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About Wado Kai

Wado kai is one of four main styles of karate taught in Japan and is the organization within the Japan Karate Federation (JKF), which practices the Wado-ryu style of karate.


The name Wado-ryu has three parts: Wa, do, and ryu. Wa means "harmony," do (same character as tao) means "way," and ryu means "school" or "style". Harmony should not be interpreted as pacifism; it is simply the acknowledgment that yielding is sometimes more effective than brute strength.

Hironori Otsuka

Wado-ryu can be considered a style of Jujutsu, rather than karate. Hironori Otsuka was a licensed Shindo Yoshin-ryu practitioner and a student of Yoshin-ryu when he first met the Okinawan karate master Gichin Funakoshi, who is credited with bringing karate to the Japan mainland and popularizing it. Otsuka learnt Shotokan karate from Gichin Funakoshi and also trained with the Okinawan masters Kenwa Mabuni and Motobu Choki. From this background, Otsuka merged Shindo Yoshin-ryu, an atemi waza focused style of Jujutsu, with Okinawan karate in a style that was named Wado-ryu karate in 1939. Most of the underlying principles of Wado-ryu karate are derived from Shindo Yoshin-ryu.




Shindo Yoshin-ryu was founded late in the Edo period by a Kuroda clan retainer named Katsunosuke Matsuoka (1836–1898). Katsunosuke believed that the contemporary jujutsu systems of the late Edo period had lost much of their military usefulness, evolving into systems driven more by individual challenge matches than effective military engagement. Therefore, he decided to combine his expertise in kenjutsu and jujutsu by formulating a new system called Shindo Yoshin-ryu, meaning "new willow school." Shindo Yoshin-ryu split into two lines in 1895 when an aging Katsunosuke authorized another licensed student living in Edo named Shigeta Ohbata to separate from the mainline and lead his own branch of Shindo Yoshin-ryu. This line became the Ohbata-ha Shindo Yoshin-ryu and survives today as Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin-ryu, named after the grandson of Shigeta Ohbata, and is now headed by Tobin Threadgill Sensei, with the hombu dojo located in Evergreen, Co, USA (


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