Wado-ryu watered down version of shotokan ?

Discussion in 'Karate' started by datisstom, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. datisstom

    datisstom White Belt

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    I'm new to MA and started wado karate a couple of weeks ago. I am starting to have my doubts about this style however.
    Before joining any MA school I joined some trainings, and I did a shotokan training as well. I know wado has its origins in shotokan and jiu-jitsu, but I noticed a couple of things. First, shotokan seems much tougher than wado. Second, in shotokan the karatekas did body hardening, wich we don't do at all when practicing wado. Third, Lyoto Machida. I think Machida wouldn't stand a chance in MMA if he had been practicing wado.

    It seems to me that wado is just a watered down version of the real karate, which is shotokan/kyokushin. Am I right thinking this?
     
  2. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    One important thing to think first:
    Is it the Style, or the Instructor?

    Because while it may be a Wado Ryu Dojo, the Teacher may not be adequately teaching Wado Ryu. Look around, go watch some other Systems Dojos. It may be that this particular Dojo is whats watered down, and thats what Id be looking at.

    Also, Shotokan and Kyokushin are so vastly different, that You really shouldnt be comparing one system to them both :)
     
  3. datisstom

    datisstom White Belt

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    I'm not talking about my dojo. I'm talking about the style in general.
     
  4. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    Well, that was impossible to tell from Your post.

    Working on that;
    Shotokan is more into Linear Movement, and They use harder Blocks.
    Wado Ryu is based more on Evasion, by comparison. And uses Circular, as oppose to Linear, movement.
    Wado Ryu has more Technical work in it, and has more 'moves' overall (Im brainfarting for a better word. I hate saying Techniques).
    Shotokan has less, but is perhaps better at the lesser number as a result.

    There is no clean cut answer - Pick which one interests You more, really. Because Theyre both focusing on different things. Much like how Shotokan incorporates plentiful Blocking, where Kyokushin thends to use Guards instead.
    Wado Ryu isnt watered down - Its a different approach.
     
  5. datisstom

    datisstom White Belt

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    Thanks for your clearly explained answer. Another question pops up in my head:

    In my school, the white belts practice the same techniques as the black/brown belts. Isn't it strange that we don't practice the techniques and kumité we have to know for our first exam?
     
  6. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    It depends.
    What are the Techniques?
     
  7. datisstom

    datisstom White Belt

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    Well I don't know their names yet. We usually just start doing a warm-up, then line up and do those techniques. Then we practice blocks on each other (without really hitting). Sometimes we spar for a couple of minutes at the end.
     
  8. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    If what Youre saying is that all the people of all the Ranks practice the same stuff together, thats fine.
    Ultimately, They will get You up to scratch for furthering Rank. But when everyones practicing the same stuff, its because that same stuff is the Bread and Butter of the System. I imagine for Wado Ryu, that might well be some simple blocks, straight punches, and round/front kicks?
     
  9. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I started in Wado-Ryu in Colorado in the 1980's. That's what we did as well. I only stayed a few months, and didn't take up martial arts training again for over 25 years. The style I practice now, we do the same; except if we practice a kata (form) that the newbie does not know, they are taken to the side and either shown it, or they work on what they do know.

    All classes are different. I do not think it is necessarily a precept of the school or style; but perhaps of the teacher or the size of the class.

    In our dojo, black belts frequently practice self-defense techniques with white belts. That's because black belts have (or should have) the control to not hurt the white belt, and white belts have no control but are often strong and eager and can hurt others; black belts are expected to defend themselves or be hurt (and it's their own fault if they are hurt). So they are a good match for each other. Two inexperienced people whacking away at each other a) might hurt each other because neither has any control or the ability to properly defend themselves and b) will practice the techniques without correction, reinforcing bad techniques.
     
  10. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    No, you're not.

    Sadly, that's all there is to it. You just might not have found the school for you, or you may have some personal beliefs about Wado Ryu's movement and what you consider "strong", but that's about all I can say from this post. The idea that Lyoto Machida wouldn't have been as successful if he trained in Wado Ryu instead of Shotokan is honestly not something that can be proven as having any basis in anything other than a value judgement.

    When it comes to the entire class doing the same thing, that would tell me that what you're doing at that point is probably the kihon (basics) which should be continually polished. Without getting them right, you might not be able to do the other techniques for your grading.

    But you're really just very new to this. If you have concerns about what you're learning, I'd suggest talking to your instructor about it (respectfully!), and if it comes down to it, looking around at other schools to see if there's another one nearby that fits your personality more.
     
  11. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I would say that it's the instructor/school that's 'easier' not the style. I've been doing Wado for many years and it's far from an easy style. As has been mentioned the fact that higher grades train with lower grades doesn't mean the style is an easy one. Everyone in every style learns basics, they are well...the basis for everything. You can't learn a style in a couple of months, there is a huge lot to learn yet and it takes years. A couple of weeks training is nothing I'm afraid and any place worth it's salt won't have you don't anything more than the very basics and yes often the higher grades will be in there with you. You won't be doing body conditioning as a newbie of two weeks!
    On the subject of MMA, Wado because the founder was a jujitsu master also contains many takedowns, throws and even grappling movements. The level of sparring is set by the club/school not the style. All styles can be full contatc, not style is 'easy' if taught properly. If you think Wado is easy and Shotokan hard then you need to blame either the instructors or yourself for wanting to run before you can even crawl. The style isn't at fault, the teaching may be or the expectations of the students may be at fault.
     
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  12. Grenadier

    Grenadier Administrator Staff Member

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    This is not unusual at all, and would also be commonplace in a good Shotokan dojo as well. If a sensei doesn't make his students do their fundamental basic techniques in most of the classes, beginner or advanced, then I'd be less sure of their ability to build on top of what they know, since it's the fundamental techniques that make someone good, not a kata sequence, or a kumite strategy.

    If students have good basic techniques, I find it quite easy to teach them the more advanced kata, as well as advanced kumite strategies and techniques, since I know that their fundamentals aren't going to be a limitation. If, on the other hand, they don't have good basic techniques, then teaching them the advanced material is usually going to be a waste of time.

    Both systems would work fine in a fight, although each system is different in its own way. In fact, when I see the various Wado Ryu schools compete at the USA-NKF regional tournaments, they do very well as a whole, in the Kumite divisions.

    Wado Ryu incorporates more of the "softer" techniques in their training, since a lot of this comes from the Shinto Yoshin Ryu Ju Jutsu that Ohtsuka Shihan had already studied. There are a lot of things going on in the technique that the neophyte's eyes can't see just yet. As you gain more experience, you'll get a better understanding of what is going on.
     
  13. chinto

    chinto Senior Master

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    not sure, not that knowledgeable of the style in question. I can say that I much prefer the Okinawan systems to what I have seen of Shotokan. I see more options and technique taught by the Okinawan systems, and Karate came from Okinawa. SO do you argue that Shotokan is a watered down version of Okinawan Shorin Ryu, as Funikoshi sensei was a student of Itosu Sensei?
     
  14. Manny

    Manny Senior Master

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    Well not a karate ka but maybe I can contribute. With only minimal exposure to teh Wado Ryu Karate you are doing you can't have a good view or feeling abou it. For the things I've been studying about karate ryus or stiles WADO is a mix up of Shotokan and Ju-Jutsu and I think is a good misture. Take for example myself, I am a second degrre black belt in TKD and I would love to learn some aikido to round up my TKD that in some things is like Shotokan Karate.

    If a Wado Ryu Dojo will be in my city I would practice it.

    I think the best is yet to come, stick with Wado Ryu a little longer, scalate in the Kyup ladder and see if workinmg for you if not then leave and see for something else, I think Wado Ryu can be an exelente self defense martial art.

    Manny
     
  15. Black Belt Jedi

    Black Belt Jedi Blue Belt

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    It's not really the system that is watered down version of another system, it can be the instructor not teaching the system the right way. Or maybe that system is not for you.
     
  16. teekin

    teekin 3rd Black Belt

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    I do the more circular Wado type and we certainly ( by we I mean the collective, not Me. I see little value in pounding the edge of my hand into a woden post) do body hardening. The strikes can leave nasty bruises and sting and the blocks while circular, can hurt like the dickens too. It depends who you work with and how fast/hard you go. Even when working Kata with a partner it can get owwey if someone goes a bit overboard. I think the delivery of the style depends on the teacher, just like any other Martial Art. The head instructor sets the tone. Perhaps this is why it is more important to find a teacher you really mesh with than an Art you fall in love with. The wrong instructor will have you repeatedly smashing your head against the nearest cement wall in frustration, while the right teacher will have you singing in your car and bouncing into/ out of class. At least until you have a solid hold on the fundementals. <<<But that is what takes the longest and is the most frustrating part of learning any new skill. :(

    Lori
     
  17. SuperFLY

    SuperFLY Green Belt

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    I don't do much 'conditioning' in my training and i train shotokan. i might do pressups on my fists on hardwood floors and i can do other conditioning but its not mandatory.

    its more often than not the club not the style that these things differ.

    makes perfect sense to me.. if you wanted to train, you'd want to train with the most experienced person there and that would be the black belts.

    in our classes if we are ever asked to pair up we expect the lower grades to immediately go and find a higher grade. i wouldnt go pair up with another black belt unless there were no lower grades left.

    as said above, we have the control and experience a beginner wouldnt have, and they can learn from our technique and style. if 2 beginners are going at it neither of them are sure whether they're doing it right or not. at least with a more senior student you have some confidence if you're doing what they're doing, its the right way :)

    in training yesterday we partnered up to do some basic kumite and my first partner (we swapped partners after each set) was a 6 year old kid a 1/3rd my size. ok so i dont get a lot out of it but i can help him along and correct any mistakes he's making allowing our instructor to keep the whole class addressed. if it helps the beginner/younger students then thats all good :)

    we get our proper training at the black belt classes, a lot of the time im now just at the other classes to lend a hand and teach a bit or just to set an example to the others.

    i cant comment much on wado unfortunately as i've never had any experience with it
     
  18. chinto

    chinto Senior Master

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    ok I asked a question expecting the answer that is correct. Shotokan is not a watered down version of Okinawan Shorin Ryu. Funikoshi modified Okinawan Karate to partly differentiate it from Jujitsu, and to fit the Japanese culture and mindset. It is neither better or worse, but different. wado ryu I do not know that much about, I do understand it came from a shotokan practitioner. what he changed and did not I am not sure.
    But, All Karate has something to offer. the few bits of video I have seen of wado ryu it did not impress me. but it was sport sparring and they apparently have their own set of rules. I will say they seemed very tough men.

    all that said, the question seems more accurately to be " is wado ryu the system for you?" and it sounds as if perhaps the answer is no. but you must decide.
     
  19. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Not all Wado people do the 'sport' sparring thing, ours was full on, again it comes down to what particular clubs and particular instructors do. Judging Wado Ryu on a couple of videos is pointless, you could do the same with many styles and get the wrong impression. I would say more 'is this instructor for you' rather than this style and to be honest I don't think the OP had given enough time or had learnt enough to make any comparisions with any other style, I think he will always be disappointed.
     
  20. Sojobo

    Sojobo Green Belt

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    Hello,

    I think if you chance upon a good Wado club, it will be clear that actually, Shotokan and Wado have very little in common.

    It's wrongly assumed that Wado comes from Shotokan - It doesn't!

    If Wado comes from anything it comes from Shindo Yoshin-ryu, but even that is over simplifying things.

    Otsuka sensei is after all famed for saying "Okinawan karate is to Wado as a pinch of salt is to a stew" or words along those lines.

    Of course dojo will vary, but be careful not to generalise.

    Sojobo123
     

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