In this dojo (道場, Place of the Way) we practice traditional Japanese Karate. The original Karate purpose wasn’t certainly agonistic but martial. In the old times, it served to improve one’s capability in self-defense and self-awareness, and it still could serve it, if learnt well. Because true Karate develops one’s self-ability, confidence, respect and discipline. This is the spirit in which we practice Karate here. Nevertheless, as Hironori Ohtsuka used to say, the authentic sports spirit and martial arts attitude have some similarities that can’t be ignored. Competitions may be good opportunities for comparison, incentive and fun, especially for kids and younger people. But sports competition has to serve the Martial Art, not the opposite. The aim of Wado-ryu ain’t medals nor decorations but the conquest of the maximum possible dexterity, effectiveness and harmony between one’s spirit and body.
Wado-ryu Karate origins
Karate (空手, Empty Hand) is a discipline of Budo (武道, Way of Martial Arts), the whole set of the Japanese combat systems. But, at the very beginning, Karate was developed outside Japan, in the Okinawa Island, in a little archipelago located somewhere in between from Japan and Souther China, some centuries before it became a Nipponese dominion. Through constant commercial and cultural exchanges with China, Okinawan warriors learnt the Kung Fu (功夫, Personal Achievement or Dexterity), particularly the Hequan style (鹤拳, Boxe of the Crane), and, melting it down with the ancient Okinawan fighting traditions (Kobudo), they created Karate, that, like Kung Fu, quickly split into different styles and schools. Wado (和道, Way of Harmony) is one of the most recent ones. Wado-ryu (ryu means style or school) actually represents a further Karate evolution as a result of its first introduction to Japan mainland at the beginning of the last century. Sure enough, the Wado-ryu founder Hironori Ohtsuka, who at that time was already a master of Shindo Yoshin-ryu, an ancient Jujutsu style, was impressed by the Okinawan Karate. Mr. Ohtsuka noticed that Karate had some techniques missing in the Jujutsu tradition, and vice versa. For this reason in 1922 he started studying Karate with the aim of merging it with Jujutsu skills. Wado-ryu is the result of that merging.
Thanks to the Jujutsu’s influence Wado is a style focused on speed and flexibility and based on the non-contrast principle: while other schools of Karate teach to block the opponent’s strikes trying to stop their energy, Wado-ryu aims to use the attacker’s force to the defender’s advantage, without blocking it but just turning it around, throwing it someway back to the opponent himself. Furthermore, Wado reaches out for power through rapidity and precision, eliminating every unnecessary movement (mudana dosa principle). It helps to improve flexibility and speed, teaching us to generate energy minimizing the brute force employment in favor of a true dynamic intelligence.
Wado-ryu practise is recommended for children, youngsters, adults and elderly people. Scientific studies have shown that karate, and in particular Wado-ryu karate, can even have significant therapeutic effects. Although reaching out high levels of flexibility, speed and control requires an intens, Wado-ryu training follows some Yoga-like biophysical principles, always adapting its exercises to the specific conditions of every single person (age, body weight, shape and condition, health issues etc.). Finally, remember that Budo practice (Karate is actually Budo) requests both physical and spiritual training. Each of Wado-ryu techniques has a philosophical meaning and every training session starts with Rei (salutation ceremony) and Mokuso (meditation). Mindset, intelligence, strength and ability have to run together, in harmony.
WKSI – Italian Branch of JKF Wadokai
The Italian Karate framework, when we talk about organizations, is quite complicated if not even chaotic. There are many associations and federations born for no technical or martial reasons, that often propose a spurious Karate, plunged so much into sports stuff that its martial nature had drowned. Moreover, Italian Wado is frequently simplified to the point that its basic characteristics disappear together with its technical, martial and philosophical benefits. Here in this dojo this simply does not happen.
This dojo is a member of WKSI – Wadokai Shin-Gi-Tai Italia, Italian branch of the Japanese style federation (Japan Karate Federation Wadokai). JKF Wadokai is the original and biggest Wado-ryu organization, the one and only recognized by the Japan Karate Federation. In turn, WKSI – Wadokai Shin-Gi-Tai Italia is the sole Italian organization recognized by JKF Wadokai. Masters and WKSI instructors are certified by CONI through the CSEN – Centro Sportivo Educativo Nazionale and benefit of the great tutorship of Master Roberto Danubio, 7th dan JKF Wadokai and Chief instructor of the Swiss Wadokai Karatedo Renmei.
Entering the WKSI (therefore the JKF Wadokai) means to gain access to a wide international Budo community made of practitioner, instructors and Masters putting incessant efforts into training, study, examination and revision. In every academic year, our members may always benefit from the many official opportunities scheduled to train and study with the help of national and international famous Masters. ♦ Leggilo in italiano