a Monthly International Newsletter
July 2015

Ohtsuka head                 








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

-Hironori Ohtsuka




In This Issue
In Memoriam
Politics by Robert Hunt
Rebuttal by Sensei Girona
Conversation continued by Ray Hughes
Wado Seminar Overview
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



In Memoriam

We recently lost two great masters.

Master Jiro Ohtsuka

Jiro Otsuka was born on Feb­ru­ary 24, 1934 in Tokyo, Japan. He grad­u­ated from Meiji Uni­ver­sity in Tokyo, Japan, receiv­ing a degree in Eco­nom­ics. Otsuka and his wife, Aiko have three chil­dren: Kazu­taka, born in 1965, a daugh­ter Riki, born in 1967 and younger son Michi, born in 1968. Kazu­taka has trained in Iaido, Judo and Wado and is pre
Master Jiro Ohtsuka
sently the chief instruc­tor at the main dojo in Tokyo, Riki has trained in Iaido and Wado.

Jiro began his train­ing in Wado Ryu karate at the age of fif­teen. He has trained in Iaido, Kendo, Judo, Aikido, Kenpo, Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jujitsu and Wado. A unique fea­ture of Wado Ryu is that the posi­tion of Grand Mas­ter is still handed down from the cur­rent Mas­ter to the next gen­er­a­tion fam­ily mem­ber who is most deserv­ing of the title. This hered­i­tary sys­tem was once preva­lent in ancient Japan but is not seen today.

In 1982, upon the death of his father, he took over as head mas­ter and pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tional Wado Ryu Karate Do orga­ni­za­tion. He also assumed his father's name. His com­mit­ment is "To strive to achieve his father's great­ness." His num­ber one con­cern for the future of the mar­tial arts, is that, we need to develop more stu­dents of char­ac­ter. Under his super­vi­sion there are presently over 1,000 dojos, with a mem­ber­ship of 40,000, through­out the world.


Master Ohtsuka passed away June 27, 2015.

Master Toru Arakawa
Master Arakawa

9th Dan

Former Chair of the JKF Wado Kai Technical Committee


Below content was taken from Manchester JKF Wadokai Canada

Below is an old interview done with Arakawa sensei, the leading instructor of the JKF and Wadoryu style of karate. He began his training in 1950 at the Nihon University karate club which was formed in 1945 by Wakabayashi sensei. Over the years, this club produced a lot of very talented karate-ka, many of who took up positions overseas in the 1960's and 1970's when karate was just becoming established in the West.


Arakawa sensei was amongst the original three instructors who presented Wadokai karate during a tour of Europe in April 1964. He took over from Wakabayashi sensei as the Secretary General of Wadokai at the end of 1962, continuing in the role until 1979 and in doing so became the longest serving Secretary General.


He has played a leading part in the Japan Karate Federation (JKF). In 1982 he modelled the kata for the first JKF Shitei kata book (standardised approach of eight kata, two from Shotokanryu, Gojuryu, Shitoryu and Wadoryu). His role as a Director in JKF has seen him travel all over the world to well over 50 countries teaching authentic karate.


Today, he still teaches in Shibuya, Tokyo as well as visiting some university clubs and teaching at seminars both in Japan and overseas. The standard of technique in his dojo is as you would expect, extremely high and there exists there an atmosphere of serious karate training which has to be experienced to be appreciated.


Master Arakawa passed away June 20th, 2015 


Master Arakawa Interview  


Editor's Note

I was fortunate to be able to have trained with both of these great masters. I am very sad.



Robert Hunt
Robert Hunt


The Karate Tapestry - Part 14


Robert Hunt



Osamu Ozawa, known among karateka for the Las Vegas tournament that bears his name, was an eyewitness to karate in pre and post war Japan. I had the opportunity to travel with him on various jaunts for films or karate in the 90's. Mr. Ozawa produced Japanese TV programs at one time and helped Dan Ivan in his Japanese movie endeavors, in which I had the good fortune to take part.

Osamu Ozawa Sensei


One balmy evening in the early 80's my wife, Robin, and I picked Mr. Ozawa up at the San Diego airport, at the request of a friend, and ported him to a tournament in Ensenada, Mexico. That evening, in a quiet hotel, with the window ajar and the cool Pacific breeze drifting through the room like a fragrant wraith, he recounted a story that illustrates the political fanaticism that was Japanese karate in the 1955.


            After the war, the Japanese were trying to pull karate together under the Japan Karate Association, the JKA. The idea was to unite the styles under one political umbrella and spread "Japanese" karate around the world, some say to refurbish the Japanese image as a balm on the still open wound of Japanese imperialism. The JKA eventually wound up as only a Shotokan group, but it was supposed to be more ecumenical. 


Click   HERE to read the rest of the article                


To contact Robert Hunt  






Dear Ray,

I read with interest your article and agree with the list of benefits of competition for students ( I was an avid competitor myself, once upon a time); however (there's always a "however" in this subject) there is also a downside of focusing training for competition at the expense of the other "boring" stuff.
First, there are dozens of academic studies (references available upon request) and empiric evidence showing that, under stress, an individual will resort to what he has practiced the most. This is why police and military training has evolved, to provide a more "realistic" practice environment in addition to the traditional static target shooting practice. In the case of Karate students, an individual used to scoring points and stopping waiting for a referee call, or the case of students overextending techniques to score etc., that's exactly what they will do on the street, and won't work very well.
Second, competition today is very different that it was years ago, and although generally much more athletic and faster than when I competed, it is farther removed from traditional Jiyu kumite. There are more techniques now that are effective in competitions but of little value on the street (think ura mawashi, scorpion kicks, 95% of the reverse punches thrown nowadays). I enjoy watching MMA once in a while and, while MMA is not a realistic street situation either, it is definitely a better proxy for a real fight than a karate tournament is today, and I have never seen an ura mawashi, scorpion kick or the like; but I have seen front kicks, mawashi geris, and the occasional side or back kicks. Plus, those guys wear no protection other that gloves, teeth and groin so they have to be able to take punches as well as delivering them.

Third, the element of conditioning; in the old days we didn't use any padding save for groin protectors and the white cloth gloves (with not much padding). Today, there are hand, foot, chest, face protectors and I fear that karate is headed towards "taekwondoization", where we will see fully-covered competitors scoring points as detected by electronic sensors. There is very little actual Jiyu kumite (non stop, no score, and hell, no padding) taking place in Dojos nowadays, and although I understand that there are legal ramifications of not padding kids heads to toes, the downside is that they will never learn to take a real punch, or to strike with their bare hands or feet without injuring themselves.
I am not pretending to propose any solutions here but just contributing to the debate.
Yours in Wado,
Arturo Girona, 7th Dan
Member of World Technical Committee 
Regional Director - Central & South America 
Wado International KarateDo Federation



Ray Hughes

The Conversation Continues

The continued conversation about Sport Karate/Self-Defense-
originating from the article "Why Should Karate Students compete"   


By Ray Hughes


As editor, I appreciate well thought-out and articulate articles. Sensei Girona's response to the article I published last month

"Why Should Karate Students Compete"is an excellent example. Responses like this are great because they don't attack and yet foster a desire to further the discussion. Also, having been friends with this gentleman for over 30 years, I know his expertise and reputation is impeccable; thus adding credibility to this point of view.


I understand and agree with most of what Sensei Girona's states. Using Sensei Arturo's own words "however" (always a need to add a little humor), there are other thoughts that need to be added to the discussion. The following thoughts and ideas are based on my experiences and not supported by any scientific data.

When I started competition in the 70's the argument at that time was karate training was poor self-defense training. It was argued that if you practiced pulling your punches in training and in competition you would pull your punches in a real fight. Basically saying a person performs as they train. Also, it was argued all fights end up on the ground, making karate techniques ineffective.


I'm embarrassed to say I got into more than a few "real" fights in my twenties (70's into the 80's); mostly from rescuing young damsels in distress. At least that's how I remember things. And in those fights, I never had a problem following through with my punches and almost never went to the ground. My fellow karateka who had similar experiences said the same thing (there were a lot of young damsels that needed to be rescued in those days.) I felt my sport  training and competition did not inhibit my fighting skills. If anything, I believed it helped offset the typical problems one experiences in a real self-defense situation; the narrowing of vision, the shortness of breath, the decline in small motor skills, and the confusion generally experienced in battle.


The rest of the article 

Ray Hughes

Scottsdale Martial Arts Center







Wado Pentecost Seminar 2015 in Berlin

Tradition and Competition

by Christina Gutz 

130 participants from Austria, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Pakistan, Sweden and Switzerland attended the traditional Wado Pentecost Seminar in Berlin. The instructors were Shuzo Imai, 8th Dan Wado ryu, Takamasa Arakawa, 6th Dan JKF Wado-Kai, Bernd Alscher, 6th Dan Wado ryu and Christina Gutz, 6th Dan Wado ryu.


The number of participants of the Berlin Wado Pentecost Seminars, which has been consistently large for many years, is proof of the great national and international response and popularity. The dan gradings of the JKF Wado-Kai and of the German Karate Association DKV reflect the high quality of the seminar, of the instructors and of the grading panels.


The Training


Each training session of the three-day seminar started and ended with joint units. In the main sessions, the participants trained in smaller and bigger groups according to their dan or kyu grades. It was, thus, possible for the instructors to focus on the specific requirements and skill levels of the members of the individual groups. The excellent planning and structure of the seminar allowed the four instructors to modify the group sizes flexibly. Because the instructors took turns according to a schedule, the participants enjoyed training under the guidance of all instructors with a high degree of motivation and concentration.


Rest of the Article 

Sports Psychology

by Dr. Sterk

Dr. Sam Sterk

In my previous article I wrote about how to stop negative and tentative thoughts. This article is about how to best prepare for competition. It's about how to have a PRE-COMPETITION-COMPETITION PLAN.

Here's what the world famous golfer, Mr. Jack Nicklaus once said, "Before every shot I go to the movies inside my head. Here is what I see. First, I see the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on the bright green grass. Then, I see the ball going there; its path and trajectory and even, its behavior on its landing. The next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous image into reality. These home movies are the key to my concentration and to my positive approach to every shot (Jack Nicklaus 1976)" Jack once said that hitting a good golf shot is 10% swing, 40% stance and setup, and 50% the mental picture of how the swing should occur. So what Mr. Nicklaus states is the Visual Imagery and Positive Self talk are key ingredients to a Pre-competition plan.

Chris Evert was a very famous world tennis champion. "Before I play a match, I try to carefully rehearse what is likely to happen and how I will react to certain situations. I visualize myself playing typical points based on my opponent's style of play. I see myself hitting crisp, deep shots from the baseline and coming to the net if I get a weak return. This helps me mentally prepare for a match, and I feel like I've already played the match before I even walk on the courts (Tarshis, 1977)"


to read the rest of this article 

to read the rest of this article 

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 


Without Fear         

 During the civil wars in feudal Japan, an invading army would quickly sweep into a town and take control. In one particular village, everyone fled just before the army arrived - everyone except the Zen master.


Curious about this old fellow, the general went to the temple to see for himself what kind of man this master was. When he wasn't treated with the deference and submissiveness to which he was accustomed, the general burst into anger. "You fool," he shouted as he reached for his sword, "don't you realize you are standing before a man who could run you through without blinking an eye!"  


But despite the threat, the master seemed unmoved. "And do you realize," the master replied calmly, "that you are standing before a man who can be run through without blinking an eye?"


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


          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

      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