wado-ryu and goju-ryu perspectives from a kyu rank student :)

jujutsu_indonesia

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arnisador said:
I'd like to hear more about this! Would you start a thread on the Wado-ryu approach to fighting and how it differs from that of, say, Goju (which I studied for a while)?

Mr. Arnisador asked me to write a new thread about Wado and Goju, so here it is. I am just a kyu rank student so my explanations are likely to be very basic and could be erratic as well, so if there any confusion, please contact people who are more informed than I am :)

As a caveat, I must say that there are Sportive Goju and Sportive Wado, and there are Traditional Goju and Traditional Wado. In multi-style competitions, such as WUKO style or WKF style, all Karateka uses the same basics and mostly same sparring strategies. But those are sportive version of Karate, it is standarized so everybody are doing same thing. In the traditional Dojos, the stylistic emphasis are more pronounced. Here I am trying to describe the traditional Goju and Wado as I know them.

Here it goes.

I studied Goju for 3 years in high school. However the University where I continue my education does not offer Goju Karate. I was looking for a place to train and discover a club in another University near my home (very close in fact) which offers Jujutsu and Wado-ryu Karate. I said to myself, Karate is Karate, so I joined. And now it has been 5 years ever since I train in this club.

Goju and Wado-ryu is perhaps the most different of all Karate styles. Goju and Shito-ryu is rather similar because the Katas are similar. Wado is more closer to Shotokan but not quite. Only some Katas are rather similar, but the way of movements and way of thinking is very different. Let me give some examples.

- In Goju, training with equipment is very important, such as makiwara, clay gripping etc. In Wado, such training is not emphasized at all.

- In Goju, body conditioning is important. Goju Karateka are trained to be able to absorb light and medium punches and kicks using Sanchin training. In Wado, body conditioning like this does not exist.

- In Goju, to deal with an attack usually we get close and use circular block such as Wa-Uke to trap the opponent's hand then counter with the other hand. In Wado, the idea is centered around footwork and evasion, that is, evade, not block the attack.

- In Goju, the grappling techniques such as throws and locks are taken from Bunkai of the Kata. In Wado, the techniques of throws and locks are inherited from Jujutsu, and in fact are still done in ancient Jujutsu way, as paired Kata. In Japan, Wado-ryu is known as hybrid style: Wado-ryu Jujutsu Kenpo Karate-Do. Goju-ryu on the other hand is considered as the most pure Karate style, no hybridization whatsoever with other martial art.

- In Goju, there are lots of emphasis in breathing exercises, and there are Katas designed for breathing exercises and Ki development, such as Sanchin, Tensho, Seienchin, Suparimpei, Seisan etc. In Wado, they also have Seisan but the movement are rather different, and there are no emphasis in breathing exercises.

These are the differences that I can think of, there are more to come when I can remember them :)
 
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jujutsu_indonesia

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Allow me to explain a little about the Wado training I know. In Wado, there are paired forms which are designed specifically to teach the student about how to move in Wado style. The most common is the Yakusoku Kihon Kumite which has ten techniques. The most common characteristic of Wado is the tendency to evade, parry, trap then get inside the opponent's defenses from an angle. So, this Karate style abhorrs direct approach.

In the Yakusoku Kihon Kumite, the theme seemed to be: opponent attack, the Wado-ka parry the attack while at the same uses footwork to sidestep the attack. Then the attacker launch another attack, and the Wadoka will sidestep to another direction while at the same time trap and redirect the opponent's attack as to expose a vital point. For example, parry the punching hand then guide it to a complementary direction without opposing the power, which causes the attacker to overextend his punch, thus leaving his ribs vulnerable for a punch, and his entire body vulnerable for an off-balancing technique. This avoiding and redirecting are usually done simultaneously. From here the Wado-Ka will launch his own attacks, which sometimes includes jujutsu throws and joint locks.

Do I make sense? Sorry English is not my 1st language :(
 

arnisador

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It does make sense, and thanks! I didn't realize that the jujutsu had not been integrated into the kata. Is that right? It's sort of like practicing two styles together? I always thought the jujutsu influence on Wado was relatively minor and that it was still like Shotokan for the most part--it sounds like it's more clearly a hybrid still than I had thought.

Are weapons taught in Wado? Also, what organization do you belong to? I'm guessing that, like so many otehr styles--Goju is an example--it has split a few times.
 

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Interesting perspective. I don't necessarily disagree with your statements, since there seem to be a good number of flavors in both the Goju and Wado systems. You seem to have a good bit of experience with both systems, and have thought this out very well.

I'm just going to chime in based on my experience in this particular Wado school, so what I say may not necessarily be true for the entire spectrum.

jujutsu_indonesia said:
- In Goju, training with equipment is very important, such as makiwara, clay gripping etc. In Wado, such training is not emphasized at all.

My school utilizes heavy bags, as well as makiwara, and punching / kicking targets, although we tend to emphasize the use of the heavy bag more.

No clay gripping involved, although we do have some interesting characters in the dojo who use Roger Clemens' method of thrusting the hands into a barrel full of uncooked rice for conditioning (not part of the school regimen, though).

- In Goju, body conditioning is important. Goju Karateka are trained to be able to absorb light and medium punches and kicks using Sanchin training. In Wado, body conditioning like this does not exist.

We don't have sessions dedicated to impact conditioning. Rather, it's integrated into many of the partnered excercises, such as when performing ippon kumite, etc. Those who reach advanced kyu ranks are expected to give each other a decent controlled tap, and those receiving the tap are expected to learn how to tense and condition at the right moments.

After having used the regular drills as well as the routine calisthenics performed (pushups, crunches, etc), and when combined with the tensing / relaxing drills, the students prove to be capable

- In Goju, to deal with an attack usually we get close and use circular block such as Wa-Uke to trap the opponent's hand then counter with the other hand. In Wado, the idea is centered around footwork and evasion, that is, evade, not block the attack.

That's actually pretty close to what I've seen as well, in that the Goju practitioners focus a good bit on close-quarters combat, while the Wado practitioners use a good bit of kogeki movements instead. This is especially evident at the kyu levels.

As they get to the more advanced levels, though, are the two methods really that different? With our group, the more advanced folks still use the footwork / evasion methods, but instead of simply moving back, or even to the side, they tend to advance towards the opponent at oblique angles, and looking for at least a partial immobilization of the opponent's extension. Many of these trapping techniques are circular in nature.


Goju-ryu on the other hand is considered as the most pure Karate style, no hybridization whatsoever with other martial art.

Can't argue with you here; Wado is, indeed, a mixture of Ohtsuka Shihan's experience with Shintoyoshin-ryu Jiu Jitsu and Shotokan Karate.

I often wondered, though, what is pure Karate? If it's a measure of how close a style is to its original roots, then perhaps it certainly is just that, although many would then argue that it's mixed in with more Chinese martial art techniques.


- In Goju, the grappling techniques such as throws and locks are taken from Bunkai of the Kata. In Wado, the techniques of throws and locks are inherited from Jujutsu, and in fact are still done in ancient Jujutsu way, as paired Kata.

Can't disagree with you on this matter. We incorporate this in kumite drills, and actual jiyu kumite.


These are the differences that I can think of, there are more to come when I can remember them :)

If you can remember more, I'd certainly like to see them! Thanks for making this thread; I enjoy these compare / contrast info bits.
 

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jujutsu_indonesia said:
Do I make sense? Sorry English is not my 1st language :(

Don't worry. Your English is just fine. It's far superior to my knowledge of Indonesian. :D
 
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cas

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well written start of the topic.

I am also a kyu rank student but I have some comments eventhough I agree with what is said above.
Wado is often translated as way of harmony. This translation for wa = harmony was emphasised later in the seventies but when wado was founded the wa mostly meant Japanese. wa do = Japanese way. So wado-ryu karate is karate the Japanese way (this last sentence is my interpretation).


I think Ohtsuka sensei used karate as a vehicle to transport the principles of old school budo to the modern times. Often Shotokan is used as the definition of what is typical Japanese karate and perhaps in some ways it is. But when it comes to incorporating the mainland Japanese martial traditions into a karate style Wado-ryu might be the most Japanese.


This link provides a good summary of wado history and influences on what made wado.
http://www.hogia.net/karate/karate/history.htm


Goju ryu seems to be on the other end of the karate spectrum (most Okinawan?) although Euchi-ryu (Okinawan karate with a distinct Chinese flavour?) seems even further away from wado.


have a nice day,

Casper Baar
 

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Yes, Uechi-ryu really is unique--it's much closer to the original Chinese Kung Fu than other Okinawan systems are.
 
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jujutsu_indonesia

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arnisador said:
It does make sense, and thanks! I didn't realize that the jujutsu had not been integrated into the kata. Is that right? It's sort of like practicing two styles together? I always thought the jujutsu influence on Wado was relatively minor and that it was still like Shotokan for the most part--it sounds like it's more clearly a hybrid still than I had thought.

Are weapons taught in Wado? Also, what organization do you belong to? I'm guessing that, like so many otehr styles--Goju is an example--it has split a few times.

Thank you for the kind words, I am so very happy my explanations are useful to you :)

Otsuka sensei retained the Okinawan Katas to teach students how to move properly when using Karate basics. I think Wado does not emphasize on bunkai. On the other hand, in Goju when I learn a Kata I must also learn Bunkai. I still remember learning Tensho then learning the kakie/stickyhands bunkai of that Kata, which involves wrist grappling. Very painful, ouch! :)

Here, a link to a visual representation of some paired Wado Katas. These bits were taken from Tantodori no Kata, this is very high Kata and many say was a direct transport from Yoshin-ryu Jujutsu.

http://www.geocities.com/wadokai_indonesia/kotenagedori.html

I am sure you will agree with me that these Katas feels more like old-style Jujutsu than modern Karate :)

So, yes. It's like practicing two styles together, first we start with Karate then we finally end up doing Jujutsu-type movements. But it's all Wado. Because our Founder tailored the syllabus to prepare us step by step, from Karate world into Jujutsu world. The Karate does not contradict the Jujutsu, and vice versa. In fact, if your proper Wado Karate basics are not good, then you will never be able to properly execute Wado Jujutsu techniques as well.

As for weapons, there are no weapons training whatsoever in Wado. However, in the higher levels, there are Kata against weapons (Tantodori Kata is against knife, and Tachidori kata is against sword). So we are taught the basic movements of using the knife and sword, so we can be Uke in those Katas. But only the very basic movements of the knife and sword.

My teacher (Ben Haryo) studied with the person who was the first southeast Asian to study Wado in Japan with Otsuka sensei in the early 60s. His name is Mr. Taman, now Nanadan-Renshi in JKF-Wadokai. At that time there are no other Wado organizations but JKF-Wadokai. The Ryuha name is Wado-ryu and the organization is Wadokai. The split into three organizations (Wado Renmei, Wado Kokusai and Wadokai) happened in mid 1980s. At that time Mr. Taman has already returned to Indonesia for years. He remained in JKF-Wadokai until now because most of his seniors in Japan stayed with the JKF-Wadokai. So, we are pretty much still in the JKF-Wadokai.

However, all three organizations of Wado basically does the same martial art, the first 9 core Kata is the same, the kihon (basics) is the same, the reiho (etiquette) is the same, the Jujutsu bits maybe differs a little but only in numbering, for example, idori Kata no 10 (paired Kata for seated defenses) in Wado Renmei is ohyo no 3 of idori Kata no 7 in Wadokai, and so on. And maybe different teachers opted to use different endings/finishes in certain Jujutsu techniques, but it's basically the same art. No major differences at all.
 
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jujutsu_indonesia

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cas said:
well written start of the topic.


I think Ohtsuka sensei used karate as a vehicle to transport the principles of old school budo to the modern times. Often Shotokan is used as the definition of what is typical Japanese karate and perhaps in some ways it is. But when it comes to incorporating the mainland Japanese martial traditions into a karate style Wado-ryu might be the most Japanese.


have a nice day,

Casper Baar

I agree very much with Casper san's opinions! :D
 
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jujutsu_indonesia

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arnisador said:
Yes, Uechi-ryu really is unique--it's much closer to the original Chinese Kung Fu than other Okinawan systems are.

I have seen Uechi-ryu and agree with you that this is style is very Chinese-ish. In fact I think I heard someone mentioned that it was considered a Chinese art under the name of Panginang/Pangai Noon. My Chinese friends who are Kuntao (Chinese-Indonesian Kenpo) stylists all exclaimed "That's Kuntao!" when they see Uechi-ryu video being shown by my Sensei.

Their body conditioning routines is also very Chinese-ish! They have arm pounding, body pounding, leg-kicking (WITH FULL POWER!) routines, and so on, makes me remember the Shaolin iron body conditioning techniques.
 
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jujutsu_indonesia

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Grenadier said:
Interesting perspective. I don't necessarily disagree with your statements, since there seem to be a good number of flavors in both the Goju and Wado systems. You seem to have a good bit of experience with both systems, and have thought this out very well.

Thank you very much for the kind words!

My school utilizes heavy bags, as well as makiwara, and punching / kicking targets, although we tend to emphasize the use of the heavy bag more.

I know also of many Wado dojo that uses makiwara and the boxer's bag, and am agree with them that these kind of training enhances one's Karate. What I am saying was, these kind of training methods are not prescribed in the Wado syllabus as I know them.

No clay gripping involved, although we do have some interesting characters in the dojo who use Roger Clemens' method of thrusting the hands into a barrel full of uncooked rice for conditioning (not part of the school regimen, though).

Yes, this is very ancient Chinese method, you start with uncooked rice, then gravel, then bigger pebbles, to develop finger strength. but I personally does not practice this Chinese method.

We don't have sessions dedicated to impact conditioning. Rather, it's integrated into many of the partnered excercises, such as when performing ippon kumite, etc. Those who reach advanced kyu ranks are expected to give each other a decent controlled tap, and those receiving the tap are expected to learn how to tense and condition at the right moments.

In the Goju school I studied years ago, there are many body conditioning, for example, using Sanchin breathing to absorb gyaku-zuki thrown with 20%-30% power, to absord mawashi geri to outer leg, and upwards kin geri to the groin. I take those methods as ways to develop fighting spirit, not as body-empowerment methods, because a good clean gyaku-zuki to the chin (which cannot be conditioned) will drop even the best Goju-Ka :(

As they get to the more advanced levels, though, are the two methods really that different? With our group, the more advanced folks still use the footwork / evasion methods, but instead of simply moving back, or even to the side, they tend to advance towards the opponent at oblique angles, and looking for at least a partial immobilization of the opponent's extension. Many of these trapping techniques are circular in nature.

yes, I also noticed that entering the opponent's defenses from an angle (it's called irimi) is very pronounced in the high levels. I admire your high level of perceptions :D

I often wondered, though, what is pure Karate? If it's a measure of how close a style is to its original roots, then perhaps it certainly is just that, although many would then argue that it's mixed in with more Chinese martial art techniques.

I have no satisfactory answer for this question :) I am from the school of thought which insist that there are no pure martial art style, all martial arts must have received some influences from some other places.

I must thank you for this excellent discussions!
 

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To my mind, Okinawan Goju and Shorin are fair examples of "pure" Okinawan (original) Karate. Earlier Okinwan systems, without much admixture of the Chinese arts, aren't what I think of as Karate. Shotokan, of course, is "pure" Japanese Karate.

But, I don't expect widespread agreement...nor do I find "pure" an especially useful category.
 

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arnisador said:
To my mind, Okinawan Goju and Shorin are fair examples of "pure" Okinawan (original) Karate. Earlier Okinwan systems, without much admixture of the Chinese arts, aren't what I think of as Karate. Shotokan, of course, is "pure" Japanese Karate.

But, I don't expect widespread agreement...nor do I find "pure" an especially useful category.
How about instead of "pure" better defined as "strictly".
Strictly Okinawan or strictly Japanese.
Just a thought. Semantics really, I understand your point.
 
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