Hiroshi Shirai

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Hiroshi Shirai
Hiroshi Shirai.jpg
Hiroshi Shirai with some students in Innsbruck, October 2009
Born (1937-07-31) 31 July 1937 (age 85)
Nagasaki, Japan
ResidenceMilan, Italy
StyleShotokan Karate
Teacher(s)Masatoshi Nakayama, Hidetaka Nishiyama, Taiji Kase, Motokuni Sugiura
Rank10th dan karate (ISKA, ITKF)
Notable studentsit:Roberto Fassi, Luigi Zoia, Pino Presti

Hiroshi Shirai (白井 寛, Shirai Hiroshi, born 31 July 1937) is a Japanese master of Shotokan karate. He is the founder of the Istituto Shotokan Italia, a subdivision of FIKTA (the Italian Traditional Karate Association) and of the SCI (Shotokan Cultural Institute, formerly WSI - World Shotokan Institute).[1] Shirai holds the title of Shihan and is responsible for taking the dan examinations within SCI and, together with Carlo Fugazza, for those within the FIKTA.


Shirai was born on 31 July 1937 in Nagasaki, Japan.[2] He started learning karate in 1956, three years after seeing a promotional video of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) at Komazawa University.

In 1962, he won both the kata and the kumite championships of the JKA,[3] thereby becoming one of those receiving the title 'Grand Champion'.

After a world trip to promote karate together with Taiji Kase, Hirokazu Kanazawa, and Keinosuke Enoeda to Europe, South Africa, and the United States of America, he settled in Milan, Italy in 1965.[4] Under his tutelage the Italian karate flourished and many titles went to his students.[citation needed]


Hiroshi Shirai with Pino Presti, 5th degree black belt, in 1985

Shirai feels that the self-defence (goshindo) aspect of Shotokan karate has been too much in the shadow of kumite and kata. Although he practised karate for self-defence initially, he focussed on kumite for a few years until moving to Europe. He started refocussing on self-defence and its incorporation in the practise of shotokan karate.[4]

During the last years Shirai has given special goshindo oriented stages in Europe often together with Claudio Ceruti, Massimo Abate, and Angelo Torre.[5]

Graduation history[edit]

Shirai received the following dan ranks: 1st - 1957; 2nd - 1959; 3rd - 1961; 4th - unknown year; 5th - 1964; 6th - 1969; 7th - 1974; 8th - 1986, 9th - 1999. His current rank, 10th dan, he received in 2011.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Retrieved, 19 August 2010
  2. ^ [2][permanent dead link] (2003). Retrieved 15 August 2010.
  3. ^ [3] List of former JKA Champions, Retrieved 19 August 2010
  4. ^ a b [4] Interview with Shirai by Andy Campbell, Retrieved 19 August 2010.
  5. ^ [5] Archived 19 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
  6. ^ "M° Hiroshi Shirai". FIKITA. Retrieved 12 October 2014.

External links[edit]