What Is Wado Ryu Karate?

What is Wado Ryu Karate?

Wado-Ryu Karate is distinguished from other Japanese karate styles by its unique yielding nature, a form of soft energy blended with sheer, hard force in its techniques. Besides primary punching and kicking techniques, Wado-Ryu students learn how to use body shifting, to neutralize or deflect an attack, thereby causing the attacker to lose balance and to become more vulnerable to a counterattack.


Wado-Ryu Karate was founded by Hironori Ohtsuka Sensei in 1934. Ohtsuka Sensei developed Wado-Ryu after studying the Samurai martial art of Jiu-jitsu, and Shotokan (another style of Karate). This combination, according to Ohstuka Sensei, is a softer, more natural means of self-protection. The term Wado-Ryu means “way of peace and harmonyโ€œ. This indicates Ohtsuka Sensei’s original intention to use training in Wado-Ryu as a means of solving problems in a non-violent way. The word Karate means Empty hand.

Values of Karate

Now, you may be asking, how does all this values stuff work? And why does karate manage to do a better job teaching it?

Again, more than any other sport, Karate gives you the chance to explore your innate powers. You will marvel as you increase in strength, flexibility, endurance, balance, and harmony. Yet this is only the start. In fact, your physical skills act as a foundation for something much more important: the development of your value skills, mental and spiritual. And not cut off from your physical skills, but intimately connected – even bonded to them.

Like this:

  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-esteem
  • Self Control
  • Respect
  • Fitness

These are just a few of the values that can be achieved within Karate.

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Karate for Children at Mid-Essex Martial Art Clubs (MEMA)

Red Belts

These are given to Children aged 11 and under. It is felt that Children cannot perform at the same level as an adult so all children aged 11 and under will wear a red belt. As the grade, they will get ribbons on their belts that match up to the adult equivalent. When they reach their 12th Birthday they will be re-accessed and issued the relevant grade.


As children tend not to grade as often as adults, badges will be issued to individuals when they are doing well in a particular technique or subject. There are over eighty badges to obtain so there is plenty of scopes for the children to improve. Sometimes they will get badges just for trying really hard. These badges are placed on their gis.

Written by Alistair Thomson (MEMA karate clubs) highwoods_karate@yahoo.co.uk

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