Wado Ryu Karate

Back to Our Styles

Grand master Hironori Ohtsuka (1892-1982) founder of Wado-Ryu (1931).

Wadō-ryū, meaning “way of peace and harmony”, is one of the four major styles of karate in Japan and perhaps the purest form of karate-do (the way of the empty hands).

From one point of view, Wadō-ryū might be considered a style of jūjutsu rather than karate. To the untrained observer, Wadō-ryū might look similar to other styles of karate, such as Shōtōkan. Most of the underlying principles, however, were derived from Shindō Yōshin-ryū an atemi waza (blow to the body) focused style of Jujutsu. A block in Wadō-Ryu may look much like a block in Shōtōkan, but they are executed from different perspectives.

Basic techniques

Punching, kicking, blocking, striking with an open hand, joint twisting, and trapping techniques – kata (a sequence of techniques done in certain order against imaginary opponents), prearranged and free style sparring comprise the training foundation of this style. Equally fundamental to Wadō-ryū is taisabaki, body shifting to avoid the full brunt of an attack, a technique derived from Japanese swordsmanship.

Styles such as K1 allow for the use of clinching and single knee-strikes, but most of the Kickboxing taught at Fusion is semi-contact or light-contact based and is done using gloves, foot-pads, shin-pads, head-guards and gum-shields.

As a form of self-defence, allowing limited blocking, moving and striking, it is immediately practical, forgoing complicated sequences of intricate movements in favour of single, effective techniques. It’s great for beginners and advanced practitioners alike.

“Whether you’re looking for a fun fitness programme, an effective means of self-defence, or if you wish to make a name for yourself in the Sports Martial Arts arena, Kickboxing could be just what you’re looking for”.

Kumite (sparring)

Kumite (sparring) is usually judged on a point system; one referee and four corner judges determine which techniques are given a point. In free sparring, there is no contact allowed to the head, below the waist except for foot sweeps, or to the spine; only light to medium contact is allowed to the torso. Attacks to the head and torso can all score points in a tournament, therefore, Wado karate-ka tend to fight with explosive, close movements with an emphasis on well-controlled techniques.