Kodokan Martial Arts

"Karate and Kobudo Under One Roof"

Author: Sensei Fred Bateman Page 1 of 2

Heart Condition: Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

Some students are worried about training with heart conditions, well all I can say is that I have one and most doctors would recommend some form of training. However, my advice is always check with your GP first and tell them what you intend to do and get their approval. Then inform your trainer.

Here is my story:

Some years ago I started to suffer from a condition called Atrial Fibrillation, or AF for short. It is a heart problem that gradually got worse and affected my life and training over the years, but is now being managed. In the early period of my condition I used to panic as the symptoms were unpleasant and scary to say the least, now when I get them I don’t panic as much but that are still scary! I have even trained and instructed when having an attack, which I would not recommend.

So what is AF and why am I writing this article. Well the answer is to inform our members about AF and how to deal with it.

AF is quite a common condition, especially in older people. Nearly 50,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the UK. It affects about 1% (1 in 100 people) of the UK and has no age boundaries. Although its prevalence increases with age, being unusual below 30, but affecting 1 in 20 people above the age of 65. I have been told that it is common amongst rowers and athletes that have worked their hearts strongly, but again I don’t know how true this is. There are some that don’t even know that they have AF.

Now before I go on to describe AF I would like to explain how the heart works. Any Human Biologists out there if I have it wrong then please feel free to correct me!


Our Heart

The heart is one of our strongest muscles and is constantly working, amazing when you think that other muscles get tired and need to rest – it’s a good job our hearts don’t!

It is composed of four chambers – two Atria (top) and two Ventricles (bottom). These chambers need to squeeze in order to pump our blood around our body. This needs to be done in the correct order to be efficient and of course to keep us alive. This squeezing mechanism is what gives us our heart beat that we can hear and a pulse that we feel.

The sequence is as follows:

  1. Right and Left Atrium contracts to pump blood from these chambers into the Right and Left Ventricle. Then the Ventricles contract to pump the blood out of the heart to your body (oxygen rich) via the Aorta from the left ventricle, and to your lungs via the Pulmonary Artery (oxygen deficient) from the right ventricle. This function is clinically known as Systole.
  2. In the second stage the heart relaxes and the heart fills up with blood again and the first stage above repeats. This function is clinically known as Diastole.

This contracting mechanism occurs by way of electrical impulses from bundles neurons and fibres, which are called the Sinoatrial Node (SA # 1 in diagram), Atrioventricular Node (AV # 2 in Diagram) and Atrioventricular Bundle (AV # 3 to 5).

heart #1

The SA Node is like a built in timer as it fires off the electrical impulse at regular intervals of around 60 to 80 per minute when you are at rest and faster during exercise; controlling the heart rate. This impulse spreads across both top chambers as seen in the diagram above, causing the chambers to contract and pushing the blood through one way valves into the bottom chambers.

As the impulse reaches the AV Node at the lower right of the chamber (#2 in the diagram), there is a small delay and then it carries this impulse through the AV Bundles (#3 to 5 in diagram) causing them to contract.

The heart then relaxes during Diastole and the sequence starts over. Thus for a normal heartbeat the rate is between 60 to 80 beats per minute as cause by the SA Node.

What is Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

Basically this is a fast and erratic heartbeat and the force of the beat can vary in intensity. What happens is the controlling timer of the SA Node is overridden by random electrical impulses causing it to fibrillate. This effect causes the atria to only partially contract, but very rapidly up to 400 times per minute. Only some of the impulses get through to the AV Node causing haphazard contraction in the ventricles, usually between 140 and 180 times per minutes, producing irregularity in contractions and with varying force.

Therefore you can feel this affect in your chest and throat. If you take your pulse you may count up to 180 beats per minute and it feels erratic and varies in strength.

In the early stages it might only last a few minutes, however, as the condition develops it can go on for hours, days and weeks depending on the type of AF you suffer from. I know when mine runs into several hours once it returns to normal heartbeat function I feel like I’ve run a marathon and suffer with the after effects.

However, this is only the minor downside to this condition, the dangers of AF are an increase risk of a stroke due to blood clots, and less common are heart failure, cardiomyopathy (weakening the heart muscle) and angina.

Types of AF

There are three types of AF and these are:

  1. Paroxysmal AF.
    This is recurring sudden episodes that come and go and will stop without treatment within seven days (usually two). The heartbeat stops as sudden as it had started going back to its normal rate and rhythm. The occurrence between each attack can vary greatly and even occurs when you’re sleeping; it has woken me many times in the night. Although it does go back without treatment, if you have suffered with this for more than 1 hour you are glad to get it under control with treatment. Also remember that while the heart is undergoing its AF you are at risk with the dangers mentioned above!
  2. Persistent AF.
    This means that AF lasts longer than seven days and is unlikely to revert back to a normal rhythm. People that suffer with permanent AF are treated to bring down their heart rates, but the rhythm remains irregular.


Cause of Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

There are various conditions that will bring about AF. One of the most common is high blood pressure as it puts strain on the heart muscle. Other are also associated with the heart such as atherosclerosis, the blocking of arteries by fatty substances, such as cholesterol. Other heart problems are associated with the heart valve and congenital heart disease at birth, cardiomyopathy (the wasting of the heart muscle), and perocarditis (inflammation of the hearts lining).

Other medical conditions associated with AF are: hyperthroidism (over active thyroid gland), pneumonia, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, diabetes, pulmonary embolism (blockage in a vessel in the lungs) and carbon monoxide poisoning.

These all sound frightening but not everyone with AF falls into one of the above groups. Some people with AF have no other conditions, and no cause can be found. This is known as Lone Atrial Fibrillation. For example, it can affect extremely athletic people.


Triggers of Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

There are various triggers that set the heart away to fibrillate, and I assume they will be different for each person.  Some of these are:

  1. drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, particularly binge drinking.
  2. being overweight
  3. drinking lots of caffeine, such as tea, coffee or energy drinks
  4. taking illegal drugs, particularly amphetamines or cocaine
  5. smoking
  6. stress

I’m glad to say that I don’t have problems with 1, 3, 4 and 5 above. Also I was not overweight when my condition started. However, I do suffer with stress in my job. I have also noticed that certain foods set off an AF attack, especially cheese, which I love but don’t eat so much now. So for me the main trigger is definitely stress, which can come in various forms. Sometimes I don’t even notice that I’m under stress until my AF flares. Apart from the obvious work related stress, it could be worrying about missing an appointment, or trying to get the bike back on the road.


Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

Talking to other people that suffer with AF, I’m quite lucky as their AF tend to go on for days. It’s bad enough that my worst case has been about 12 hours. It knocks you off your feet, and the after effects once it settles down don’t help. Some of my symptoms are:

  1. Fast heart rate and irregularity in rhythm and force. I first become aware of this in my throat; it feels like I have a lump there. I can then feel it in my chest and sometime can hear it in my head.
  2. Dizziness. Because the oxygenated blood is not getting to my head as it should I become dizzy and can’t stand.
  3. Breathlessness. If I have a bad attack I become very breathless, even to walk a short distance. It feels like you have just run a marathon.
  4. Chest Discomfort. This is a minor discomfort for me, but can be worrying as it is associated with angina as the heart is beating too fast and becomes less efficient.
  5. After Effects. Once the heart reverts back to normal, I then suffer with headache, lethargic and tiredness. All I want to do is rest and sleep.

I think all this has to do with the fact that the heart is not performing as it should and the oxygen is not getting to the various parts of the body in the correct way. Because of the poor performance of the blood flow there are serious complications that could occur.


Possible Complications of Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

Because of the turbulent blood flow in the heart during AF and that it does not get pumped out as it should it causes the blood to pool. This could then lead to small blood clots forming. These cots then travel around the body until they get stuck in small blood vessels, such as in the brain leading to a stroke. This risk of this varies and depends upon various factors. These factors are calculated by your doctor who then decides what treatment to provide such as Warfarin or Aspirin to help prevent clotting. Other complications have already been discussed such as Heart Failure, Cardiomyopathy and Angina.

Once I knew I had a problem my doctor sent me to hospital for various tests. They included electrocardiogram (ECG), which confirmed the condition, blood tests and echocardiogram to look for underlying causes, such as heart problems or overactive thyroid. Luckily I did not have any heart and thyroid problems. It appears my AF falls into the Paroxysmal AF condition, although my attacks are regular.

So how can this be treated?


Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

There are mainly two ways, either by medication or by catheter ablation. Another way, but don’t necessarily prevent it from returning is cardioversion. This is where the heart gets shocked to revert it back to its normal rhythm. I have known a couple of people that have had this and it was not a cure as their symptoms returned within a week or so later. Most patients are on medication and some have had catheter ablation. I was offered ablation but so far have rejected this. The reason is as follows:

Catheter Ablation

A thin wire is passed from the large blood vessel in the thigh up into the heart chamber and towards the pulmonary vein. Once there the ablation process starts by burning the tissue so that it is unable to conduct the abnormal electrical impulse that causes AF.

heart #2

This treatment is only suitable in certain cases and does not always work, it is supposedly has an 80% success rate. However, I know of two suffers that have tried this on three occasions and in all cases their AF had returned. Furthermore, like any heart surgery there are associated risks, such as stroke, perforation of the heart, narrowing of the pulmonary vein and death. They are fortunately unusual, between 1 – 2% depending on your local area.

In my case I want to stay and try the medication route.


Medicinal Treatment

These are called anti-arrhythmics and can restore the heart to its normal rhythm and control the beats. However, it not as simple as prescribing some medicine as it depends on the type of AF, how well it responds to the treatment and side affects of the medicine. In addition to these are the medicines that help to prevent strokes, e.g. anticoagulants.

I have tried several beta-blockers that did not control my AF, but finally the one that worked was Flacanide Acetate. However, it is not completely under control and I still get attacks. When I do I have the opportunity to take an extra tablet hoping to bring it under control. Sometimes this does not work and I have to wait for it to go away by itself.

I also take Aspirin to help prevent blood clotting and reduce the risk of strokes. I know of other patients that take Warfarin which has more serious side affects than Aspirin, so I’m glad I’m not on that yet!

As with all medication there are side affects, and you’ll need to weigh these against the condition you are suffering from. The whole situation is a chance of risk, but one which needs to be taken.


My Outcome

I have been suffering with AF now for several years and my consultant said that there will be a time when the AF symptoms increase and I’ll have more attacks. I used to have an attack every week, then I started my medication and it went down to once every two weeks and then finally I noticed I was going for long periods without an attack, several weeks leading into months. Now all of a sudden I started getting daily attacks again, whereby I have to take the extra Flacanide tablet to bring them under control. I was getting quite concerned as I did not want to go for the surgery.

Then Mr. David Owen, one of our student’s parents had heard that I suffered and suggested vitamin treatment. He sent me information on Vitamin E, and Magnesium Chloride Oil, and just recently Vitamin B-100. This has been a big breakthrough for me because I’m back to normal again and have stopped taking the extra Flacanide tablet. In fact when my heart tries to go into arrhythmia it stops and goes back to normal, or I just put on more magnesium chloride oil.

As this treatment seems to work I thought I would inform people about it. The information that was sent to me by Mr. Owen will be put into another article, if that's of any help? Please let me know. I have also informed some of my friends about the benefits of vitamins E, B-100 and Magnesium Chloride and they too have started taking them.

In addition to this I went onto a low sugar diet and lost weight. I have now reduced my medication in-take and don't get as often AF attacks.

I hope this article has helped anyone who suffers with AF as it is very common, in fact more common that you think!


Useful Links for Further Information

British Heart Foundation

Greater London House, 180 Hampstead Road, London, NW1 7AW
Tel (Heart Help Line): 0300 330 3311 Web: http://www.bhf.org.uk/


Atrial Fibrillation Association

PO Box 1219, Chew Magna, Bristol BS40 8WB
Tel: 01789 451837 Web: http://www.afa.org.uk/
This is an international charity which provides information, support and access to established, new or innovative treatments for atrial fibrillation.

History of Karate by M. Dean

Below is a recent addition from one of our 1st kyu grade students that have to submit an essay in order to go for Dan Grade. The following essay is by Michael Dean:

The history of karate

The true history of karate is impossible to trace due to the lack of written records and the secrecy surrounding its origin. However it is known that the martial arts of japan and Okinawa had a strong influence from those of mainland Asia, mainly from the Chinese martial arts which in turn had Indian influences. The first Chinese influence on Japanese fighting techniques came as a result of the Zen teachings of the Shaolin monks who were widely recognised as the finest fighters in China, who had been taught their style of fighting by a Buddhist monk from India named Bodhidharma. The Shaolin Monks travelled to Japan to preach the Zen branch of Buddhism along with their fighting style, this was called Shorinji Kempo. This religion was soon accepted by the Samurai warrior class, it is this acceptance that led the Shaolin teachings to have an influence on all traditional Japanese fighting styles as the Samurai were the fighting elite, the Japanese equivalent of the Knights of Europe, and when it came to combat and fighting techniques, where they went other less prestigious fighting men followed.

 Karate itself was developed on Okinawa, a small island 300 nautical miles to the south of Japan, 400 nautical miles to the east of china and 300 nautical miles to the north of Taiwan, it is this location, at the crossroads of some of the most important marine trade routes in Eastern Asia between countries such as Japan, China, Thailand and the Philippines among others that allowed Okinawan fighting techniques to develop further with influences from all over Asia. Possibly the most important factor in the development of Okinawan fighting styles was the introduction of an oppressive ruling regime in the form of king Sho Shin who ruled between 1477 and 1526, who forbade common people to possess weapons in order to keep the peace and remove the threat of any meaningfully armed rebellion, this ban was continued by the Japanese Satsuma Clan who took over the island in 1690. The ban on weapons caused the native combat schools to go underground and start training in secret as discovery would have led to arrest and punishment, as the rulers would have seen these training schools as a threat to be removed. One other factor which had a huge impact on Okinawan martial arts was the other martial arts brought by the foreign nobles who traded on the island, the major one being Chinese Kempo from Fukien Provence in China.

Alongside these open hand fighting schools the people of Okinawa developed a sister martial art alongside Karate meaning empty hand called Kobudo meaning old martial way which used weapons such as the Bo, Sai, Tonfa, Yari and Nunchaku. It is rumoured that these weapons originated as traditional Okinawan farming tools but modern experts and historians have not been able to find proof of this, however it is possible as many of the weapons used are very similar to farming implements and tools still used in poorer, less developed areas of Japan. Some weapons, on the other hand such as the Sai and Yari (Spear) seem to have originated solely for the purpose of being weapons.

Karate developed mainly in 3 of the major towns on Okinawa, these were Shuri, Naha and Tomari. Each of these towns was the cultural centre point for a different class of people and so each developed its style to suit its need. Shuri was the main city for Kings and nobles and so developed Shuri Te which developed into the modern schools of Shotokan, Shitō-ryū, Shōrin-ryū, Shudokan, Shōrinji-ryū, and Motobu-ryū, Shure-Te is often seen as the most “Japanese” of the three early Karate styles. Naha was the city of the middle classes, such as merchants and land owners, and the style that developed there led such styles Gojo-Ryu and gave us Kata like Sanchin and Seishan. Naha-Te was influenced most by Chinese martial arts due to the large Chinese population in the Kume village in the City. Tomari was a much more low class city of fishermen and farmers, and the style it developed was very similar in style to Shuri-Te, giving us Kata like Rohai. Despite these differing foundations the towns of Shuri, Naha and Tomari are only a few miles apart and so the differences in their styles are more differences in emphasis and not so much style. Collectively the three styles were known as Okinawa-Te or Tode and gradually became divided into 2 distinct styles; one of these was Shorin-Ryu which developed from the Shuri and Naha schools. The other was Shorei-Ryu which developed from Tomari-Te.

Okinawa-Te continued to be practiced even after the end of Satsuma dominance over the island following a successful rebellion in 1872 and the only “enemies” were the other schools, in fact the only reason Karate came out of the shadows was because of a declaration by the Japanese education commissioner, Shintaro Ogawa in 1902 stating that Karate would be an excellent addition to the physical education curriculum in Okinawa’s first Middle school.

Despite the decline in the need for Karate as Jutsu (Art) and as a method of self-defence during the early 20th Century, Karate did remain popular as a method of character building and as a way of keeping fit, it also remained an important and valued part of the curriculum in first Okinawan schools and then schools all over Japan. Karate was taught in schools by such masters as Anko Itosu, Chojun Miyagi, Kenwa Mabuni, and Gichin Funakoshi, who is regarded as the father of modern karate.

Following the Defeat of Japan by the United States in 1945 many American soldiers who occupied the country in the following the months learned these styles and brought them home, where they became very popular. One such soldier was Elvis Presley who later went on to adapt the techniques he learned in Japan to form is famous dance routines. The soldiers were followed by many of the Japanese masters who saw the west as an opportunity to spread their knowledge and maybe make good money. Since those first few masters left Japan, Karate has exploded onto the world stage becoming one of the most well-known martial arts to come from the Orient along with others such as Kendo, Taekwondo and Kung Fu.

Of course karate in the west is not just practiced as a way of keeping fit and as a way of building character, put it has branched out and taken on a completely new persona, that of a sport, which is practiced in competitions world-wide, and runs parallel to traditional Karate and lacks many of its elements such as Budo. Modern Karate  has also developed many new styles which combine different Japanese styles, one example of this is our Anshin-Ryu which combines Shotokan and Wado-Ryu.


2012 Night out for Seniors & Party Night for Juniors

As we do every year the seniors get together and go out for a meal. This year was a Burtree Inn and there were 17 of us enjoying good company and a nice meal. However, the only picture I could get as I was pinned in the middle of the back row up against the wall is of the following three hansom looking men?


L to R: Jason (Kamishin), Ken (Kobudo) and Andy (Kamishin)


The party night for the Juniors and the Little Dragons went down well again, playing team events involving press ups, sit ups, star jumps. Also match events of dodge ball and basket ball was enjoyed by the students. We finished the night by awarding the Kodokan Martial Arts Awards (see home Page for 2012's Awards) and the Fancy Hat Competition. Here are just some photos of the night:


Happy New Year To All

I hope everyone had a good Xmas and all the best for 2013.

We have a packed 2013, most of the dates have now been set, but keep a look out for extra dates on the Upcoming Events and Calendar.

We start back again on Monday 7th January with classes in Anshin Ryu for the Juniors and Matayoshi Kobudo Kodokan.

See your there!

Sensei Fred Bateman

Free Kobudo Seminar

Sensei Bateman is giving Free Kobudo Seminars to any new interested participant that would like to try this martial art. Dates will be specified in the Upcoming Events section on the right. So if you are interested in this Free event and have never trained with Sensei Bateman before then please reserve you place by contacting him on

Tel: 0780 782 7978


Email: sensei.fredbateman@gmail.com

Little Dragon Doing Well At School

We can see the benefit of training in Karate when it spills over to students performance outside of the dojo. Here is a couple of photo's of Luke, one of our Little Dragons with Sensei Fred Bateman and a Bear named Tofty.

Sensei Bateman was very proud of Luke when he was told that his school has awarded him (Head Teacher's Award) the prize of looking after Tofty for the weekend. He got this for having a fantastic attitude and lovely manners at school. As part of his award was to take photo's of where ever he goes for the weekend with Tofty. Below you can see them with Sensei Bateman.

Luke, Sensei Fred Bateman and Tofty the Bear Tofty learning the art of Karate


Matayoshi Kobudo Gasshuku

Matayoshi Kobudo Kodokan International UK 7th Annual Gasshuku

28th to 30th September 2012

This will be the 7th Annual Gasshuku in the UK hosted in Darlington. The Saturday session will be open to all Martial Artists, irrespective of style, who have an interest in Okinawan Kobudo. Friday will be for Matayoshi Instructors and the Sunday for Matayoshi Kobudo Members.


Training given by: Franco Sanguinetti (6th Dan)
Date: 28th to 30th September 2011
Venue: Longfield School, Longfield Road, Darlington, and Instructors session at Clifton Centre, Clifton Road
Training Times:

  • Friday 28th Sept. from 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm (MKKI Instructors Only)
  • Saturday 29th Sept. 10.00 am to 4.00 pm (Open to All Martial Artists)
  • Sunday 30th Sept. 9.00 am to 5.00 pm (MKKI Members Only)


  • For 3 days £55
  • For 2 Days £50
  • For 1 Day £45 (non MKKI members)
  • For 1 Day £40 (MKKI members)
  • For 1 Day Juniors £30

This is a ticket event and will have a 10% Late Fee added to the above prices. This late fee will be charged for any tickets sold from 28th August to the event. so please make sure you purchase your tickets before the late fee date.

Hotel Accommodation is available – please enquire.

For more information then please contact the host:

Fred Bateman Sensei:
Tel: 44 (0) 780 782 7978
Email: fred.bateman@matayoshikobudouk.com

These Events have been extremely successful and enjoyed by all. So if you are interested then information can be obtained through the host contacts above.

Kamishin Ryu Seminar – 28th July 2012 in Darlington

Another great seminar was had by all who attended this. Instruction was given by Sensei Phil Snewin, 5th Dan in Kamishin Ryu Karate. The day, 4 hours long, covered one of Kamishin Ryu's advanced kata, called Seienchin. Sensei Snewin taught the Kata and the related Bunkai in Ippon and Randori format. All enjoyed the course which was physically and mentally exhausting by the end of the day.

Students Essays

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.


Some Recommended Books

As with any other study the serious student will want to expand their knowledge of the subject and this can be done by reading the vast array of books which are out there. However, as with most things the reader will need to sort out the "Wheat from the Chaff". So occasionally I get asked what books would I recommend.

Below I have given a small list of the reading material that I have covered. They are by very good authors and cover the History and philosophies the arts of Karate-Do and Kobudo.

  1. Karate-do: My Way of Life, by Gichin Funakoshi
    Pub: Kodansha America, ISBN-10: 0870114638
    This is Sensei Funakoshi's autobiography. It tells his story from his early life with his own teachers to the time of evolving the art. It links the time when Te was shrouded in secrecy to the present day where it is now studied through out the world. He recalls his own teachers and of his efforts to define and spread knowledge about karate without compromising its spirit.
  2. Budo Masters: Paths to a Far Mountain, by Michael Clarke
    Pub: PAUL H CROMPTON LTD; illustrated edition edition (12 Aug 2010), ISBN-10: 187425026X
    This title features questions and answers on martial arts from the masters themselves: How did these men train? Has the training changed over the years? Are Western people able to endure this kind of training? The book should provide insights to students and teachers alike.
  3. The Karate Dojo: Traditions and Tales of a Martial Art, by Peter Urban
    Pub: Tuttle, ISBN: 0-8048-1703-0
    This book examines the aspects of self-defense, sport and philosophy from the tales, legends and traditions of the art. It is a small and fun book to read.
  4. Zen Kobudo: Mysteries of Okinawa Weaponry and Te, by Mark Bishop,
    Pub: Tuttle, ISBN-10: 0804820279
    Kobudo, the famous armed Okinawan fighting art that utilizes common farming implements in combat, and Te, the ancient Okinawan art of armed and unarmed combat, are two of the world's most widely practiced yet least-understood martial arts. This book studies the individual Kobudo and Te systems as they are practiced in Okinawa today and discusses their various histories and the lives of the masters who have most influenced them. Spiritualism in the Okinawan arts is also covered in detail, as the author masterfully describes the mix of Zen and native beliefs that are vital to these arts, yet a component that has been all but ignored by previous researchers. In addition, this is the first work to discuss anthropological theories on Okinawa and the development of fighting arts there from the Stone Age. This complete and wide-ranging study of Okinawan weaponry, history, and training is the ultimate guide to these important fighting arts.
  5. Okinawan Karate: Teachers' Styles and Secret Techniques, by Mark Bishop,
    Pub: A & C Black Publishers Ltd, ISBN-10: 0713656662S
    Okinawan karate is the historical grandparent of karate styles practiced throughout the world today. This book looks at the development of each Okinawan style and describes the techniques which comprise the various methods of self defense. These are divided into the "Shorin" group, the kobudo and ti styles, and styles based on Chinese boxing systems. Black and white photographs and lineage charts highlight famous families and teachers who have played key roles in promulgating karate for several hundred years. Also included are breathing and relaxation exercises, and glossaries of katas and of Japanese, Okinawan and Chinese words used in the text. Mark Bishop holds a 6th Dan in Okaniwan te, a 4th Dan in Shorin-ryu karate and kobudo, a 3rd Dan in Goju-ryu, and black belt gradings in judo and aikido.
    This is a revised edition which includes historical tables and vital striking point charts, as well as information on the past and 20th century karate, kobudo and ti (or te) scene in Okinawa. The author presents important elements of the fighting arts as a whole, along with health-orientated training and the secrets of developing intrinsic energy (ki) circulation. From their roots in China, the historical development of each karate and kobudo system can be traced, via the teachers who formulated them, into the many fragmented styles practiced today throughout the world, from Shotokan to Goju-ryu -Okinawa's greatest cultural export.
  6. Shotokan's Secret: The Hidden Truths Behind Karate's Fighting Origins: The Hidden Truth Behind Karate's Fighting Origins, by Bruce Clayton
    Pub: Black Belt Communications (1 April 2005)
    ISBN-10: 0897501446
    This is the first book to dissect the lore and reveal the origins and purpose of the art of shotokan. It describes how karate was invented by the world's only unarmed bodyguards to protect the world's only unarmed king against Americans. In 1853, before the American Civil War, the king of Okinawa was caught in a confrontation between the shogun's implacable samurai and an invading force of U.S. Marines. Trapped between katana and bayonets, the king's unarmed guards faced impossible odds and narrowly avoided a costly bloodbath.

  7. Ancient Okinawan Martial Arts: Vol 1, by Patrick McCarthy
    Pub: Tuttle Publishing (22 Sep 1999)
    ISBN-10: 0804820937
    Featuring original writings by the founders of some of the world's most popular karate styles, this volume includes untranslated texts by Miyagi Chojun, Mabina Kenwa, Motobu Choki – each of them founders of their own schools of karate.

  8. Ancient Okinawan Martial Arts: Vol 2, by Patrick McCarthy
    Pub: Tuttle Publishing (May 1999)
    ISBN-10: 0804831475
    Featuring original writings by the founders of some of the world's most popular karate styles, this volume includes McCarthy's "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: The Mabuni Kenwa Story", the "Dai Nippon Butokukai" and "Karatedo: Development, Essence, Aims".

  9. The Bible of Karate: The Bubishi, by Patrick McCarthy
    Pub: Tuttle Publishing
    ISBN-10: 0804820155
    Treasured for centuries by karate's masters, The Bubishi was a secret text passed from master to student in China and later in Okinawa. Dealing with philosophy, strategy and medicine as they relate to the martial arts, it has been studied and taught from by all of karate's legendary masters. This English translation includes numerous explanations and notes to ease comprehension. The author also includes research on Okinawan and Chinese history as well as the fighting and healing traditions that developed in those countries, making it useful for researchers and practitioners alike.

If you have enjoyed reading any of these books or have your own to recommend then please leave a reply as it will help us all to expand our knowledge of these fascinating subject of Karate and Kobudo.

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