What is Wado?
Wado, meaning the way to peace and harmony,
is one of the four major styles of karate in Japan and was founded in
1934 by Grand Master Hironori Otsuka.
It is perhaps the purest form of karate-do
(the way of the empty hands).
Wado is in essence a primary combination of
Gichin Funakochi’s Shurite karate and Tasusaburo Nakayama’s Shindo
Yoshinryu jujutsu, incorporating some techniques from the Japanese
Some of the harsher resistive or hard
contact elements of sparring technique, typical of many karate styles,
are not present in Wado.
Grand Master Otsuka rejected hardening
certain parts of the body, such as hand conditioning, as useless
The aim of Wado karate is not merely
perfection of the physical techniques of self-defence but the
development of a mind that is tranquil yet alive, able to react
intuitively to any situation.
In Wado, as skill and knowledge are
acquired through training and concentrated effort, the student is
expected to develop inner strength and calmness of character, as well
as the virtues of self-control, respect for others, and true humility.
In his book Wado Ryu Karate, Otsuka Sensei
notes, “The path of martial arts is the path of peace. By mastering the
path of martial arts, which is the path of peace and desiring the path
of peace consequently, is indeed the true path of the martial arts. The
essence of the path of martial arts lies in the peace and happiness of
all human beings.”