Otto Johnson Wado-Ryu Karate-Do

Otto Johnson

Hanshi Otto Johnson was born on May 2, 1959. He began his study of Wado-Ryu Karate-Do over 30 years ago under the tutelage of Hanshi Toshio Osako Hanshi. Osako was a three-time All Japan Karate Champion and coach at “the renowned and feared”.

Nichi-Dai University of Tokyo in Japan. Hanshi Otto Johnson was a graduate of the Karate Instructors Training Program at Nihon University, under Toshio Osaka Hanshi.
Osaka instructed Otto Johnson personally for the World Wado-Ryu Karate Championships held in the Budokan in Tokyo, Japan and International Karate Championships held in Osaka, Japan in 1979. Otto Johnson won both gold medals. He is a former World International Karate Champion and the first African-American to ever accomplish this feat.

Hanshi Otto Johnson’s home dojo was in San Bernardino, California. He trained many law enforcement personnel, including those in the Los Angeles Police Department (L.A.P.D.), Salt Lake Sheriff’s, Salt Lake City Police (special tactics personnel), Department of Parole and Corrections personnel (California).

Hanshi Otto Johnson served as a coach to many local, regional, national, and international champions. He was a 5th level World Karate Federation (WKF) licensed referee and was qualified in law enforcement martial arts. He was in constant demand for his seminars and personal lessons.

Shihan Otto Johnson was issued his 7th Dan certificate on April 25, 1998 which was signed by the late Masaru Shintani under the authority of the Wado Kai of Shintani Karate Federation of North America.


  • 1995 – 1998 – Team Coach to 3 Silver Medal Teams in Arizona Wado Sport Karate Championship, sponsored by Marlin Moore and Ray Hughes in Arizona, Coach and
  • 1995 – 1996 – Silver Medalist, United States Wado Karate Federation Tournament
  • 1996 – Silver Medalist Team, Fumio Demura’s Japan Expo Karate Tournament
  • 1996 – Coach of the Silver Medalist Team, Fumio Demura’s Japan Karate Tournament
  • 1979 – International Karate Champion – Budokan, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1979 – Outstanding Karate Player – World Wado-Ryu Karate-do – Budokan, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1979 – Outstanding Karate Player – Utah Open
  • 1979 – 3rd Place Weapons, Utah Open


  • Appeared in movie “Little Bigfoot”, directed by Art Camacho, 1996
  • Featured on numerous television documentaries, “Sports Talk Television Show” in San Bernardino, “Today Show” (NBC), featured on all major networks, including ABC, NBC, CBS, and several cable stations
  •  Star of 6 videos
  • Producer of 3 videos


  • Featured on the cover of Black Belt Video Magazine, 2000
  • Featured on the cover of Karate Star Magazine, 1998
  • Author of 2 books: “American Wado Manual” and soon to be published “New Testament to Living for Wado Karate”, by Hanshi Otto Johnson, 7th Dan, Karate-do, Wado-Ryu Karate


  • Demonstrator for many famous celebrities, including bodyguard work for people such as Hector ‘Macho’ Camacho.

Eulogy for Otto Johnson