Ohtsuka head                 








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

-Hironori Ohtsuka


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WADOand other martial art information

a Monthly International Newsletter

April 2013
In This Issue
Featured Article "Reality Check"
Wado Books
"Never Ending Growth" by Doug Jepperson
"Your Teacher"name...." by Robert Hunt
Martial Arts Humor
Zen Stories
Wado Seminar Update
WIKF Seminars
Wa no Kizuna Invitational
Article Headline
Tennessee Championships
Utah State Championships
Summer Wado Course
New Wado book
Kushanku and Chinto Figurines
Koshiki no Te magazine
Moral Wisdom
Hunt Article Continue

"Reality Check"

AW photo

Ray Hughes


I recently promoted a tournament and experienced a "reality check" in an area that needs to be refocused on from time to time.


We have all heard the arguments between those who feel there is value in sport karate and those who adamantly oppose it. Both sides state that self-defense is a priority and present strong arguments that support their side. Because most of us already know those views, I don't want to go into them in this article. But I do want to address a self-defense "reality check" issue that comes out of this argument.


I had two parents enter their young children into the tournament. Both had concerns on whether their children were ready for competition. They were worried about the stress and if their children had adequate training to compete in a tournament. These children were 7 years of age and have been training in my program for about a year. I told them I felt their children had enough training to start experiencing the world of competition.


One child went to the competition and had a difficult time. He was extremely nervous and did not compete well. He was intimidated by the other kids and was very emotional.


The other child never went to the competition. At the last minute the parents decided not to go to the tournament because their child was nervous and felt competition wasn't his thing.


The first parent contacted me after the tournament and wanted to do more to help her child be better prepared, both mentally and physically. The second parent simply went back to their original dojo training routine.


The question is if these children had to defend themselves today what would the outcome be? I think the answer is obvious. And if the answer is obvious, which parent is doing the right thing?


Both of these parents put their children into karate to learn self-defense and develop discipline. If the priority of the parents and the school is to teach the children self-defense skills, then both physical and mental training need to be addressed.


Self-defense competency means more than simply learning self-defense techniques. The mental development is as important if not more than physical growth. It is this area where the two sides, supporters of sport karate and those who oppose it, differ in their approach to this problem.


The question is how do you teach the student to successfully defend themselves in an extremely stressful situation?  How do you teach the student how to handle the adrenaline rush, the narrowing of vision, the shortness of breath, the decline in small motor skills, the onslaught of fatigue, and the overall shock one faces in a life threatening situation?  Do you think its best done by lecture, watching a video, or just practicing physical techniques and talking strategy?

I don't think so.


There are a few individuals with the right DNA that can react properly in life threatening situations.  However, the majority of us need to train for those situations.


From my own experience and the many decades of observing others, the only way to teach this skill is by placing the individual into stressful situations. Then having them reflect on the experience, readjust their thinking and physical training, and then do it again. The stressful situation also needs to resemble, as close as possible, a self-defense situation.


Simply training in the dojo is not enough. The student becomes too comfortable with the surroundings and with the other students. They are not training in a high stress environment.


As an instructor, just as with a parent, I feel the uncomfortable feeling of watching one of my students struggle with competition. I resist the feeling of wanting to protect the child because I clearly remember how horrible a real self-defense situation can be and want my  students prepared for that inevitable day.  Like most instructors I would love my students to win every match. Victory is nice and something to strive for, but the priority is for the student to learn how to deal with stress and perform at one's potential. Winning is quite secondary.


"Learning to function under stress is a process of practicing under stress."  What better way, in a relatively safe manner, to learn the skills of stress management than in a karate competition?


The final question, which parent is making the best decision to help their child learn self-defense?



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Welcome to the world of "Wado"and other Martial Art Information 


Dear Wado Enthusiast and other karate practitioners;


This newsletter is to help keep Wado enthusiasts and others 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 information that may be of interest to Wado or other karate enthusiast. Please send a photo of the author with the article.


Instructors, please forward to a Wado enthusiast or other karate practitioners, thank you.



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Disclaimer: Titles                   bow


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



Wado Books & Information

Editor's note: There are many Wado practitioners in the world that do not have access to Wado books and literature for one reason or another. In this section we will publish key parts of Wado books and direct the reader to where they can be purchased. We will publish the author's introductions and philosophies but not the technical components of the book. Wado Ryu Karate

We are continuing with another writing from Master Otsuka's book Wado Ryu Karate, published by Masters Publication. This book can be purchased at Amazon.com. 

The Path and Technique

by Master Otsuka


In the past, ken-jitsu, jui-jitsu and archery, etc. were called techniques. During the Meiji era, the late Jigoro Kano began to call jui-jitsu "judo," ken-jitsu "kendo," and so on; incorporating "path" into the name instead of technique.


There was an inclination however, during the Meiji era to downplay the value of martial arts due to the cultural expansion of Japanese society. Equality was emphasized, thus, martial arts were no longer exclusive to the feudal class and peasants, farmers - "normal" people - were free to practice martial arts.


The feudal class too began to practice other forms of martial arts as well, due to no longer being exclusive - martial arts became unimportant to a certain extent. Later on however, interest in the martial arts was re-established as kendo and judo became incorporated with physical education at schools and other educational institutions.


How then, is "path" and "technique" different? Looking at the characters for both, they both intend some type of logic.


"Path" and "technique" intend the same objective. There is no difference in using either term. During the Meiji era, it may seem to have sounded more prideful or "established" to use "path" rather than "technique." This may be so because "path" seems to emphasize the mental aspect more than the technique by itself. If that is the case, then, there is a difference between "path" and "technique."


The relationship between techniques and the mental aspects of martial art disappears and would not lead to one's mastering of that martial art. "Technique" is said to include both the mind and skill. Therefore, then, "path" ought to be defined similarly.


To regard with the view that skill is inferior to the mind in importance would be utterly pointless and futile. In order to address both skill and the mind, it should not matter whether "path" or "technique" is used. If "path" sounds more correct, that is fine; however, no bias should be placed on "technique."


Conversely, the same applies for "technique" as well. To see this situation otherwise would be synonymous with blasphemy of the martial arts itself. Skill must be the kind of skill that expresses the mind. By practicing with skill that expresses one's mind can one train his own mind. The mind and skill of martial arts must be one unified whole, or there would be no meaning to training for that martial art. A lack of that unity as one would be detrimental to society; if such is the case, martial arts should not even be practiced or learned.




by Doug Jepperson

Doug Jepperson1
Doug Jepperson


At the newsletter headquarters we have received a number of letters, (emails really) complaining among other complaints that today's karate students are not as motivated as they were some years ago.


Hogwash is my reaction, karate is more popular today than at any time previous, but the demographics have changed.


As to motivation, if a student is not motivated it is most likely the Sensei's fault not the student. "By age 15, 75% of youth no longer play organized sports," Harris S. Readiness to participate in sports. The USOC completed a study on this subject and determined the primary reason young athletes quit was adults, coaches, parents and or officials. With reasons that include, not learning new material, boring training, too much competition and too little competition.


Dan Friegang, PhD, sports psychologist for the USOC, said that to keep kids in sports we need to give them the motivation to continue.


To read the rest of this article click HERE.   



Doug Jepperson

Park City Karate





This is the fourth article of brief overviews on the more popular karate styles 


Robert Hunt
Sensei Hunt





Robert Hunt



The Great Double-Entendre


The world of karate is a strange and wonderful place, filled with a kaleidoscope of colorful characters on uncountable odyssey's. The roller coaster never seems to end, it just bangs and rattles, climbs and falls until we pull into the exit somewhere down the line and step away exhilarated from the ride. 


Ohtsuka Hironori was a 29 year old budding jiujutsu student from a prominent Japanese family, when Prince (later Emperor) Hirohito "discovered" karate on his trip to Okinawa in 1921 and asked that some Okinawan visit mainland Japan to teach.  Funakoshi, then Mabuni, then Motobu answered Hirohito's plea and karate appeared in Japan.


            Ohtsuka, being a young martial artist already, became interested and sought instruction first from Funakoshi, then later from Mabuni and Motobu. It is said that Hirohito, himself, ultimately asked Ohtsuka, who was of somewhat noble or "Samurai" birth, to create a "Japanese" version of karate. This is a window into early twentieth century Asian politics.  Although coming out of Okinawa, karate was still considered a Chinese art. (The kanji then meant "Chinese Hand".) Japan wanted it incorporated into the Japanese martial system but not as something Chinese. The Japanese had a love-hate relationship with China dating back a couple thousand years.



Because of technical problems, see bottom of this newsletter to read the rest of this article.    



Sensei Hunt holds Dan ranks in Wado Ryu, Shito Ryu and Shotokan.


 Robert Hunt is the author of the book "The Art and the Way". Click the title to get information about this book. To order the book click HERE.


You can contact Sensei Hunt at steelmoon@hushmail.com


Sensei Kaichō Rivera

Sensei  Rivera

锻练 Discipline


Discipline is one attribute that most do not posses or fully demonstrate to their potential.    Most

sentient beings allow or manifest a lackadaisical   demeanor or behavior. This unfortunately compounds

the duality of one's so-called Reality with True Reality, or Subject versus Object left-side or logical side of

brain   thinking.   And   with   this   type   of   mindset   of   the   aforesaid,   one   continues   to   externalize   one's

surroundings and perceptions of True Reality instead of internalizing oneself and thus, transcend oneself

in all aspects of one's life.

There are many ways for one to be able to achieve this attribute of discipline and balance.    And

Martial Arts are one of its greatest endeavors, but most others suffice as long as they require for one's to

demonstrate dedication/commitment, respect, appreciation, and conviction. So, in regards to Discipline

one  is  committed  to  one's  endeavor  or  focus  of  enlightenment.  Therefore,  one  learns  to  be  loyal  and

respectful  of  one's  discipline  to  for  argument's  sake,    Martial  Arts,  pertaining  to  a  regime  or  schedule,

i.e., times and days of training, as well as conviction and appreciation to respect it (ones's training) and

train hard each time.

Try using case studies, success stories, testimonials or examples of how others used your product or service successfully. Solicit material from clients and vendors, or ask your readers to write. It's a win-win! You get relevant content, and they get exposure.


Insert a "read on" link at the bottom of your article to drive traffic to your website. Links are tracked, allowing you to see which articles create the most interest for your readers.

To read the rest if this article click HERE.

To contact or get more information on Sensei Rivera




From Enlightened Society to Detroit

By Jeff Fink-published in Shambhala Times

He had very kind eyes. But his robe was the most distinctive feature of this Christian monk who took his seat next to me on this first leg of my journey home to Utah from Enlightened Society Assembly at Karme Choling. A man about my age, mid fifties, with a grey, shortly cropped beard, he was intent on his prayer book as we took off (in Latin I noticed,) so we settled into a companionable silence as we flew, each reading and napping by turns.


As we landed in Detroit, we began the usual travelers' banter. I asked him where he was going. Home to Birmingham Alabama, he said. I asked him which order he belonged to. The Franciscans, he told me, I work for the largest religious television station in the world, and proudly produced a brochure featuring a smiling, rotund nun who is apparently the Oprah of that corner of the world. And you, he asked, where are you coming from? A meditation retreat at Karme Choling in Vermont, I said. It's a Shambhala Buddhist center. He was unfamiliar with Shambhala, so we talked a bit about Chogyam Trungpa and the Sakyong, about the Tibetan roots of our tradition, about the teachings of Basic Goodness and of Enlightened Society. Enlightened Society, he said, how do you make that happen? That's the question of the hour, isn't it? I answered, and we both laughed chuckled.


To read the rest of this article click HERE




    We All Need A Little Humor In Our Life.  If You Have a Joke, Please Send It In.







A Tibetan story tells of a meditation student who, while meditating in his room, believed he saw a spider descending in front of him. Each day the menacing creature returned, growing larger and larger each time. So frightened was the student, that he went to his teacher to report his dilemma. He said he planned to place a knife in his lap during meditation, so when the spider appeared he would kill it. The teacher advised him against this plan. Instead, he suggested, bring a piece of chalk to meditation, and when the spider appeared, mark an "X" on its belly. Then report back.


The student returned to his meditation. When the spider again appeared, he resisted the urge to attack it, and instead did just what the master suggested. When he later reported back to the master, the teacher told him to lift up his shirt and look at his own belly. There was the "X". 






We all need a little Zen in our Lives. If you have a story, please send it in.



Wado Seminar

Article by Christina Gutz  


"Ten Chi Jin is the key to developing Nairiki, the key to unlocking the true depth of Japanese budo." Takamura Yukiyoshi - Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin Ryu


Wado Course with Toby Threadgill (USA) and Bob Nash (USA) in Berlin from 23nd to 25th February, 2013


150 students, among these numerous guests from Denmark, Finland, Portugal, Sweden, and Hungary, trained for two days under the instruction of Toby Threadgill (Menkyo Kaiden, Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jujutsu) and Bob Nash (7th Dan JKF Wadokai) in Berlin. More than 20 blackbelts attended the train-the-trainer session conducted by Bob Nash on Monday evening. National and international contacts could again be established and intensified at this traditional Berlin Wado course. It was a great pleasure and honor to welcome Shuzo Imai, 8th Dan Wado Ryu, as a guest for the second time.


This Wado course was a special one because it placed the focus on an important aspect which is hardly ever taught in this way: The relationship between Ten Chi Jin and Nairiki in general and its meaning for Shindo Yoshin Ryu and Wado Ryu in particular.

Nash, Threadgill, Imai, Gutz
Sensei Nash, Sensei Threadgill, Imai Sensei, and Sensei Gutz


Try using case studies, success stories, testimonials or examples of how others used your product or service successfully. Solicit material from clients and vendors, or ask your readers to write. It's a win-win! You get relevant content, and they get exposure.


Insert a "read on" link at the bottom of your article to drive traffic to your website. Links are tracked, allowing you to see which articles create the most interest for your readers.

To read the rest of this article click HERE.




WIKF Wado Karate Seminars 



 Sensei Jon Wicks

WIKF World Chief Instructor

Jon Wicks
Sensei Wicks
Click HERE for schedule 
43rd Anniversary 
Wa no Kizuna Invitational
Wado Kai logo
Karate Championships

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Jefferson High School
2305 Pierce St.
Edgewater, Co. 
Kurobane Sensei
Kurobane Sensei

For more information







 pre-registration only 


 deadline April 13, 2013 



Kazutaka Otsuka
Kazutaka Ohtsuka Sensei
Kazutaka Ohtsuka Sensei Seminar

April 27 and 28, 2013

Click Here for details

Wado Ryu logo

USA Karate Logo                                   USANKF                                       

USA-NKF National Qualifier & Tennessee State Championships

Joe Valdez
Sensei Valdez

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Volunteer State Community College
Pickel Field House
1480 Nashville Pike, Gallatin TN 37066

for more information

Tournament Flier click HERE
Divisions & Itinerary click HERE
Tournament Letter click HERE
USANKF USA Karate Logo

Utah State Championships 
and USA Karate National Qualifier

Park City, Utah USA 
  June 1, 2013
Fariba Madani
Sensei Fariba

Referee Seminar 
 May 31, 2013 
Sensei Fariba

Tom Scott
Tom Scott
Kumite Seminar    
May 31, 2013 
Tom Scott

Register on line click HERE

For additional tournament and seminar information click Doug Jepperson1
Tournament Sponsor
Park City Karate 
Sensei Doug Jepperson

USA Karate Logo

International Wado Summer Karate Open Course 2013
Instructor - Yoshihiko Iwasaki Shihan 
Iwasaki course
Iwasaki Sensei

Venue; Gyomaendrod, Hungary

Date; Sunday 4th - Friday 9th August 2013

Events will be included as below

Traditional Wado Karata inc Kumite, Kata and Ohyo Waza (Application arts), Refree course, Kumite Competition and Dan grading,

Early morning training 6.30am includes Taichi (Ki exercise)

For additional information:
Additional Information and Application click HERE
Poster click HERE

New Wado Book


Wado book   


Bespoke Karate figurines

Handmade in the U.K. by Karateka


  Kushanku Figurine


Kushanku figurine 




 £25 ($40 us)

plus P&P £15 ($24us)

These prices are for figurines on a unadorned base. 

Wado base £10 ($16us)


figurines are available on Ebay U.K


wado specific figurine for use as a trophy ,award or as you wish,made in the U.K.by martial artists

For additional information contact    Paul David Hammond figurine basechinto on new base  





coming soon.....chinto front figurine chinto back figurine  


Koshikinote new

Wado Ryu
by Robert Hunt

Continue: The Great Double-Entendre

So Ohtsuka, either from the Emperor or of his own motivation, acquired the mission of developing a Japanese karate style. He hung out with the Okinawans - Funakoshi, Mabuni, and Motobu, adjusted their kata with his ideas, added his jiujutsu, included a couple of hundred techniques he created with the goal of making it more sophisticated, came up with

Wado Ryu and gave the world a premier double-entendre.  


            When I studied Wado in the 1960's and 1970's, Shintani Sensei told us that it meant "Way of Harmony" -  very noble and poetic and in sync with Sensei's harmonious nature. But I also studied the Japanese language at Thunderbird, an international business graduate school in the Phoenix area. One day I took my uniform to class and tossed it on my desk, Wado patch exposed.  


            My Japanese language teacher, Mr. Kumayama, in passing said "Oh, you do karate?" 


            I proudly nodded  - "yep!"

            "I see you do the Japanese Way," he continued.

            "Huh?" I mumbled.

            "Your patch. It say Japanese Way," he clarified.

            "It d...does?" I stuttered.

            He was the teacher and Japanese to boot. What could I say?


"Doesn't it say the Way of Harmony?" I asked. "Sensei says it means Way of Harmony or Peace."

            He studied it a bit. "Ahhhh, yes. That too."


            Turns out "

wa" does mean "harmony" and "peace".  But, in an interesting twist of the tongue, it also carries, to the Japanese ear, the idea of "things Japanese". "Wa-fuku" are Japanese clothes. A "wa-ka" is a type of Japanese poem. "wa-shoku" is Japanese food. To the medieval Japanese mind, harmony "wa" was "Japan". The rest of the world was strange and crazy - inharmonious. Japanese friends have told me that they hear Wado first as the "Japanese Way", and only after prompting, as "Way of Harmony" (Ahhhh, yes. That, too.)


I changed styles not long after that but have remained close to Wado through friends like Marlon Moore and Ray Hughes. What constitutes a "Japanese" style is a source of much reflection. Since karate came from Okinawa in the first place (1600-1900) and is almost as new to Japan (1922) as to the rest of the world (1948), an argument could be made that a "Mexican" style or a "Dutch" style is as logical as a Japanese one. History seems to be a moving target.


Be that as it may, Ohtsuka created Wado and injected his double-entendre into the eager world of karate. Was the double-entendre intentional, or just convenient? Or both? Probably only he knew, and he's gone.


            Whatever the case, he was a successful guy.  He built and managed an international organization with thousands of members and inspired them on. He is, of course, afforded a position in karate mythology that is oversized, but you can't take anything away from someone who could do what he did politically.


            Politics, in fact, (as in many karate systems), is probably Wado's organizational "Achilles Heel". The Wado related organizations are so rife with it that it has become somewhat difficult to swim in those waters, especially for a non-Japanese.


            Masaru Shintani, my early Sensei mentioned above, became so mired in Wado politics that he just gave up.  He was Canadian by birth, Samurai by ancestry and was awarded a 7th degree black belt by Ohtsuka, who apparently saw in Shintani the same thing I did, the embodiment of the harmony that Ohtsuka meant his style name to reflect. But, as an outsider, a Canadian with no connections to any Japanese dojo other than through Ohtsuka, Shintani was never accepted by the entrenched politicos.


The Wado system is essentially Mabuni Shi-To Ryu or possibly Funakoshi Shotokan, adjusted to fit the form that Ohtsuka envisioned. Being inheritor of a jiujutsu system, Ohtsuka tried to incorporate jiujutsu techniques into Wado to create a hybrid martial art reflective of the Japanese spirit.  It was a commendable idea, because jiujutsu compliments karate. But I don't believe a jiujutsu-karate art is what Ohtsuka achieved.  I believe that Ohtsuka came up with a way of movement, whether inadvertent or intentional, that embodies the idea of the harmony he chose for its name. It flows and moves in unison with the attacker - much like aikido - and ultimately overwhelms by not opposing. Wado can be a great art in the hands of a dedicated student, soft and flowing, hard and powerful. It can also be a great philosophy of life - to live in harmony. And it can be achieved, if you can find the essence of his Japanese Way.


            Other karate styles are defined by the kata that embody their system.  Wado is not.  Wado kata do not reflect what Ohtsuka was offering, at all. They are just standard Okinawan Shorin kata with a twist.  Wado is a way of looking at movement - soft, gentle, harmonious, powerful, dynamic, not the analysis of an ancient martial art by means of kata.

For example,

Tai Sabaki,

"Body Shifting" is a central theme of Wado movement. But, to my knowledge, Ohtsuka made no modifications in any of the katas to reflect that concept. What his goal was in changing the katas the way he did is anyone's guess, but it does not seem to be to pass on his Wado principles.


            The story of Ohtsuka and Wado karate is an interesting one.  I have a folder of letters that Ohtsuka wrote to Shintani over the years translated into English. It is a window into a karate point of view.


            There is enormous reward for those who can acquire and assimilate the ideals of a martial way and Ohtsuka's are no different - flow and attack, twist and turn, free the binding chains of conformity. Live in peace and harmony in the world.


            If we can steer clear of politicians.


  Wado drawing


An explanation of the kanji for the word "Wa" from Andrew Dykstra's

The Kanji ABC.