About Wado-Ryu

A unique point about Wado-Ryu is that Wado-Ryu Karate is a mixture of
Shinto-Yoshin-Ryu Jujutsu and Karate.
Contrary to other styles of karate which were introduced to Japan
From Okinawa as a Karate around 1922. Wado-Ryu developed entirely
on the mainland of Japan as Karate and Jujutsu Kenpo.

The name Wado-Ryu comes from the idea of

TEN, CHI, JIN, No RI-DO ni Wa suru.
The Kanji TEN means the sky, heaven and the air.
CHI stands for the earth, the soil and the ground.
JIN represents men, mankind and human beings.
RI-DO means reason and truth.
WA stands for the sum of a whole, peace and harmony.
These definitions are the Kanjis' Literal meanings,
but imply many other concepts and symbols which encompass the existing
world such as sunlight, rain, harvesting crops, desire love extra.
The phrase TEN, CHI, JIN no RI-DO ni WA suru, connects all
these symbols and concepts together with
TEN,(sky) CHI(ground) and JIN(human beings) represented
as three circles are encompassed by a larger circle called RI-DO(reason).
RI-DO can be used in combination with any of the three basic principles and
if those combinations are naturally executed then WA(harmony) is created and
that is represented by a larger circle that encompasses all the other principles (see diagram).

Creating harmony (WA) is the most difficult condition to affair in Martial Arts.
In order to do this you have to sharpen your intellect not only through physical
training but mental training as well.
The Martial Arts is not a sport.
Whereas sports are concerned with the concept of winning,
Martial Arts are concerned with the idea of growing.
The struggles we face in training are similar to the ones face in life.
We must not train to destroy others but rather to develop our human spirit.
The philosophy of Wado-Ryu can help a person grow in any area of life.

The history of Hironori Otsuka

June 1 1892

Hironori Otsuka was born in Ibaraki Prefecture, Shimodate City
as the first son of Tokujiro and Sato.
His real name was Kou.
Hironori is the name, which was used for the martial art.

1897

Otsuka entered the Dojo of Choujiro Ebashi and embarked
on the learning of Jujutsu.
Choujiro Ebashi was his big uncle on his mother's side and was a martial
arts teacher in the Tuchiura feudal clan.

1905

Otsuka entered the Ibaragi prefecture Shimotsuma junior high school.
He entered the Dojo of Master Tatsusaburo Nakayama, who was a teacher
in his junior high school and he began to learning full-scale
Shinto-Yoshin-Ryu-Jujutsu in his Dojo.

1910

He entered Waseda University and specialized in commerce.

1914~

He visited and trained Jujutsu in other Dojos as well as participated
in trial games such as Tenjinshinyo-Ryu, Kito-Ryu and so on.

1912

With the death of his father Tokujiro, he dropped out of Waseda University
to enter Kawasaki bank at the request of his mother Sato.

1913

He began the study of bone setting and the kappo.

June 1, 1921

On Otsuka`s 30th birthday, Tatsusaburo Nakayama conferred to him the license
of full proficiency in Shinto-Yoshin-Ryu and then accedes to the 4th generation
of the Shinto-Yoshin-Ryu.

July, 1922

He began to learn Ryukyoo- Karate- Jutsu.

1929

He participated in the establishment of the Nihon-Old martial art
promotion league, and he joined the league with the name of his own Karate
"Wado-Ryu-Karate-Jutsu".

1934

He established his Dojo "Dai-Nihon-Karate-Do-Shinko-Club",
which juxtaposed a bonesetting hospital in Suehirocho, Kanda Tokyo.

May 1938

He conferred the rank of "Renshi-Gou" from Dai-Nihon-Butokukai.
In the same year, he participated in " the style ancestor festival " in Kyoto
Butokuden, which Butokukai sponsors.
At that time, he registered his style name as Shinshu-Wado-Ryu-Karate-Jutsu.
This became the first Karate style name to be officially authorized into the
martial arts of Japan. Though, on the mainland of Japan a founder of a style of
martial art was held in esteem, a founder of a style of Karate held little
importance at the time.

1939

He changed his style name from Shinsu-Wado-Ryu to simply "Wado-Ryu".
Since then the name has remained unchanged up to present time.

1944

He was appointed as the head master (SHUSEKI-SHIHAN) of Karate
by the Dai Nihon Butokukai.

1949

He participated in the establishment of the International Martial Arts
Federation (IMAF).

1952

He opened the Wado-Ryu headquarters Dojo at Tsukiji in Tokyo.

On June 1st , the first Wado-Ryu Demonstration tournament was held for the
20th anniversary commemoration of the foundation of Wado-Ryu Karate-Jutsu.

He participated in forming the Japan Karatedo Federation.

1966

The Japanese government honored him with the Fifth Order of Merit
( the cordon of the Rising Sun ) for his contributions to karate.

1969

He became First Vice-Chairman of the Japan Karatedo Federation.

Oct 9, 1972

He was awarded the title of "Meijin" by the Emperor's uncle.

Nov 3, 1978

He established the International Federation of Wado-Ryu Karate-Do
Organizations’ Headquarters Dojo in Nerima Ward Tokyo.

Apr 1, 1981

The name of the Wado-Ryu Organization was changed.

The object of studying

"MARTIAL ARTS" What does it mean?
There are many meanings. For example; BUDO, BUJUTSU, BUGI, KAKUGI, BUSHIDO,
which are all Martial arts.
But what is the meaning of Martial arts.
Today practitioners of Martial arts have many meanings.
As a sport, as a health control, to improve the spirit or as a business, but
what is the reality?
As the founder of Wado-Ryu wrote in a poem.
"When you practice Wado-Ryu as a martial art, it not only means committing
yourself to the way of Wado-Ryu, but also committing yourself to a certain
way of life, which includes "HARD TRAINING" ; overcoming obstacles in life and
finding the way to lead a healthy and meaningful existence in the time you have on this planet.
Through this way of life you can reach
the center of "WA" and lead a life of wholeness.
This is the reality!
Therefore, to categorize the purpose of training in Wado-Ryu, one must find
center of "WA" through HARD TRAINING.
Once you have entered the center of "WA", you will find many other ways to grow
and improve your way of life.
It will help you grow in all areas of your life.

Shinto-Yoshin-Ryu-Jujutsu

Hironori Otsuka

who acceded to the 4th generation of Shinto-Yosin-Ryu Jujutsu
completed Wado-Ryu Jujutsu-Kenpo.
It was created to made fuse using the merit of Karate and
Shinto-Yoshin-Ryu-Jujutsu.

The successors of Shinto-Yoshin-Ryu

The first Katsunosuke Matsuoka
The second Motokichi Inose
The third Shinzaburo Yukiyoshi Nakayama
The fourth Hironori Otsuka

SHINTO-YOSHIN-RYU-JUJUTSU

1864, Katsunosuke Matsuoka made Yoshin-Ryu.
He used Yoshin-Ryu as basis, merged together Tenjinshinyo-Ryu,
Yoshin-Koryu, and introduced the theory and the technology of
Jikishinkage-Ryu-Kenjutsu.

Katsunosuke Matsuoka

Katsunosuke Matsuoka was the second son of Dourin Matsuoka and the father was
a feudal clan doctor in the Fukuoka Kuroda feudal clan. When Katsunosuke was 17 years
old, his father became in charge of Edo(Tokyo) residence of clan, and they move to Edo.
Then he started learning Yoshin-Ryu Jujutsu in the Shogunate martial arts school there.
In the meantime, he also studied the other martial arts such as Tenjin-Shinyo-Ryu,
Yoshin-Koryu, Jikishinkage-Ryu and Hokushin-Ittoryu.
After that, he opened a Dojo to the Asakusa precincts and taught Jujutsu and Kenjutsu.
He used this occasion to changed the style name to Shinto-Yoshin Ryu-Jujutsu.
When his Dojo recognized by the Shogunate Martial Arts school, he became a vassal in the
Shogunate and was promoted to Shogunate's territory patrol duty in Shimofusa-Hitachi-city.
When the Shogunate abolished a feudal clan system and replaced it with
a prefecture system, Matsuoka moved on a new location in Hitachinokuni
(Ibaragi Prefecture)-Uenomura-city. There he taught Jujutsu, Kenjutsu and acquired a
job as the local bonesetter, later earning a good reputation.

Tatsusaburo Nakayama

In 1886, Tatsusaburo Nakayama entered the Shintokan-Dojo of Katsunosuke
Matsuoka and he learned Jikishinkage-Ryu-Kenjutsu and Shinto-Yoshin-Ryu
Jujutsu. He also studied Onoha-Itto-Ryu with Master Sasaburo Takano and he
awarded a license of full proficiency of the style in 1906.
In 1898, Master Katsunosuke Matsuoka past away, after that Nakayama decided
to succeed of Shinto-Yoshin-Ryu' the third position.

Hironori Otsuka

April 1, 1897 Otsuka enterd the school of Tatsusaburo Nakayama.
June 1, 1920 Otsuka completed all the lessons and took the license of the highest
degree of the school, which allowed him to succeed his master's position.

Kata and Kata

The first Grand Master Hironori Otsuka elected 16 different katas in the Wado-Ryu system, which are KihonGatta, Pinan Nidan, Pinan Shodan, Pinan Sandan, Pinan Yondan, Pinan Godan, Kushanku, Naihanchi, Seishan, Chinto, Bassai, Jion, Nishaishi, Jitte, Rowhai and Wanshu. Although he felt the most important katas to practice are only the first 10 katas from KihonGatta to Chinto. He properly taught only the 10 katas to the Wado-Ryu disciples, because the same movements are already included in the other 6 katas. His idea was that, how many katas one memorizes if one cannot apply the technique, is a waste of time and stamina.

In Wado-Ryu, the Kanji use for "KATA" is but the other styles of Karate are using the other Kanji. The first Grand Master Hironori Otsuka made this choice.

These two characters of Kanji are read as "KATA." The second character is also read as
"IGATA" which can be translated as "Mold." The standardized goods made from the IGATA are all the same, it’s not transformable. Martial arts must never become an "IGATA."

It must always be "KATA."

The first character of "KATA" does not imply "IGATA" and it can be translated as a transformable shape. "KATA" is expressive; as a mirror is, it changes with every action and situation. A mirror figure changes just as its reflection does.

"IGATA" is dead ? It does not have an identity; "KATA" is alive. The dead "Igata" is utilizable for only one purpose. Because kata is alive, it can be utilized for many situations. Thus, when using the kata of martial arts, one must use it in accordance to the meaning and objective it has, or else it becomes useless.

To use a kata that is alive is difficult, but it is important in all martial arts training, while it is utilizable in the area of arts especially for one concerned with professionalism.

A kata that is alive itself is invisible, but the progress to achieve that stage of aliveness gives the kata a spirit.

Each movement in a kata was made to be practiced without an opponent. When practicing, it is important to imagine opponents all around you in all directions and remember the objective, the application and the usage of that particular movement.

The best method of practicing "KATA" is repetition. Although, after a period of time, one begins to better understand the procedure of one movement incorporating into the next movement. Of course, in some katas, a continuous combination may exist but one must not think about what comes before or after. While performing kata and following the order of the movement, one has to keep in mind to be ready for a sudden attack coming from any direction.

Each and every one of the movements put together makes a kata. Therefore to perform each movement properly, one must practice kata until being able to spontaneously move.

The first Grand Master Hironori Otsuka elected 16 different katas in the Wado-Ryu system, which are KihonGatta, Pinan Nidan, Pinan Shodan, Pinan Sandan, Pinan Yondan, Pinan Godan, Kushanku, Naihanchi, Seishan, Chinto, Bassai, Jion, Nishaishi, Jitte, Rowhai and Wanshu. Although he felt the most important katas to practice are only the first 10 katas from KihonGatta to Chinto. He properly taught only the 10 katas to the Wado-Ryu disciples, because the same movements are already included in the other 6 katas. His idea was that, how many katas one memorizes if one cannot apply the technique, is a waste of time and stamina.