a Monthly International Newsletter
June 2015

Ohtsuka head                 








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

-Hironori Ohtsuka




In This Issue
Why Should Karate Students Compete? by Ray Hughes
Reflections by Robert Hunt
The KI Componant by Mark Clement
Traditional Karate vs. Sport Karate? by Christina Gutz
Sports Psychology
Zen Stories
Moral Wisdom
Wado Seminar
Wado Agenda
WIKF Seminars with Sensei Wicks
WIKF Advanced TrainingCourse
Master Takagi Seminar
48th International Summer Camp
Competitions and Events
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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.



Ray Hughes, Editor 

and Volunteer Staff

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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




Ray Hughes

Why Should Karate Students Compete?

By Ray Hughes


To get stressed!

One of the most important reasons parents enroll their children in karate is for self-defense. Everyday we instructors strive to prepare our students for that possibility. However, we are unable to create that situation in the dojo, only stage them. Karate competitions are the closest thing to that self-defense possibility.  Students who compete learn how to manage stress, anxiety, fear, adrenalin spikes, fatigue, chaos and other extreme emotions one experiences in real self-defense. These skills are absolutely necessary to be successful in a real combat situation. Winning a medal has nothing to do with this development.  


Life Skill Development

Life is a battle field, metaphorically speaking. The skills learned from competition have a direct and positive impact on the success one experiences when navigating through life. In addition to emotional control, there are many other important attributes that are developed from competing; planning, analyzing performances, managing success and failure, overcoming what seem to be insurmountable odds, developing humility and respect, resilience and self-reliance, and so on. These are all vital skills necessary for a successful life.  


Handling Injustice
As in any sport and in life in general, there are injustices (some real and some perceived). Karate students learn techniques to deal with these situations in a "mock world" competition. With the right coaching and mentoring this can be accomplished. These skills are necessary to be successful when entering the "real world" competition.


All this practice, why not try it out?    

In addition to improving one's self-defense skills, competitions help motivate the student to train harder in class, thus adding more value to the training. Without it, students tend to just go through the motions at times. An individual wouldn't go to the driving range without ever playing the game of golf or go to the batting cages and never play the game of baseball. So why would an individual just train at the school without testing their skills and seeing how their mind reacts in a competitive environment? 


Forget about winning and losing. Those things take care of themselves in the long haul of life. It is the mental training that can be greatly improved from competition. A student is only partially trained for self-defense if they never compete.



Ray Hughes

Scottsdale Martial Arts Center






Robert Hunt
Robert Hunt




The Karate Tapestry - Part 13


Robert Hunt



"As I walked through the neighborhood of fallen concrete buildings and remaining ashes of those that burned, the smell of hibachi cooking permeated the air. Looking around in the darkness I could see small flickering flames, fires built in cans to keep warm. It was Japan after the Second World War. It might as well have been Mars."

Dan Ivan, American karate pioneer, 2005


           Dan Ivan landed in Japan in 1948 with the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID). He recounted the above description to the author one quiet evening in his modest home in the desert north of Palm Springs, California, toward the end of his life.

Dan Ivan


            He studied karate after the war from Yamaguchi Gogen and also Obata Isao, an early protégé of Funakoshi. He received his aikido black belt from Gozo Shioda and received a shodan in judo and kendo as well. His years in Japan at the end of the war and his time in karate gave him a unique perspective.


            Mr. Ivan experienced both the dojo art as well as the martial art of karate, studying on hard wood floors by day and walking deadly streets at night. He also knew the sport, promoting countless tournaments over 40 years in the United States.


He offers a unique perspective on karate after the war. To hear him tell of post war Japan was a mesmerizing experience.


"The light bulb swayed back and forth on one bare wire, scattering light and shadow on the dark staircase below, randomly, like a shaky moonbeam on a cloudy night. I stared down the basement staircase and wondered if karate was worth the risk. The bombed-out buildings had the feel of a concrete graveyard, and who knew what the shouts meant? 



Click  HERE to read the rest of the article                


To contact Robert Hunt  







Internal Energy Development Strategies for Karateka


Sensei Mark Clemente
Goshin Kagen Goju Karate-Do



Every few years, I reach into my martial arts library and pull out The Bible of Karate: Bubishi. I re-read it cover to cover as a refresher in the core philosophies underlying karate as a martial art and a way of life.

Sensei Mark Clemente


                My recent read reminded me of the book's recurring references to internal energy development in karate training. The book recounts how the Chinese and Okinawan masters emphasized the importance of cultivating energy - ki in Japanese, qi in Mandarin Chinese - to maximize the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of training. The Bubishi reminds us of the importance of energy development from two perspectives: increasing the effectiveness of karate technique, and fostering long-term health and vitality.


           The concept of ki shouldn't be foreign to karate practitioners. After all, the word "kiai" begins with the word "ki," denoting the martial artist's vocalization and use of internal energy to power a strike and - more broadly - to convey maximum focus and intent in combat.

             There are many popular examples of applied internal energy in the martial arts. Okinawan Kiko (Japanese for qi kung) masters show the ability to withstand full-force strikes to their most vulnerable areas by channeling ki to those locations. Breaking experts demonstrate how to summon their ki to power through multiple stacks of boards or bricks. Aikido masters show how to keep completely unmovable - while others try in vain to lift them! - by remaining physically rooted through ki.

3 ways to develop internal energy

               So how can you introduce energy development into your karate if you don't do so already? Here are three ways before, during and after training.     
To read the rest of this article click HERE  



Traditional Karate vs. Sport Karate?

by Christina Gutz


Christina Gutz has 33 years budo experience and holds the 6th Dan Wado ryu. She is practicing Wado ryu, Shito ryu and as a student of Toby Threadgill sensei she is practicing Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin ryu. Furthermore Christina is first Chairwoman of JKF Wado-Kai Germany Sohonbu, Consultant of Wado ryu within Berlin Karate Association, licensed examiner for JKF Wado-Kai Dan examinations and for Dan examinations within the German Karate Association (DKV). Christina is also a licensed instructor for karate and self-defence. She works as a senior teacher (Studienrätin) at State College for Technicians in Berlin.



"Martial art technique is like the cosmos, it is infinite. Know that there are no such things as limits."

Hironori Otsuka[1]

[1]Hironori Otsuka: Wado Ryu Karate. Hamilton, Ontario 1997, p. 4 (First published in the 44th year of the Showa era.)

Christina Gutz
Sensei Christina Gutz

A brief historical introduction

Karate developed on the Ryukyu Islands, i.e. modern-day Okinawa, from the end of the 14th century for many hundreds of years as a fighting and self-defense system under Chinese influence. Early in the 20th century, karate was introduced to the Japanese mainland. It was first demonstrated to the general public in June 1922 at an event organized by the Japanese culture ministry, the "Dai Ikkai-Taiiku Tenrankai".[1]  


Unlike koryu, the traditional Japanese martial arts which were developed before the 1868 Meiji Restoration, karate is part of Gendai Budo, the martial arts established in Japan after 1868. The purposes of Gendai Budo are, on the one hand, the development of one´s own personality and, on the other hand, self-defense. Wado ryu karate is an exception from this because Hironori Otsuka (1892 - 1982), who founded Wado ryu in 1934, incorporated his knowledge of the Japanese Shindo Yoshin ryu, a koryu style, into it. [2]


Anko Itosu (1832 - 1916) reformed Okinawa karate in the early 20th century by transforming the secret martial art into a system which could be taught at schools in the sense of Do with a view to improving body and mind. Hironori Otsuka developed the most recent karate jiyu kumite techniques from jujutsu randori and shiai and introduced free-fighting into karate with a set of rules. From the historical point of view free-fighting came from the sword via jujutsu and kendo to karate.[3], [4]


Karate has been spreading since the end of the 2nd World War and has now diversified into various styles, such as Wado Ryu, Shito Ryu, Goju Ryu, and Shotokan, and karate organizations, the biggest of which is the World Karate Federation (WKF).  



[1] Teruo Kono: Karate. Der Weg zum Schwarzgurt. Hamburg 1982, p. 11

[2]Toby Threadgill illustrated this in Berlin in 2012 with a metaphor: "Otsuka took the core out and put the SYR core in it. ... He made it more Japanese", Toby Threadgill. He transfered in this way koryu knowledge to Wado ryu. In: Christina Gutz, Berlin 2012 Pentecost Course: "Koryu lives a little bit in Wado. Shindo Yoshin Ryu and Wado are like cousins." (Toby Threadgill)

[3]"Wado is the root of all freestyle fighting and it came from the sword." Toby Threadgill, In: Christina Gutz: Kumite and Randori: The Bridge between Kata Training and Free-fighting : Wado and TSYR Seminar with Toby Threadgill and Kaki Kawano (Japan) in Berlin on 21st and 22nd February, 2015

[4]Gichin Funakoshi (船越義珍) said, "There are no contests in karate."Egami Shigeru: The Heart of Karatedo 1976, p. 111. In: Pre-World War II Okinawa. Kumite was not part of karate training. Higaonna, Morio: Traditional Karatedo Vol. 4 Applications of the Kata 1990, p. 136 


 To Read the rest of the article click HERE 

Sports Psychology

by Dr. Sterk

Dr. Sam Sterk
Karate Mental Preparations as Life Skills


Karate is much more than a kick and a punch. Karate is about developing life skills and ways of dealing with life's ups and downs. What's the connection between Mental Preparation in Karate and life skills?


One of the most important skill is knowing how to maintain your Focus during competition or a belt promotion. What happens if you lose your focus because you're scarred or intimidated?


What happens if you lose your focus during competition? You will probably feel low self-confidence and get down on yourself. You'll probably feel that you're just not good enough. Most of all, as a Karate competition participant you'll feel disappointed in yourself.  


One of the mental skills I teach is developing the ability to refocus, regain one's self confidence and have positive Self-Talk. Here's an easy way to get re-focused:

  • Identify the negative or tentatively cautious thoughts by just asking yourself, how do I feel right now?
  • See a STOP SIGN and tell yourself five times, "I stop this thought."
  • Come up with a positive thought, like something outstanding about your skills. Repeat five times, "I have trained well and I'm ready for this." You can also repeat, "I have great skills." Come up with your own Positive statement.
  • Close your eyes for a few seconds and visualize yourself executing one or more skills.

In essence by taking a few seconds of your time you can learn to refocus and now be much more confident about taking that school exam. What you learn in Sport Psychology applies to your everyday life and that's why it's also called having life skills

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call me or contact me by email. I'll do my best to answer all your questions and concerns.



Sam Sterk, Ph.D.

Peak Performance Plus LLC


Email: peakplus@aol.com 



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

                            Zen Stories 


Working Very Hard        

 A martial arts student went to his teacher and said earnestly, "I am devoted to studying your martial system. How long will it take me to master it." The teacher's reply was casual, "Ten years." Impatiently, the student answered, "But I want to master it faster than that. I will work very hard. I will practice everyday, ten or more hours a day if I have to. How long will it take then?" The teacher thought for a moment, "20 years."


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


thinking man
Moral Wisdom
"Do you really mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God's approval and reward, or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That's not morality, that's just sucking up, apple-polishing, looking over your shoulder at the great surveillance camera in the sky, or the still small wiretap inside your heard, monitoring your every move, even your every base though."

Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion


          Wado Seminars
             and Events
Wado Agenda
by Rob van Leeuwen

Info on other International Wado Events 


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 

WIKF Advanced Training Course

Hosted by
 Butch Balingit 7th dan     Chief Karate Instructor      Florida 
 Eric Masino     Chief Instructor, American Sports karate
Jon Wicks
Sensei Jon Wicks

August 7-9th, 2015

Naples, Florida

For additional information click HERE

 Other Seminars and Events

48th International Summer Camp 

July 9-12, 2015

Arnhem, The Netherlands
National Sportcentre Papendal 

Event details click


 Japanese Karate Tournament Schedule 2015 USA Click HERE


      6/13 22nd Annual Sacramento Karate Championships    John Limcaco
             Sacramento, CA          916-682-9669 www.IKFSacramento.com

     6/28 Ventura County Traditional Karate Championships Camarillo Shotokan
             Oxnard, CA      805-482-0307   www.camarilloshotokan.com

      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  


      8/9  Nikkei Games                                       Rod Kuratomi
             Long  Beach, CA                      www.nikkeikarate.com 

       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