History of Wado-Ryu Karate.
Wado-Ryu Karate is a Japanese martial art founded by Hironori Ohtsuka Sensei in 1924. Ohtsuka Sensei developed Wado-Ryu after studying the Samurai martial art of Jiu-jitsu, and Shotokan (another style of Karate). This combination, according to Ohtsuka Sensei, is a softer, more natural means of self-protection.
Ohtsuka Sensei started training in martial arts at the age of 6 years where he studied Shindo Yoshin Ryu jujitsu under Master Nakayama, 3rd head master of the style. In 1921, on his 29th birthday, Hironori Ohtsuka (Otsuka) was appointed as the 4th headmaster of Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jujitsu. In 1922, Ohtsuka Sensei began studying karate under Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan karate. In 1924 he was awarded his black belt in Shotokan.
By 1929 Ohtsuka was a registered member of the Japan Martial Arts Federation. In 1940 Ohtsuka Sensei finally devised the name of his style, Wado-Ryu, meaning “The Way of Harmony”. The full name of the style is Wado-Ryu Karate-Do. Ohtsuka Sensei's original intention was to use training in Wado-Ryu as a means of solving problems in a non-violent way.
Ohtsuka Sensei received the highest award the Emperor of Japan can award, the “Hanashi” award in 1972. This award gave him the honor of being the president of the International Martial Arts Federation. The Emperor of Japan presented Ohtsuka with the title of "Meijin"(10 th Dan) - the first marital artists in Karate to be bestowed with this award and was a great honour to him.
Meijin Ohtsuka passed away in 19th January 1982, when his son took over the style and remains the Grand Master of Wado-Ryu Karate to this day.
WA = Harmony; DO = Way; RYU = Style or School