Wado-ryu - Fumio Sugasawa, 7th Dan
Sugasawa Sensei was born in Sawara City, Chiba prefecture, sixty miles east of Tokyo, the youngest son in a family of seven children.
He first experienced Karate when his second eldest brother started training at a local club and erected a Makiwara (striking post) at the family home. Although his first love was Baseball, he used to practise on his brother's Makiwara.
In 1969 he went away to study Commerce at the famous Meiji University, Tokyo. He was coerced into the university Karate club. Although he admits it did not take much by the way of persuading. As a result of his experiences with his elder brother he always had an interest in Karate.
The training was severe, but due to his contact with the physical hardships common in Japanese Baseball training, he had no trouble adapting to the regime.
One of the regular instructors at Meiji was Jiro Ohtsuka Sensei, son and future successor to the founder of Wado-ryu Karate Hironori Ohtsuka (1892-1982). The founder also visited and instructed at the university, but Jiro Ohtsuka Sensei had a particular attachment to Meiji, as he was himself a Meiji old boy.
Sugasawa Sensei enthusiasm and physical prowess soon gained him the position of Meiji Karate Club Captain, an achievement his is still proud of to this day.
Sugasawa came to the UK in July 1978 and joined the group of resident Japanese instructors responsible for spreading traditional Wado-ryu Karate throughout the country. He initially taught in the East London area, but soon established contacts with clubs in all parts of the UK.