a Monthly International Newsletter
April 2015

Ohtsuka head                 








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

-Hironori Ohtsuka




In This Issue
Editor's Notes
Apr"es la Guerre by Robert Hunt
The Colored Belt System by Ray Hughes
The Bridge
Zen Stories
Moral Wisdom
Wado Seminar
Wado Seminar
Wado Agenda
WIKF Seminars with Sensei Wicks
Master Takagi Seminar
Competitions and Events
Join Our Mailing List
    Editor's   Notes
AW photo
Ray Hughes
"Being Judgmental"

I work hard to be wise. A battle I think I can't win.

Being a philosophical instructor, I try to teach my students not to be judgmental or make other miscues of the ego.

And yet, I recently made such a mistake.

 I had seen a gentleman around the tournament scene for many years without personally knowing him. I made a judgement of who I thought he was. So subtly, I didn't even realized  I had done it.

As fate usually goes, I was partnered with this individual at the Pan American Karate Championships in Toronto a week or so ago.

Needless to say, this individual was completely different than I imagined. Actually, we had a natural chemistry that may help develop this relationship into a great friendship someday.

The thing that jumped out to me, as we talked one night until 4:30 in the morning, was how many people I pass on a daily basis, I make indiscriminate judgements of, who could actually change the course of my life in a positive way.

That weekend I dedicated myself to pay more attention to this character defect of being judgmental and to put my hand out more often to introduce myself (which is not in my nature) to those I do not know.
It would be a shame to walk right by someone that could completely change the course of your life and never take the opportunity to let it happen.

Karate training comes in many forms, don't you think?  
Something to    think about.    


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

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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





Robert Hunt
Robert Hunt



Après la Guerre


The Karate Tapestry - Part 11


Robert Hunt



            Over 107,000 Japanese soldiers died in the Battle of Okinawa at the end of the Second World War and 100,000 Okinawan civilians, one fifth of the population. Women committed suicide, some taking their children with them, because the Japanese said Americans would rape and torture them.


            The island was obliterated, Shuri Castle reduced to rubble, almost all written archives destroyed, including, of course, karate. 


            The Americans needed the island as a base for its final attack on the Japan. Tojo wanted a buffer to hold them at bay until he could negotiate a treaty that wouldn't force a complete surrender. He planned to fortify southern Japan with every person who could carry a gun to slow the American invasion.


            The atomic bomb ended the war.


            The melancholy rebirth of a nation has a peculiar feel to it, at the same time in shock but hopeful of the future. The French gave a name to the confusing period - après la guerre, after the war.


            With nothing left but rubble, the Okinawans began to rebuild their country and their martial art. Many had nowhere to live. Chinen Teruo tells of his family moving back to Okinawa from Japan after the war, now sans father, and living under a makeshift canvas by an uncle's house (in Miyagi's neighborhood). When there was some semblance of habitat, the karate world began to piece itself together again.


            The Ryu Kyu islands came under U.S control and remained so until "reversion" in 1972. The Okinawans realized that American soldiers weren't going to hurt them and life went on. The Okinawans had little to sell, but the one treasure they did have was their ancient art and it was American soldiers who found it...and bought it. 



Click  HEREto read the rest of the article                


To contact Robert Hunt  





Ray Hughes


The Colored Belt System

Maybe one of the greatest teaching tools in the Martial Arts

By Ray Hughes



The colored belt system is one of the most blatant contradictions to our traditional martial art's philosophy. Yet, if used properly, can be one of the most powerful and greatest tools a Sensei can use when teaching.


Humility and the suppression of ego are cornerstones of the philosophical principles we hold in the martial arts. Wearing a colored belt around our waist to announce to the world the skill level we have achieved smacks this philosophy of humility right in the face. If that wasn't enough, we dangle this materialistic goal in front of our students to motivate them to train. If this isn't a contradiction to ego suppression I don't know what is.


However, most people in the martial arts agree that the colored belt system is a useful tool to help students move though the long and difficult times of training, especially with kids. The small attainable goals, represented by colored belts, help students focus on the next important segment of their technical development and serves as rewards for accomplishment. The system of teaching small blocks of information is the foundation of all teaching models. The visual aid of colored belts to distinguish these blocks of information works extremely well. This motivational tool has had a positive impact on student retention in the martial arts. We humans are weak and need such motivation to help us get through long term projects.


But this isn't the greatest value of the colored belt system. The greatest value is life skills learned from the experience of going through this system. This is accomplished when students are educated on how to relate and interact with those who are higher in rank and those who are lower, the same skills that are required to interrelate with social groups above and below in the real world. These skills have a direct impact on the success an individual experiences in life.




To read the rest of this article click HERE


Ray Hughes

Scottsdale Martial Arts Center





Christina Gutz


Kumite and Randori: The Bridge between Kata Training and Freestyle Fighting


Wado and TSYR Seminar with Toby Threadgill (USA) and Kaki Kawano (Japan) in Berlin

on 21st and 22nd February, 2015


125 participants, among these a group which came specifically for this course from Pakistan and guests from Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Spain, trained in Berlin for two days under the guidance of Toby Threadgill (Menkyo Kaiden, Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jujutsu) and Kaki Kawano (5th Dan JKF Wado-Kai). This traditional Wado and TSYR seminar was another opportunity for national and international exchanges and for renewing friendships. It was an honour and a pleasure alike to also welcome Shuzo Imai (8th Dan Wado ryu) and Norma Foster (7th Dan JKF Wado-Kai) from Canada.


The Origin of Free-Fighting in Karate is Sword Work


Toby Threadgill initially explained that there was virtually no free-fighting in karate and in Okinawa before Hironori Ohtsuka founded Wado ryu. There were, indeed, jujutsu competitions based on free-fighting in Japan during the Edo period but it was Hironori Ohtsuka who developed the earliest methods of karate jiyu kumite from jujutsu randori and shiai and introduced free-fighting with a set of rules into karate. From the historical point of view, free-fighting came from the sword via jujutsu and kendo to karate[1]. In relation to this, Toby Threadgill said that when he saw Kaki Kawano fighting he saw the principles of sword work. In the person of Kaki Kawano, an internationally experienced instructor and multiple kumite champion, e. g., winner of the All National Tournament (Budokan Tokyo), European Wado Championship (Sweden), All Australian Championship, and Wado World Cup (UK), trained the participants of the Berlin seminar.


To read the rest of this article click HERE




"Wado is the root from all freestyle fighting and it came from sword." Toby Threadgill, Wado and TSYR seminar 21st , 22nd February, 2015 in Berlin



Martial Art Humor

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

                            Zen Stories 


Tea Combat     

 A master of the tea ceremony in old Japan once accidentally slighted a soldier. He quickly apologized, but the rather impetuous soldier demanded that the matter be settled in a sword duel. The tea master, who had no experience with swords, asked the advice of a fellow Zen master who did possess such skill. As he was served by his friend, the Zen swordsman could not help but notice how the tea master performed his art with perfect concentration and tranquility. "Tomorrow," the Zen swordsman said, "when you duel the soldier, hold your weapon above your head, as if ready to strike, and face him with the same concentration and tranquility with which you perform the tea ceremony." The next day, at the appointed time and place for the duel, the tea master followed this advice. The soldier, readying himself to strike, stared for a long time into the fully attentive but calm face of the tea master. Finally, the soldier lowered his sword, apologized for his arrogance, and left without a blow being struck.




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


thinking man
Moral Wisdom
Cry in the dojo. Laugh on the battlefield.
~ Author unknown

          Wado Seminars
             and Events

Wado Pentecost Seminar 2015
May 23-25, 2015
Shuzo Imai
Sensei Shuzo Imai
Berlin-Kruezberg, Germany

Shuzo Imai, 8th dan Germany
Takamasa Arakawa, 6th danJKF Wado-Kai Japan
Bernd Alscher, 6th dan Wado Ryu
Christina Gutz, 6th dan Wado Ryu

Detail Flier
Wado Agenda
by Rob van Leeuwen

Info on other International Wado Events 


WIKF Wado Ryu Karate Seminars with Sensei Wicks WIKF  




All courses are open to Wado practitioners (unless stated) and will include traditional Wado Techniques including- OHYO, KIHON GUMITE, TANTO & TACHI DORI, (KNIFE &SWORD DEFENCE) IDORI (KNEELING DEFENCE) AND KATA

Jon Wicks
Sensei Wicks





Click HERE for the 2015 Schedule January to July 


 Other Seminars and Events



     4/2-5    US Open/Jr. International Cup
                 Las Vegas, Nevada         usankf.org

      4-2/5   Ozawa Cup
                 Las Vegas, Nevada  ozawa-tournament .com

      4/10-12   Karatenomichi World Federation
                    International Open Shotokan Karate Seminar 
                    Contact: Tom Hyder tomhyder@azshotokan.com

      4/18   Alabama Open              Keith & Sarah MacConkey
                Birmingham, Alabama  kmacconkey@usamartialarts.com

      4/24   Champs Cup 2015        Samantha Hostettler
               Atlanta, Georgia          champscup.com

      4/25   Hayashi-Ha Cup            Angela
                Lynnwood, Washington   minakamikarate.com/hayashihacup

      4/26  20th Annual Hiraldo's Kai Shobukan Karate Do Championship
               Corona Queens, New York          718-685-3991

      4/26  USANKF of N. CA.                  Gene Tibone
               Stockton, CA                         209-406-2776


        5/9  42 Annual Riverside Karate Championships Kevin Warner
               Riverside, CA                  951-217-4986

         5/16     SC Open                   info@carolinakarate.net
                    Greenville, SC            864.277.2008

       5/30   Tenn State Championship and
                     USA National Qualifier
                      Jo Valdez   fightingspiritkarate@comcast.net


      6/30-7/4 AAU Nationals           aaukarate.org
                    Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, N.C. 
      7/15-19  USA Karate Nationals
                   Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.      usankf.org  


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

      12/26-1/5 2016    The 13th Pan American Maccabi Games
                                Santiago, Chile
                                Dr. Sternberg      skusajka@aol.com
                                Caren Lesser       lesserc@bellsouth.net