Welcome to the world of Wado
Dear Wado Enthusiast
This newsletter is to help keep Wado enthusiasts informed of activities in Wado Ryu, Wado Kai, Wado Kokusai, and independent Wado groups in the United States and abroad. Please send your Wado 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 and pictures in small jpeg files, thank you.
we will publish editorials, articles, or any other important Wado information that will help the Wado enthusiast. Please send a photo of the author with the article.
Volunteer Wado Staff
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.
Article Response to
"Pizza and Karate"
I want to comment on Mr. Jepperson´s article "Pizza and Karate", contrasting traditional versus modern or "innovative" karate. (To read article)
There are two separate approaches here: the first one, which I will call evolution, is to introduce new training techniques, based on modern science, to improve performance in a particular sport a/o art; the second one, which I will call dilution, is to change the nature, or "modernize" the sport or art itself.
In the evolution approach, traditional arts such as classical ballet have adopted modern training techniques for dancers to enhance performance and minimize the risk of injury. However, the art of ballet itself has remained essentially unchanged over the centuries. This is the approach preferred by me and, I suspect, many traditional martial artists; learn and use modern science and training techniques to your advantage, while respecting the techniques and traditions developed over centuries and taught to us by our instructors. For this, it is necessary to have a deep understanding of the origins, history and drivers of karate.
The dilution approach, and which I fear is what is happening to competition karate nowadays, is to change or dilute the nature of the art or sport itself. A new style of robo-kata has evolved in the tournament scene; modern WKF competitors perform katas from different styles and they all look exactly the same, without regard for the nuances, philosophical and practical differences between styles. And many (but, happily, not all) kumite competitors, while undeniably more athletic, versatile and faster than my generation, train with a sole purpose in mind: to win a tournament. For many this may take dropping to the floor at the slightest touch to get the opponent penalized or even wearing the patch of a different style or organization (I have witnessed instances of all of the above) in order to add to the medal or point count. Moreover, as they continue to add more padding and protection to competitors, (hello, face masks and chest protectors!) in the never-ending attempts to take karate to the Olympics (which would translate into millions of dollars for the sport karate organizations, among other perks) competition karate will soon become what tae known do already has; a spiritless point-scoring game.
Mr. Jepperson questions the practical use of repeating a punch thousands of times. In that vein, why bother with Kata? Or kihons? Or idori? They don´t have practical applications either in the modern world; but they develop balance, power, technique. Moreover, traditional karate maintains the link with Budo through the many teachings and traditions which have become diluted in modern competition karate. Ironically, I have noticed more traditional karate techniques being used by some MMA fighters.
What approach is better is a matter of opinion; some people will continue to prefer ballet over modern dancing, or classical music over hip hop; some may even prefer old Granny´s pizza over Domino´s.
Yours in Wado,
A Response to the Response
by Doug Jepperson
Last month I wrote an article comparing Pizza preparation to Karate training. I want to thank everyone that sent in a note, even the ones that think I should switch to Tae Kwon Do.
I do think I owe all of you an explanation; my purpose was simply to question the prevailing logic of maintaining every aspect of "Traditional Karate," in our case Wado karate training. Simply because that is the way it has always been done.
I do not mean to throw out the baby with the bath water, but I would like to know the reason for everything. I do not want to simply continue asking my students to march down the floor in straight lines without a good reason. If I return to this method of training after my inquiry, great. But what should I do if I discover a better way to teach a punch? I know you are now getting ready to fire off a letter explaining we do junzuki for more than just learning to punch straight, you will no doubt explain to me that by doing these endless drills our students will learn to make better jam and bread, or perhaps they will identify the true method of cold fusion. Well short of these epiphanies I am curious about why we practice Jodan Uke in a method that has never been used in real life. Why do we practice Maegeri predominantly more than any other kick, when in real life or competition it is used less than almost every other kick? I could go longer but then that would make you write longer letters of explanation, and I will not have the time to read them all.
To avoid blasphemy let us talk about football instead of karate. Hopefully folks are less sensitive about this subject. The nice thing about using a football analogy is that most people even the folks that hate football have seen it. For you folks in Europe, I am writing about "American Football." Which I realize is not the "real football." But bare with me, it will not be too bad, and we can still drink beer afterwards.
American Football has a few time-honored practices. You begin the game with a long deep kick-off, our term for kicking an oblong leather bladder sixty yards down field. The receiving team then has four attempts to move this ball forward ten yards. Sounds easy until I explain you have to move the ball forward while aliens from another planet who look human try to knock you down, crush or break you into submission. These aliens like for example the one called Brian Urlacher from the planet Chicago is 6' -4" tall and weighs 260 pounds. He like many of his peers can outrun a grey hound while carrying a small automobile on their shoulders. And then they hit you.
With terrible humanoids like Urlacher trying to stop your forward progress it is easy to see why if after three tries you have not gained ten yards, you give up and kick the ball down field away from these hulking beasts, so that you can send in your hulking beasts to stomp, crush and break the other teams players who are trying to move the ball forward ten yards. So now you understand the simple principles of kicking the ball off to start a game or kicking the ball away from yourself after three failed attempts to move it forward. These kicks are called the kick-off and the punt.
Good Coaches in high school, college and Professional football all tell their team to punt when it is third and eight. After you score you must kick the ball back to the other team, so you kick it so far that they cannot return the ball. This is logic and if you defy it people will tell you are wrong and you will have your cheerios taken away from you.
That is except for one coach Kevin Kelly. He is the high school coach for Pulaski Academy, one of the best football teams in Arkansas. Coach Kelly does not punt the ball nor does he have his team kick off the ball. Lately he is getting attention, HBO sports television program, Sports Illustrated magazine, not for his crazy approach to the game, but because he is winning with his crazy approach.
When Kelly's team kicks-off they always do an on side kick, this kick is typically only used when you are behind on the score and have little time left in the game, so you have to gamble and kick a low wobbly ball in hopes that the other team makes a mistake and you can recover. The trouble is that Kelly's team uses this kick every time. They never kick deep.
Then when they have the ball they use all four downs in an attempt to move the ball forward ten yards. Pulaski's teams have not punted since 2007. He said he only did it then because they were way ahead and he wanted to help the other team. Why does Kelly believe in this odd approach? He says because the average high school punt nets about 30 yards. But the average team can convert on fourth down 50% of the time. So to Kelly it does not make sense to kick away one more chance at the first down.
"When a team punts from that deep, the opponents will take possession inside the 40-yard line and will then score a touchdown 77% of the time. If they recover on downs inside the 10, they'll score a touchdown 92% of the time. "So [forsaking] a punt, you give your offense a chance to stay on the field. And if you miss, the odds of the other team scoring only increase 15 percent. It's like someone said, '[Punting] is what you do on fourth down,' and everyone did it without asking why."
The onside kicks? According to Kelley's figures, after a kickoff the receiving team, on average, takes over at its own 33-yard line. After a failed onside kick the team assumes possession at its 48. Through the years Pulaski has recovered about a quarter of its onside kicks. "So you're giving up 15 yards for a one-in-four chance to get the ball back," says Kelley. "I'll take that every time!" Why not attempt to return punts? "Especially in high school, where the punts don't go so far," he says, "it's not worth the risk of fumbling or a penalty."
Much of Kelley's analysis has support among number crunchers. In 2005 David Romer, a prominent Cal economist, published a study that argued that over the course of the three NFL seasons he studied there had been 1,068 fourth-down situations in which teams, mathematically, would have been better off going for it. In all but 109 cases the teams either kicked or punted. Sports Illustrated
So why don't more coaches consider this approach? In the HBO special on Coach Kelly, Sean Payton, Coach of the New Orleans Saints was asked why he did not look at the stats and consider an alternative approach. Coach Payton,talked in circles around this subject but basically he said, it made him uncomfortable. His gut feeling was not right. But the statistics prove that Coach Payton should consider going for it on 4th and 8, but he likely never will because his gut says it is wrong.
When I wrote about Pizza and karate staying the same for 50 years, most of the emails explained that I was headed down wrong path. One friend even asked me why not stop doing kata, kihon, or idori. If I wanted to preserve an anachronistic art form, maybe I would keep doing these things. But if I think Wado Karate is a fighting art, (as Tatsuo Suzuki suggested), then why would I not look at alternative approaches to training my students in a fighting art?
WIKF Wado Karate Seminars
Sensei Jon Wicks
WIKF World Chief Instructor
OHYO, KIHON GUMITE, TANTO & TACHI DORI, (KNIFE &SWORD DEFENSE) IDORI (KNEELING DEFENCE) AND KATA.
Seminars are open to all Wado practitioners
February 3rd-5th Holland
Contact: Chris Christodoulatos firstname.lastname@example.org
February 17th - 19th UK Winter course
Contact: Jon Wicks. email@example.com
|JKF Wado Kai Japan
Technical Seminar & Examination for Instructors and Dan-grading Examinations for Overseas Members
1.Dates & Hours:
Sat., February4. 2012, 15:30-20:00 (Reception desk available from 15:15)
Sun., February5, 2012, 09:15-12:00noon (Open for admittance at 9:00 am)
Sun., February5, 2012, 13:00-14:00 Dan: Examinations only for overseas members (Up to 6th Dan-grading)
Sun., February5, 2012, 14:00-17:00 Instructor Examinations for 1st class-3rd class N.B. Opening times for examinations are subjected to change according to the number of examinations.
Place for Seminar/Examinations:
Toshima-Ku Martial Arts Hall(Health plaza Toshima 8th floor)
2-5-1Kami-Ikebukuro, Toshima-Ku Tokyo
(6-minutes walk from JR/Metro Ikebukuro station)
Mr. Hideho Takagi(8th Dan), Chief Director of Central Technical Committee, and others
For additional information
Wado Kai Germany
Bob Nash (USA)
7. Dan JKF Wado-Kai
Toby Threadgill (USA)
Menkyo Kaiden, Takamura-Ha Shindo Yoshin Ryu
25.02. - 27.02.2012
Wado Ryu founded by Hironori Ohtsuka and is based on two pillars: Shindo Yoshin Ryu and Karate. The training seminar conveys the historical connection of Wado Ryu and Shindo Yoshin Ryu and offers an extensive understanding of the motivation of Hironori Ohtsuka and Wado Ryu, too.
Information: Christina Gutz, Tel. +49 (0)30 6937316,
mail to Ch.Gutz@gmx.de
Location Sports hall OSZ Handel 1, Wrangelstraße 98/Zeughofstraße,
U-Bahnhof Görlitzer Bahnhof
Entry sportshall: Zeughofstraße
|Wado Karate Union Pre Dan Exam
Duke Road Chiswick W4 2JR
Saturday, February 18th, 2012
12:00 to 3:00PM
Sensei Todd Heap and senior instructors
For additional information: 0208 747 1999
|Wado Kai Seminar Manchester UK |
Over the weekend of 2/3/4 of March 2012, we will be hosting a seminar with Shimura sensei and Katsube sensei, senior students of Toru Arakawa sensei 9th Dan. Both instructors are 7th Dan and hold the 1st Kyu Instructor License issued by JKF Wadokai.
The seminar will be held at the MMU Didsbury Sports Centre, located off Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, South Manchester.
The seminar in 2011, saw students from all over the UK as well as some who travelled from further afield including Germany, Hungary and Ireland. It is a good opportunity to meet Wado karateka from different groups and train together. The emphasis is on technical training so is ideal for anyone hoping to takes Dan grade or the Instructor license tests under JKF Wadokai rules.
Register your interest by sending an email to March 2012 Seminar Registration
Wado Ryu Karate Seminar
Shingo Ohgami Sensei 7th Dan JKF
March 9,10, &11, 2012
Swiss Wado Kai Karate Do Renmei
|Arizona Karate Championship and USA National Qualifier |
& USA Karate Referee Kumite Seminar
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Supai Middle School
6720 E. Continental Ave.
Scottsdale, Arizona 85257
Competition begins 9am sharp
Fees: Before March 1, 2012 $35 per contestant for one or
March 1 or after $45 per contestant
$5 discount for USANKF members
For online registration: KarateTmaster.com
We reserve the right to combine divisions.
Beginner <1 year of training
Novice 1-2 years of training
Intermediate 2-3 years of training
Advanced 3+ years of training
Non-profit event (501c3pending): all profits to benefit Arizona Karate competitors who compete
at this year's Junior Olympics/Open and the USA Karate National Championships.
WKF (modified) rules apply. Large medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd
place. Competitor medals for all non-place teens and younger participants
For additional information contact: Ray Hughes
$119 Group Rate
"AZ Karate Championship"
|10 Annual C.T. Patterson Memorial Wado Ryu Championships |
March 24, 2012
Columbia State University
Miguel Massee,5th Dan.
Assistant of WIKF General Secretary
Wim Massee, 7th Dan.
Vicepresident of the WIKF Europe
President WIKF Spain
Member of the world technical commission
|Martial Art Humor
If you have any martial art humor you would like to share, please forward it to us. We all need a little humor in this world
A rich man asked a Zen master to write something down that could encourage the prosperity of his family for years to come. It would be something that the family could cherish for generations. On a large piece of paper, the master wrote, "Father dies, son dies, grandson dies."
The rich man became angry when he saw the master's work. "I asked you to write something down that could bring happiness and prosperity to my family. Why do you give me something depressing like this?"
"If your son should die before you," the master answered, "this would bring unbearable grief to your family. If your grandson should die before your son, this also would bring great sorrow. If your family, generation after generation, disappears in the order I have described, it will be the natural course of life. This is true happiness and prosperity."
If you have any Zen stories you would like to share, please forward them to us. We all need a little Zen in our lives.
Suggested Tournaments for Wado competitors
(If you promote or know of a tournament, whether in the USA or abroad, that you believe would be of interest to Wado practitioners please forward the information and we will list it below.)
Washington State Championships February
Tommy Hood's SC Championships in March
Jennifer Malloy Tournament Chicago March
MARCH 17, Scottsdale, AZ tournament
April 5, 6, 7, 8, Jr. Olympics, US Open, Las Vegas, NV
April Salt Lake Championships, Amadou Niang
May 5, 6 Denver CO, Rocky Mtn Tournament
May, Nashville, TN,
Hendersonville, TN champ.
June 2, Utah State Championships Park City, UT
July 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA Karate National
Westen Zone tournament Sacramento, August
Suzuki Cup, Dallas Texas, November
Preserving Traditional Wado Karate thoughout Great Britain
Check out this link for all activities in British WadoKai
Additional Wado Information
Please check out this link for additional Wado Information:
Ray Hughes Editor
The majority of the e-mails I received from last month's article on subservience revolved around "why". As Dan from Alabama responded "Why would you write about such a delicate topic? Don't you understand that this topic makes some people
uncomfortable"? My initial thought was we shouldn't ever shy away from topics that are delicate or uncomfortable. The exception would be if it was attaching someone or an organization. The question "why" however is important, below is the reason I brought it up.
Because of this newsletter I am in contact with many Wado practitioners. The Wado practitioners that receive this newsletter range from one end of the spectrum to the other in terms of philosophy,
structure, priorities and so on. As I have stated before, I am an advocate of Wado unity, regardless of organization affiliation. I believe that it is in the best interest of Wado to support one another whenever possibly.
A while back I was in communication with a Wado instructor. We were discussing this topic of Wado unity when he stated that they do not train or support other Wado groups. They don't approve of anyone in their school associating with anyone outside
the school. He went on to say they believe they have most of the Wado knowledge available and felt it was a waste of time going to someone else's Wado seminar. The conversation was very positive and though I question these kinds of statements, I have long ago moved beyond judging anyone. But it did cause me to have a flash back to the organization I originally belonged to.
I live in a desert island city. The headquarters of the organization that I originally belonged to was located a fair
distance away. The knowledge from headquarters came to us once to twice a year. We, my instructor and the rest of the dojo, were hungry for knowledge. Not just Wado, but from all forms of martial arts.
We would attend seminars that came through town. The majority were not Wado. When prominent Wado instructors came to the United States, regardless of club affiliation, we would ask permission to make arrangements to bring them into Arizona. We were never told no, but
you could feel the anger behind the decision. We were thirsty for Wado knowledge and would make the arrangements.
We were ostracized heavily from headquarter senior students. We were told that all the knowledge we ever needed the Chief Instructor had. We were told it was poor manners on our part and we showed no loyalty when training in other seminars. We knew that this position was coming from the top. This was the first time the question of subservience entered my mind.
I remember the
conflict I felt at the time. Part of me understood what these people were saying. But maybe it was my American side that questioned why someone would not want you to get additional training when possible? In addition to this, we were getting knowledge that was not being taught from the organization. Maybe that was the problem. We were mature enough to understand that no one man or organization has all the knowledge and that learning something new would not hinder our respect or loyalty for the organization and its leader.
Anyway, an unrelated difficult situation arose sometime later that cause us to go a different direction. I am not sure even today if the above situation didn't cause the split.
Now looking back, I wonder if it was a question of loyalty or subservience. My instructor has always encouraged me to train anywhere, anytime with anyone as much as possible. Training is training; you can't get too much of it. Of course you have to discriminate what is taught, what you hear, and the
motives behind it. This is not because of evilness, though there is some of that, mostly because there are many paths to the top of the mountain and you need to stay on one philosophical training path. But there is always something to learn if you look for it. I am closing in on 40 years training under my instructor and my loyalty has never wavered.
So the reason I wrote this article is that sometimes "I" can't tell if some actions or requests are considered acts of loyalty or subservience. Up to this time I have been relying on how I feel in my heart. I wrote last
month's article to see what other people think of this issue.
Until next month..........
The mission of
this newsletter is to disseminate Wado information to the Wado enthusiast in an unbiased and non political format.
We welcome any comments or input on this newsletter. Please send your information or comments to
Ray Hughes owns and operates the
Scottsdale Martial Arts Center, Inc.