Toru Takamizawa

Toru Takamizawa was the best Karateka I ever met, physically he was incredibly fast, dynamic and for a small man powerful. Technically he was a genius. He structured Wado Ryu Karate in a way that I still use to this day in all my methods of training. He failed me on my second Dan grading and from then on I travelled from Kent to Birmingham every Wednesday for many years for private lessons. Financially he was terrible because money embarrassed him and that led him to trusting all the wrong people and he needed rescuing from financial ruin. To do … Continue reading Toru Takamizawa

What Is ‘Natural’ In Martial Arts?

I remember saying to Toru Takamizawa my Karate Sensei that martial arts were ‘natural movement’ and he answered “no they’re not, they’re trained, skilful movements done naturally.” A big difference! We have to really understand this. Right from the start we have to learn how to stand, walk and run, how to breathe and train our emotions, this requires a constant mindful state. We have to learn the right ‘martial’ exercises to free the body and enable the strength, flexibility and mobility required.  These have to be trained daily. We have to learn the ethos behind our art and the … Continue reading What Is ‘Natural’ In Martial Arts?

Toru Takamizawa (1942 – 1998)

“Sometimes I feel like Gulliver in Gulliver’s Travels, I don’t belong anywhere. In the UK I’m still seen as a foreigner – and in Japan I’m not considered to be Japanese because I married an English girl.” Toru Takamizawa had his dark moments. The fact is that the little people of Lilliput saw Gulliver as a giant but Toru had the reverse, he was always conscious of his diminutive size here in the West. In fact he was a giant in the Art of Karate, he was the most intelligent, technical, fluid, precise and powerful Japanese Martial Artist that I … Continue reading Toru Takamizawa (1942 – 1998)