Karate, which means “empty hand,” is a martial art that originated in Okinawa, the southernmost island in Japan. At the time, Okinawa was part of the Ryukyu kingdom, and its location facilitated trade of all things Chinese, including Chinese martial arts. Its desirable location also made a strong proficiency in self-defense necessary for its inhabitants.
Karate, or Karate-do (“way of the empty hand”), generally refers to the practice of unarmed self-defense techniques. The practice of Karate techniques combined with weapons which evolved from farming tools is known as Kobudo.
In our dojo (“a school where Karate-do is practiced”), we train in the Wado Ryu style, which was founded in the 1930s by Hironori Otsuka. Wado Ryu translates to “the style of the way of harmony” and fuses elements of Okinawan Karate with Japanese Jujutsu. Otsuka trained extensively in Jujutsu before he began practicing Shotokan Karate under Gichin Funakoshi. Otsuka was one of Shotokan’s first black belts. Wado Ryu also contains influences from Kenwa Mabuni, the founder of Shito Ryu Karate, and Choki Motobu, founder of Motobu Ryu Karate.
We also offer Kobudo classes and many students train in both disciplines.
Since its origins in the Ryukyu kingdom, Karate has become a popular practice for millions of people all across the world. Other popular styles include Shotokan, Goju Ryu, Shito Ryu, Shorin Ryu, Kyokushin, Kenpo Karate, and of course, Wado Ryu. While some train for sport Karate competitions and others look to Karate for self-defense or fitness, the common thread which runs through all Karate styles is the internal battle against one’s previous self.
At our dojo, we focus on self-actualisation through tradition, discipline, and rigourous training. With a lineage tracing back to Hironori Otsuka himself, we strive to create a traditional Japanese environment for training Karate in Utrecht accessible to everyone. We cater to an international community as the only Karate school in Utrecht offering Karate classes in English.
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