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Sensei Frank Johnson

6th Dan Wado-Ryu

2nd Dan Ryu-Ku-Kobudo
Member of the society for the promotion of Japanese Classical Arts.

Frank Johnson was born in 1954 in Shropshire, England. He became interested in karate and martial arts in the 1960’s. Frank studied Judo and boxing before starting his practice of Wado-Ryu karate under Sensei Tony Bowen, the first person to receive a Black belt in Wado-Ryu in Shropshire.

In 1973 Frank began training with Sensei Kuniaki Sakagami 8th Dan, and went to as many courses as possible around the UK.

 Training with the top karate Black belts at that time. He fought in many tournaments in the 1970’s. In 1976 Frank received his first Black belt Dan grade from Master Tatsuo Suzuki (on that day 72 students took first Dan, only 7 passed, and from this day they have been known as the Magnificent Seven, a pun on the film of the same name).

In 1976 Frank asked his Senpai (senior), Peter May 7th Dan, If he thought he would be allowed to train in Japan. Sensei May said he would ask Master Sakagami if he would write a Letter of Introduction for him (this was essential in those days) for the Wado-Ryu HQ in Japan. To Franks surprise at his next training lesson Master Sakagami gave him a Letter of Introduction.


Frank left for Japan in October 1977 and would not return until November 1979.
Frank trained at Wado-Ryu headquarters in Japan, With the founder of Wado-Ryu Master Hironori Ohtsuka. Whilst there he received 2nd Dan from the Master himself. Frank also competed in many competitions, including the 1978 All Japan with the England team, reaching the last 16.

Frank also trained in Ryu-Ku-Kobudo with Japans top weapons expert Master Motokatsu Inoue. Before leaving Japan he was graded 2nd Dan and made a life member of the Ryu-Ku- Kubudo Society (this is a great honour, as few Westerners are invited into the society).
On his return from Japan in 1979 he was awarded 3rd Dan by Master Tatsuo Suzuki, And took over the running of the Shropshire Wado-Ryu clubs. Frank was awarded his 4th Dan in 1989, And in 1996 his 5th Dan.

Within a few years Frank was recognised as an outstanding teacher of the Art. He has taught many students up to Black belt, many having gone on to reach high grades. Also competition champions.

Frank was  editor of Wado World magazine, And was one of the main organisers of the 1989 World Wado Cup in London. In the early 1990’s Frank filmed four videos with Master Suzuki, and contributed to a book by the Master that received world wide acclaim. In 2007 he organised the  major Wado EXL. In 2010 Frank wrote three books on Wado-Ryu, The Wado-Ryu Uncovered series.

In 2012 Frank was awarded 6 th Dan for outstanding skill and knowledge of Wado-Ryu karate. Frank is recognised around the world as having a unique insight into the Art of Wado-Ryu karate.

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