From time to time I shall put some of our students essays on as posts, for people to read and comment on. Others can be found under training on the Navigation bar. These are essays that have to be written before taking certain grades. It is designed to expand the students knowledge of the martial arts as they have to do some research on the subject, aid in their education and give them further interest in their studies.
Below is the first one published as a Post. It has been written by B. Challans for her 1st Kyu Grade in Junior Anshin Ryu Karate. Hope you enjoy it? If you want to leave her some encouraging comments then please do.
History of Wado-Ryu in England by Beckie Challans
After viewing a Wado-Ryu demonstration at a London Kendo club, a British student asked the Japanese Karate Federation to send an instructor to the UK to start a school in England. Mr Tanabe was sent in 1964 as an official instructor, where he founded the All Britain Karate Association. This was the first Wado-Ryu organisation to be established in Europe. Shortly after his arrival, Mr Tatsuo Suzuki moved over to London to teach Wado.
In May 1965, Mr Suzuki was joined by another Japanese instructor; Mr T. Kono, who, at the arrival of Mr Masafumi Shiomitsu, moved over to the Netherlands to spread the knowledge of Wado-Ryu farther through Europe. Due to a quickly growing demand for training in the UK, over the next few years more instructors transferred: in 1966, Mr T. Takamizawa and Mr Hayawaka came to England from Japan; in 1968 Mr K. Sakagami arrived in the UK; in 1969 Mr S. Suzuki moved over to Ireland, and Mr Kobayashi and Mr Maeda also arrived in Britain. With some of these original instructors returning to Japan, they were replaced by other British and Japanese instructors, and the numbers were then quickly added to by students of Wado, helping the style spread even farther across the UK.
Up until 1970, the All Britain Karate Association was the main setup in the UK, but Mr Tatso Suzuki decided to leave the organisation and set up his own; The United Kingdom Karate-Do Federation. After a short while, most of the Japanese instructors joined this organisation. Mr T. Takamizawa also set up his own association. Mr Masafumi moved first to France, then Madagascar to teach, but later returned to the UK to join the re-named United Kingdom Karate-Do Wado-Kai in 1976.
This new organisation took over to become the primary one in the UK, until 1989, when Mr Masafumi expressed dislike towards the direction the style and its teaching had taken under the United Kingdom Karate-Do Wado-Kai organisation and therefore he chose to leave the association to form his own, the Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Academy. Mr K. Sakagami, Mr T. Takamizawa and the majority of the now Dan graded British students. However, after a short while, Mr K. Sakagami decided to leave the Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Academy and to set up his own organisation, the Wado-Ryu Aiwakai Karate Federation. With this organisation also set up, the UK now had three major Japanese headed Wado-Ryu organisations:
The United Kingdom Karate-Do Wado-Kai, with Mr Tatso Suzuki who was an eighth Dan at its head. This association is also linked to the Wado-Ryu International Karate Federation, and Mr Tatso Suzuki is also head sensei for this organisation.
The Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Academy’s head was Mr Masafumi Shimoitsu, also an eighth Dan. His academy was affiliated to the Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Federation, and the chief instructor for this organisation is Mr H. Ohtsuka II, the Grand Master of Wado-Ryu Karate-Do. Mr H. Ohtsuka is a ninth Dan.
The Wado-Ryu Aiwakai Karate Federation is led by Mr K. Sakagami, a seventh Dan. This association is connected to the Japan Karate Federation Wado-Kai, headquarters, in Japan.