About the Trustees
The Sugano Foundation Trustees were formed on Sugano Sensei's passing, these people were designated by him to manage his Foundation and to maintain the highest level of Aikido training for Aiki Kai Australia.
He placed the care and quality control of Aiki Kai Australia in their hands as his most trusted and respected students in this country. In essence, they inherit the heritage of his instruction of over some forty years and it is their responsibility to maintain this heritage going forward.
Tony Smibert AM 7th Dan, Shihan
Smibert Sensei commenced judo in his early teens and then Aikido in 1964 at age 15, under Arthur Moorshead. He became a student of Seiichi Sugano Sensei in 1965 and was graded 1st dan in 1970. Smibert Sensei currently holds the rank of 7th dan and the teaching title of ‘shihan’ from Aikido World Headquarters in Japan.
Smibert Sensei assisted Sugano Sensei to establish in Aikido in Victoria then worked closely with other senior students to establish Aiki Kai Australia and The Sugano Foundation. He became Vice President of Aiki Kai Australia in 1976, a position he held until 2010. Smibert is the President of Aiki Kai Australia and a Trustee of the Aikido Foundation, established to promote the aikido legacy of Sugano Sensei.
Smibert Shihan regularly teaches in Australia and continental Europe. He has also taught in Japan, South East Asia, the USA, Russia and the United Kingdom. Smibert Sensei is a professional artist and art teacher. He lives in Deloraine, Tasmania where he and his wife, Carmel, have a small farm and an art studio.
Smibert Sensei was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2016 Australian national honours list for his work as an internationally renowned artist and his unceasing contribution to Aikido over the last 50 years.
Robert Botterill 7th Dan, Shihan
Botterill Sensei trained in Judo as a teenager and continued this training into his twenties, expanding his sporting and martial interests into fencing, karate and mountain climbing during his university years. It was at this point in 1965 that he began his Aikido study, initially under Arthur Moorshead and soon afterward under Sugano Shihan.
Botterill Sensei has been a mainstay in the development of Aiki Kai Australia since the earliest beginnings of the organisation. Graded to 1st dan by Sugano Sensei in 1973, Botterill Sensei was appointed the Area Representative for Victoria in the newly formed Aiki Kai Australia. He held this position until 1999 and was the Chairman of Aiki Kai Australia for most of that time, working with other senior students to implement policies to improve relations with government bodies and to foster the aikido experience for the student body. He was awarded the title of ‘shihan’ by the Aikido World Headquarters Japan in 2008 and admitted to the rank of 7th dan in 2011. He is currently a member of the Board of Aiki Kai Australia and the Board of Trustees for The Sugano Foundation.
Botterill Sensei teaches regularly at home in Melbourne, across Australia and internationally. His international teaching experience includes seminars in Malaysia, Belgium and the USA. Botterill Sensei holds degrees in both mathematics and physics from Melbourne University and is recently retired from his professional life in the area of transportation research and traffic modelling.
Hanan Janiv 7th Dan, Shihan
Janiv Sensei had trained extensively in both karate and judo before travelling to Australia in 1970 where he met Sugano Sensei. He began training immediately and remained in Sydney to study with and support Sugano Sensei until Sensei moved to Belgium in 1979. Janiv Sensei was graded to 1st dan in 1973 and continued training and then teaching in Sydney until he moved to Canberra in 1983.
Janiv Sensei was appointed to the Technical and Teaching Committee by Sugano Sensei in 1985 and appointed the Area Representative for the Australian Capital Territory in 1990. He has been a Trustee of the Aikido Foundation since its establishment. Janiv Sensei currently holds the rank of 7th Dan and the teaching title of ‘shihan’ from Aikido World Headquarters in Japan.
Janiv Sensei first represented Sugano Sensei overseas in 2009 in Malaysia and has since held seminars, classes or gradings in California, Belgium, Crimea, Russia and the UK. He lives just outside Canberra and teaches regular classes in the Australian Capital Territory, also travelling