a Monthly International Newsletter
July 2016

Ohtsuka head                 








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

-Hironori Ohtsuka




In This Issue
"Who are the Greatest Teachers" by Ray Hughes
"A Thing of the Spirit" by Robert Hunt
"History of Shindo Yoshin Ryu" by Bob Nash
Recognizing and Preserving Ancient Koryu Knowlegde
Sports Psychology
Zen Stories
Moral Wisdom
Traditional Karate Websites
Wado Seminars
Other Seminars
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
       Who are the Greatest Teachers?
                    by Ray Hughes

It may come as a surprise the people I consider my greatest teachers were not the Grand Karate Masters I trained with.  Though my Sensei, Marlon Moore, completely changed the course of my life, it was the bad teachers who taught me how to live, or should I say, how not to live.
When I started training in the mid 70's, like many, I dove head over heels into the martial arts.  Not only did I train practically every day, I read every martial art book I could get my hands on.  The philosophical views really made an impact; they presented a different way of thinking and acting.

As I proceeded through my early years, I realized there was a disconnect between the philosophies discussed in those books and my observation of some of the instructors around me; humility, honor, respect, etc. were not being demonstrated by these instructors. These teachers classified themselves traditional and preached the importance of following the "way" and yet their actions did not match their message. Though these teachers knew the technical aspects of karate, they were arrogant, condescending, and outright mean to their students.   Astounded, I questioned how this could be.  How could a field based on these precepts have so many arrogant instructors?
To read the rest of this article click  HERE     
Ray Hughes
Scottsdale Martial Arts Center

Robert Hunt
Robert Hunt
A Thing of the Spirit   
The Karate Tapestry - Part 25
By Robert Hunt

Tom Handest never turned the heat on in the dojo.

Twenty degrees outside. No matter. No heat.

Cold? Practice harder.

A white, metal-backed thermometer with a red tube dangled on a nail at the front of the room, a make-shift exercise meter teasing us to nudge up the mercury. We showed up at the dojo shivering on winter evenings but, after a few minutes sweating, embraced the cool air and forgot about the weather.

I don't recall how high the mercury ever reached, but it mattered little. In those early days, in the 1960's, we were karate fanatics, training with survival in mind and the obsession that someday we might actually have to depend on this stuff for more than a trophy.

Then, one night in the dead of winter, with a Pennsylvania blizzard wailing outside, I had my first taste of what karate was really all about.

The usual punching, kicking, and shouting filled the tiny dojo with energy. Sweat beaded up on our foreheads, and our uniforms flapped around us like white, dancing birds.

Abruptly, Sensei Handest stopped teaching, looked us over for a few seconds, strode to the door at the end of the room, and yanked it open. We shivered a bit as snow whistled through.

New to the place, I wondered what was up, then stared in disbelief as he darted into the storm in his lightweight uniform and bare feet, bidding us follow.

Follow? Follow where? Anyone notice our bare feet? Anyone notice snow just blew through the door? Anyone know the temperature? Anyone think this is crazy? Anyone care?

I stood there with my mouth agape as my friend, Al Bean, and the other karate nuts obediently followed Sensei out the door, emptying the dojo until I was left alone.

Click  HERE to read the rest of the article                
To contact Robert Hunt  
History of Shindo Yoshin Ryu for the Wado practitioners
by Bob Nash
Bob Nash
Bob Nash

Otsuka Sensei broke away from Funakoshi Sensei around 1934 to pursue his own vision of karate. In 1938 he officially presented his martial art at the Butokukai's 44th annual festival. As a part of this event he was asked to name the style, present its curriculum, and also state the originator of the art.
He registered his martial art as 'Shinshu Wadoryu Karate Jutsu. (Eriguchi Sensei actually came up with the name Wado - he also came up with the name 'Guseikai' which he gave to Takagi Sensei for his personal use. Some day in the future I will elaborate on the name Guseikai and the 3 tiered cosmology (Gusei being the first stage of the evolution according to his philosophy) that Eriguchi Sensei bequeathed to Takagi Sensei. Both Wado and Guseikai are terms that are profound and speaks to Eriguchi Sensei's fascination and understanding of both Japanese and Chinese philosophy and religion.
For now just know that both the term 'Shinshu' (Pure Land) and 'Wado' (way of Harmony) are multilayered terms. Shinshu was an old name for Japan (as is Yamato and a few others). Japan being an island nation physically separated by large bodies of water from other nation states developed a sense of superiority and paradoxically an inferiority complex but I digress.

The very act of prefixing your art with 'Shinshu' was in tune with the ethos of the right wing nationalism of that era. Words like 'Shinshu' and 'Wado' are multilayered and context dependent. Wado today is commonly understood in the West to mean 'the way of Peace/Harmony'.   But in a different context the word 'Wa' is a synonym for Japan'. Washoku (Japanese Food), Wafu (Japanese clothing), Any Star Trek Next Generation fan will understand that the raison d'etre for the Borg was 'WA' (conquer and assimilate). There was a time in recent Japanese history that as a nation they followed the Borg directive and in its heyday the boundaries of Japan covered major parts of China, the Philippines, Indonesia and extended to the borders of Australia. Some of the current day Japanese citizens in their 70's were actually born in China due to Japan's expansion during WWII.   Takagi Sensei was born in China. My uncles and aunts were born in China. Japan like the Borg were in active pursuit of Wa until General Douglas McArthur put a stop to it. For now I will leave you with this - Wado was chosen by Eriguchi Sensei to mean much more than harmony, peace, Japan, or the Borg directive. Given his writings it is clear he was very much aware of classical Japanese and Chinese literature and the significance of 'harmonizing' Heaven Earth Man from a martial art perspective. Perhaps more on this topic in a future article.

To read the rest of this article click HERE 
Bob Nash 

Recognizing and Preserving Ancient Koryu Knowledge in Contemporary Wado Ryu Karate
by Christina Gutz  

Wado and TSYR Pentecost Seminar with Toby Threadgill (USA) and Shuzo Imai (Germany)
in Berlin from 14th to 16th May, 2016
More than 110 participants attended the 2016 Wado and TSYR Pentecost Seminar in Berlin. The instructors were Toby Threadgill (Menkyo Kaiden, Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin ryu) and Shuzo Imai (8th Dan Wado ryu).
Wado ryu was founded by Hironor  i Otsuka (1892 - 1982) and is based on two pillars: Shindo Yoshin Ryu (SYR) und Okinawa Karate. The historic link between Wado ryu and SYR is  reflected in the concepts and main principles of SYR which Hironori Otsuka integrated into Wado ryu.
On the first day of the seminar, Toby Threadgill used Kata[1]and Kunren[2] to illustrate these main principles in Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin ryu (TSYR) and Shuzo Imai used Kihon kumite 1 - 10 (the key partner kata of Wado ryu) to illustrate the Wado principles. On the second day of the seminar, these principles were further explored by means of Tantodori in Wado ryu and TSYR. Toby Threadgill used the third day to explain these principles in more depth by means of selected TSYR kata. Shuzo Imai made it clear in his session that the current Wado ryu Dan syllabus comprises the Wado ryu core principles which Otsuka transferred from SYR to Wado ryu. Since the participants alternated in two groups between Toby Threadgill´s and Shuzo Imai´s sessions, they could directly experience the link between TSYR and Wado ryu, between Koryu[3] and contemporary Wado ryu.

[1] In TSYR, all kata are done with partners.
[2] Kunren are TSYR partner kata which train internal power.
Unlike Koryu, the traditional Japanese martial arts which were developed before the start of the 1868 Meiji restoration, karate is part of Gendai budo, the martial arts that were created in Japan after 1868.

To read the rest of the article click HERE 

Sports Psychology 
by Dr Sterk
Dr. Sterk

Anthony had recently turned thirteen and was a seventh grader.  He was committed to his Martial Arts training but was unable to understand why he never medaled.  In the interview he appeared somewhat nervous.  This was directly related to his struggles in not doing well in tournaments.  His parents made an appointment for Christian and themselves to see Dr. Sam Sterk, a Sport Psychologist, who began asking such question as, just prior to your competition, what are your thoughts and feelings?  What are you telling yourself, just before you compete?  Have you tried any Mental Strategies to cope with the pressures of competing?  Dr. Sterk quickly discovered that Christian's thoughts and emotions were all negative.  It goes without saying that if you harbor negative thoughts, what is called Negative Self-Talk, your competition results will also be lacking.  In addition, Dr. Sterk administered the Comprehensive Athletic Profile (CAP) which measures traits that are associated with athletic success.  This instrument also revealed that because of Anthony's Negative Self-Talk his Focus and ability to handle the tensions of competition were off.
  In a few confidential sessions, Anthony was much better equipped as he developed Mental Edge Strategies to handle both Martial Arts competitions and belt promotion.  His Negative Self-Talk was replaced by Positive Self-Talk, and the use of Visual imagery of his skills which promoted laser Focus.  

Dr. Sterk is the author of: WIN! Get the Mental Edge Skills in Martial Arts which is available through Amazon.com and create space.com

Dr. Sterk understand the Martial Arts mind as he's also a fifth degree black belt.
If you or your child would like to make an appointment, don't hesitate to call, 480-767-0956.

From the desk of Sam Sterk, Ph.D., CC-AASP
Tel: 480-767-0956 
Email: peakplus@aol.com

Books published by Dr. Sterk

Win! Get the Mental Edge Skills in Martial Arts

Sammy's Journey 

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

Be the Boss                   

A horse suddenly came galloping quickly down the road. It seemed as though the man had somewhere important to go.

Another man, who was standing alongside the road, shouted, "Where are you going?" and the man on the horse replied,

"I don't know! Ask the horse!"
 This is a short but well-known Zen story with a powerful meaning behind it. The horse symbolizes our habit energy. The story explains the way we usually live, at the mercy of our old habit energies which have been established not by our intentional actions, but by our surroundings and mindless activity.
The horse is pulling us along, making us run here and there and hurry everywhere and we don't even know why. If you stopped to ask yourself from time to time why exactly you're running around so much, sometimes you might have an answer, but it's never a very good one. You're just used to it, it's how we're taught to live.
But as much as we run, it gets us nowhere. We need to learn how to take back the reigns and let the horse know who's boss.
You're the boss, you've always been the boss, so start acting like it.


We all need a little Zen in our Lives. If you have a story, please send it in.
thinking man
Moral Wisdom
"Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun."

Alan W. Watts 
Traditional Karate Websites 
To list an international traditional karate website, contact editor 


          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 

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

For additional information click HERE
Registration form-click HERE


 Other Seminars and Events

Americas Masters Games in Vancouver

August 26-September 4, 2016

Karate BC is excited to be part of the upcoming Americas Masters Games in Vancouver, August 26-September 4, 2016. We are one of 24 sports participating in this event.
We believe this event is a wonderful opportunity for karate practitioners 30 years an over to get together to compete, make new friends, renew friendships and socialize with other 30 years + athletes in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Here is some karate specific information.
  1. We will have two age groups: 30-45 years of age and 46 +.
  2. There will be 3 general categories of competitors: novice (8-5th kyu), intermediate (4th-1st kyu) and advanced (black belts levels)
  3. 3 disciplines to compete in: kata, kumite, and kobudo.
  4. In kumite there will be 2 weight categories: men -75 kg and +75 kg; women -61 kg and +61 kg.
  5. Competition will be modified WKF rules. Modifications will be as per Karate BC guidelines and will be distributed at a later date.
  6. Competition date(s) will be Sept. 2, 3. If less than 100 competitors then Sept. 3.
  7. This is an Open event - participants do not need to be part of their country's NSO; however if they are not they will need to buy tournament insurance for the day(s) of the event. This event is sanctioned by Karate Canada and Karate BC so members/affiliates will be able to make use of existing karate insurance.
  8. Hotel information will be coming out in next bulletin.



 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  

Scottsdale Martial Arts Center Inc. | 9151 E. Bell Rd #101 | Scottsdale | AZ | 85260