What is Wado Ryu Karate Do?

Wado-Ryu Karate is a Japanese martial art founded by Hironori Ohtsuka Sensei (pictured above) in 1934. Ohtsuka Sensei developed Wado-Ryu after studying the Samurai martial art of Jiu-jitsu, and Shotokan (another style of Karate). This combination, according to Ohtsuka Sensei, is a softer, more natural means of self-protection, indicating Ohtsuka Sensei’s original intention to use training in Wado-Ryu as a means of… solving problems in a non-violent way.

What does Wado Ryu mean?

Wado Ryu translates as the Way of Harmony or Peace. Wado Ryu is a softer school of karate, favouring deflection and body evasion to use an apponents force against them. Also due to the influence of jiujitsu, Wado Ryu incorperates locks and throws, as well as kicks and punches. Judo and Aikido both developed from Jujitsu and could be considered cousins to our style. At the advanced level Wado Ryu looks like a combination of Aikido and Karate.

What are the benefits of training?

Regardless of age or fitness levels, a student will benefit physically from training. Improvements in flexibility, strength, stamina and aerobic fitness are just some of the benefits to be gained. With correct training under proper instruction students can improve concentration, self confidence, self esteem, discipline, leading to increased positivity, mind control, stress relief, leading to peace of mind and a healthier attitude to life.

What can Wado Ryu Karate give me?

Traditional Karate offers a diverse range of interest points for students, Whether you’re looking for


Lineage – Top student to Top student

From the birth of karate to today.

Gichin Funakoshi (Father of Modern Karate)
Hironori Ohtsuka (Founder of Wado Ryu)
Tatsuo Suzuki (Ohtsuka’s Top Student)
Gordon McKenna (1st Generation Of Irish Black Belts)
Gareth FitzGerald (Founder of Elite Karate Academy)

Hironori Ohtsuka Sensei
Our founder Hironori Ohtsuka received the menkyo kaiden (certificate of mastery and license to teach) in Shindō Yōshin-ryū jujutsu, the Samurai form of unarmed combat and became the fourth master of that school, on June 1st 1921. In 1922 Ohtsuka began training in Shotokan Karate under the father of modern Karate Gichin Funakoshi who had recently brought Karate from Okinawa to Japan. Blending jujutsu and Karate Sensei Ohstuka formed the first Japanese school of Karate, Wado Ryu (The School of Harmony).

Tatsuo Suzuki Sensei
Sensei Tatsuo Suzuki was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1928 and became interested in Karate at the age of 14 and within six years of beginning his study of Karate, Sensei Suzuki was awarded his 3rd Dan at the age of 19. From 1945 to 1956 he received direct instruction from the founder of Wado Ryu, Sensei Hinonori Ohtsuka at the Wado Ryu Headquarters. Thereafter, as Ohtsuka Sensei’s most senior student, he traveled with Ohtsuka Sensei both domestically and internationally performing demonstrations and teaching. In 1966 he introduced Karate to Ireland by performing on the Late Late Show, and training the first generation of Irish Karate legends.

Gordon McKenna Sensei
Sensei Gordon McKenna started his martial arts training in amateur boxing before taking up Karate in the 1960’s. He was one of the first generation of karate students in Ireland and trained under the renowned Japanese instructors Sensei Tatsuo Suzuki, Sensei Peter Suzuki, and Sensei Iwazaki. Having gained his black belt in 1973, and recognized by the All Japan Karate-do Federation, Sensei McKenna has taught and undertaken intensive study into Karate and the martial arts, becoming known for his tough training sessions, generous spirit and unsurpassed knowledge of the Wado Ryu style. As an ordained Zen Buddhist Monk Sensei McKenna’s deep insight into Wado Ryu has lead him to being recognized as one of Irelands leading Kata exponents and has trained numerous Irish and World champions in both Kumite (fighting) and Kata (forms). Sensei McKenna continues to train regularly with senior students, and over a 40 year career has developed and unsurpassed reputation as one of Ireland’s leading Wado Ryu Instructors recognized both at home and abroad. To contact Sensei McKenna for workshops or courses email info@elitekarateacademy.com

Gareth FitzGerald Sensei
Sensei Gareth FitzGerald 6th Dan, started his Karate training over 35 years ago in 1985, under one of Ireland’s leading Wado Ryu instructors Sensei Gordon McKenna (8th Dan). He started teaching when he was just 15 years of age before taking a full time teaching position within Sensei McKenna’s organisation and becoming the organisation’s secretary. Having trained in Leisure Management and as a Personal Trainer Sensei FitzGerald has extensive experience of the fitness industry, both as a trainer and as a leisure club manager. He has managed leisure clubs and health spas for numerous 4 star hotels and leisure chains and operated his own fitness club. Sensei Fitzgerald has appeared on TV in relation to Karate and as a personal trainer. In 2010 he founded Elite Karate Academy with the aim of teaching Traditional Wado Ryu Karate Do and practical self-protection. Read More >

Could You Be The Next Generation Of Black Belt? Every Journey Begins With The 1st Step. Keep training and remember a black belt is just a white belt that never quit…

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