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Sensei Tatsuo Suzuki

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Suzuki Sensei was born in Yokohama, Japan in 1928. At age 14, he joined the YMCA to learn English but discovered they also taught karate. He studied karate under Mr. Kimura, a 5th dan in Wado-ryu and one of the top students of Otsuka Sensei. Suzuki Sensei fell in love with the study of karate and trained directly under Hironori Otsuka, the founder of the Wado-Ryu style of karate. Suzuki Sensei would often train 10 hours per day and would learn from Otsuka Sensei everyday.

tsho-160x144At age 19 in 1946, Suzuki Sensei earned his 3rd Dan, and in 1951, he was awarded his 5th Dan by Otsuka Sensei. This was highest grade awarded in Wado-Ryu karate at the time, and it was earned for outstanding courage and ability. In 1963, Suzuki Sensei, Mr. Arakawa, and Mr. Takashima were dispatched by Otsuka Sensei to travel across the world to spread Wado-ryu karate. Suzuki Sensei focused on Europe and in 1964 opened the first Wado Federation in England and based the Wado-ryu European Headquarters in London where he lives today. In 1972, Otsuka Sensei was awarded the highest honor ever awarded to a martial artists\ in Japan. He was bestowed the title of Meijin by the ruling Japanese Royal Family and President of the International Martial Arts Federation.

ohtsukasuzukiIn 1975 Suzuki Sensei received his 8th Dan, the highest grade ever given by the Federation of All Japan Karatedo Organizations. In that same year he also received the highest title in the Japanese martial arts, Hanshi, awarded to him by the Uncle of Emperor Higashikuni. Suzuki Sensei is the only living Wado-ryu karateka to hold this title. On January 29, 1982, Suzuki Sensei’s mentor and teacher, Otsuka Meijin peacefully passed away after naming his son Hironori Otsuka II as his successor.

Suzuki Sensei continued to train and teach Wado-ryu throughout the world and especially Europe where Wado is one of the most popular styles of karate. In 1991, Suzuki Sensei founded the Wado Kokusai Karatedo Renmei, the Wado International Karatedo Federation (WIKF), in an attempt to maintain the quality of Wado-ryu as taught to him by his teacher, Otsuka Meijin.

In addition to his accomplishments in karate, Suzuki Sensei earned a 2nd Dan in Tenshin Koryu Bo-Jitsu and a 1st Dan in Judo. Suzuki Sensei also studied Zen doctrine with the high priests, the late Yamamoto Genpo and Nakagawa Soyen.

On July 12, 2011 at the age of 83 Suzuki Sensei passed away. His example and dedication continues to be an important part of every student who ever had the honor of training with him.

Sensei Tom Kosslow

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Tom Kosslow

7th Degree Black Belt



Tom Kosslow began his practice of Wado-Ryu karate in 1968 at the age of 18 while attending college in Nashville, Tennessee. His first Sensei was the late Cecil Patterson, President of the U.S. Eastern Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Federation. He trained in Nashville for two years before spending four years in military service. He continued his training during his military service and upon his discharge he relocated to Lakeland, Florida where he trained under the direction of Sensei Charles Parrish. Sensei Parrish awarded Tom his Shodan in 1975.

In 1976 Tom relocated to Atlanta, Georgia so that he might attend Graduate School at the University of Georgia. He holds a Masters, Specialist, and Doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision from that institution. Dr. Kosslow retired in 2000 after 8 years as an Elementary School Teacher and 17 years as an Elementary School Principal.

In 1969, and again in 1975, he was fortunate enough to be able to receive direct instruction from the late Hironori Otsuka. In the early 1980's he began his training under the supervision of Suzuki Sensei. In 1985 he traveled to Japan for the Wado-Ryu World Championships, commerating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Wado-Ryu, as the Captain of one of two U.S. Eastern Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Teams.

Upon the creation of the WIKF he formally joined that organization. In 1995 Tom again returned to Japan with Suzuki Sensei as a member of the International Friendship Team but was unable to compete because of an injury suffered before the tournament began. In 2005 he was advanced to his current rank of 7th Dan by Suzuki Sensei, making him the most senior WIKF student in The United States.

Dr. Kosslow  is a member of the Board of Directors for the Georgia Karate League which is dedicated to promoting traditional karate competition in the State of Georgia. He has taught karate in Newnan, Georgia  since 1976. He currently owns and operates the Newnan Karate Center. (www.newnankaratecenter.com)

History Of Wado-Ryu

Wado translates as either "way of peace" or "Japanese way" since the kanji can be read both ways. Grand Master Otsuka Hironori , the founder of Wado-Ryu karate, was born in Shimodate City, Ibaragi, Japan on June 1, 1892. He was the first son of Otsuka Tokujiro, a doctor of medicine. In April of 1897, Otsuka Sensei started jujitsu under the supervision of his mother's uncle, Ebashi Chojiro.

In 1905, Otsuka Sensei entered Shimozuma Middle School, where he studied Shindo Yoshin Ryu jujitsu under Nakayama Tatsuaburo Sensei. Nakayama Sensei was the most senior and highest graded student of Matsuoka Dorin who, in turn, studied Yoshin Ryu jujitsu under Tozuka Hidetosi.

In 1910 Otsuka Sensei entered Waseda University to study commerce but was not able to finish because of the death of his father. In 1917 Otsuka Sensei started work at the Kawasaki Bank. This did not deter him from continuing his studies in the Martial Arts. He visited many dojo and exchanged technique with those he met. During this time, he met Ueshiba Morihei, the founder of Aikido, and they became good friends.

On June 1, 1921, Otsuka Sensei received his graduation certificate in Shindo Yoshin Ryu jujitsu from Nakayama Sensei. In June of 1922, the Japanese Education Department conducted their first Sports festival in Tokyo. Funakoshi Gichin was invited to demonstrate Okinawa Tode which was later to be known as karate. Otsuka Sensei heard about the demonstrations and became very interested. He visited Funakoshi Sensei at the Meisei Juku and discussed various aspects of martial arts with Funakoshi Sensei. Funakoshi Sensei agreed to teach Otsuka Sensei what he knew about Okinawa Tode, and the lessons began the same day. In May of 1924, Otsuka Sensei and Funakoshi Sensei demonstrated Yakusoku Kumite (pre-arranged fighting with a partner) in public for the first time.

In 1928, Otsuka Sensei resigned from his position at the bank to become a full-time martial arts instructor. At this time, he was a Chief Instructor of Shindo Yoshin Ryu as well as an assistant instructor for Funakoshi Sensei. Otsuka Sensei and Funoakoshi Sensei eventually began to disagree over certain aspects of training, in particular jiyu kumite.

Otsuka Sensei gradually began to go his own way, and by May of 1934, Wado-Ryu karate was recognized as an independent style, although at that time it was called Dai Nippon KarateDo Shinko Club. In 1935, Kano Jigoro, founder of Kodokan Judo and who was recognized as the best martial artist in Japan at that time, recommended to the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai Federation that karate-jitsu be accepted as a martial art, as an extension of Judo.

In 1938 the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai awarded Otsuka Sensei the rank of Renshi-Go. He demonstrated technique for the All-Japan Traditional Martial Arts Festival, and his style was registered as Shin Shu Wado-Ryu. In March of 1939, the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai asked all karate styles to register their names officially. Otsuka Sensei registered the name Wado-Ryu.

In 1942, the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai awarded Otsuka Sensei the rank of Kyoshi-Go, and in 1944 he was asked by the same organization to become the Chief Instructor of karate in Japan. After the end of the Second World War, the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai was ordered disbanded, and the practice of martial arts in Japan was forbidden. The Japanese martial arts were not reinstated until 1951.

In 1964, three instructors from Nihon University visited in Europe and the United States to demonstrate Wado-Ryu karate. They were Suzuki Tatsuo, Arakawa Toru, and Takashima Hajime. In this same year the All Japan Karate-Do Federation was established.

In 1966, Otsuka Sensei was awarded Kun Goto Soukuo Kyokujujitsu (comparable to a knighthood) by Emperor Hirohito, for his dedication to the introduction and teaching of karate. In 1972, the President of Kokusai Budo Renmei, a member of the Royal Family, awarded Otsuka Sensei the title of Meijin, the highest possible title.

On January 29, 1982, Saiko Shihan Otsuka Hironori died at the age of 90. He had practiced martial arts for 84 years. Otsuka Sensei built his style of karate around 9 basic kata, 5 of which are regarded as fundamental.

The uniqueness of Wado-Ryu is characterized by 3 major concepts:

NAGASU
The ability to deflect an attack without using harsh blocks.

INASU
The ability to move the body as a target out of the line of attack using a simultaneous defense/offense technique.

NORU
The ability to judge your counterattack’s impact before your opponents attacking momentum has stopped.

Merchandise

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Suzuki's Book: Fullness of Life in Karate

Alternative website to purchase book:
www.amazon.com

Tatsuo Suzuki's autobiography.

This unique book was made over the course of several years of Sensei's writings and personal interviews. Suzuki's words were directly translated or scripted, nothing added and nothing removed. 148 pages. Over 30 photographs.





 

TRAINING VIDEOS:

Master Suzuki is recognized throughout the world as the leading exponent of Wado-Ryu Karate. In these unique videos, he shows you the essence of the techniques that make Wado-Ryu special. Professionally produced, these videos are essential viewing for all students of every style. These DVDs are the definitive in-depth guide to Wado- Ryu technique. Each DVD has a running time of approximately 30-35 minutes. Discounts are given if 4 or more DVDs are bought. All prices are in U.S. dollars. Shipping outside of the U.S.A. varies depending on location. To order please send a money order payable to:

Thomas J. Kosslow
5 Wentworth Way
Newnan, Georgia 30265

 

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8th and 7th Kyu Syllabus


Official WIKF Training VHS by Master Tatsuo Suzuki, 8th Dan Hanchi This video is a MUST for students of all ranks, including instructors. In this video Master Suzuki demonstrates all of the techniques from the W.I.K.F. 8th and 7th kyu grading syllabus. Running time is approximately 45-60 minutes in length.

Price: $25.00 plus $5.00 Shipping, Please add $15 for International Orders

 

 

 

 

WIKFDVD1

The Essence of Wado-Ryu DVD #1


KATA: Nihanchi, Chinto, Bassai, Niseishi
IDORI: Kneeling defense
TANTO DORI: Knife Defense (non-grading syllabus)
JIYU GUMITE: Free fighting

Price: $35.00 plus $5.00 Shipping, Please add $15 for International Orders

 

 

WIKFDVD2

The Essence of Wado-Ryu DVD #2

KATA: Seishan, Rohai, Wanshu, Jitte, Jion
KIHON GUMITE: Basic sparring
TACHI DORI: Sword defense

Price: $35.00 plus $5.00 shipping, Please add $15 for International Orders

 

 

 

WIKFDVD3

The Essence of Wado-Ryu DVD #3

KATA: Pinan-Shodan, Pinan-Nidan, Pinan-Sandan, Pinan-Yondan, Pinan-Godan
EXPLANATION OF KEY POINTS OF KATA

Price: $35.00 plus $5.00 shipping, Please add $15 for International Orders

 

 

 

WIKFDVD4

The Essence of Wado-Ryu DVD #4

OHYO-GUMITE: Semi free sparring #1-8
JIYU GUMITE: Advanced free sparring

Price: $35.00 plus $5.00 shipping, Please add $15 for International Orders

 

 

 

(Tapes may be ordered individually or as a set. Save by ordering the set: price $120.00 plus $10.00 shipping...save $30.00)

 

Official WIKF Patch Black patch with colored WIKF logo. Patch can easily be sewn onto gi so that the karate-ka may be recognized as being associated with the WIKF.

Price: $5.00 plus $5.00 Shipping

 

For any merchandise being sent outside the US please add $15 for extra shipping costs.