Maxims and Memoires by Masters
Master MIKAMI recollects the first meeting with Grand Master Ohtsuka of WADO
My first meeting with the Grand Master was after the 4 greats-Masters Nakayama, Yamaguchi, Nishiyama, Iwata-got together once to get acquainted in a casual setting. Later the Grand Master visited Baton Rouge in Louisiana and I accompanied him to the destination as I teach close to where he visited.
On the way, the Grand Master shared a part of his experience in Karate with me. The Grand Master said, “I was teaching Karate as Budo at Tokyo University as Shihan-dai (Deputy Shihan) and was asked by a student on techniques in Karate. In answering to him, I explained some wisdom and understanding of other Budo techniques. I was not critical of Grand Master Funakoshi. No I never intended to criticize Master Funakoshi.”
The unintended animosity developed between the Grand Master (later he established WADO), and Grand Master Funakoshi, resulted Grand Master Ohtsuka to be expelled, in practice, from Grand Master Funakoshi's School. Grand Master mentioned to Master Mikami, “ I did not have any intention to be competing again Grand Master Funakoshi. I felt I can offer more understand of Budo to Karate that was emerging in mainland Japan as a Budo.”
Master Mikami still remember the words by Grand Master Ohtsuka. Grand Master Ohtsuka was a very open and free spirited Master and he would just tell his thoughts without hesitation.