Wado and Karate
Wado kai (和道会, Wadō kai) is the name of the organization within the Japan Karate Federation (JKF) which practices the Wadoryu style of karate. According to Ishizuka Akira, a veteran figure in the Japanese karate world, the term “Wado Kai” was in general use as early as the 1940s, but it was only in 1967 that the name was adopted formally. Prior to this the group was known as the “Zen Nihon Karate-do Renmei”. With the formation of the Federation of All Japan Karatedo Organization (FAJKO, later changed to JKF) in the mid 60’s, it was no longer correct to use this name so Wadokai came into formal use.
The Wadokai has some superb technicians. In Japan these include Arakawa Toru (9th Dan JKF), Hakoishi Katsumi, Takagi Hideho, Maeda Toshiaki, Murase Hisao and Nishimura Seiji to name a few. Both Europe and Pan America have several Japanese instructors who have promoted this vision of karate.
The term Wadokai can be broken into three parts: Wa, do and kai. Wa can be read to mean ‘harmony’. It can also be read to mean “original Japan”, as in Wafu (Japanese style), Washoku (Japanese food). it is therefore also a clever pun that could be taken to mean both “harmony” and “intrinsically Japanese”. Do is a Japanese term for ‘way’ (as in karate-do). So Wado means ‘the way of (Japanese) harmony’. Kai simply means ‘association’.