the official jKF-Wadokai Ido kihon
During his lifetime, Ohtsuka sensei added, discarded, revised and altered his movement.
He "Wadoised" Kata he learned from notable instructors like Motobu, Mabuni and Funakoshi.
Clearly, Ohtsuka didn't create new Kata from scratch.
So what about Ido Kihon?
The official basics have 6 techniques. Or 10 depending on how you're looking at it.
Here's the list: (click to jump)
- (Kette) Junzuki
- (Kette) Gyakuzuki
- (Kette) Junzuki No Tsukkomi
- (Kette) Gyakuzuki No Tsukkomi
Junzuki is nothing new. Gyakuzuki neither. A quick search on Youtube shows you that plenty styles use these — and you can find them in many Kata.
So that begs the question...
Is there anything special about JKF-Wadokai Ido Kihon?
To find out, let's go through all of them.
All Ido Kihon. One by one.
ido kihon Junzuki
Whether you're grading for yellow belt or 5th Dan, you always show Junzuki.
The difference between the lowest and highest technical grade is astronomical. And Junzuki is relatively easy:
Just step and punch. Time it, keep your elbow in and rotate your fist at the last split second — that's it.
Or is there more to it?
So much that you have to show it for 5th Dan too?
Let's dig deeper.
Junzuki is study of "Junte".
"Jun" comes from Jujutsu. It means that if the right leg is in the front, the right arm is in the front too.
Junzuki is how to use your body to deliver your full potential with Ayumi Ashi through a thrusting action.
And that's it right there: "Use your body".
- For a beginner, Junzuki is step and punch.
- For a green belt it's keeping the body nice and erect during the move.
- A brown belt focuses on a tight Hikite and strong strike.
- A black belt minds his shoulderblade to position his Hikite.
- High-level instructors control shoulderblade movement through precise mind-muscle connection to load the strike without telegraphing.
And that's just about the Hikite position with the fist at the side of the chest...
So yes, there's more to it. But let's back up a bit.
To pull it off, don't think about stepping. Think of moving:
✅ Bend your knee.
✅ Push your hip.
✅ Keep your arms in place as you move.
✅ Punch while keeping the elbow in. And rotate your fist.
Common mistakes you want to avoid:
❌ Don't lift the heel of the the back foot when punching.
❌ Don't overrotate turning your punch into a push.
❌ Don't lean forward with your upper body.
Gyakuzuki is everything a beginner needs:
It's characteristic Karate training. And easy to understand.
Now you have a slightly shorter and wider stance as opposed to Junzuki, it's easier to rotate. And your front foot stops rotation so it's easy to create power twisting your hips.
Twisting is the first way of learning how to create Karate-style power.
It's how you go from arm to body movement so that...
even if you don't have big muscles...
even if you're small...
...you can still deliver a strong blow.
That said, Gyakuzuki is more than twisting your hip. Do this too:
✅ Keep your body straight when you move
✅ Keep your hands in place
✅ And strike at the last split second when your toes touch the ground after stepping forward.
Oh, and you don't want to do this...
❌ Don't move your lead fist away from centerline when you move.
❌ Don't extend the back leg
❌ Don't over-twist as you move, or when you strike — advanced Karateka generate power in a small movement.
Junzuki no tsukkomi
According to Mr. Ray Young, Ohtsuka and Suzuki sensei both answered the same thing when asked why we practise this in our Ido Kihon:
"Learn to punch from and awkward position".
The question is: what is awkward?
Too close to normal Junzuki doesn't make sense to list a separate technique. Too awkward makes it impossible to punch.
It's has to do with "Itsuki".
Itsuki is a stationary condition in body or mind, that inhibits you from moving freely. Or deliver your power naturally.
In football, the keeper doesn't move a muscle while watching the ball hitting the net behind him.
In Holland we say: "he stands on the wrong leg". His leg is fully weighted and "dead" so he can't move. Not in the direction he wants to anyway.
That's why your front foot shouldn't exceed the toe in Junzuki No Tsukkomi.
Both Tsukkomi techniques explore the thin line between awkward and Itsuki. And the question is what to physically do to balance perfectly on the edge.
At the very least, do this:
✅ Become naturally upright as you go from one to the other.
✅ Point your front foot and knee forward.
✅ Have your back foot in a 90 degree angle, hips 45.
While not doing this...
❌ Don't do Junzuki and lean in — your body must be Hanmi with Hikite diagonally behind you.
❌ Don't let your bum stick out (no hip hinge).
❌ Don't let your knee exceed the front toe.
gyakuzuki no tsukkomi
From how far you can reach forward...
...to how far you can shift sideways — without things going south.
That's where Gyakuzuki No Tsukkomi comes in.
Don't mistake elegance for kindness as this one shifts the line to slip the punch while striking back at the same time.
This practical example holds the fundamental key:
Gyakuzuki No Tsukkomi has 2 centerlines.
- The line you start to move over.
- And the line for striking
It's forward and left. Forward and right — it's NOT zigzag.
Move offline and strike decisively so make sure to...
✅ Move your weight to your front leg with a wide stance.
✅ Lean in just like Junzuki No Tsukkomi — no more, no less.
✅ Look forward naturally.
While you definately don't do this:
❌ Don't open up your front foot, but don't point it overly inward either.
❌ Don't punch down. Have a sense of avoiding to the side while striking forward.
❌ Don't bring your leg in all the way to your front foot — it should be 2/3 so you can control the original centerline.
It makes perfect sense.
After Junzuki and Gyakuzuki where you learn to strike with your body upright, lean in.
The next step is applying it in different circumstances.
Here's the thing...
Without Tobikomizuki, you still have to guess how to transition the static moves to dynamic striking. Stuff you can apply in fighting, or dare I say: copy-paste.
Luckily, Ohtsuka didn't leave us in the dark. He added Tobikomizuki to the official list of Wado's basic techniques.
This helps on the surface:
- How to punch sliding from the front foot
- How to punch pulling your fist instead of leaving it in the extended position.
It's no surprise Nukina sensei said Tobikomizuki is an application.
With that said, let's switch gears.
It's interesting to learn that "Tobi" does NOT mean jump. The Kanji means fly, leap or skip.
From Shizentai, you move forward and then instead of punching, you dive in and punch. Cover distance in a flash like you skip pages in a book.
The Kanji for jump 踴 contains the Kanji for foot 足 and power 力. If you wish, that indicates kicking the floor to propel yourself forward.
It's an effective method, but Budo always favors efficiency.
That said, effectively kicking the floor isn't going to work. You move forward first and then punch. And by that time, the amount of kick is too small to have significant affect on your leap and impact power.
More important is focus should be on punching. If you do it correctly, the momentum generated by your punch will send you flying in.
And just so you know:
❌ Don't kick the ground with your back foot, let gravity do the work for you.
❌ Don't attach your back hand to your body — keep your fist free.
❌ Don't pull your hands back to Kamae in a one-two fashion. They should rebound automatically.
It's a work of art.
This Ido Kihon has it all:
- Nagasu - avoiding the attack by opening the body
- Inasu - deflecting the attack with the inside of the arm.
- Noru - striking over the opponent arm, riding it creating the redirection (Inasu).
- Irimi - entering and slipping the opponents attack while attacking
- Ko Bo Ittai - defense by Inasu and Noru while attacking at the same time.
Right up until the point of striking it's identical to Tobikomizuki.
This time when you punch, open up your hips and shoulders. Make your body narrow as you move offline so the opponent will miss you, while you still connect your attack.
The narrow + offline combo does the trick.
And that's where most go wrong.
Here's the thing:
Wado uses the trinity "Ten I, Ten Tai, Ten Gi". Change location, use your body and apply the technique.
If you don't twist your body and keep facing your opponent, you have to move (Ten I) more than half your bodies' width sideways to let the attack pass.
If you make your body narrow by twisting your hips and shoulders (Ten Tai), you only need to move a bit (Ten I).
Make sure you feel as if letting an attack pass by, instead of twisting your body letting your back leg move along — odds are your body is in Hanmi.
It should be Mahanmi.
But whatever you do...
❌ Don't pivot on your front foot.
❌ Don't punch forward. Feeling wise punch SIDEWAYS.
❌ Don't move offline and bring your back leg accross to a 45 degree angle — instead, open your body sharply.
want to take your basics to next level?
Since you made it all the way here... Let me tell you:
This article is scratching the surface.
You can access the in-depth study and presentation of JKF-Wadokai Ido Kihon too — it's inside the Premium Course "Mastering Shiyobui".
Learn more here.