Alec Corper Sensei
Chief Instructor, Itten Suginami
Alec Corper Sensei has more than 40 years of experience training in both Japanese and Chinese internal and external martial arts. His training and teaching is extremely unique in that he seeks to reverse-engineer martial training – to discover, explore and teach the core source of the miraculous body and mind power from which the arts spring.
Alec Corper Sensei (b.1952) began martial arts at the age of 16. He spent 2 years studying Kyukushinkai and Shotokan karate. At eighteen he began Wu Shu, specifically Chuen Shu Kwan, the Five Animal Arts, in which he received the equivalent of Shodan and teacher’s certificate. He also taught self-defense classes for women, apart from traditional Chinese boxing.
At age 26 he moved from England and spent many years busy with business and family during which time there was little opportunity for practice. At age 36 he recommenced studies in Ba Gua and Tai Chi. At 38 he began Aikikai Aikido and now holds the rank of Godan as awarded by the Aikikai SoHombu.
Alec Corper Sensei is the Founder and Chief Instructor of Itten Suginami Dojo. He has dedicated his training to the insight that Aikido is a complete martial art in the sense that the core principles of all martial arts lie hidden within it. Encouraged by the late Kato Shihan and his own discoveries, Corper Sensei has tenaciously stripped away conventional beliefs about Aikido that it might be rediscovered anew in each student that genuinely seeks its precious secrets. Over the last 10 years he has been privileged to train in various disciplines, notably Filipino empty hand and weapon arts under Datu Kelly Worden, and I Liq Chuan under GM Sam Chin. His experiences with Dan Harden and Minoru Akuzawa, both modern exponents of internal training have added to his great appreciation for what Aikido actually holds.
Itten means ‘one point’ and refers to the idea of being physically and mentally centered, which implies balance, stability, and awareness. Itten Suginami, in the line of O-Sensei (founder of Aikido) and Kata Shihan (one of the founder’s direct students), is a school uniquely dedicated to the rediscovery of the magnificent yet elusive roots of Aikido.
O-Sensei said that Aikido is “standing on the floating bridge between heaven and earth” and that “true victory is victory over oneself”. Few have considered that such ‘beautiful phrases’ may also be some of the most important technical instructions the founder ever gave.