Suganuma Sensei was born in Fukushima prefecture in Japan. After graduating from high school he began studying at a university in Tokyo. During his studies he practiced pole jumping, but had to give up the sport because of an illness. Sensei recuperated and re-enrolled to another university in Tokyo. During that time, in 1963, he started studying aikido at the Aikido club at the university in which he studied. The teacher in charge of the university club was Tamura Sensei (who later taught Aikido in France for many years).
In 1967 Sensei was accepted as an Uchi-Deshi (“Inner Pupil” or “Direct pupil”) of O-sensei, the founder. Suganuma Sensei is one of the last Pupils who had the privilege to learn directly from the founder.
In 1970, a year after the founder’s passing away, Suganuma Sensei was sent by Doshu (The head of Aikikai at the time) to Kyushu, Japan’s southern island, to spread Aikido on behalf of the Honbu-Dojo. In1970, there were only 20 Aikido practitioners in Kyushu.
In 1981 he meets Umeda Zenji, the Zen teacher, and becomes his pupil. Since then, for decades, Sensei practices Zazen and teaches Aikido. Nowadays Sensei teaches a Zazen class once a month in his central Dojo in Japan.
In 1997 Suganuma Sensei visited Israel for the first time to conduct an Aikido seminar, and since then he has visits the country to give seminars on a regular basis. Sensei has visited Israel 8 times so far (the last time he visited was in July 2011).
Today Sensei heads “ShoheiJuku Dojo”, a non-profit organization that includes more than 110 different Dojos, with over 3,000 students. Sensei gives regular seminars worldwide, in Holland, Norway, China, Canada, and of course in Israel. Over the years, Sensei has published books about Aikido, Zen, health, and correct mental attitude. In addition he has published several professional video films for the learning and instruction of Aikido.
Sensei holds a rank of 8th Dan (the highest rank given today around the world).
Sensei holds a position of director in the supreme management of the All Japan Aikido Federation.
Sensei is married, has three children and a grandson.