Wado Karate can be described in simple terms as a combination of the ancient Japanese combat system Shindo Yoshin Ryu Ju Jitsu and Okinawan Shuri-Te Karate. Developed as a distinct martial art by the first Grandmaster Hironori Ohtsuka I, Wado is one of the most popular styles of Karate around the world and was the first to receive recognition in Japan.
Evasive body movement combined with dynamic kicks and strikes are at the core of Wado which also incorporates self-defence applications. Training improves flexibility, stamina, control, co-ordination and strength as well as self-confidence and self-discipline.
The distinction between Wado Ryu and Wado Kai generally refers to which association a club belongs to and, to some extent, which Chief Instructor they follow from the founder’s students. Although there will be some differences in practice and syllabi, as is natural in an evolving and dynamic martial art, the underlying principles of Wado Karate established by the founder should be evident. These principles lie at the core of Sugasawa Sensei’s teaching within Shikukai Karate-Do International and are what we practice at club level.
For a more detailed summary of Wado Karate’s origins please see Wado Ryu & Jujutsu by Tim Shaw Sensei, 7th Dan, in which he outlines more of the underlying influences and principles in Wado Karate practice.