Koji Takamatsu

One of Wado-Ryu founder’s, Hironori Ohtsuka’s original students, Koji Takamatsu was a pioneer of Wado-Ryu Karate in Brazil.

Koji Takamatsu was born in Kakogawa, Japan on 21 December 1930.

Takamatsu began practicing Wado-Ryu Karate in 1948, when he attended the University of Agriculture, in Tokyo. He was a student of Ohtsuka at the University’s Karate club.

In 1953 Takamatsu graduated from the University of Agriculture. He continued his Karate practice, training under Ohtsuka. By 1954 he had been promoted to 5th Dan, alongside Tatsuo Suzuki.

Ohtsuka wanted to see the spread of Wado-Ryu around the world. He sent his top students to teach his version of Karate abroad. He sent Takamatsu to Brazil. On 17 February 1956, he arrived in the Port of Santos, Brazil, on board the ship, America Maru. From Santos, he moved to the city of São Paulo. It was around this time that he established the Brazilian Wado-Ryu Renmei.

By 1965 Takamatsu was married to his wife Neide. On 23 September 1965 their son Sergio was born. Several years later their daughter Sayuri was born.

By the 1970s Takamatsu had established Wado-Ryu in a São Paulo region of Brazil. In 1974 he established the São Paulo Karate Federation (FPK)

In 1979 Takamatsu was awarded his 8th Dan in Shindo Youshinryu Kempo.

Hironori Ohtsuka, the founder of Wado-Ryu Karate, died on 29 January 1982. He was succeeded by his son Jiro, who took the name Hironori in honor of his father.

Takamatsu continued to develop Wado-Ryu Karate in Brazil. In 1987 he established the Brazilian Karate Confederation (CBK).

Takamatsu was a member of Hironori (Jiro) Ohtsuka’s International Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Organisation. He was promoted to 9th Dan by Ohtsuka in 1996.

In 1997, Takamatsu was invited to the United States, by the ‘Father of American Wado-Ryu‘, Cecil Patterson. In his first visit to Tennessee, he conducted a number of seminars.

The municipality of Alvares Machado in Western São Paulo recognized Takamatsu in 2001 as a citizen for his services to the community. The municipalities of Presidente Prudente and Santo Anastacio, both in Western São Paulo, also recognized him for his services to the community in 2011 and 2015.

Takamatsu’s son, Sergio, had followed him into Wado-Ryu. On 9 July 2016 both of them were presented with medals of honor by the municipality of Camara de Alvares Machado.

Between 13-15 July 2017 Takamatsu made a return visit to Tennessee to conduct a number of seminars. This time his son Sergio accompanied him.

2017 also saw Takamatsu’s book ‘Historia do Wado-Ryu Karate-Do no Brasil‘ published.

In 2018 Takamatsu was recognized by the municipality of Alfredo Marcondes, in Western São Paulo for his services to the community.

On 6 October 2020 Koji Takamatsu died in São Paulo, Brazil. He had been in poor health for a number of years. He had suffered a stroke. Despite this, he still managed to teach his students. He was survived by his wife, children, and grandchildren.

Takamatsu did a lot to help establish Wado-Ryu Karate in Brazil. His legacy continues through his son Sergio.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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