Sugano entered the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in 1959 as a direct student of Morihei Ueshiba. In 1965 he was appointed by Ueshiba to introduce aikido in Australia. He remained there for 15 years and at the request of Nobuyoshi Tamura, Sugano went to Europe and stayed in Belgium, Luxembourg and France. Since 1988 he has resided in New York City where he co-instructs with Yoshimitsu Yamada at the New York Aikikai.
Sugano maintains regular contact with the Aikikai Hombu Dojo and also the Ueshiba family. He travels extensively during the year to give aikido seminars, mainly in Europe and South East Asia. He visits Australia twice yearly and Malaysia once yearly to conduct the National Training Schools and dan grading. Sugano's aikido is known for possessing both speed and power. His teaching emphasizes timing and distance, within a fundamental study of basic technique. Weapons instruction follows a more organic style, with very little study of formal kata. Sugano's weapons instruction focuses more on correct body positioning (hanmi) and paired practice, which again emphasizes the necessity of timing and distance.
In 2003, Sugano suffered a below the knee amputation, and a medical fund has been set up to cover his ongoing medical costs. In spite of this, he has continued to teach and demonstrate aikido without any severe limitation. His inspirational teaching in spite of his disability finds mention in the novel "Big Apple 2 Bites" by Arunabha Sengupta in which a lot of action takes place in the New York Aikikai Dojo.