Who is the Wado International Karate-Do Federation?
The Wado International Karate-Do Federation or Wado Kokusai Karate-Do Remni was founded in 1990 by Professor Tatsuo Suzuki 8th Dan Hanshi in order to protect the essence of Wado Ryu Karate-Do as taught to him by the founder, Hironori Ohtsuka.
The Wado International Karate-Do Federation and its instructors mission is to protect the teachings of our late Sensei, Tatsuo Suzuki, while remaining as one united family. Many of our instructors including our World Chief Instructor Jon Wicks have trained under Sensei Suzuki’s guidance from the beginning of their Wado journey right to the point that Sensei passed. It is this deep rooted devotion that makes the WIKF the only body that can claim to teach the authentic Wado Ryu of Tatsuo Suzuki and Hironori Ohtsuka.
Unfortunately there are many groups and people who claim to have been trained by Sensei, but who actually only attended one or two seminars, true followers trained with Sensei for many years and are proud to be part of his WIKF both when he was alive and now after his passing.
Why was the WIKF Formed?
Before Ohtsuka's death, discussions took place involving him and Eiichi Eriguchi (then chairman of the Wado Kai) in which it was made clear that Ohtsuka Sensei wished to have Tatsuo Suzuki become his successor. Suzuki Sensei was diffident about accepting the honour, claiming instead that it should pass to Ohtsuka's son.
However, after Ohtsuka's son took over, there were many political and technical problems in America, Europe, and Japan. Many inconsistencies with Kata and techniques began to evolve. Suzuki Sensei tried to reunite the Wado organizations on several occasions only to have them resume their bickering as soon as he left Japan. Suzuki Sensei's growing dissatisfaction with the way things were proceeding and his realization that his time was limited, made him decide to take a different route to preserve Ohtsuka Sensei's teachings. This was the reason he decided to start his own International Wado-Ryu organization. He was the only man left who has studied intensively with Ohtsuka Sensei during his peak performance years, from fifty to seventy years old.
The Wado Kokusai is established in over 50 Countries and is organised into three regions, Europe/Asia, North America and Latin America. The Wado Kokusai is the largest out of the three main Wado groups.
Suzuki Sensei was a loyal man to his teacher, the founder of Wado-Ryu the late Master Ohtsuka. Before Sensei Suzuki's passing he emphasised how the style should not be changed and the original teachings as taught to him and passed to his senior students should be maintained;
In order to protect this vision in 2008 at the World Championships in Braga, Portugal, Suzuki Sensei handpicked a number of his Senior Students that would be responsible for protecting these techniques of our style by appointing them to a newly formed World Technical Committee.
As per the minutes of the 2008 World Championships the appointed technical committee were; Jon Wicks (England), Wim Massee (Spain), Tony Gonclaves (Portugal), Ken Corrigan (Canada), Tom Kosslow (USA), Arturo Girona (USA), Pedro Rodriguez (South America)
Later the following year at the 2009 European Championships, Nicosia, Cyprus, Suzuki Sensei made another important change to the structure of the WIKF by passing on the responsibilities of the WIKF World Chief Instructor from himself to Sensei Jon Wicks. *2
Suzuki Sensei felt these two important steps would be crucial to protecting not only the techniques that Master Ohtsuka taught him but also maintaining his vision of one WIKF family.
The WIKF Today
Even today, years after our beloved Sensei's passing, the World Technical Committee and our World Chief Instructor continue to protect our values and techniques that Suzuki Sensei practiced, shared and believed in. This was and is the ultimate reason that the Wado International Karate-Do Federation was created.
We hope this gives you some insight into our organisation and its values. Please feel free to direct any question to the following address; firstname.lastname@example.org.
*2 Extract from Annual General Meeting, held in Nicosia, Cyprus on Friday 16th October 2009
"Piont 5 - World WIKF Update - Sensei Suzuki
Sensei announced that he was appointing Mr Jon Wicks (England) as the new World Chief Instructor, to take effect immediately. Sensei himself would continue as Chief Director"