Dojo Certificate


JKF Wado Kai Overseas Regulations


History of Japan Karate Institute Wado Kai,
Chiang Mai

The beginnings of Japan Karate Institute Wado Kai, Chiang Mai, were very happenstance.

Mike Spain learned karate in Kona, Hawaii, USA, under Roy Woodard at Nippon Kokusai Karate Center, which was an affiliated school of Kiyohisa Hirano’s Japan International Karate Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. When Sensei Roy moved to Alabama to take over the Southeast Region of JIKC, Mike became the Kona instructor.

In November, 2000, Mike moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand, to live. In searching for a Japanese karate school in Chiang Mai. Mike had no success in this search, so he joined the Chiang Mai University Aikido Club. One day Mike noticed a young man teaching karate to another young man in the same area that the Aikido club was practicing. Approaching the young men and inquiring, he found that the young man teaching karate spoke English well. In further inquiry he found out that this man had been a high school exchange student to the USA. When the young high school student was in South Carolina, USA, he joined Dale Coker’s Japan Karate Institute, which is also an affiliated school of Japan International Karate Center. Mike offered to help the students since he was more advanced in the Japan International Karate Center organization, being a Nidan, or 2nd degree Black Belt in Japan International Karate Center karate.

After contacting Dale Coker, Mike found out that Sensei Dale would be visiting Thailand. To make a long story short, Mike began teaching karate in Chiang Mai under Dale Coker’s Japan Karate Institute in 2002.

In October of 2003, Mike tested and was awarded Sandan (3rd degree Black Belt) in the
Japan Karate Institute/Japan International Karate Center organization.

Realizing the relationship of Aikido’s movements and principles to what Mike learned under Roy Woodard, he embarked on a quest to learn more about Wado Ryu karate. Indeed, Kiyohisa Hirano was a student of Hironori Ohtsuka and in fact was part of the group, including Hironori Ohtsuka, Tatsuo Suzuki, and Yoshio Kawaguchi, which Walter Nishioka had arranged to visit Hawaii to demonstrate Wado Ryu karate in the early 1960’s.

In 2007, Mike visited Robbie Smith’s New Zealand Wado Kai and practiced under the JKF-Wado Kai vision of Wado karate. Fortunately, this was as a result of also attending Toby Threadgill’s Shindo Yoshin Ryu workshop which Robbie Smith was sponsoring in
Hamilton, New Zealand.

Later in 2007, Mike was fortunate in contacting Richard Mosdell who arranged for Mike to visit and practice at the Shiramizu Dojo of Sensei Takamasa Arakawa in Sugito, Japan.

In February, 2008, Mike returned to Shiramizu Dojo where Sensei Takamasa Arakawa, Richard Mosdell, and Lawrence Liang, along with all of Shiramizu Dojo, helped Mike prepare to challenge the JKF Wadokai Shodan examination in Tokyo. On March 2, 2008, Mike successfully challenged and passed the Shodan examination.

Shortly after Mike received his Shodan certification from JKF Wado Kai, he petitioned the Wado Kai Headquarters to become a JKF Wado Kai Branch Dojo in Chiang Mai. The Branch Dojo was approved and the dojo became Japan Karate Institute Wado Kai, Chiang Mai.