The founder of Wado Karate is Hironori Ostuka. Wado Ryu and Wado Kai are the same system, just using different names. Otsuka was born in Japan in 1892 and started training jujutsu when he was six years old. He received his license to instruct Shindo Yoshin Ryu in 1921 from Tatsusaburo Nakayama. He started training with Gichin Funakoshi in Japan in 1922. Ostuka became Funakoshi’s assistant instructor in 1928.
Hironori Ostuka wanted to incorporate sparring into the karate training in a manner similar to what he used in jujutsu. Gichin Funakoshi feared the karate techniques were too powerful and dangerous to be used in sparring. Eventually Ostuka broke away and created his own system of karate blending his skill in jujutsu and karate in 1934. His system eventually became known as Wado Ryu.
Masaru Shintani was born in Canada in 1927. He started his training Shorin Karate with Akira Kitagawa in 1940. They continued to train together while they were in the same internment camp in Canada during World War II. After nine years of training, Kitagawa awarded Shintani his sixth degree black belt. During the 1950's Masaru Shintani competed in many Karate tournaments in Japan where he was noticed by Hironori Otsuka. Shintani started to train under Otsuka and the two became close friends. In 1968 Otsuka appointed Shintani as the head of all Wado Karate in North America. In 1979 Otsuka graded Shintani to an 8th degree black belt. Otsuka also gave him a certificate that would recognize Shintani as a 9th dan in 1986. Otsuka died in 1982.
Barry Lane was born in Hamilton Ontario in 1947. He started training in karate in 1965. He trained under Masaru Shintani and Rick Joslin in the Wado system in Hamilton. After two years of training he was graded to his first degree black belt by Shintani. Lane continued to train with and instruct for Shintani until his death in 2000.
Lane opened Highland Karate as a full time martial arts school in 1990. The club is still operating and thriving under the name of Highland Mixed Martial Arts. Lane has achieved the rank of 8th degree black belt in Wado Kai Karate.
Troy Ashbaugh started training with Barry lane in 1991.
For a more detailed history of Otsuka, Shintani and Lane visit the web site for Highland Mixed Martial Arts.
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