a Monthly International Newsletter
January 2016

Ohtsuka head                 








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

-Hironori Ohtsuka




In This Issue
'How Traditional Belt Ranks are Awarded" by Ray Hughes
"Museum Pieces and Their Names" by Robert Hunt
"USA Karate"
Sports Psychology
Zen Stories
Moral Wisdom
Wado Seminar
Wado Agenda
British Wadokai News
International Wado Federation News
Wado and TRYR Seminar
WIKF Seminars
Master Takagi Seminar
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 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

How Traditional Belt Ranks are Awarded  

Below is an overview on how belt ranks are awarded in strong, traditional karate schools. It must be understood there are many shades of grey when it comes to awarding rank to practitioners, including the understanding there are extremes on both sides. There are those schools that have extremely low standards, awarding black belts in a year and a half and to practitioners as young as 6 to 8 years of age. There are also schools that boast of such high standards that justifies failing most of their students most of the time.

Many people new to the martial arts are unaware that belt ranks are for the most part given for student's accomplishments of potential rather than following strict proficiency guidelines of rank.
There is more involved in rank than simply being able to perform a pretty technique or to cause physical damage to an attacker. Though physical technique and martial understanding weigh heavy in belt rank determination, other areas of consideration include maturity, wisdom, training duration, physical and mental potential, to name a few. Speaking strictly from a self defense point of view, there are many ways to defeat an enemy other than physical domination. In most self defense situations, it requires an overall understanding of self defense more than simply possessing physical talent. The enemy is almost always more powerful and stronger than the target.

There are guidelines for each rank, but the proficiency requirements vary with each student. The goal is to push the student to his or her potential for each rank. Every student is different; each possessing different mental and physical skill levels.

To read the rest of this article click HERE   

Ray Hughes
Scottsdale Martial Arts Center

Robert Hunt
Robert Hunt
Museum Pieces and Their Names
The Karate Tapestry - Part 19
By Robert Hunt


What's in a name?
            Translating ancient Chinese kata names from a Chinese dialect into Okinawan, then Japanese, then English can conjure up some interesting imagery.

            "Penetrating a Fortress (or perhaps a Rock)." "Surreptitious Steps." "King's Crown." "Extraordinary Hands." "The Long Silent March." "Four Calm Monks." "Come, Stay, the Waves." (Patsai. Naihanchin. Wankan. Chinte. Seiunchin. Shisochin. Kururunfa.) These are all someone's colorful translations at one time or another of the names of those Okinawan kata, for the most part, meaningless, albeit sometimes very poetic.

            Then there are the numbers: 13, 18, 24, 36, 54, 108. (Seisan. Seipai. Niseishi. Sanseiryu. Useishi. Suparempai.) Why numbers?

            Where did those names all came from? The best answer is - nobody knows for sure. When you delve into the history of Okinawan karate, it is amazing how little anyone actually knows with certainty and how much is conjecture, fantasy, repeated error or wild guess, especially when it comes to the names of kata.

Okinawa had no written language. They spoke a dialect called Hogan, and, like the Japanese, adopted Chinese calligraphy as their written language, but most Okinawans never learned to write. Higashionna, to site one famous example, was illiterate.
Click  HERE to read the rest of the article                
To contact Robert Hunt  

Doug Jepperson1
Doug Jeppersom
For Those Who Follow USA Karate 
by Doug Jepperson

I wanted to pass on information about the current state of affairs of USA Karate (USNKF). Below is a letter from Phil Hampel, CEO of USA Karate. With the possibility that karate may be in the 2020 Olympics, there are many people following USA Karate.

Dear Members and Friends,
As we come to the end of 2015 I wanted to wish you and your families a Happy Holiday Season and Happy New Year!!  This has been a really busy year for the Federation.  I thought it would be good to share with you some of the highlights:
  • Hosted successful Signature Events
  • We qualified 7 athletes for the Pan American Games and came home with 3 medals.  Congratulations to Tom Scott for his Gold Medal and Brian Irr and Brandis Miyazaki on their Bronze Medals
  • Our Junior National Team was 2nd in the medal count at the Pan American Championships
  • We are proud of Tom Scott who was ranked #1 in -75kg Kumite for the WKF Premier League.  Tom's dedication and hard work has made Captain America a great role model for our athletes.
  • We continue to work on our Team USA development program and have several exciting changes to announce in 2016
  • Our International Referee Corps continues to grow and is highly respected in the PKF and WKF
  • We've reached a point where the Federation is no longer carrying debt
  • The Olympic Dream is alive as Karate is on the list of 5 potential sports to be included in the 2020 Tokyo Games.  The IOC vote is next summer and hopefully we will have an opportunity to participate in the Games.
  • Today we are launching our new mobile app. Download the USA Karate mobile app for iOS and Android devices for the latest news, events, club information and athlete bios. 
I'm really excited about the direction we are heading.  We have a lot of new things coming in 2016 to make out Federation even better.  I know there are areas we can improve and we will continue to work on these areas.
Have a safe and wonderful holiday!
Phil Hampel, CEO USA Karate

Doug Jepperson


Sports Psychology 
by Dr. Sam Sterk   
New Year Resolutions:

Dr. Sam Sterk
Positive and Cognitive Psychology help people establish goals, make good choices, be happier in a way that transforms their lives. If you train your mind it's just as easy to be positive as it is to be negative. As we approach the New Year I'd like to offer my readers some guidelines on establishing positive goals in their lives. What are your goals for this coming year? Write down your SMART goals. Are they Specific, measurable, Realistic and Timely?

To read the rest of the article click HERE 

Sam Sterk, Ph.D., CC-AASP
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 

Surprising the Master               

The students in the monastery were in total awe of the elder monk, not because he was strict, but because nothing ever seemed to upset or ruffle him. So they found him a bit unearthly and even frightening. One day they decided to put him to a test. A bunch of them very quietly hid in a dark corner of one of the hallways, and waited for the monk to walk by. Within moments, the old man appeared, carrying a cup of hot tea. Just as he passed by, the students all rushed out at him screaming as loud as they could. But the monk showed no reaction whatsoever. He peacefully made his way to a small table at the end of the hall, gently placed the cup down, and then, leaning against the wall, cried out with shock, "Ohhhhh!"

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

"Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something."
  Henry David Thoreau 

          Wado Seminars
             and Events
Wado Agenda
by Rob van Leeuwen

Info on other International Wado Events 


Wado and TSYR Seminar
Dominating your Opponent through the Control of
Initiative (Sente) and Distance (Maai)
Toby Threadgill (USA)
Menkyo Kaiden, Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin ryu
Kaki Kawano (Japan)
5th Dan JKF Wado-Kai

February 06 - February 07, 2016
In Berlin

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 

To view seminar schedule from January 2016 through August 2016
click HERE. 

 Other Seminars and Events


 Japanese Karate Tournament Schedule 2015 USA
                                                     Click HERE 

      12/26-1/5 2016    The 13th Pan American Maccabi Games
                                Santiago, Chile
                                Dr. Sternberg      skusajka@aol.com
                                Caren Lesser       lesserc@bellsouth.net