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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 Kobudo.

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 preparation.

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.”

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