a Monthly International Newsletter
January 2015

Ohtsuka head                 








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

-Hironori Ohtsuka




In This Issue
Editor's Notes
Master Otsuka
Belt Exams: A Conflict of Philosophies
Chaos-by Robert Hunt
Zen Stories
Moral Wisdom
Wado Seminar
Wado Agenda
Wado Kai Seminar
WIKF Seminars with Sensei Wicks
Other Seminars and Events
Competitions and Events
Join Our Mailing List
    Editor's   Notes
AW photo
Ray Hughes

Happy New Year! 

It is this time when many of us make New Year Resolutions.

Many "old guys and gals" say they don't make New Year Resolutions anymore.

Do they say this because they have given up on trying to improve in one area or another?

If this is the case, has defeat been accepted?

If we are instructors and accept this premise, are we truly instructors?

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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Wado Ryu Karate
We are continuing with another writing from Master Otsuka's book Wado Ryu Karate, published by Masters Publication. This book can be purchased at Amazon.com. 



Posture and Uke (Posture for Defending)  

by Master Otsuka 



There are many varieties of posture. There is no, one, fixed stance. In essence, a stance must be able to respond to any changes that the opponent makes, defend, or simply take the blow that the opponent strikes with.


However, in Japanese martial art, there is no defense whose prime objective is to simply defend. The prerequisite of defense is offence. Postures, similarly, are taken with offence as a prerequisite. There is no need to defend or even take a posture if attacking the opponent is not an objective. Posture is for offence and defense; defense is defense because on is not on the offensive.


Hence, attacking after defending results in a draw of attack, or one falls behind in the offensive. It must always be defend/attack, or attack/defend. Since offence is the prerequisite of both posture and defense, these must both be able to produce an attack immediately, as well as being able to respond to any attacks in return. If this fact cannot be seen in one's kata, then that kata is useless. If too much strength is placed in a posture, or if one's wrist is bent after punching, or if one looks down as he is kicking, these actions only serve to make that action meaningless. In essence, it becomes a "dead" kata.


To use a "live" kata is so difficult, that it may take ten or twenty years, even a lifetime of experiences to even begin using the kata properly. In kendo, one must be constantly prepared to withdraw his sword, even though the sword may not be drawn - this is similar to the posture in karate. If posture is not "alive," it serves no purpose. This can be found in any writing or book of any martial art.




Ray Hughes


Belt Exams-A Conflict of Philosophies

By Ray Hughes



Part Two-"The Philosophical Analogy of the Belt Exam Process"  

In part one, "The Debate", the conflict of philosophies between two views of the belt exam process was discussed. One view argued that belt exams contradicted the philosophy of Bushido while the other side believed there are values that can come from belt exams. To review this article click HERE

Part two, "The Philosophical Analogy of the Belt Exam Process", looks at three basic styles of belt exams and philosophies used in today's modern martial art systems:


       a. Low standards with quick ranks

       b. High standards with high failure rates

       c. High standards accompanied with a comprehensive education system




Low Standards-Quick Ranks


Unfortunately today, "low standard-quick rank" belt promotions permeate the majority of martial art schools. It is not uncommon to see six year old black belts or twenty year old students holding 5th Dan certificates.


This isn't because these instructors are bad people or they don't care about their students, though some do exist. It is because these instructors do not have the ability to teach technical martial art skill, don't want feelings hurt, want to avoid conflict with disgruntled parents, hoping to minimize student dropout, monetary corruption, and to mask the overall low standards of their schools.


The majority of these instructors came out of similar programs themselves. Many of them simply do not know any better. They were never instructed on how to teach proper technical development from white belt through black. Without understanding the numerous developmental steps of a technique, which rank should mirror, the process has been short changed with ranks given more quickly.


Just like with parents, instructors do not want to see the feelings of their students hurt. Because these instructors do not teach properly, which give students the skills to handle setbacks and disappointment, they give artificial ranks to combat this problem. You see this similar scenario with some parents and their parenting skills.


To read the rest of this article click HERE


Ray Hughes

Scottsdale Martial Arts Center






Robert Hunt
Robert Hunt




The Karate Tapestry - Part 8  

by Robert Hunt




            We yearn for our style to follow a nice, reassuring, linear path, from some ancient teacher straight to us. How comforting t'would be. Lu Lu Ko to the Goju dojo down the street. Shushiwa to Uechi to George Mattson. But, alas, it's not. The foundation of karate was nothing like linear - in fact, it was chaos.


            There is nothing linear about karate training, anyway. Even today, if you practice Shotokan, it is not what Itosu taught nor even Funakoshi. Your Wado is probably not what Ohtsuka intended and there are a half dozen Shito Ryu's, with Mabuni's own two sons each offering different takes. The Meibukan, the Shobukan, the Seibukan and the Jundokan all claim Miyagi. Watch their kata side by side - you'll scratch your head.


            There never was anything linear in karate. We all like to envision that ours is the "real thing", handed down on stone tablets from some bygone Chinese Moses.


           Dream on.


            Once Itosu and Higaonna started teaching in schools, every one with a room big enough to accommodate 10 people and a dog started a program. The mix of teachers and students was mind boggling. Miyagi, for example, the purported inheritor of the art Higaonna learned from Lu Lu Ko, was an assistant instructor to Itosu - that other guy. All the names we associate with our history were jumbled together under a few bewildered teachers unearthed from the shadows of Okinawa's past. 





Click  HEREto read the rest of the article              


To contact Robert Hunt  




Martial Art Humor

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

                  Zen Stories 




Two people are lost in the desert. They are dying from hunger and thirst. Finally, they come to a high wall. On the other side they can hear the sound of a waterfall and birds singing. Above, they can see the branches of a lush tree extending over the top of the wall. Its fruit look delicious.

One of them manages to climb over the wall and disappears down the other side. The other, instead, returns to the desert to help other lost travelers find their way to the oasis. 






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


thinking man
Moral Wisdom
Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit softly.
~ Theodore Roosevelt

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



          Wado Seminars
             and Events
Wado Agenda
by Rob van Leeuwen

Info on other International Wado Events 


Wado and TSYR Seminar


Kumite and Randori

The Bridge from Kata Training to Freestyle Fighting

Toby Threadgill (USA)

Menkyo Kaiden, Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin ryu


Kaki Kawano (Japan)

5th Dan JKF Wado-Kai

February 21 - February 22, 2015

In Berlin

Wado Kai logo


For additional information  

click HERE 

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



    1/18   43rd Annual JKO Shito-Ryu Karate Championships
              La Jolla, CA             jkokaratedo@gmail.com    
     1/31    Palm Springs Championship
                Rancho Mirage, CA            palmspringskarate.com                                     


     2/8    Te Kenjutsu Tournament       Tony Rios
              Whittier, CA                        323-327-1974

     2/14   Friendship Cup 2015           
              Colorado Springs, CO           igtsutsui@comcast.net
     2/15   Shotokan Karate West coast Championships
              Yuba City, CA                  miladigroup.com
     2/15   AAU Pacific S/W                    Alfonso Gomez 
                  District Championship         (858) 866-6207
                  San Diego, CA

      2/22     JKF Goodwill International Championships
                  TBD                                          genbu-kai-hq.com


       3/1       New York International Open             1-347-400-5632
                   New York                                       Luis Ruiz

       3/8       Arizona Karate Championships & USA Karate Nat'l Qualifier
                   Phoenix, AZ              Ray Hughes 602-315-5011


     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


         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