Masafumi Shiomitsu - 9th Dan Hanshi - Chief instructor Wado Academy

Born in 1940 in the Kagoshima area on the Southern island of Japan, Sensei Shiomitsu was probably destined to become a leading martial artist.

Sensei Shiomitsu 9th Dan Hanshi demonstrating with Sensei Tyrone Pardue 5th Dan USA in Florida 2008Kagoshima is very traditional area and is famous for its Samurai traditions and this history became part of the character of Sensei whilst he grew up. Masafumi Shiomitsu began his study of karate when 15 years old in 1955, with a local teacher from the Shorin-Ryu style of karate. In 1959 and aged 18 years old he moved to Tokyo and entered Nihon University, subsequently becoming a member of the famous university Wado Ryu karate club. There were three main coaches at that time, Toru Arakawa Sensei and two brothers named Tanabe, as well the original Grandmaster, Hironori Ohtsuka, who was a frequent visitor. Sensei Shiomitsu quickly adapted to the punishing karate lessons and became notorious for his ferocious attitude towards karate free fighting and at that time, most lessons consisted of very little else. He became particularly feared for his dynamic and technically excellent kicking techniques.

Sensei Shiomitsu 9th Dan Hanshi - Wado Academy Chief InstructorIn 1963, he was officially appointed captain of the university team and was graded for 4th Dan in 1964.

As Sensei recalls, in those days competition karate as such was unknown. The "meetings" that took place between the universities were known as "exchange exercises", although this was hardly an accurate description. In reality, they were blood baths, with both sides doing their utmost to win and knock out their opponents.

From an excerpt from his book, "Dynamic kicking method" Sensei recalls that once, after three days of exhausting training, one of his instructors told him to kick on the spot for one hour, using the same leg! Half way through, he thought he would pass out, but if he slackened at all, then his instructors would beat him extremely hard with a bamboo sword, to make him concentrate even harder. He was not allowed once during the hour, to put his leg down and was told to kick at full power in each and every kick. Sensei says the memory of the ordeal remains with him to this day, but he is eternally grateful for the lesson, as it showed him that with good character and a strong spirit, there is almost no limit to what a person can achieve.

Sensei Shiomitsu in his younger days, demonstrating his fearsome Roundhouse kick, or "Maweshigeri"Sensei recently recalled that during his university days, as well as the brutal fighting at the clubs, he was often taken to some of the roughest bars in Tokyo by his Sempai after training. They would often point at someone at the bar and tell Sensei Shiomitsu to "go tell them to shut up!" Sensei quickly learnt how to adapt his karate skills in the dojo to be as practical for street fighting.

Although well known to the local police, he always escaped charges as he was acting in self defence, because he never threw the first punch!

Following a series of demonstrations in 1964 in the UK from Sensei's Suzuki, Takashima and Arakawa, Shiomitsu Sensei was appointed an overseas instructor to Great Britain in 1965. Sensei was often challenged to fights when he first came to the UK, something he was more than willing to oblige with! He earned the nickname "the mighty mawashi", (after the roundhouse kick mawashigeri) as it was said that very few people ever saw his kick actually coming, before they were knocked out by it!

Sensei Shiomitsu also taught briefly in Spain, France and Madagascar during the late sixties and early seventies. He quickly progressed to be regarded as one of the very best instructors of the style anywhere in the world and in 1981, was awarded 7th Dan by the founder of Wado Ryu, Hironori Ohtsuka.

Sensei Shiomitsu 9th Dan Hanshi leading the way in training in 2008In 1989, he established the Wado Ryu Karate Do Academy and was awarded his 8th Dan. Sensei does not instruct at a full time dojo in the UK where he resides, but instead travels the world extensively and visits his many students across the globe, where he provides expert instruction to all who wish to study under him.

Sensei also teaches at all of his UK clubs at least twice a year, as well as at the winter, summer and instructors courses, to maintain high standards and many high ranking students come from all over the world to attend.

Sensei's teaching methods have undoubtedly changed down the years. To quote one of his senior students, Arthur Meek 7th Dan;

"I think it's fair to say he has mellowed somewhat, but don't take that as a sign of weakness in any way. His ability to bring Kata technique alive is second to none and the old fighting spirit of his younger days is never far away. Shiomitsu Sensei, despite his early days as a young fearless fighter, has evolved into a Wado pioneer. His innovative teaching methods and demonstrations of relaxed power are testimonies of his own research into today's Wado Ryu Karate. His loyalty to Grandmasters Ohtsuka's ideas and concepts has not jaded his ambition to bring other things to the Wado table. Change? I call it development".

Sensei Shiomitsu with the Wado Academy Dan grading panel in Guildford in 2008
Sensei Shiomitsu still has the ability to fix a stare or shout a few words which make even the most seasoned black belts top lip quiver! He continues to develop and improve his outstanding karate skills, whilst demanding the same effort and commitment from his students.

Over the last 45+ years, he has helped popularise and shape Wado karate (and karate in general) throughout Great Britain, Europe and across the world.

Sensei was awarded 9th Dan by Grandmaster Ohtsuka in 2006.

A truly humble karate master, his expertise leaves nothing to the imagination.

Further details and information on Sensei Masafumi Shiomitsu 9th Dan Hanshi can be found at the following links.

Interview with Sensei Shiomitsu from Wado Academy France

Video footage of Sensei Shiomitsu on national TV

Sensei Shiomitsu performing Tanto Dori (Knife Defence)

News Headlines

Wado Academy Winter Course 2017
The bookings forms will be available soon. The dates are Sat Feb 18th to Weds Feb 22nd at the Guildford Spectrum.

Xmas closing dates 2016
Farnham - Last class Sunday 18th Dec. Reopens Sunday 8th Jan

Haslemere - Last class 14th Dec. Reopens Weds 4th Jan.

Aldershot - Last class Weds 21st. Reopens Weds 4th Jan.

We often get asked about beginners courses. We don't run them specifically, but beginners are welcome at any time at any lesson. Call us if you want to chat first, all serious students welcome.

New Dan Grade syllabus
The Dan Grade syllabus for 2015-2017 is now available at this link.