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

Chinto Kata (Gankanku)

“I hate kata!”  Peter was obviously not in a good mood and the days course today was on kata…… “So why bother to attend?”  I asked. “Because if we don’t it will affect our grading….” Peter was not going to be a bundle of laughs today so I made sure that I was as far away as possible so that I wouldn’t have to partner him in any pairs work. Sensei entered the Dojo, conducted the formalities and began the course…. “Chinto Kata, what do you know about it?” “It’s a Crane Kata,” said one. “Good, what else?” “It’s called … Continue reading Chinto Kata (Gankanku)

The 4 Blocks Of Karate

Around 30 years ago I was taking a private lesson in Iaido with Okimitsu Fuji and we were practicing a form called ‘Uke Nagashi’ which involved me kneeling down with him walking towards me and cutting down towards my head.  I had to stand up drawing my sword in such a manner that it deflected his sword and then I would pivot and cut him from neck to hip in one fluid motion. As we did this our swords clashed as I blocked his.  “Uke!” he said as he walked back to repeat the process.  The swords clashed again and … Continue reading The 4 Blocks Of Karate

Wado Ryu Training in the ’60’s

Just found this on my computer.  It’s a great insight into the early days of Karate in London.  I asked my older brother years ago what it was like training with the first Wado Ryu Japanese Instructors that came to the UK in the 1960’s, this is what he sent me… “My interest in the martial arts was quite practical, at school I used to get involved in a fight about once a month, mainly due to my stubborn refusal to fit into the strict pecking order that operated there. Those more aggressive and athletic would “put me in my … Continue reading Wado Ryu Training in the ’60’s