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What is Wado-Ryu?

Otsuka Sensei, founder of Wado-RyuFounded by Hironori Ohtsuka, Wado-Ryu is recognized as the first truly Japanese style of Karate, as opposed to other styles of karate which were introduced to Japan from Okinawa around 1922. Known as the way of peace, Wado-Ryu developed entirely on the mainland of Japan as Karate and Jujutsu Kempo.

Ohtsuka Sensei adopted the good points of several styles including Shotokan Karate, Shinto-Yoshin-Ryu, Yagyu-Shinkage-Ryu of long swordsmanship techniques, and Toda Ryu of short sword techniques. He borrowed the best aspects from each discipline to create his own style, which emphasized natural movements that flowed like water.

For even more information on the history and practice of Wado-Ryu Karate, refer to the website of the US Eastern Wado Federation. O'Riley Karate Center dojos are a part of this organization dedicated to the promotion of Wado-Ryu karate.

belt levels and rank

Wado-Ryu karate has belt colors that are earned at different levels of experience. Below first degree black belt, or shodan, are the kyu grades. Students begin as a white belt. Black belt, or dan, levels start once a student has worked through the kyu grades. Shodan is first degree black belt, and the first true ranks a practioner holds.

  belt color Japanese term kata and description
  white belt mu-kyu The first belt a student receives is a white belt.
  gold belt hachi-kyu The first grade a student holds. The kata is kihon no kata or the basic kata.
  orange belt shichi-kyu The kata for this rank is pinan nidan.
  blue belt roku-kyu Pinan shodan must be demonstrated before achieving this rank. Blue belt is considered to be an intermediate level.
  purple belt go-kyu A student is tested on pinan sandan for this kyu rank.
  green belt yon-kyu Green belts' kata is pinan yondan.
  brown belt:
1 stripe
san-kyu Brown belt is the final step before black belt, and has three levels, indicated by white stripes on the tip of belt. Pinan godan is the kata.
  brown belt:
2 stripes
ni-kyu With two stripes, the kata is kushanku.
  brown belt:
3 stripes
ik-kyu To earn the third stripe, the kata is naihanchi. The next belt after this one is shodan, or first degree black belt.



Black belts 2010
wado tournament 2003
The wado tournament at Stratford High School in Nashville, 2003

Next tournament: March 2013

For more information, call us at (615) 399-3992.

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