Idokan International was first established by Wally Strauss in the late 1970’s. Wally originated from Austria and fled the country with his fiancée Valerie when the Germans invaded Austria at the beginning of WWII. Wally’s journey took him to France, England, China and finally Australia in the early 1950’s. Wally was one of the early pioneers of martial art in Australia.
Wally’s early training history is a bit of a blur but it is known that he trained under Julius Fleck (Judo-do Founder). It is also believed that his early teacher was Heinz Kowalski from Vienna and that he trained with many of the visiting Japanese and European pioneers of Judo and Jujutsu. Wally also learnt Tai Chi during his internment in China during WWII.
Wally was the Australian General Representative for the World Judo, Judo-do Centre that was based in Austria and created his own organisation in Australia called Australian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo & Karate Instructors Association. Kyoshi Kevin Walsh was a member of Wally’s organisation (1973–1980). Afterward Kevin continued to train with Wally’s highest graded student, Shihan Barry Bradshaw for a further 18 years.
During the 1970s Wally developed his own art form and called it Ido along with a new organisation he created called Idokan International.
Wally Passed away in 1988 and passed the leadership of Idokan to Hans Schöllauf in Austria. This was because all of Wally’s Australian senior members had ceased training with him. Hans then continued the Ido style and organisation created by Wally, Idokan International flourished in Europe.
Hans Schöllauf passed away in 2011 so the leadership of Idokan International was passed to Rudolf Gabert who lives in Germany. Rudolf is now the current President of Idokan International and successor to the Ido style.
In 2001 Kevin Walsh and senior members of Bushido Instructors Association attended an Idokan International seminar in Germany. At the seminar Kevin was appointed as the Representative for Idokan International and asked to head up Idokan Australia. Idokan Australia is an autonomous division of Idokan International and Kevin was given the right to issue grades in Judo and Jujutsu to one level below his own.