: 19:30-21:30
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