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Wado Ryu Karate
The style of karate taught in Kenshindoryu clubs is called Wado Ryu, which means Peaceful Way School. Wado Ryu is a combination of Okinawan karate and Japanese classical Bujutsu (in particular, Shindo Yoshinryu Jujitsu). It was 'invented' by a Japanese jujitsu master, Otsuka Hironori, who was impressed by the power of Funakoshi's Shotokan karate, but thought that much of its movements and striking were inefficient.
"Ohtsuka Sensei says that if Wado Karate was a soup, then the Karate part of Wado would just be like a pinch of salt!" Yoshihiko Iwasaki
As a style of karate, Wado Ryu is 'lighter' than Shotokan, incorporating movement and strategy from Jujitsu and Kenjutsu. From Okinawan karate come the striking techniques, and from Jujitsu and Kenjutsu the use of body movement and joint-locks, pins & throws
Master Otsuka developed a relaxed-arm thrust punch coupled with a snap-withdrawal of the punching fist, to create a highly focussed technique which he saw as more 'economical' than other styles of karate, with all the energy concentrated solely in the strike.
"In Wado-Ryu you bite and then chew Karate. Then it enters your stomach where it is digested and then turns into Jujitsu" Yoshihiko Iwasaki
The karate section of the honbu dojo was the first to be established, back in 1988, although Sensei Dart had been running his own clubs since 1983 within other organisations. In 1998 the Kenshin Do Karate Wadokai was accepted into membership of the Wadokai England Karatedo Federation, affiliated to the Japan Karate Federation (Wadokai), where Sensei Dart was subsequently appointed as General Secretary of the Federation in 1999-2000. Membership lapsed in January 2009 as Wadokai England's focus changed to competition karate and in 2012 Kenshin Do Karate Wado Kai joined the English Wado Federation.
The Kenshindoryu syllabus was originally based on Mr Suzuki's UKKW grading requirements but various changes have taken place over the years in relation to pair techniques and kata interpretation resulting in the current syllabus which reflects the influence of Shinohara Sensei from the British Wadoryu Karatedo Shikukai, who has been a long-time supporter and mentor.
"Wado Kata and Kihon must be capable of becoming typical Jujitsu movements and techniques." Yoshihiko Iwasaki
Kata application is a major emphasis within Kenshindoryu clubs and students will be provided with effective applications for all kata in the syllabus, including throwing, locking, vital & pressure-point applications. However, in keeping with the close-range nature of Wadoryu in Kenshindoryu clubs, these applications tend towards grappling and close-quarter striking techniques with their roots in Jujitsu and Aikijutsu.
View an example of our Kata Bunkai (Nai Hanchi)
"Jujitsu-Ka and Wado-ka should understand the principles of Kenjutsu and be able to use a sword effectively." :Yoshihiko Iwasaki
The syllabus also includes Ukemiwaza (breakfalls) and Kumikata (forms of gripping) to enable seamless transition into the kata locking and throwing techniques, without sacrificing any of the traditional skills of taisabaki, irimi, noru and nagasu, which have been enhanced by inclusion of Shinkendo sword training at the Honbu.