The first true Japanese style of Karate, founded by Hironori Ohtsuka as opposed. Known as the way of peace, Wado-Ryu developed entirely on the mainland of Japan as Karate and Jujutsu Kempo.
Ohtsuka Sensei adopted the good points of several styles including Shotokan Karate, Shinto-Yoshin-Ryu, Yagyu-Shinkage-Ryu of long swordsmanship techniques, and Toda Ryu of short sword techniques. He borrowed the best aspects from each discipline to create his own style, which emphasized natural movements that flowed like water.
Belt levels and rank Wado-Ryu karate has belt colors that are earned at different levels of experience. Below first degree black belt, or Shodan, are the Kyu grades. Students begin as a white belt. Black belt, or Dan, levels start once a student has worked through the Kyu grades. Shodan is first degree black belt, and the first true ranks a practitioner holds.
For even more information on the history and practice of Wado-Ryu Karate, refer to the website of the http://www.canadajkfwadokai.org. Senshi Academy is a part of this organization dedicated to the promotion of Wado-Ryu karate.