Gerry Watanabe (Kancho)
(President of International Ken Zen Ichii Karate Do Renmei)
In 1957, Gerry Watanabe Sensei, (Japanese Filipino) of Philippine Wado Kai,
was one of the first three to be awarded Black Belt certificates
by the then Japan Karate Do Wado Kai.
A former Philippine Karate Champion, Watanabe Gerry Sensei was
one of the first instructor of Wado Karate at the Republic Central Colleges
in Angeles City, Philippines. He was also responsible for the karate club
at St. Michaels Academy in Bicol. He was appointed to be a part of
the Wado Kai Philippines to demonstrate and propagate Wado Ryu to
many parts of the Philippines.
He served in the United States Navy which gave him a chance to travel
to different countries wherein he was able to support other Philippine Wado Kai
and Ken Zen Ichii Dojos in Taiwan and the United States.
Gerry Watanabe Sensei presently holds the shogo Hanshi as awarded
by the Ken Zen Ichii Renmei.
Met Watanabe (Saiko Shihan)
(Founder of Taiwan Wado Ryu Karate Do Association)
Is said to be one of the best karate instructors of his time.
Like his brother, Gerry, Met also received his Wado black belt grade in 1957 a part
of the first three Philippine Wado Kai blackbelts.
He introduced the art of Wado Ryu to the city of Tainan (southern part of Taiwan) in the early 1960's but later on transferred the dojo to Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.
Considered as the father of Taiwan Wado Kai, Watanabe Sensei also received
promotion directly from Otsuka Hironori Sensei during the mid 1960's.
During this period, Japan Wado Kai requested that Wado Kai should take
control of Taiwan Wado Ryu but it was said that Watanabe Sensei declined
the offer and insisted that Taiwan Wado Ryu will remain Independent
to avoid future political conflicts within the rank and files of Wado Kai.
Most of his students were top caliber in the tournament field. He was able to produce a silver medalist in the world championship and his son, Met Jr., is a former Taiwan national champion. To date, many of Watanabe Sensei's student have opened their own dojo
in many parts of the United States, Taiwan and the Philippines.
In Taipei, Watanabe Sensei is referred to as "Maestro".