What is Wado?
Wado Karate in Denver
Wado — the Way of Peace — was founded by Hironori Otsuka over sixty years ago. It was recognized in Japan as an independent style of karate in 1934, and is considered by many to be the purest form of Japanese karate.
The Way of Peace
The path of martial arts is the path for peace… The essence of the path of martial arts lies in the peace and happiness of all human beings.
– Hironori Otsuka, founder of Wado
A Unique Style
Wado blends the linear kicks and strikes of Okinawan style karate with the circular movements of jujutsu. Natural movement and stances are emphasized. Wado can be used effectively by any individual — regardless of age, gender, body type, and strength — in self-defense as well as in competition.
Benefits of Wado Training
- Physical fitness. Karate training improves cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility.
- Self-esteem. Teaching at Denwakan is positive and affirming of progress. With each class, you gain confidence and belief in yourself and what you can accomplish.
- Balance. Diligent karate training enhances both physical health and mental peace. Balance between mind and body helps to put aside stress in everyday life.
Wado classes at Denwakan are non-belligerent and structured. Instructors give each child individual and personalized attention. Students have fun learning the art and sport of karate while developing respect for themselves and others.
- Discipline. Karate training helps increase motivation and self-control. Parents may notice that their children begin to study on their own without prodding. Respect and courtesy are emphasized in the dojo (training hall), and this carries over to home, school, and the playground.
- Concentration. Children learn to ignore distractions, their powers of concentration increase, and vigorous workouts reduce the ‘fidgets’. Parents are often pleasantly surprised by improvements in their children’s grades.
- Confidence. Karate training improves self-esteem. Parents will enjoy their children’s new confidence and the success it brings.
Kata and Kumite
Wado was the first karate style to utilize both kata (pronounced kah-tah) — forms — and kumite (pronounced koo-mih-tay) — sparring — in training. There is competition in both kata and kumite. You must be proficient in both in order to advance in the art.
Traditional kata when practiced slowly look a bit like tai chi exercises. They are set sequences of moves. Different kata have different lessons to teach about balance, coordination, and technique. All kata emphasize mind-body coordination, alertness, and relaxed yet quick and powerful motion. Although kata are taught in order as you move up in rank, you never leave a kata behind once it’s learned. Kata is a lifelong study.
Kumite can be quite intimidating to the beginning student. This is only natural! Sparring is introduced gradually and with control. One-step sparring — set attacks, defenses, and counter-attacks — is used to accustom you to defending and attacking, shifting your body to maintain good fighting distance, and staying calm. Slow sparring is trading techniques in a controlled manner. This gets your mind working and allows you to explore possibilities of combinations. Free sparring is faster, with each participant attempting to tag the other with a hand or foot. Everything you have learned about calmness, body positioning, and controlled technique come into play in free sparring.
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