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.
Pizza and Karate
by Doug Jepperson
Often times these days when you have two or more karate instructors over the age of fifty in the same room you hear stories about "back in the day," you know what they mean, things were better in the Golden Era of Karate. Our punches were faster, kicks more powerful, the training was beyond any comprehension of today's karate student. We had the first wave of Asian instructors, which made us that much closer to the Holy Grail of martial arts, satori in training. The mere jut of our jaw made lesser men tremble.
But then the Boss, aka Bruce Springsteen had to go and point out the folly of our nostalgic reminiscing about days that never were.
"I had a friend was a big baseball player, Back in high school, He could throw a speedball by you, Make you look like a fool boy, Saw him the other night at his roadside bar, I was walking in, he was walking out, We went back inside and sat down for a few drinks, But all he kept talking about was
Glory Days, well they'll pass you by, Glory Days in the wink of young girls eye, Glory Days, glory days."
Listen to the last lines in the song, "Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture, A little of the glory of, well time slips away, And leaves you with nothing mister but, Boring stories of glory days."
But many of us old dudes did not let the exposure of our false stories of yesteryear deter us. We decided to exceed our instructors and create new and powerful titles to rescue our ego: "Grand Soke, Master of the Elbow of Death." Shihan of the Vibrating Palm or Hanshi Master of the Eight Disciplines.
Any harm in this? Not really unless you start to believe you really do control the universe. My opinion is call yourself anything you like as long as you do not teach like you were taught. Back in the day, we were taught simply working harder made us better. Now even a junior high P.E. teacher knows that we need to train in the correct frequency, intensity and volume.
The problem is that when people say Traditional Karate some of them mean a dogmatic addiction to the past. Some how the ideal of Budo is to ignore science. In spite of these folks addiction to all things past I believe that today is the Golden Age of Karate. We have access to training and information all over the world. We can check out You tube and find any form of martial arts we desire. There are no more secrets.
But I know for some it is blasphemous to suggest a progressive approach to karate training, so instead of writing about karate, to avoid offending everyone I will tell you a story about Pizza.
In November I went to the Suzuki Cup in Dallas, on my way to the hotel I had the opportunity to tour the surrounding neighborhoods of Dallas. At one point I noticed a Pizzeria advertising their pizza had not changed in over 50 years. I took note because this reminded me of some of my buddies out there trying to keep the karate the same as it was 50 years ago. I decided to investigate this pizzeria and see if there were more similarities, and guess what? They claim they use "Old World Traditions" and "Time Honored Family Recipes." Apparently these people believe that Pizza made the old way is somehow better. This means they use old ingredients, old methods, and old equipment, this is somehow superior?
Well Mr. Pizza Shihan, here is something to think about: in virtually every objectively measurable endeavor mankind improves over time. We run faster, jump higher, live longer more active lives, build more efficient engines and yes, we know more about baking than our ancestors did. The debate is only made possible because taste and memory are subjective. It may not sound romantic and at the risk of stealing away the mysticism of Pizza or karate, now is the Golden Age of Pizza, and now is the Golden Age of Karate.
Do not worry the Italians will not be upset because I am saying today's Pizza is better than yesterday's Pizza. They might be more progressive than many of us. Look at what they are doing in karate. Have you seen Benatello or Maniscalco in kumite? Or how about Luca Valedsi in kata? What are the Italians doing? Science, science and more science. They are a small country so they feel they need to investigate everything. Who knows maybe their Pizza is better too.
Let us go back to our Pizza shop one more time and the idea of fifty years of an unchanged recipe. Even if that were possible is it desirable to do something for half of a century and not learn anything new? Those folks who started their company in suburban Texas in 1958 may not have changed but I can guarantee that their customers have. Today's pizza consumers and pizza makers are more adventurous, more knowledgeable, and have deeper experience than any generation that came before.
Could this in any way compare to marching up down the floor doing the same punch, which you would never use in real life, over and over for 30 minutes?
Is it me or do you see a comparison to "traditional karate?"
The way I see it our jobs as Sensei, Shihan or whatever title you carry is to stop repeating the mistakes of our past. This does not diminish our predecessors, I believe if they knew better they would have done better.
We need to stop trying to preserve the ashes of tradition and break through old barriers help our students to stand on our shoulders and not under our thumb.
Note from the editors of the Wado Newsletter: Doug Jepperson raises a very important and controversial point here. We would love to hear what you think about the relationship of traditional vs. innovation. Is "traditional" a misused or misunderstood term, or is it a way to protect against unnecessary tampering and the diminishing of quality? Where do you stand on this issue?
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
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
January 13th -15th Belgium
January 23rd -25th Greece
Contact: angelos gorgas firstname.lastname@example.org
January 26th -29th Cyprus
Contact: Marios Vatiliotis (00357 22) 348790
February 3rd-5th Holland
Contact: Chris Christodoulatos email@example.com
February 17th - 19th UK Winter course
Contact: Jon Wicks. firstname.lastname@example.org
Wado Kai Winter Seminar 2012
New York City
January 20,21, &22
Instructor: Sensei Nash
For additional information: Sensei Guarionex Martinez
Wado Kai Germany
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 founded by Hironori Ohtsuka and is based on two pillars: Shindo Yoshin Ryu and Karate. The training seminar conveys the historical connection of Wado Ryu and Shindo Yoshin Ryu and offers an extensive understanding of the motivation of Hironori Ohtsuka and Wado Ryu, too.
Information: Christina Gutz, Tel. +49 (0)30 6937316,
mail to Ch.Gutz@gmx.de
Location Sports hall OSZ Handel 1, Wrangelstraße 98/Zeughofstraße,
U-Bahnhof Görlitzer Bahnhof
Entry sportshall: Zeughofstraße
|Wado Seminar Florida USA
Seminar Instructor: Sensei Butch Balingit
January 27 and 28, 2012
American Sports Karate Dojo
For Additional information contact Sensei Eric Masino
|JKF Wado Kai Japan |
Technical Seminar & Examination for Instructors and Dan-grading Examinations for Overseas Members
|Wado Kai Seminar Manchester UK |
Over the weekend of 2/3/4 of March 2012, we will be hosting a seminar with Shimura sensei and Katsube sensei, senior students of Toru Arakawa sensei 9th Dan. Both instructors are 7th Dan and hold the 1st Kyu Instructor License issued by JKF Wadokai.
The seminar will be held at the MMU Didsbury Sports Centre, located off Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, South Manchester.
The seminar in 2011, saw students from all over the UK as well as some who travelled from further afield including Germany, Hungary and Ireland. It is a good opportunity to meet Wado karateka from different groups and train together. The emphasis is on technical training so is ideal for anyone hoping to takes Dan grade or the Instructor license tests under JKF Wadokai rules.
Register your interest by sending an email to March 2012 Seminar Registration
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
Wado Journal: Japan Training October 2011
by Ben Pollock
Through October and November of 2011, I stayed in Japan, training in the JKF Wadokai dojo in Tokyo and Kyoto. For the most part this meant training at Arakawa sensei's dojo and Takagi sensei's dojo with the other days spent at various local dojo and seminars.
The first of these was Koyama sensei's private dojo which forms the ground floor of his house in Kita Kamakura (not far from the Engakuji temple - a favourite haunt for photo hungry Shotokan karateka wanting their picture next to Funakoshi Gichin's memorial).
Koyama sensei is an 8th Dan and student of Arakawa sensei, originally at the Waseda University club. He is Katsube sensei's senior by five years. After having two back operations he's not as fast as he was but he still has nice movement and gives lots of helpful advice.
To read the rest of this journal: link
|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
The Present Moment
A Japanese warrior was captured by his enemies and thrown into prison. That night he was unable to sleep because he feared that the next day he would be interrogated, tortured, and executed. Then the words of his Zen master came to him, "Tomorrow is not real. It is an illusion. The only reality is now." Heeding these words, the warrior became peaceful and fell asleep.
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
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:
Ray Hughes Editor
Happy New Year! We at the Wado newsletter hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season. The question now is have you made your New Year resolutions?
I don't really do New Year resolutions. However, I do something like resolutions on a daily basis. Strategies like; what can I do today that will help me be a better human being tomorrow, how can I lose weight, and what can I do to be a better teacher. You know the usual things most of us old guys think about.
One thing I want to expand on in this year's newsletter is create more provocative thinking. Touch on subjects outside of Wado technique. Subjects such as why do we do martial arts, what should the point of training really be, what is the true definition of a sensei, what makes an instructor egotistical and condescending, and many other topics that make us take a moment to pause and think.
The point of this is not to create argument but to invoke conversation among people who have interest in philosophical thought. The readers of this newsletters have a variety of interests; technique, sport, history, teaching skills, business concepts, and of course my favorite, philosophy. We want to cover all of these areas in this newsletter.
Like many of you, I wear many hats. I am a student, a sensei, a member of several organizations, and of course dojo janitor. The last is probably the most important. My goal is to improve at all of them. To improve one needs to look at oneself in the mirror and learn by the actions of others. If this isn't martial arts, I don't know what is.
The question I will leave with you this month is "when does loyalty change to subservience?" This is a question I often ask myself. I don't want my students to be subservient martial artists; I have seen those types of students. I don't want to be subservient and I don't want to be a part of an organization that wants subservient members. But I understand the importance of loyalty. How can you tell what is loyalty or subservience, especially when you disagree with an action. You have to ask this difficult question while working through your own ego, justification, pride, and other personal mental battles.
If you have a thought on this subject, please send it in. I have some ideas I will express in next month's newsletter. I ask you, aren't you mildly curious what others think about such a deep and difficult topic?
Until next month,
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
Ray Hughes owns and operates the
Scottsdale Martial Arts Center, Inc.