Yoshio Sugino was born in Naruto village, Chiba prefecture, in December 1904. When he was a child, his family moved to Tokyo. He first encountered martial arts at Keio University, where he enrolled in 1918; here he joined the judo, kendo, sumo and kyūdō clubs, among others.
In particular, he studied judo under Kunisaburo Iizuka, one of Japan’s top collegiate coaches at the time. Discovering a proficiency for judo, he started his own dojo (the Kodokan Judo Shugyojo) in Kawasaki after a brief stint as a bank clerk.
Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, introduced Sugino to the Katori Shinto-ryu school of kenjutsu in 1927. Sugino also started studying Yoshin Koryu under Genro Kanaya around this time. He met aikido’s founder Morihei Ueshiba in the early 1930s, and studied aikido sufficiently to gain a teaching license and open an Aikikai-affiliated dojo by 1935. By the 1940s he was teaching kenjutsu, aikido, judo and naginatajutsu full-time.
TO BE CONTINUED…