A tribute to Sensei Suzuki


The History Of Wado Karate

(This is a growing compilation of many pieces of information, gathered from many sources, intended to share a broad glimpse of Wado's rich history)

Hironori Otsuka, Founder of Wado Ryu Karate, was born on June 1st 1892 in Shimodate City, Ibaraji, Japan. He was the second child of four children. His father, Dr. Tokujiro Otsuka, operated a clinic at their home in Shimodate, lbaraki Prefecture. His mother's uncle, Chojiro Ebashi, was a samurai warrior who kept young Otsuka spellbound with his true tales of exciting samurai adventures.

In 1898, when he was only six years old, Hironori began practicing Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jiujitsu under the tutelage of his father.

The Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jiujitsu School was founded in 1864 by Katsunosuke Matsuoka (1836-1898), although its lineage goes back to the early 1600s through the line of Yoshin Ryu Jiujitsu,

In the spring of 1911, when Otsuka was 19, he entered Waseda University-one of Japan's finest universities. http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n36/Mamunestor/Website/youngohtsuka.jpgWhile majoring in business administration, Otsuka also started training in atemi-style kempo and continued his practice in Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jiujitsu and other jujitsu schools. The death of Otsuka's father in 1913 during his junior year at Waseda University forced him to withdraw and to go to work in at Kawasaki Bank in Shimodate. And as it turned out, he was never able to return to complete his final year and graduate.



Within four years, Otsuka was Fuakoshi's http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n36/Mamunestor/funakoshi-ohtsuka300x183.jpgassistant instructor, organising classes and demonstrations as well as traveling with Funakoshi throughout Japan to spread Karate. Wado is perhaps the purest form of Karate-Do, http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n36/Mamunestor/ohtsuka-demo300x203.jpgsteeped in Traditional Japanese Jiujitsu and .

Karate for Mr.Otsuka was primarily a spiritual discipline: http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n36/Mamunestor/Website/SuzukiDarrinNagasu.jpg"Violent action may be understood as the martial arts, but the true meaning of martial arts is to seek and attain the way to peace and harmony."


In 1963, Tatsuo Suzuki, along with Toru Arakawa and Hajimu Takashima were the first to begin this westward movement of Wado, and the impression they left would make Wado soon to be recognized world-wide. In 1964 the name Wadokai was established under Japan Karate Federation (JKF). Thereafter other notable instructors began to move to Europe and teach Wado; familiar names such as: Mochizuki, Kojima, Kono, Toyama, Shiomitsu, Iwasaki ,Takamizawa, Sakagami, Kamigaito, Ohgami, etc; as well as instructors that began to teach Wado in the US like, Ajari, Osaka, Abe, Nishimura, Kurobane, Patterson , etc.

In 1965, Otsuka Sensei along with Yoshiaki Ajari, recorded onto film, which is now still available on two video tapes, much of his legacy of Wado Ryu Karate. The first video, Wado Ryu Karate Volume 1, consists of: Indepth history and recollections, demonstrations of the 8 Kihon No Tsuki body shifts, the first 5 Kihon Gumite, and the katas: Pinans 1-5, Kusanku, Jion, Naihanchi, Seisan. The second video, Wado Ryu Karate Volume 2 consists of: more history, plus the katas Chinto, Niseishi, Rohai, Wanshu, and Jutte, as well as Kohin Gumite 6-10, along with application. These Wado treasures are still available.

In 1967 the Emperor of Japan awarded Master Otsuka the Fifth Order of Merit (the Shiju Hoosho Medal), and the Soko-Kyokujitsu-Sho Medal for his outstanding contributions to karate. He was the first karate master to receive this distinguished award.


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