About Us

We are a small, friendly club practising hombu (traditional) aikido in Wiltshire under the direction of our chief instructor, Robert Hill sensei, 6th dan aikikai.

Our dan grades are certified by hombu dojo, on the recommendation of Hill sensei or a visiting senior instructor.

Our Aikido Lineage

Hill sensei has been practising aikido since 1965 and was a long-time student of the late Sugano Seiichi shihan, 8th dan aikikai.

Sugano sensei was an uchi deshi (live-in student) of O Sensei in the late ’50s and early ’60s. In 1965 he was appointed by O Sensei to represent aikido in Australia, where he founded Aiki Kai Australia.

Sugano sensei taught in Australia for 15 years, then in Benelux for 8 years (at the invitation of Tamura sensei), and from 1988 to 2010 he co-instructed with Yamada sensei at New York Aikikai. While based in New York, Sugano sensei continued to teach and inspire his former aikido “families” in Australia, South East Asia and Europe, running regular seminars in Belgium and Holland. Among Sugano sensei’s former pupils in Australia, three were promoted to 7th dan on his recommendation and have been awarded the title of shihan (senior instructor): Tony Smibert sensei, Hanan Janiv sensei, and Robert Botterill sensei.

Trowbridge Aikikai is profoundly grateful to have practised under the technical direction of Sugano sensei through Hill sensei, and to have benefited from Sugano sensei’s legacy of high-level instructors – particularly in Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands. We have maintained close contact with our Australian and European counterparts, hosting some of Sugano sensei’s senior instructors at our Spring keiko (intensive practice), and regularly participating in his legacy of aikido seminars in Belgium.