Japan Karate Association
|Japan Karate Association|
|Motto||Keepers of Karate's Highest Tradition|
|Formation||May 27, 1949|
|Headquarters||2-23-15 Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo JAPAN 112-0004|
|Membership||Japan Karate Federation, World Karate Federation|
|Official languages||Japanese, English|
|Shihan||Masaaki Ueki, 9th Dan <JKA webiste,2011>|
Japan Karate Association (日本 空手 協会; Nihon Karate Kyokai; JKA; sometimes referred to simply as Kyokai 協会 in Japan) is one of the most influential Shotokan karate organizations in the world. It is also one of the oldest karate organizations continuously in operation until the present.
Gichin Funakoshi played a major role in introducing karate from Okinawa to Japan, adjusted to reduce injury and merged with approaches for athletic training. On May 27, 1949, some of his senior students, such as Isao Obata, Masatoshi Nakayama, and Hidetaka Nishiyama, formed a karate organization dedicated to research, promotion, events management, and education: the Japan Karate Association. Funakoshi, then around 80 years old, held a position equivalent to emeritus chief instructor. Nakayama was designated as the chief instructor.
The JKA emerged from karate clubs at Japanese universities located in the Tokyo region. Most of these universities, however, distanced themselves from the JKA during the 1950s. Takushoku University always kept strong ties with the JKA, being the alma mater of many of the senior JKA instructors, such as Nakayama, Nishiyama, Okazaki, Asai, Kanazawa, and Enoeda, who were responsible for the JKA's consolidation during the 1960s and 1970s.
General uneasiness on how karate was taught by the JKA instructors and disagreements on Funakoshi's funeral arrangements in 1957 motivated some of the senior karateka connected with Funakoshi, but not associated with the JKA, such as Shigeru Egami, Genshin Hironishi, and Tsutomu Ohshima, to form their own organizations, such as Shotokai and Shotokan Karate of America). They claimed to practice Shotokan karate closer to what Funakoshi taught, as compared to the JKA style. The JKA Shotokan approach is also based on Funakoshi's karate, but with significant adaptations introduced mostly by Nakayama, who was JKA chief instructor until his death in 1987. Under Nakayama's leadership, a generation of respected instructors spread karate worldwide, guided from the JKA's headquarters in Tokyo.
Nakayama's books, which include Dynamic Karate and the Best Karate series, are fundamental references on Shotokan karate as practiced under the JKA. Clive Nicol, in his classic book Moving Zen, describes the karate practice at the JKA's honbu dojo (headquarters training hall) in Tokyo during the early 1960s, from his unique perspective as a western karate student going from white to black belt in a few years.
The JKA experienced several divisions from the 1970s onwards. Notable splinter groups formed as follows:
- In 1977, JKA instructor Shiro Asano formed his own organization, and invited Hirokazu Kanazawa to be chief instructor. The group is now known as Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation (SKIF).
- Following Nakayama's death in 1987, the JKA experienced a turbulent period, both at the Tokyo headquarters and worldwide. Taiji Kase and Hiroshi Shirai, senior JKA instructors in Europe quit to form the World Karate-Do Shotokan Academy. Taketo Okuda, JKA chief instructor in Brazil, quit to focus on his own organization, Butoku-kan.
- In 1990, a legal dispute started between two groups about the control of JKA. One group was led by Tetsuhiko Asai, the other by Nobuyuki Nakahara. After several court rulings, the issue was ultimately settled by the Japanese Supreme Court on June 10, 1999, in favor of Nakahara's group, which included Masaaki Ueki and Masahiko Tanaka. The other group, led by Tetsuhiko Asai, JKA chief instructor after Nakayama, and including Keigo Abe and Mikio Yahara, left JKA to form other organizations: Japan Karate Shotorenmei (JKS), Japan Shotokan Karate Association (JSKA), and Karatenomichi World Federation (KWF), respectively.
- In 2007, the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF), with headquarters in the US, led by Teruyuki Okazaki, 10th dan and one of the most senior JKA instructors, became independent. However, by 2010 at least two senior Instructors returned to JKA.
- In 2009, JKA Australia chief Shihan Takahashi Shunsuke left JKA to form the TSKF (Traditional Shotokan Karate-Do Federation). Sensei Keith Geyer (7th Dan) is the highest JKA graded instructor in Australia.
- In 2010 Mr Takaatsu Nishimura (Australia) drafted, authored and distributed a formal document (in both English and Japanese) for the formation of an international counter organisation to JKA. This document is now widely available on the internet.
- By 2011, it was acknowledged that Masao Kawazoe, 8th Dan, had returned to the JKA, but continues as ITKF Chief Instructor <(JKA Scotland Course, 2011)>
Due to these divisions, there is today the notion of a JKA karate style—that is, karate that follows the JKA tradition to a large extent, but is taught by instructors who are not officially affiliated with JKA (though some of them are former JKA instructors).
Kenshusei (instructor intern) training program
In 1956, the JKA started its kenshusei instructor intern training program at the JKA honbu dojo, in Yotsuya, Tokyo, which had been built in 1955. This program was instituted by Masatoshi Nakayama. The training program has promoted the consistency and quality control of JKA training practices over the years, graduating some of the world's most well known karateka (practitioners of karate), as listed below.
The following table lists JKA kenshusei training program graduates in order of year of graduation. The reported rank of graduates no longer with the JKA is that from their current organization. Such rank is not necessarily recognized by the JKA.
|Name||Year of Graduation||Rank||Position|
|Mikami Takayuki||1957||9th dan||USA JKA/AF Southern|
|Kanazawa Hirokazu||1957||10th dan||Founder SKIF|
|Yaguchi Yutaka||1958||9th dan||USA ISKF Mountain States|
|Ueki Masaaki||1961||9th dan(2011)||HQ Shihan Chief Instructor Worldwide|
|Keinosuke Enoeda||1961||9th dan||"Deceased 29th March 2003".|
|*Miyazaki Satoshi||1961||8th dan||"Deceased 31st May 1993".|
|Sakai Ryusuke||1962||8th dan|
|Ochi Hideo||1963||8th dan||DJKB ("JKA Germany")|
|Abe Keigo||1965||9th dan||Japan JSKA |
|Takashina Shigeru||1966||8th dan||USA JKA/WFA South Atlantic|
|Kawazoe Masao||1967||8th Dan (Also Chief Instructor ITKF)|
|Okamoto Hideki||1967||8th dan||Egypt|
|Takahashi Shunsuke||1967||8th dan||Chief Instructor TSKF Australia |
|Okuda Taketo||1967||8th dan||"Butoku-kan (Brazil)".|
|Osaka Yoshiharu||1972||8th dan||HQ Full-Time Instructor|
|Imura Takenori||1977||7th dan||HQ Full-Time Instructor|
|Kurasako Kenro||1977||7th dan||HQ Full-Time Instructor|
|Kawawada Minoru||1978||7th dan||HQ Full-Time Instructor|
|Omura Fujikiyo||1978||7th dan||"JKA Thailand".|
|Ohta Yoshinobu||Attendee||7th Dan||"Head JKA England".|
|Ogura Yasunori||1982||7th dan||HQ Full-Time Instructor|
|Imamura Tomio||1983||7th dan||HQ Full-Time Instructor|
|Izumiya Seizo||1986||6th dan||HQ Full-Time Instructor|
|Shiina Katsutoshi||1986||6th dan||HQ Full-Time Instructor|
|Hanzaki Yasuo||1987||6th dan||HQ Full-Time Instructor|
|Naka Tatsuya||1989||7th dan (2012)||HQ Full-Time Instructor|
|Taniyama Takuya||1990||6th dan||HQ Full-Time Instructor|
|Takahashi Satoshi||1992||5th dan||HQ Full-Time Instructor|
|Kobayashi Kunio||1993||5th dan||HQ Full-Time Instructor|
|Ogata Koji||1994||5th dan||HQ Full-Time Instructor|
|Walter Crockford||1996||5th dan||"JKA Canada".|
|Hirayama Yuko||1998||6th dan (as of 2012)||HQ Secretariat|
|Okuma Koichiro||1998||4th dan||HQ Full-Time Instructor|
|Iwasawa Mayumi||1998||3rd dan||HQ Secretariat|
|Aragaki Misako||2003||3rd dan||HQ Secretariat|
This list is incomplete. For instance, it does not include some members who were expelled or resigned from the JKA:
- Abe Keigo, 9th dan (former JKA HQ instructor) JSKA Chief Instructor
- Aramoto Nobuyuki, 8th dan (former JKA instructor)
- Asai Tetsuhiko, 10th dan (former HQ JKA instructor) JKS/IJKA Chief instructor (passed)
- Inaba Tsuneyuki, 7th dan (former JKA instructor
- Isaka Akito, 7th dan (former JKA instructor) KWF
- Ishimine Minoru, 7th dan (former JKA instructor)
- Kagawa Masao, 8th dan (former JKA instructor) JKS Chief Instructor
- Kagawa Masayoshi, 7th dan (former JKA member, not JKA instructor graduate)
- Kanayama Kyosho, 7th dan (former JKA instructor)
- Mizuno Yoshihisa, 8th dan (former JKA instructor)
- Naito Takashi, 7th dan (Has left E.T.K.F & returned to JKA)
- Shin Naomitsu, 7th dan (former JKA member, not JKA instructor graduate)
- Tamang Pemba, 8th dan (former JKA HQ instructor) NSKF Chief Instructor
- Tanaka Chougo, 7th dan (former JKA member, not JKA instructor graduate)
- Yahara Mikio, 8th dan (former JKA HQ instructor) KWF Chief Instructor
- Yamaguchi Takashi, 8th dan (former JKA instructor)
- Kanazawa Hirokazu, 10th dan (former JKA HQ instructor) Chief instructor SKIF
- Kase Yasuharu, 10th dan (former JKA HQ instructor) Chief Instructor SRKH (passed)
- Kasuya Hitoshi, 8th dan (former JKA instructor) Chief Instructor WSKF
- Katsumata (Suzuki) Yutaka, 7th dan (former JKA instructor)
- Shirai Hiroshi, 10th dan (former JKA instructor) WSKA
- Tatetsu Meicho, 7th dan (former JKA instructor)
- Asano Shiro, 9th dan (former JKA member, not JKA instructor graduate) SKIF
- Kato Sadashige, 9th dan (former JKA member, not JKA instructor graduate) Chief Instructor IJKA (not
associated with IJKA (International Japan Martial Arts Karatedokai- Mrs Asai's IJKA)
The list at the JKA's website, which includes most members who left or were expelled, may also be incomplete. The JKA has not included some former members who have completed the course and are not currently affiliated with JKA. In addition, during the troubled period between 1990 and 1999 each JKA faction held its own instructors' course. Currently, the JKA does not recognize graduates from the instructors' courses led by the JKS (Japan Karate Shoto Renmei, which also held the name JKA between 1990 and 1999).
Karateka such as Ennio Vezzuli (Brazil), Nigel Jackson (South Africa), Peté Pacheco (Portugal), Malcolm Fisher (Canada), Leon Montoya (Colombia), Richard Amos (UK, US), Pascal Lesage (France) and others, are mentioned in karate forums as having completed the JKA instructors' course (or having had substantial participation in it) but do not appear on the list of graduates as published in 2008 on the JKA's website.
In addition, the list does not include graduate instructors from the instructor programmes of splinter groups such as JKS and KWF, examples being Norio Kawasaki (KWF - Japan) Masamichi Otsuka (KWF - Japan) Yutaka Koike (JKS - Japan) Yasuhisa Inada (JKS - Japan) Scott Langley (JKS - Ireland) Kyle Kamal Helou (JKS - Lebanon) Takeo Matsui (JKS- Japan) Takuya Makita (JKS - Japan)
- British Traditional Karate Association: Shotokai – The true heir of Funakoshi? (June 11, 2006). Retrieved on April 23, 2010.
- Cook, Harry (2001). Shotokan Karate: A Precise History. England: Cook.
- JKA Early Years - JKA site (retrieved January 5, 2008)
- Evans, Jon. The Battle for Olympic Karate Recognition Black Belt, Feb 1988 (retrieved January 10, 2008)
- Noble, Graham. Master Funakoshi's Karate Dragon Times (retrieved on January 8th, 2008).
- Hironishi, Genshin. The Darkest Moments of Karate-do Karate-do Shotokai Encyclopedia (retrieved January 10, 2008)
- Nakayama, Masatoshi (1997). Dynamic Karate. Japan: Kodansha International.
- Nakayama, Masatoshi (1997). Best Karate Vol 1 to Vol 11. Japan: Kodansha International.
- Nicol, Clive; Kanazawa, Hirokazu (2001). Moving Zen: One Man's Journey to the Heart of Karate (Bushido - The Way of the Warrior). Tokyo & New York: Kodansha International. ISBN 978-4-7700-2755-9.
- JKA - Overcoming Challenges (1990-1999) (retrieved January 5, 2008)
- JKA website (2009)
- Discussion on JKA instructor's course graduates Forum Karateca.net (retrieved January 6, 2008, in Portuguese)
- Official Site of JKA (In English)
- Official Site of JKA (In Japanese)
- Official JKA Australia site
- Official JKA England site
- Official JKA Tunisia site