"WADO"Ohtsuka headOhtsuka

a Monthly International Newsletter



"The only difference between the possible and impossible is one's will"

-Hironori Ohtsuka

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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.

In addition,
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

Disclaimer:  Titles


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.

USA Karate Logo




Wado Movers and Shakers around the country. 



by Doug Jepperson 





On Saturday March 17, 2012 we attended the first Arizona Karate Championships and USA Karate National Qualifier in Scottsdale, Arizona. This was a great weekend for USA Karate and the culmination of over a full year's work by a lot of great people in Arizona. 




Amy Van Dyken, Mayor Lane, Ray Hughes
Ray Hughes, Amy Van Dyken, Mayor Lane

The day began with a special introductory speech by Amy Van Dyken, a 6 times Olympic Gold Medal winner. She told the competitors about her work and struggles to reach Olympic success. Then the new Arizona ASO President Ray Hughes introduced Scottsdale's Mayor Jim Lane to the crowd. The opening ceremony was very exciting from hearing the ancient Chinese gong to watching the exciting video Shelly Lipton put together for USA Karate.   




There were over 300 competitors in attendance that day. It was great to see the first timers and a number of seasoned karate competitors in what will become one of the premier tournaments in North America.   





2012 Az Champ crowd

Here is a list of some of the great martial artists in attendance and who helped run this great tournament. 



Doug Jepperson1
Doug Jepperson
USA Karate
Technical Committee

Sensei Bill Damon, Sensei Ed Di Nardo, Sensei Alejandro Hernandez, Sensei Robert Hunt, Sensei Robin Hunt, Sensei Makoto Kamiya, Sensei Chuck Merriman, Sensei Mark Meyer, Sensei Marlon Moore, Sensei Shannon Peterson, Sensei Dan Rajic, Sensei Rick Savagian and Sensei Rudy Croswell. 







 To read the rest of this article click HERE. 








Dojo-Ryu-Black Belt

Marlon Moore
Sensei Marlon Moore

First, it is important to keep in mind that the purpose of a Dojo/Ryu is not to teach a martial art. "What"? "But isn't that what we are doing?" you ask. Not really. The purpose of the Dojo/Ryu is the continuation of the Dojo/Ryu. It just happens that, in this instance, the dojo teaches a martial art. As many of you know, most dojos don't consider someone to be a true member of the dojo until they are at least Shodan. Clearly, the time one spends as a mudansha is sort of a testing period, to see if one is ready to assume the responsibility of being a black belt of the Dojo/Ryu. Thus, we can see that a true black belt is someone the Dojo/Ryu considers worthwhile, rather than someone who thinks he has something to offer the Dojo/Ryu. From the perspective of the needs of the Dojo/Ryu, the dojo needs members who will work for the continuation of the Dojo/Ryu and not for their own fame or personal success. This is in keeping with theJapanese concept of what is good for the group takes precedence. In this case the group is our Dojo/Ryu.


In other words, ego is bad for the Dojo/Ryu. No student or black belt, in the dojo, has a right to share their personal opinion on Wado karate or any other arts taught by the head instructor. Their stated comments and shared thoughts should never be contrary to the overall curriculum and values of our Dojo/Ryu.


Questions, concerns etc. should only be discussed with the head instructor.


Ah! A shift in perspective. A true black belt is someone the Dojo/Ryu considers as a potential carrier of the Dojo/Ryu. Being a black belt then engenders some responsibility. You can't simply go around just being a"martial artist," but are a representative of our Dojo/Ryu.


I don't mean to attack anyone's dojo, art, or teaching style but there is a very real difference between a school that essentially emphasizes fighting skill and one that considers its continuation, traditions and values to be of paramountimportance. There is a difference in mind-set and intent.


A true black belt can only exist in a dojo that is a ryu. A ryu is defined as "current, flow, trickle, ooze, be swayed by, passage of time, descent, school, fashion, form, manner, system, class, order, rank and grade," among many other definitions. Today school or Style is the most common use of the word Ryu. Thus Wado Ryu, Shito Ryu, Goju Ryu etc. In other words, we are looking at a black belt as being a potential carrier of the traditions of a family system (Dojo/Ryu) that, in our case, just happens to be a martial art. To truly be a black belt you must give yourself over to the needs of our Dojo/Ryu. You will take on more responsibility and must begin letting go of more and more of your individual desires for recognition.


A good example of this is what constitutes an instructor. In many dojo's one must be at least a Renshi and in others normally at least a Sandan. This requirement provides some time not only for the black belt to become comfortable with the seitei or rules, etiquette, values and curriculum of the Dojo/Ryu but also to have developed some personal dignity and credibility.


Without a Dojo/Ryu there are no black belts. As time goes by and rank increases, one becomes more and more enmeshed in the role of a black belt. In time it takes over. To be sure, a student does owe loyalty to his sensei and to the Dojo/Ryu into which he has been accepted as a student. But, being a black belt requires a commitment that is much more than many are never willing to make. This is what sets a classical Japanese dojo/ryu apart from the rest of the world of marital arts.

A discerning eye will see the difference


Marlon Moore


Wado Training Course Report 

Christina Gutz

Chushin Tadasu and the interplay between posture and balance

Wado training course with Toby Threadgill (USA) and Bob Nash (USA) from February 25th - February 27th 2012 in Berlin

160 participants, including numerous guests from Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, trained together for two days in Berlin under the direction of Toby Threadgill (Menkyo Kaiden, Takamura-Ha Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jujutsu) and Bob Nash (7. Dan JKF Wadokai). In addition, on Monday evening more than 20 blackbelts attended a special course for instructors led by Bob Nash. As in previous years, national and international contacts were established and maintained on the annual Berlin Wado training course.


To read the rest of this article click here.



 Germany seminar nashect


WIKF Wado Karate Seminars



WIKFSensei Jon Wicks

WIKF World Chief Instructor 





 Seminars are open to all Wado practitioners    


Jon Wicks

Sensei Wicks



April 13th -14th-15th Finland - Contact: Vantaan Wado-ryu w1978@mbnet.fi


April 20th -22nd Italy       -     Contact: Mirka Bar mikibeach@gmail.com




  Tyne Tees JKF Seminar



Shingo Ohgami 8:th dan Wadokai

Ohgami 2
Ohgami Sensei

Easter Camp             2012


Time:                   Arrival, Herrljunga, Sweden          13 April (Fri)                  kl.18.00

                           Departure                                   15 April (Sun)                kl.13.00


Place:    Idrotts- och Simhall in Herrljunga / Sport-hall, about  90km from

Gothenburg , and 40 km from Alingsås in Sweden.


For additional information click HERE:



e-mail:      shingo@wadokai.se






Wado-Ryu Lehrgang

in Bremerhaven 




Andreas Modl 


6. Dan AKS (DKV) Deutscher Karate Verband,

6. Dan Wado-Ryu)

7. Dan AKS (AKA) American Karate Association,

Ausrichter: GTV / OSC-Bremerhaven


Datum: Samstag, 21.04.2012 und Sonntag 22.04.2012




For additional information click here 

Wado-Pentecost Training Course 2012


The Connection between Wado Ryu and Shindo Yoshin Ryu

Shuzo Imai
Imai Sensei

Shuzo Imai (Germany) 8. Dan Wado Ryu





Toby Threadgill (USA)

Menkyo Kaiden, Takamura-Ha Shindo Yoshin Ryu 


Toby Threadgill
Sensei Threadgill




May 26th- May 28th  2012

In Berlin




For complete details click HERE


Wado Summer camp europe

A Unique Opportunity Featuring Senior Instructors
WILLIAM MILLERSON,  7th Dan, WIKF World President
DAN WALLIS,              7th Dan, WIKF World Secretary
KEN CORRIGAN,                 7th Dan, World Technical Committee
ARTURO GIRONA,    7th Dan ,World Technical Committee
TOM KOSSLOW,                  7th Dan, World Technical Committee
PEDRO RODRIQUEZ,         7th Dan, World Technical Committee
WHERE:        Oxford College Campus, Emory University
                         Oxford,Georgia USA/ Near the Atlanta Airport
WHEN:    July 19, 20, 21, 22, 2012
Contact Tom Kosslow, Camp Director at:    tjkosslow@yahoo.com





Miguel Massee,5th Dan.

Assistant of WIKF General Secretary

Wim Massee, 7th Dan.

Vicepresident of the WIKF Europe

President WIKF Spain

Member of the world technical commission





Date: AUGUST 18-19 2012






PROYECTO Panama Canal Village

Panama Rep, Panama



Must Register by May 31st, 2012

For Further information, contact:

Soke: Adolfo Ennever 843 705-6953

Hanshi: Mario Arthur · 703-599-8992

Kyoshi:Juan De Leon:(507) 6671-5791

Renshi: Rodolfo Him:(507)6691-3396




Martial Art Humor 

family kidnapped  

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

Zen Stories 






A Useless Life

A farmer got so old that he couldn't work the fields anymore. So he would spend the day just sitting on the porch. His son, still working the farm, would look up from time to time and see his father sitting there. "He's of no use any more," the son thought to himself, "he doesn't do anything!" One day the son got so frustrated by this, that he built a wood coffin, dragged it over to the porch, and told his father to get in. Without saying anything, the father climbed inside. After closing the lid, the son dragged the coffin to the edge of the farm where there was a high cliff. As he approached the drop, he heard a light tapping on the lid from inside the coffin. He opened it up. Still lying there peacefully, the father looked up at his son. "I know you are going to throw me over the cliff, but before you do, may I suggest something?" "What is it?" replied the son. "Throw me over the cliff, if you like," said the father, "but save this good wood coffin. Your children might need to use it."



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.) sparring  







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

Preserving Traditional Wado Karate thoughout Great Britain

Check out this link for all activities in British WadoKai

Additional Wado Information

Please check out this link for additional Wado Information:

April 2012
           Contact Us
In This Issue
Wado Movers ans Shakers
Article Dojo
Wado training overview
WIKF Seminars England
Wado Kai Masters Seminars
Easter Camp
Wado Ryu Germany
Wado Germany Seminar
Wado Kai Seminar
WIKF Seminar Spain
Martial Art Humor
Zen Stories
Suggested Tournaments
British WadoKai Schedule
Additional Wado Information
Featured Article "Misunderstood?"

Featured Article


AW photo 
Ray Hughes



You probably have figured out by now I like asking questions. I ask these questions to get answers, to get other views on the topic, or just to see if I am the only one that thinks about this kind of stuff. I got a feeling it's the later.


Because I associate with members of other karate styles on a regular basis, I feel they just don't get what Wado is all about. I ask myself why it is that there seems to be confusion by other styles and the general public when it comes to Wado.


I believe that Wado is misunderstood by the rest of the karate community. If this is true, then the question is why.  If it wasn't for the fact we have been talking about what is traditional Wado, this question may have never come up.


While following up on the topic of what is traditional Wado, I was initially going to ask "what is more important, your sensei or the style"? My line of thinking for this article was to follow the premise that all Wado groups do some minuscule things slightly different from the original teachings of Master Ohtsuka. This is a natural problem that comes with the elapsed of time and the need to rely on the interpretations of others. This doesn't mean the integrity of the style has been lost. But there are those small differences. So if this premise is to be accepted, then what is the priority, to follow your sensei or group, or to try to be as sterilely clean in your pursuit of Wado purity? As I was working through this thought process and wrestling with this concept of the purity of style, the question popped into my mind of what makes a style a style?


I have never studied anything other than Wado. I don't consider taking a seminar or two a study of a style. However, I have always been around other styles and have taken many of their seminars. And in those seminars I have practiced their kata. When other than kata was practiced, it was basic self defense training. In my opinion, nothing unique was taught, just generic fundamental basics and movements. Is kata what differentiates the styles?


When I think about Shotokan or Shito-ryu among other styles, I think about kata. I think about the stance and posture in their forms. They are quite unique to their style. Shotokan is more power oriented, lower in stance and fairly vertical in attack. In Shito-ryu I have been told, the priority is the angles in their defense and attack. Of course this is a simple overview of these styles.


When you move outside of kata, today's freestyle fighting doesn't separate the styles. Everyone looks, trains, and fights the same.


So if the basic self defense is the same (other than Wado) and the freestyle sparring looks the same, then is it kata that makes a style a style?


When I think of Wado as a style, kata actually doesn't come to mind. I know this is going to be taken as heresy by some, but I really don't think there is much Wado in our Kata. There is some, but not much. When I think of what makes Wado a style, I think about movement. I think about the movement of taisabaki, nagash, and so on. There is definitely a look and unique feeling to the movement of Wado that is different from other styles.


In Wado, it is not the kata (again in my opinion) that makes Wado a unique style, but the movement used in its self defense training. And isn't the self defense training the key point of what a martial art should be focused on?


I understand kata is a training exercise for the development of self defense skills. But there needs to be much more than kata to develop meaningful self defense skills. I would hope there was more than kata that separated the styles, but I'm not sure.


Now if this premise is correct, that kata is what separates the styles, then that would explain why Wado is so misunderstood by other styles. We are being judged by our kata and our kata isn't what makes our style a style.


Something to think about.


If you have a thought on this topic, whether you are Wado or not, let us hear about it.


Until the next question......................































































































































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