Organizational Leadership

Wadokai Founder, Sensei Roy Y. Suenaka, Soke

Roy Yukio Suenaka Sensei, founder (kaiso) of Wadokai Aikido™, is one of contemporary budo’s most experienced practitioners and best-kept secrets. Sensei Suenaka has devoted his life to martial arts training, learning at the feet of some of the world’s most celebrated masters. These include such legends as Aikido founder O’sensei, 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.
Read the full Biography of Roy Y. Suenaka

Wadokai Kaiso No Shuseki Joshu, Sonny Roobin Shihan

As Chief assistant to Kaiso Suenaka, Sonny Shihan’s duties include planning and assisting in the making and implementation of Wadokai policy. He also acts as liaison for organizational affairs and communications with Suenaka Sensei

Shihan Bucho, Chad Taylor Shihan

Chad Taylor Shihan, chief of shihans (shihan-bucho) and hombu-cho, communicates and instructs all Wadokai aikidoka on technical curriculum and execution. As Suenaka Sensei’s designated chief instructor, Taylor Shihan propagates and ensures the consistent technical and philosophical curriculum for all Wadokai dojos and students therein.

Wadokai Kai No Kyokucho, Tim Maguire Shihan

Tim Maguire Shihan is the Wadokai general manager (kai-no-kyokucho). In this capacity, Maguire Shihan is responsible for various organizational tasks and responsibilities. In addition, Maguire Shihan is renowned for his ability to coordinate various Wadokai camp functions.

Kai No Ichou, Charlie “Doc” Mella Shihan

Dr. Charles Mella Shihan is the medical representative for Wadokai Aikido. “Doc” Mella Shihan was in the US military as a flight surgeon. He has studied Aikido at the Orlando dojo for 20 years and has practiced medicine for nearly 50 years.

Kai no Bengoshi, Henry Schlein Shihan

Henry Shihan is the Wadokai organization legal representative and handles all legal matters for Wadokai Aikido. Henry Shihan is a 20-year veteran of Wadokai Aikido at Hombu dojo and a former City of Charleston Police Detective. Henry Shihan has practiced law for the past 20 years.

Dojo Cho

Dojo cho is the title for the head of a Japanese martial arts training hall, or dojo. The dojo cho is not always the chief instructor or highest ranked person—the position is that of the dojo
administrator or owner, and each dojo cho is approved and appointed by Suenaka Sensei
himself. A current list of Wadokai Aikido dojo cho can be found in the Dojo Directory.

Shihan “Master Instructor”

Shihan is a Japanese term, often used in Japanese martial arts as an honorific title for expert or senior instructors. The term is frequently used interchangeably with English terms such as
“master instructor.”

  • Chad Taylor Shihan Bucho, 7th Dan – Xiamen China
  • Sonny Roobin Shihan, 7th Dan – Guangzhou China
  • Mike Hawley Shihan, 6th Dan – Buffalo, NY
  • Valerie Wang Shihan, 6th Dan – Buffalo, NY
  • Judy Grundy Shihan, 6th Dan – Buffalo, NY
  • Jerome Legions Shihan, 5th Dan – Ashland, VA
  • Gene Cross Shihan, 5th Dan – Marietta, GA
  • Scott Kelley Shihan, 5th Dan – Atlanta, GA
  • Sam Pasour Shihan, 5th Dan – Farmville, NC
  • Trey Davidson Shihan, 5th Dan – Hombu
  • Tim Maguire Shihan, 5th Dan – Hombu-cho – Hombu, SC
  • James Franklin Shihan, 5th Dan – Buffalo, NY
  • Henry Schlein Shihan, 5th Dan – Hombu
  • Charles “C.J.” Mella Shihan, 5th Dan – Orlando, FL
  • Charlie “Doc” Mella Shihan, 5th Dan – Orlando, FL
  • Herb Riedel Shihan, 5th Dan – Andalusia, AL
  • Tom Larson Shihan, 4th Dan – Orlando, FL
  • Chris Menona Shihan, 4th Dan – Hombu
  • Rikki Cortte  Shihan, 4th Dan – Hombu
  • David Bock Shihan, 4th Dan – Oconomowoc, WI
  • James Huss Shihan, 4th Dan – Greenville, SC
  • Brad Jones Shihan, 4th Dan – Raleigh, NC
  • Erin Sanders Shihan, 4th Dan – Springfield, VA
  • Chris Caile Shihan, 4th Dan – Buffalo, NY
  • Sara Bettinger, 4th Dan – Hombu
  • Robbie Harris, 4th Dan – Raleigh, NC
  • Ken Gardner, 4th Dan – Flat Rock, NC
  • Bill Epperson, 4th Dan – College of Charleston, Dojo Cho – SC
  • Steve Marcum, 4th Dan, Hombu