2018 Winter Course Report



RT Howells MBE


H. Otsuka III
3rd Grand Master Wado Ryu

Building on the success of last year’s winter course over 250 people attended this year. The main hall at the Spectrum Leisure Centre in Guildford was full. As in previous years the Chief Instructor of the Wado Academy M. Shiomitsu 9th Dan Hanshi Shihan extended an invite to the 3rd Grand Master of Wado Ryu Karate-Do H. Otsuka III Sandaime Soke to teach on the course. The Grand Master along with A. Meek 7th Dan Renshi and P. Hill 7th Dan Sensei took the students through the principles of Wado Ryu and its philosophy.

On the first day of the course our Chief Instructor confirmed the appointment of A. Meek Renshi as the Academy’s Assistant Chief Instructor.

The Grand Master also took the opportunity to explain the history and development of Niseishi kata and how there is effectively two versions of this kata within the Wad

o Ryu family. He stressed that it was perfectly acceptable to practice either version or both. The key point was that every care should be taken by students not to mix the two up when practising this kata.

Each day of the course started with the traditional period of mokuso, followed by a warm up, which was vital for those who were not use to 20 minutes of kneeling meditation. Mokuso certainly tests the will and for those who practice meditation regularly it gives them the opportunity to breath correctly and focus the mind.

After this, the next session was taken by either the Grand Master, the Academy’s Assistant Chief Instructor or P. Hill Sensei. During these sessions the students were introduced to concepts such as:

  • Shizentai – natural stance
  • Tai Sabaki – whole body movement
  • Tai Nai Shincho – internal tension in techniques

With the opportunity to practice techniques that demonstrated these principles.

After a break the class was broken down into different groups by grade and each instructor taught some aspect of the Wado Academy syllabus, including the Dan grade syllabus. For two days during his sessions the Grand Master taught both versions of Niseishi kata and demonstrated the application of the different techniques. Naturally, it goes without saying that Shiomitsu Sensei visited the course every day and took a keen interest in what was being taught; the standards of those taking part and the general demeanour of the students and their attitude to training all of which are very important to him. Shiomitsu Sensei still expects and demands from everyone high standards in all aspects of training and personal behaviour.

3rd Grand Master of Wado Ryu demonstrating a technique

On the Saturday evening a party was held in honour of the 3rd Grand Master’s visit and it allowed Wado Academy students to renew friendships and discuss Wado Ryu Karate-Do. This year students came from the following countries: Australia, Belgium, England, France, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

During the course the following students received their Dan Grade certificates:

1st Dan:

Paul Weaver UK – Jion
Judit Stangova UK – Ohku Kai
Ella O’Doherty UK – WKA
Randi Hærnes NORWAY
Simen Ihlen NORWAY
Malin Langsrud SWEDEN
Amir Din UK – Farnham Karate Academy
Susan Greenaway UK – Devon Wado Ryu
Rebecca Chalmers UK – Devon Wado Ryu
Dillon Chalmers UK – Devon Wado Ryu

2nd Dan:

Arne Bergersen NORWAY
Sven-Olav Torp NORWAY

3rd Dan: Benoît Mauchamp FRANCE

4th Dan: Robert Torontali HUNGARY

6th Dan: Leeroy Ellis UK – WKA

7th Dan:

Robert Howells UK – Ren Bu Kan Wiltshire
Patrick Dupeux FRANCE

On the final day of the course a Dan grading was held. The Dan Grading Panel consisted of: The Grand Master, The Wado Academy Assistant Chief Instructor, Tran Heiu Minh 7th Dan Renshi, N. Quillam 7th Dan Sensei, P. Hill 7th Dan Sensei, R. Howells MBE 7th Dan Sensei.

All the students who took the grading are to be commended for their efforts and the following are to be congratulated on passing their grading.


1st Dan:

Neve Champion UK – Budo Juku
Neil Fordham UK – Devon Wado Ryu

2nd Dan:

Mark Vallei UK – Devon Wado Ryu
Ethan Champion UK – Budo Juku

3rd Dan:

Christopher Grundy UK – Devon Wado Ryu
Craig Hill UK – Devon Wado Ryu
Russell Ovey UK – Devon Wado Ryu
Heidi Prosser UK – WKA

 4th Dan:

Wayne Handford UK – Devon Wado Ryu
Daniel Bevan UK – Devon Wado Ryu
Corin Pegden UK – Haslemere Karate Academy
Andy Kilby UK – Devon Wado Ryu

Finally, a big thank you must be given to Mrs Maya Shiomitsu and Ms Akiyo Shiomitsu for their very able administration for such a large course. Their attention to detail meant that the course ran smoothly and that everyone went away having been able to think about Wado Ryu Karate-Do and practice many of its subtle techniques.