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Blackpool Martial Arts School. Children and Adults lessons in Karate and Kickboxing. Get fit today, learning modern martial arts (mma) in Blackpool.Whether your looking for a sports in Blackpool for children or Ju Jitsu, XMA, Thai Boxing, Taekwondo or Kung Fu we are the leadering martial arts club as seen in the Karate Kid. FAQ for lessons at the Blackpool Karate and Kickboxing Club.
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Wado Ryu Karate - Blackpool Karate history on Wado Ryu

The style of Karate taught at the Blackpool Karate School is based on Wado Ryu Karate. The full syllabus of Wado Ryu is taught seperately to the Sport Karate classes, although there are some similarities in the techniques used in both classes.
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I've written a summarised history on the origins and development of Wado Ryu Karate. Some of this account is purely speculation, other parts are based on research from various sources. If anybody would like to add to this information, you can mail any additions to the Blackpool Karate email address

Origins and development of Wado Ryu Karatedo

In considering the origins and development of Wado Ryu Karatedo. It is necessary to examine the martial art influences of the styles founder, Hironori Ohtsuka Sensei. Through identifying and considering the main martial arts that influenced Ohtsuka. The author will be able to consider how the style of Wado originated and developed. Ohtsuka’s earliest martial arts influences where at the age of 6 years, when he began to study Jiu Jutsu with his Grand Uncle Chojiro Obeahs. At the age of 13, Ohtsuka progressed to studying Shindo Yoshin Ryu Ju Jutsu. Ohtsuka continued his studies in Shindo Yoshin ryu whilst at Waseda University.

Shindo Yoshin Ryu training stresses atemi striking and kicking combined with other bujutsu arts. This may have provided a common ground between the classical Japanese bujutsu and Okinawan karate which Ohtsuka later studied. Shindo Yoshin Ryu includes many principles, such as Nagasu and Tai Sabaki. Nagasu is the ability to deflect an attack without using harsh blocks. The application of Nagasu allows for the similar movements, to be applied to defences from kicks, punches or weapons.

The influence of Nagasu can be seen in Wado, through its different Nagashi techniques. Wado uses Nagashi as a block, liked in sanbon kumite number 1 and as a strike as in Kihon 7.

When Nagasu is applied in Wado, it is often combined with penetrating into an opponents side (irimi). Irimi is another principle adopted from Ohtsukas training in Jiu Jitsu. Likewise, Shindo Yoshin Ryu uses high narrow stances, allowing a practitioner to employ Tai sabaki or body shifting. The early training in Tai Sabaki, Nagasu and Irimi techniques is likely to have been the basis for the development of Kihon Kumite in Wado.

In 1922, Hironori Ohtsuka discovered Okinawan karate and trained diligently under Funakoshi. It is here where Ohtsuka started adapting his atemi techniques to his Karate. This is illustrated when he appeared in Funakoshi’s book ‘Karatedo Kyohan’. Furthermore, as Ohtsuka was brought up with the close contact of Jiu Jitsu pair work and sparring from Jiu Jitsu. Whilst still with Funakoshi, he introduced yakusoku kumite or ‘prearranged sparring’ to their karate. Whilst training with Funakoshi, Ohtsuka Sensei continued to develop his skills in bone setting (Seikotsu) and orthopedic medicine. The knowledge of how to repair a broken body, complimented Ohtsukas knowledge of how to damage the body. Thus, medical training may have further influenced the development of atemi points within Wado, such as the atemi strike to the armpit in Kihon 4.

As Karate in Japan slowly grew bigger, Jiu Jitsu began to lose its popularity. As a result, Ohtsuka began to focus his martial training on Karate. Ohtsuka studied with other Okinawan Karate masters, as in Kenwa Mabuni (the founder of Shito-Ryu Karate). The development of Wado, is demonstrated through its Katas, which where introduced to Ohtsuka by the Okinawans named above. Ohtsuka also trained with Choki Motobu (Okinawan Kempo Master), renowned for street fighting in order to test his technique. Through this master, Ohtsuka began the study of jiu-kumite (free fighting) for competitive purposes, laying the foundation for today's karate kumite tournaments.

Ohtsukas Japanese instructors included Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. Like Shindo Yoshin Ryu, Aikido is a direct descendant of classical Aikijutsu. The spiritual principles of Aikido, blending and redirecting an opponent’s ki, not meeting it with force, are likely to have further influenced Ohtsuka’s technical development. Similar principles can be seen in techniques from Aikido and Wado, such as Kihon 5. This partner work uses irimi and nagashi, to lock an opponent with Kote Gaeshi (turning hand) and Wan Kansetsu (Back of the arm lock). The author considers that aikido may have been a missing link for Ohtsuka, which further inspired his quest for knowledge and led to the awakening of Wado.

In May 1934 when he was 43, Ohtsuka started his own school called the Dai Nippon Karate Shinko Club. Here was the centre of Ohtsuka's teaching for his new system of Wado-Ryu Karate-Jutsu and Wado-Ryu-Jujutsu Kempo, merging Okinawan Karate with traditional Japanese Jiu Jutsu. When the Budo-kai requested a name for each style and school, in 1940, Ohtsuka's martial art was officially named the Wado-Kai and later Wado-Ryu.

Ohtsuka trained hard and sought to develop an efficient practical martial art by the study of many different arts throughout his life. In the end, an important dimension for him was spiritual. Ohtsuka stressed the concept of ten-chi-jin, ri-do (heaven - earth - man, principal way). Thus, the origins and development of Wado Ryu are perhaps best summarized by the thoughts of the great man himself:

‘The true purpose of budo is the search for truth. In karate, three elements are important - physical strength, spirit and heart. The end of do (the way), cannot be achieved in a few years, rather it is a lifelong search. Perhaps you could say the aim is to make us good Human Beings.’

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