2nd Grandmaster (Jiro) Ohtsuka Sensei | 1934 – 2015

Jiro Ohtsuka was born in Tokyo, Japan on the 28th February 1934. This was also the year that Wado karate was originated by his father, Hironori Ohtsuka sensei.

It is with great regret that I received news that the 2nd Grandmaster of Wado-Ryu Ohtsuka Sensei has passed away. I was fortunate to be able to train under him on many occasions in Japan. I found him to be a perfect gentleman both inside and outside the dojo. He had the most impressive knowledge of the development of Wado-Ryu and the Wado-Ryu Jujitsu.

I was also fortunate in the 1970’s when I was a Green Belt, to be able to train on a Course as part of the UKKW with the 1st Grandmaster and Founder of Wado-Ryu Karate. I also remember at this time the UKKW Championships at Crystal Palace. This is where the 1st Grandmaster accompanied by his son Jiro Ohtsuka performed a demonstration of the highest level of the Wado-Ryu syllabus, the Tachi Dori (Sword Defense). Unfortunately the demonstration took place after an evacuation of the sports centre, and both the Grandmaster and Jiro Ohtsuka Sensei had been standing in the car park on a cold damp british evening. In the course of the demonstration the Grandmaster’s hand was cut by the sharp Japanese Sword wielded by Jiro Ohtsuka Sensei. In the true Japanese Samurai Tradition Grandmaster Ohtsuka had still successfully completed the Sword Defense otherwise his injury would have been more serious or even fatal. He further went on to complete the demonstration and bow to the audience before receiving medical attention for his injury.

For me personally, my training in Wado-Ryu spanning more than 4 decades is full of memory, and memories are made of this. I wish to offer my deepest condolances to the Ohtsuka Family, and in particular to Kazutaka Otsuka. The 2nd Grandmaster is dead, long live the 3rd Grandmaster Kazutaka Otsuka.

I also received the news that the head of Wado-Kai in Japan had also passed away within a week of Grandmaster Ohtsuka. It is hoped by many of the older Wado practisioners that politics can be put to one side and that closer relationships between Wado-Kai and Wado-Ryu will now go forward in Japan and around the world. WADO – THE WAY OF PEACE

G Coulter 6th Dan Wado-Ryu Karate.

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