Literally meaning ‘empty hand’, karate is a traditional Japanese martial art. Originating from the island of Okinawa, karate was modernised and introduced to mainland Japan in 1922 by Gichin Funakoshi. He described the practice as ‘the development of character’.
In essence, an unarmed-combat system, using kicks, strikes, throws and defensive blocks and with a strong emphasis on mental attitude and discipline.
Karate developed with underlying principles of self-discovery and self-improvement. The ultimate aim of karate training was to aspire to live by a set of core beliefs and values including courage, loyalty, self-control, honour and justice. Martial arts today are usually modified for modern sport and exercise but many karate styles still have their emphasis on the core values.
There are several different styles of karate although essentially all are the same cooking but with a slightly different flavour.
Wado Ryu translates into English as ‘The Way of Peace and Harmony’.
Our style of karate originates from Okinawa and was founded by Hironori Otsuka in 1934. It is a fast flowing, evasive style which combines the punches, kicks and blocks of karate with throws, locks and grappling of jujitsu.
Wado Ryu was brought to England by Tatsuo Suzuki in the 1960s.