Wado-ryu - An Introduction
Wado-ryu Karate Hironori Ohtsuka, Meijin (1892-1982)
A style of Karate developed by Ohtsuka-Hironori 10th Dan Meijin (AD 1892-1982). Wado combines traditional Japanese Budo, Okinawan Shuri-te (To-de) and Shinto-Yoshin-ryu Jujutsu, and was recognised as an independent style in 1934.
Wado-ryu is reputed to be one of the fastest and most efficient forms of Karate in the world; emphasis includes the fundamental principles and concepts of 'Nagasu, Inasu, Noru, and Irimi'. The Founder was responsible for introducing partner-work routines to Karate. Wado-ryu was also the first style of Karate to practise Jiyu-gumite (free-fighting) as part of the training. There are estimated to be over 350,000 Wado-ryu members practising in Europe alone.
The aim of Wado Karate is not merely perfection of the physical techniques of self-defence, but, the development of a mind that is tranquil yet alive, able to react intuitively to any situation. In Wado, as skill and knowledge are acquired through training and concentrated effort, the student is expected to develop inner strength and calmness of character, as well as the virtues of self-control, respect for others, and true humility.
Kihon (Basic techniques) - punching, kicking, blocking, striking with open hand, joint twisting, and trapping techniques - Kata (a sequence of techniques done in certain order against imaginary opponents), and Kumite (prearranged and free style sparring) comprise the training foundation of this style. Equally fundamental to Wado is Tai sabaki, body shifting to avoid the full brunt of an attack, a technique derived from Japanese swordsmanship.