a Monthly International Newsletter
June 2014

Ohtsuka head                 








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

-Hironori Ohtsuka




In This Issue
Editor's Notes
Wado Books
Memoriam-Robbie Smith
The Karate Tapestry
Preemptive Distraction
A Student of Budo or Olympian
Zen Stories
Moral Wisdom
Wado Seminar
Wado Agenda
Wado and TSYR Pentecost Seminar
Wadoryu Summer Camp
Other Seminars and Events
Join Our Mailing List
    Editor's   Notes
AW photo
Ray Hughes
Lost Voices

I was at a tournament a month or so ago when a gentleman that I didn't formally know came up to me, holding up his I-Phone, and tells me he reads our newsletter every month.

After some small talk, he started talking about the dangers that youth face in New York City and how karate instruction helped.

He was quite eloquent and passionate about the subject and came across from a different point of view about karate instruction to kids.

I encouraged him to write an article about his views. I'm not sure if he will.

The point I'm making here is that there are many great views and philosophies about the various aspects of the martial arts. I sometimes feel that people don't think their views are worthy of discussion, though they are extremely passionate about them.

I know its difficult to find time to write. But it is extremely important to the martial art world to discuss various views. If we don't, we may make some of the same mistakes our predecessors have made. What is that saying about "History repeating itself?"
Anyway, think about it.

Until the next newsletter, keep kicking and punching. 




Welcome to the world of karate history, philosophy, other martial art information 


Dear Karate Enthusiast;


The purpose of this newsletter is to pass on historical information, philosophical views and activities of interest to karate martial artists around the world. Please send your article, 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. Please send posters and pictures in small jpeg files, thank you. 


Instructors, please forward to other karate enthusiasts,  

thank you.



Volunteer Staff

Contact Us


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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. 

Igata and Kata

by Master Otsuka 



(I was unable to print the kanji for igata and kata)  

The first character is read as "igata."  Pots made from the igata of pots are all the same, with no differences.  Igata of pots serve no other purpose, except to make pots.


Martial arts must never become an "igata."  It is always "kata". "Kata is to express; as a mirror does, it changes with every action and situation.  A mirror figure changes just as its reflection does.  This essentially, it the "kata" of martial arts.


"Igata" is dead - it has no life; "kata" is alive.  The dead "igata" has no purpose.  Because kata is alive, it can be utilized.  Thus when using the kata of martial arts, one must use it in accordance to the meaning and objective it has, or else it becomes useless.


To use an alive kata is difficult, but it is important in martial arts training.  Depending on the individual using it, the same kata can be very different.  This is because one's personality shows through in his kata.  The fact that "kata" is preferred over "igata" does not apply only to martial arts alone.  In writing, if one writes in an "igata" manner, the words do not "live" - it only becomes a sign or display of words.  It may seem wonderful, but looks alone cannot be said to be skillful.


In order to excel in writing, one must practice at least three years, I heard.  Otherwise, words will "die."  The same can be said for indigenous folk dancing.  The manner in which one moves his body, arms and legs may appear to be beautiful, ("igata") but if the dance itself ("kata") is dead, the dancing becomes meaningless. The music, lyrics, dance and so on first come to "life" only when it is kata and not igata, are observed. Acting, music, singing-all are applicable.


When unrelated igata is combined to music, dance, or song (or anything else), it becomes meaningless.  In martial arts, the movements in each kata are no exception.  These movements are identical to the stroke of the brush in writing.  


Correct movements, together as a whole, form the fundamental movements which form the kata.  Kata must be correct, unlimited and most of all alive.  Martial arts progresses from kata to kumite, kumite to combat and so on.  Kata is a fundamental aspect of martial arts and hence is unyieldingly important.  It can never just be "form."  It is essential to train for the "living" form.  Martial arts, then is a "kata" - not an "igata."   



In Memoriam

Robbie Smith
Sensei Robbie Smith

Sensei Robbie Smith

The Wado world is sad with the unexpected passing of Robbie Smith.

We will miss you.


The Karate Tapestry - Part 1

The Ming Dynasty



Robert Hunt

Robert Hunt
Robert Hunt


There is no beginning and no end.  


            Becoming increasingly aware of the significance of that statement, some years ago I adopted the Japanese "Enso" symbol, because it illustrated so well my despair at trying to contain and comprehend the relentless, diabolical passage of time.


            In the middle ages, Japanese Buddhist monks meditated over a sheet of rice paper, and, when they felt the moment right, drew a circle - the "Enso". It represented a precise moment and the futility of ever preserving that moment.


            A circle never ends.

So is karate like the Enso. No beginning. The end is now...for now.  The best we can do is jump in somewhere and ride the story until we arrive at today...which immediately fades into tomorrow and into the Enso.


            Some see a beginning of the karate story with the journey of the Indian Buddhist monk, Bodhidarma (called Tamo by the Chinese) who traveled to China in 527 AD to introduce a new kind of Buddhism - Chan, also known as Zen. They choose that point on the great mandala because persistent legend has it that Tamo settled in the recently formed Shaolin temple and taught exercises to the out-of-shape monks which evolved into Shaolin martial arts and ultimately Okinawan karate.


            Tamo was real, but did he start the Shaolin martial arts?  Maybe. That was 1500 years ago and although legends are persistent, records are scarce. Martial arts were part of Chinese culture for centuries before Tamo.


If you seek the origins of Okinawan karate, however, it might be well to begin in 1368 with the dawn of the Ming Dynasty in China and the House of Zhu, the family name of the Ming Emperors. The history of the Ming is more intertwined with Okinawan martial arts than almost any other aspect of Chinese history. Tamo may have engendered a philosophical martial practice in the misty shadows of Chinese history, but the Ming played a pivotal role in what you and I do on the dojo floor today.



ClickHEREto read the rest of the article  


To contact Robert Hunt  





Preemptive Distraction
Ray Hughes
Another Technique for Teaching Children Philosophy




I received many requests from last month's newsletter asking me to expand on philosophical teaching techniques for children.  I was pleasantly surprised to see an interest in teaching techniques outside physical development techniques.  Below is another technique I use to teach children philosophy and life skills.  


One technique I use almost on a daily basis is the "Preemptive Distraction Technique." This technique is comprised of two components.  The first is the actual action and the second is the philosophical relationship to future situations.  The age of the child dictates when the second component is brought in. (Remember, adult are just big kids.) 


The Problem  


One thing we martial art teachers try to do is teach children to work hard and strive for goals. Of course "goals" is a contradiction to deep martial art philosophy.  We are supposed to train for the sake of training and not for the egotistical gratification of reward or social status.  Belt ranks are a good example of this necessary contradiction and I could write a book on this topic alone.  And although I actually believe in this "train for the sake of training" philosophy, children and beginning students are not initially ready to grasp this philosophy, let alone apply it in successful living.  However, what's nice is we can take this contradiction and use it to teach a powerful life skill that every child must have to be successful in life.  That skill is learning to overcome failure.


Many believe we are failing our children in today's politically correct society because we are not teaching them the skill to deal with failure.  We all agree this skill is paramount for success and happy living.  It just seems parents and teachers are afraid to teach this skill because they don't want to hurt children's feelings.  Maybe this is because in today's society it could be considered a form of abuse.  I think it's mostly because we love kids and don't want to see them hurt. Unfortunately, this skill is vital and cannot be learned without some pain.  It can, however, be handled in a way that pain is minimized and yet the skill of "learning to fail" is realized.  This is accomplished through strategy and humor.



To read the rest of this article click HERE


Ray Hughes

Scottsdale Martial Arts Center





A student of Budo or an Olympian is there any difference?

Doug Jepperson1
Doug Jepperson

by Doug Jepperson



Recently a friend of mine was discussing various karate schools around the country and he made an offhand remark about a particular karate school stating it was only a "Sports School." I made the usual defense by saying they also train seriously in a traditional curriculum. But then I got to thinking, what difference does it make? Is it so bad to call a Karate School a Sports School?


This is a great segue to my recent columns. If you have read my columns since the first of the year you may remember we have shared some interviews with George Kotaka, Erik Scholopy and Summer Sanders. These three individuals who participate in wildly different sports, Karate, Downhill Skiing and Swimming, share more characteristics than differences. All of them are humble great human beings first. Dedicated athletes next. They all work assiduously at their craft. But are also eager to teach and share.   


My point in writing down these interviews was to point out that great achievement in sports and a life long dedication to Budo might be the same thing.  But you be the judge, I will forthwith lay out my case.


As to Budo or Bushido, ironically it was not until the dawn of the 20th century that Inazo Nitobe, canonized the idea of Bushido, in his book, "Bushido: the Soul of Japan." Of course Nitobe did not invent the Samurai, but he did by and large create the image of the Samurai that we still use today.  The concept of the Samurai we all love today is a very recent invention.  Most everyone in martial arts has read Musashi's book, "Go Rin No Sho," the "Book of Five Rings." But this book was largely unknown until the newspaper writer Eji Yoshikawa wrote a serialized version of Musashi's life for the newspaper Asahi Shimbun in 1935. Yes 1935.  


To finish reading this article click HERE

Contact Doug Jepperson

Martial Art Humor

Japanese hunting dog

We all need a little humor in our life.  If you have a joke, send it in.

                  Zen Stories 


The Prime Minister of the Tang Dynasty was a national hero for his success as both a statesman and military leader. But despite his fame, power, and wealth, he considered himself a humble and devout Buddhist. Often he visited his favorite Zen master to study under him, and they seemed to get along very well. The fact that he was prime minister apparently had no effect on their relationship, which seemed to be simply one of a revered master and respectful student.

One day, during his usual visit, the Prime Minister asked the master, "Your Reverence, what is egotism according to Buddhism?" The master's face turned red, and in a very condescending and insulting tone of voice, he shot back, "What kind of stupid question is that!?"

This unexpected response so shocked the Prime Minister that he became sullen and angry. The Zen master then smiled and said, "THIS, Your Excellency, is egotism."





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


thinking man
Moral Wisdom

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." 

~ Winston Churchhill



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 Seminars and Events
Wado Agenda
Wado Karate Newsletter
by Rob van Leeuwen


Wado and TSYR Pentecost Seminar 2014

The Connection between Wado ryu and Shindo Yoshin ryu:

Proper Body Mechanics in Budo

June 7 - June 9, 2014


In Berlin

ClickHERE for additional information

Click Here for Registration Information

Wadoryu Summer Camp
July 20-25, 2014
Wado Kai logo

Hosted by Sensei Roberto Danubio

For additional information click HERE


WIKF Summer Course Spain 

August 18-22, 2014

WIKFCantabria, Spain

Sensei Jon Wicks, 8th dan and WIKF World Chief Instructor
Sensei Wim Massee, 7th dan, member of WIKF world technical commission, vice-chairman of WIKF Europa and chairman of WIKF Spain
Sensei Joaquin Gonzales, 6th dan, member of WIKF world technical commission, chairman of Portugal and coach of Portugal All Style Federation

For more information: (+0034) 942 843139

All Wado Trophy
August 30/31, 2014 

Once again we are proud to announce that our competition All Wado Trophy will be held in August 2014!

Best competitor, coach or spectator!

August 30th - 31th, 2014, we are arranging a friendship competition for Wado practitioners. Gathering participants from all nuances of Wado, from any organization, from any country. Everybody is welcome!
The purpose of the competition is to gather under friendly circumstances and participate in the competition in the spirit of respect to each other and to ourselves. We want to give everybody the opportunity to participate, therefore registration will be done by the dojo, or yourself.

Even though this is a WADO contest, all karate practitioners are welcome to participate. The competition will follow the WKF rules with the exeption that only Wado kata will be allowed. In the SPECIAL KATA CATEGORIES, (physical or intellectual disabilities) any kata can be performed.

We will also have categories for practitioners with physical disabilities.
No limits of participants from each country.

For the individual categories you compete with your name, dojo and country. For team kumite, you compete for your country. You can choose, either register a team from your dojo, or gather with other dojos from your country and make a team. No limits of the numbers of teams per country. The teams will be named at the competition as "country" followed by a number in the order they register. So first team from England that register, will be "England 1" on so on.


 Other Seminars and Events


        6/6,7,8  2014 USA Elite Karate Training Camp     
        USA Karate sanctioned Event  pskc@comcast.net
        6/6,7,8  WIKF Wado Seminar/Jon Wicks   contact:
              San Benedetto del Tronto Italy                
         6/7 Scottsdale Karate Championship          Ray Hughes
               Scottsdale, Arizona                      rhughes@usakarateaz.org
         6/7 Tennessee State Championships & USA Qualifier  Joe Waldez
                Gallatan, Tennessee                     fightingspiritkarate.com         
         6-8   2014 USA Elite Training Camp       412-741-7448
                 Sheraton Airport Hotel                 www.pskc.biz
                 Moon Township, PA
          6-8 Thomas LaPuppet Memorial Classic  Ronankaratedo@gmail.com
              Jamaica, New York

         6/14  Utah State Championship & Nat'l Qualifier   Sensei Jepperson
                   Park City, Utah                                  parkcitykarate.com

        6-15 Northern California Invitational                   coachmarycrawford@gmail.com
                   Karate Tournament                                     www.okaigan.com
                   Cupertino High School
                   Finch Ave, Cupertino, Ca    

        6/20,21,22  WIKF Wado Seminar/Jon Wicks       contact:Philip Smith
                          Southern Ireland                philipsmith1986@gmail.com

        6/26      USANKF Referee Seminar  w/ Sensei Maladi    Sensei Fukuda
                     Fountain Valley, Ca.                                     714-585-6697

        6/28,29  WIKF Leaders Course (WIKF students only)
                      contact: Jon Wicks   jonwicks@su-ha-ri.co.uk


      7/4,5,6  WIKF Wado Seminar/Jon Wicks   contact: Joaquim  Goncalves
                   Portugal                    joaquimgoncalves2@gmail.com      


USA Karate National Championship


USA Karate



AAU National Championships

Ft Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center, Ft Lauderdale, FL



       7/22-26 Alaskan Jundokan Friendship Summer Invitational
                   contact: Mark Meyer 480-296-8408 mmeyer116@yahoo.com

  40th JKF Gojukai Tournament      naoya.shioji@city.wakayama.lg.jp
                       Sendai City, Japan



     8/4-10  International Antalya Open    turkishkarate@gmail.com                
                 Ercument TASDEMIR              
     8/6-10  2014 Camp Shotokan                              Ed Otis
                 Carlsbad, California               e.otis@americanjka.com
     8/30  Top of Texas Karate Championships         Sensei Lee Gray
                 Amarillo, Texas                           lee-gray@shobukan.org   



Itosu-Kai Karate Tournament

Soka University, 1 University Dr, Aliso Viejo, CA 92693

David Crockett


      9/19,20 WIKF Pan American Championships
                   Curacao   details to come 


     10/3-5   Rocky Mountain Gasshuku               Sensei Madani         
                     Granby, Colorado                            imakarate.com


New York Open

Cleve Baxter


Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Rd, Valhalla, NY 10595

(914) 665-2752


Hollenbeck Invitational Karate Championship

CSULA, 5151 State University Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90032

Enrique Mares


         10/25    Fonseca Cup                                      info@fonsecamartialarts.com



UCI Collegiate Tournament

UCI, Anteater Recreation Center, 680 California Ave, Irvine, CA

Bruce Nuygen/Chad Eagan



Adlawan Cup Food Drive Tournament

Salgado Community Center, 706 N Newhope, Santa Ana, CA 92703

Pete Mangosing



Tomodachi Cup

Boys & Girls Club of Westminster, 14400 Chestnut St, Westminster, CA 92683

Akira Fukuda


      11/20-26    2014 Hawaii Retreat      info@fonsecamartialarts.com   




       8/15            Wado Kai Karate-Do World Cup
                            Nagoya, Japan