Welcome to the world of Wado
Dear Wado Enthusiast
This newsletter is to help keep Wado enthusiasts informed of activities in Wado Ryu, Wado Kai, Wado Kokusai, and independent Wado groups in the United States and abroad. Please send your Wado event or activity with a photo of the instructor and/or event organizer by the 20th of the preceding month to get your information in this newsletter.
Please send your text in a Word document and pictures in small jpeg files, thank you.
we will publish editorials, articles, or any other important Wado information that will help the Wado enthusiast. Please send a photo of the author with the article.
Volunteer Wado Staff
One of the most difficult areas that this newsletter has to deal with is the use of instructor titles. We are very sensitive to this issue and do not want to offend or insult anyone. To simplify this daunting problem we will use the following guidelines with the use of instructor titles:
a. The correct title of the instructor(s) must be in the article or seminar information submitted by the author or event organizer.
b. All captions that we place under photos will be:
1. Japanese instructors: Last name followed by the title Sensei.
2. Non-Japanese instructors: The title Sensei followed by the last name of the instructor.
c. Any title and name that is placed in this newsletter by newsletter staff will use the title of Sensei.
We consider the title "Sensei" a very prestigious title.
Happy 70th Birthday
A Parable of Karate and Cars
This past year as I traveled from the East Coast to the West Coast, attending an event almost every month, I was able to speak to more karate students and instructors than any year previously. What was the common thread in most conversations? What is the state of karate today? And by karate I mean that type we all practice and teach, "Traditional Japanese Wado Karate," whatever that is.
Unless you practice in a garage you are aware that every major Wado Organization has had changes at the top. So what happens now? It is too soon to see where all the chips will fall but I believe it is time we think about reinventing ourselves. And keep in mind most of my comments are regarding the USA. As I know Europe and Japan are completely settled and without disorganization. (not certain if it is appropriate but imagine a smiley face emoticon after that last statement)
Reinvent ourselves but this is traditional karate, nothing changes. We stand firmly with our eyes on the past. Maybe that is the problem.
Let me tell you a parable about karate and the American auto industry.
When I started karate, people were lined up to enter our dojo. This was a time when the mere mention that you did karate made heads turn. Any Japanese instructor could open a school and be assured of full classes. As students we questioned nothing. We did everything we were told to do. The first instructors coming to the states in 1950's and 60's discovered there was no competition and karate grew in leaps and bounds. Our teachers could show up late, keep a filthy dojo, answer every question with some sort of oblique non-answer and we loved it. Our little local tournament in Salt Lake on a bad year had over 500 competitors. And there were many years we had over 1,000 competitors. This was Karate!
Today, karate as a word still dominates the search engines. But you study demographics even a little you will discover that karate students are not in Traditional Japanese Wado Karate Schools in the USA.
They are in Tae Kwon Do, which most Americans think is karate. Or in good forbid
American Eclectic Karate, and MMA. The biggest and most publicized karate tournament in the US today is the Vidal Sassoon US Open in Florida, where you see fat men break bricks and kids wearing sequined silk pajamas do Bo kata. This tournament is now featured on ESPN each year. When I see this stuff or worse yet my students see it and ask me about this type of karate, I put my head in the sand as quick as I can.
But now am suffocating in the sand. Time to pull my head out. And time for our parable...
After World War II, the United States was in the enviable position of being the only modern country with any manufacturing capabilities. So we quickly began manufacturing everything for the world. And the American Car represented everything that was right with America. In the 1950's and 60's no one, no country built cars as well as the Americans. By the time I bought my first car, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Chevrolet was the finest auto built in the world. My buddy Fred thought it was a Ford, and my buddy Greg thought it was the Pontiac GTO.
Which style, (sort of like style of karate if you are having a hard time keep up), of car we drove notwithstanding, the American car any brand dominated the market. Japanese and European cars were non-existent or so poorly built they broke down in your driveway.
For more than a few years, the American Automobile was the envy of the world. Alfred P Sloan's book, "My Years at General Motors" was the "Bubishi" of American industry.
But little by little so slowly I did not notice, the American Car began to slip. At first no admitted it. The American Car simply did not have the performance to stand up to the Japanese, the Korean or European cars. It was a gradual descent but it felt like all of sudden our cars were no longer the fastest, prettiest or best-built cars in the world.
Even when our American cars were obviously inferior to foreign cars many of us continued to be loyal to the past. Speaking for myself I struggled to stay loyal because of the arrogance of the American Auto maker. They often lied about their product. They would promise one thing and give you another.
The Auto companies did not want to be accountable for their own lack of direction and unwillingness to change. When the American Car makers began to fail they asked their students, opps I mean the American taxpayers to bail them out.
Unfortunately there will be no bail out for karate teachers. The US Treasury now owns General Motors and there is a Tae Kwon Do school in every strip mall. MMA is growing by leaps and bounds and Chrysler is owned by the United Auto Workers. Some people actually believe that "American Eclectic" is a style of karate and Mr. Miyagi is the founder of karate.
How did this come to happen? Market Domination comes to mind. With no competition you are not forced to examine who you are and what you do. Arrogance and a refusal to change.
When the rest of the world came to compete with Americans they knew they were in second or third place so they created watchwords like KAIZEN, (continuous improvement). They committed themselves to continuous improvement. European Asian carmakers did more research and development than we did, no stone was left unturned. They were never content to do it the way we have always done it. To show you level of commitment at BMW, they hire physiologist to design their seats, audio engineers to find tune the sound of their exhaust. The Japanese came up with better Hybrid cars.
Just as the automakers knew what they had to do, so did the Tae Kwon Do boys. They came to this country in second place and started to change that immediately. They listened to the American consumer, they worked together in spite of their own internal differences.
Before long Tae Kwon Do like the foreign automakers had a foothold in America. Both started out behind, both paid attention and tried to learn about their market and their own product.
I want to repeat this part most experts agree the main reason for our decline in the Auto industry was lack of quality, and unwillingness to change.
It is not a far leap to see how this compares to karate in the USA. How many traditional Japanese karate curriculums are relevant to the student that walks into a dojo today? How many instructors spend more time telling you how long ago they started karate. Do we spend more time learning about science, physiology and psychology or protecting our vision of the past?
Is it possible for Traditional Japanese Wado Karate to learn from the Auto industry?
"Wado" newsletter editor
Park City Utah
JKF Wado Kai Seminar
December 16, 17, and 18, 2011
In Chiang Mai Thailand
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Arakawa Takamasu Sensei
Japan Karate Federation Wado Kai by
6th Dan and Owner of Shiramizu dojos in Japan
6th Dan, Japan Karate Federation Wado Kai
International Budo University graduate
High School teacher license ( Health and physical education)
Japan Wado Kai National Kata champion
1999 Wado Kai World Cup Silver Medal in Men's Individual Kata
2001 Wado Kai National Team Kumite 1st place (Guseikai team)
2002 Wado Kai World Championships Team Kata gold medal
2002 East Japan Corporate Championships, 65 kg Men's Individual Kumite champion
2005 Wado Kai World Cup, Japan Team Kata Coach
2007 Wado Kai National Championships Team Kumite, 2nd place (Guseikai team)
Owner of the Shiramizu Karate Dojos
Many of his students have represented at national and international level
with trophy placements
Sensei Takamasa Arakawa has led many workshops in
different countries around the world
contact Japan Karate Institute Wado Kai, Chiang Mai -
WIKF Wado Karate Seminars
Sensei Jon Wicks
WIKF World Chief Instructor
Wado syllabus including Ohyo Gumite,
Kihon Gumite, Idori (kneeling defense) Tanto Dori,
Seminars are open to all Wado practitioners
Sweden-Stockholm course details from Michael
Chilie-Santiago.South America course details from Fernando Bardi
Kazutaka Otsuka Sensei
6e Dan FFKDA
Kleinzoon van Hironori Otsuka
Zaterdag 7 en Zondag 8 januari 2012
Sporthal De Boelelaan 46, 1082LR Amsterdam
Zaterdag 10.30-12.30 alle graden, 14.00-17.00 3e kyu en hoger
lunchmogelijkheid in restaurant
Zondag 10.30-13.30 Kadertraining, 1e Dan en hoger
Tel: +31(0)20-6337568 website:
Georganiseerd door het Wadoplatform van de Karatedo Bond Nederland
Berliner Karate Verband e. V.
Geschäftsstelle - Priesterweg 4 - 10829 Berlin - Tel.
+49 (0)30 7814027
Stilrichtungsreferentin Wado Ryu: Christina Gutz
Der besondere Wado Lehrgang
Die Verbindung von Wado Ryu und Shindo Yoshin Ryu
Bob Nash (USA)
7. Dan JKF Wado-Kai
Toby Threadgill (USA)
Menkyo Kaiden, Takamura-Ha Shindo Yoshin Ryu
25.02. - 27.02.2012
Wado Ryu wurde von Hironori Ohtsuka gegründet und basiert auf zwei Säulen: Dem Shindo Yoshin Ryu und dem Karate. Dieser Lehrgang vermittelt die historische Verbindung von Wado Ryu und Shindo Yoshin Ryu und ermöglicht ein umfassendes Verstehen der Motivation von Hironori Ohtsuka und damit des Wado Ryu.
Berliner Karate Verband e. V., Stilrichtungsreferentin Wado Ryu: Christina Gutz
Berliner Karate Verband e. V. und Wadokai Deutschland Sohonbu e. V.
Christina Gutz, Tel. +49 (0)30 6937316,
Sporthalle OSZ Handel 1, Wrangelstraße 98/Ecke Zeughofstraße,
(U-Bahnhof Görlitzer Bahnhof
Eingang Sporthalle: Zeughofstraße)
Assistant of WIKF General Secretary
Vicepresident of the WIKF Europe
President WIKF Spain
Member of the world technical commission
The Bottom Line.....Oh Sh-t!
by Cliff Richmond
'The Bottom Line' is taken from Richard Bandler - the Soke Dai (founder) of, and my sensei in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). In volume 1 of State of the Art (video), Richard Bandler relates an account of a skydiving cameraman who loved to video skydivers. On this particular day he made his last and fatal jump in San Diego. His camera was recovered to reveal what had happened as is the American way. The video reveals the cameraman jumping out of the plane and happily filming away until he pans down and then up. Suddenly he realises he has jumped without a parachute, what Richard Bandler considers to be 'a major mistake' on the cameraman's part. We all know what the cameraman must have said to himself ...... oh sh-t!
As Richard say's for all races and beliefs, the commonality when staring death in the face is 'oh sh-t' (vacate your bowels time), or 'the bottom line'. In a real life or death struggle the martial artist has the responsibility / choice to make one of two decisions, to live or to die. Either decision is neither right nor wrong, it depends on the situation.
I have faced death on a few occasions, although not in combat. Two examples follow.
Once, was while travelling home from college as a pillion passenger on a fellow student's scooter. We were riding along a busy road in my hometown and were correctly in the inside lane. A large bread delivery van that was occupying the adjacent lane suddenly turned left in front of us with no indication. I saw immediately that we would crash into the side of the van, but a strange thing happened. Time slowed down and for what seemed like an eternity we continued to approach the van and its wheels and my impending death! I was afraid yet detached as I watched and waited, but I had time to think and decide my fate.
As the side of the van and wheels loomed up my friend braked hard and went into a skid. As the bike skewed sideways and began to drop I looked at the wheels and made a decision. No way was I going to die. I calmly stepped off from my seat. Just as time speeded up there was a BANG and I found myself stood on the pavement. My friend was under his scooter but safe and the bread van?...... it continued on its way unaware of what had occurred. That's when the adrenaline rush kicked in and I began to shake. I was uninjured although I did have a bit of a phobia about standing near moving traffic for a while afterwards.
Incident two came a few years later while holidaying in Majorca with my future wife Heather. We had had a minor argument very early one morning and I stormed off to the swimming pool to cool off. I must explain that I am not a strong swimmer and sink if I do not keep moving. Although I am slightly built I can still manage to sink even in sea water! So, still angry I began swimming lengths across the pool and after a while I developed a cramp that prevented me from reaching the side. I was in the deep end of the pool and promptly sank. Realising the danger I was in and there being no one about I held my breath and moved underwater to the pool edge then jumped up and gasped air. I couldn't haul myself out and went back down then bounced up again gasping for air. By now I was tired and went down again. I accepted that I was going to die and felt sorry for Heather as I realised it might look as if I had committed suicide after a lover's tiff. As I went down for the third and last time you know what came into my mind..... Oh sh-t! Then suddenly I was hauled out by a passing stranger who after enquiring how I was left me to ponder that maybe my destiny was not to drown but to continue living and achieve some unknown purpose.
So, on two occasions I have faced what appeared to be certain death and made two different decisions. One to live, the other to die and in both cases I did not panic or freeze, but remained detached when I faced the bottom line......oh sh-t! I am luckily still here to relate these events.
Finally, to conclude this article, I recently related the earlier story of the skydiving cameraman to some Norwegian friends at the 1999 Wado Academy Winter camp Christmas party. This prompted Helge Dehlin to contribute the following account.
Skydiving is one of Helge's interests. On this skydiving occasion after packing his own chutes when he pulled the ripcord during his dive the parachute went candle (wrapped up). However he did not panic, but cut away the candled parachute and reached for his emergency parachute ripcord. It wasn't there! Oh Sh-t! Still he did not panic; he accepted his fate with detachment. While in this detached state of mind he thought, I'm sure that I packed that parachute, so tried again, this time reaching lower down and there it was. He pulled it, floated down and landed unharmed with five seconds to spare. Had he not reacted when he did he would have been dead or at best very badly injured.
Helge's experience is yet another example that by not panicking and with calm acceptance and detachment; it is possible to survive an encounter with the Grim Reaper.
What we hope to achieve from our seminars is teaching people how to survive in the face of adversity using both modern and ancient concepts and principles of mind, body and spirit.
HOW HAS SEVEN YEARS OF HARD TRAINING IN
TAI SHI KAI WADO-RYU KARATE HELPED ME?
BY BEN GIBSON
When I ask myself how has seven years of hard training in Tai Shi Kai Wado-Ryu Karate helped me, I think not only of the self defence and physical gains I have made, but also of the personal achievement - it has given me confidence and a feeling of security.
I was thirteen years old and was about to start high school. School was not an easy place for me as I wasn't a keen student and I was also being bullied regularly. I was not great at sport and as a result of all these things, suffered a lack of confidence. At the start of 2004 my parents got a flyer in the mail for Tai Shi Kai Wado-Ryu Karate and they thought it would be a great way to learn some self defence, build up some fitness and make new friends, and hopefully improve my confidence. Never in a million years did we think I would be here attempting my shodan grading.
When I was six my dad in particular was keen for me to start some form of martial arts. I joined a large local group and it did not go well - obviously I was too young and the whole concept was put on hold till I was older. The reason my parents were keen for me to become involved in a form of self defence was because they wanted me to be able to protect myself. The philosophy of Tai Shi Kai is "don't be there, don't let anyone touch you and don't show you can fight. I know when I achieve my black belt, that whilst people might not realise it, I will be able to defend myself if I need to.
When I commenced my training at Tai Shi Kai over seven years ago I was not sure what to expect. Probably mum and dad thought I might do it for a short time - I had a tendency to lose interest very quickly. I never thought that the day I started at Tai Shi Kai karate would be the beginning of a great journey and one which would change my life. When I joined I was quite shy, very nervous and found the first class very daunting. The leaders seemed intimidating but as I know now they are not that
at all, but great friends who have provided support and guidance whenever I have needed it. At my first classes I learnt basic blocks and kicks, but the techniques did not come easily to me, nor did the stamina or effort required. After a lot of encouragement and having to push myself, things became a little easier. What started as daunting grew more enjoyable and I was keen to go to class and learn more.
It soon happened that I was up to my first grading, my first red stripe. The thought of doing that grading made me very nervous, but I felt differently about striving to achieve, which was the opposite feeling than I had at school. I had not felt the need to be competitive at school, but something about Tai Shi Kai Wado-Ryu made me feel that I wanted to succeed - it was very important. After the grading I felt relieved and pleased with myself, but that grading was the first of many, and that desire to succeed has never left.
As I continued my training, the feeling of belonging helped to bring out the best in me. It was a very different environment for me than school. I was encouraged to try harder, to achieve, rather than being criticised for not trying hard enough. This was very important to me and made such a difference.
Once I achieved my green belt I was accepted into the senior class. I learnt new techniques, take downs and commenced free fighting. The improvement in my techniques gave me confidence and made me feel good about myself. My fitness improved a lot from running, and once again I felt the competitiveness to try and come first in the run of "the hill". It has given me a level of fitness that I am proud of. The move in to the senior group also meant that I was involved in social events and it is great that I can say I am involved with a fantastic group of people that never let you down, and support you. The encouragement you get from your leaders and fellow students is fantastic, always there to talk to and help you on techniques when you need it.
I would like to think that I have the inner strength to take responsibility for my actions if something goes wrong, and I believe that my karate training and the guidance I have received from my leaders at Tai Shi Kai has helped me to do this. I have been lucky to have been influenced by great people who I know expect a lot of me. They expect me to do the right thing, even if it is not an easy choice, and I feel I have achieved this. Integrity is very important.
During my seven years with Tai Shi Kai I have never once considered giving up my karate training, and I have always enjoyed going to class. At times my employment does get in the way, but I always try my best to get there on time. I know that karate training will continue to be part of my life, and that the friendships I have made will continue. The philosophy of hard work and the physical strength I have developed through my training, helps me in my employment, and gives me better stamina to continue on those long days that I sometimes have in my job. It helps me to stay on course, even when things get tough.
So in answer to the question, how has seven years of hard training at Tai Shi Kai helped me, I think the biggest effect it has had is that it bought something out in me that was lacking. It made me feel more competitive. I want to learn more and I want to be good at what I do. The discipline of karate made me want to achieve and the support by the leaders helped me to achieve - in other words they pushed me to try harder, to have confidence in myself, and to continue my journey.
I feel very grateful that I have been given this opportunity, and that the disciplines I have learnt will continue to benefit my life.
Martial Art Humor
If you have any martial art humor you would like to share, please forward it to us. We all need a little humor in this world
Two people are lost in the desert. They are dying from hunger and thirst. Finally, they come to a high wall. On the other side they can hear the sound of a waterfall and birds singing. Above, they can see the branches of a lush tree extending over the top of the wall. Its fruit look delicious.
One of them manages to climb over the wall and disappears down the other side. The other, instead, returns to the desert to help other lost travelers find their way to the oasis.
If you have any Zen stories you would like to share, please forward them to us. We all need a little Zen in our lives.
Suggested Tournaments for Wado competitors
(If you promote or know of a tournament, whether in the USA or abroad, that you believe would be of interest to Wado practitioners please forward the information and we will list it below.)
Washington State Championships February
Tommy Hood's SC Championships in March
Jennifer Malloy Tournament Chicago March
MARCH 17, Scottsdale, AZ tournament
April 5, 6, 7, 8, Jr. Olympics, US Open, Las Vegas, NV
April Salt Lake Championships, Amadou Niang
May 5, 6 Denver CO, Rocky Mtn Tournament
May, Nashville, TN,
Hendersonville, TN champ.
June 2, Utah State Championships Park City, UT
July 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA Karate National
Westen Zone tournament Sacramento, August
Suzuki Cup, Dallas Texas, November
Traditional Wado Karate
thoughout Great Britain
Check out this link for all activities in
Additional Wado Information
Please check out this link for additional Wado Information:
"Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and have a great New Year"
Ray Hughes Editor
On behalf of the entire "Wado" newsletter staff we wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season.
Thank you for your support
and contributions made during the year to this newsletter. They were very invaluable.
Many great friendships were formed this past year and many more are in the process. Isn't this what it is all about, making friends and helping one another?
We are all truly blessed people.
See you next year and looking forward to another productive and enjoyable year.
The mission of
this newsletter is to disseminate Wado information to the Wado enthusiast in an unbiased and non political format.
We welcome any comments or input on this newsletter. Please send your information or comments to