Japan Karate Association
|Formation||May 27, 1949|
|Headquarters||2-23-15 Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo JAPAN 112-0004|
|Japan Karate Federation, World Karate Federation|
Shuseki Shihan (Chief Insructor)
|Masaaki Ueki, 10th Dan <JKA website,2011>|
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 including 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 chief instructor emeritus, with Nakayama 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 a version of 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 headquarters in Tokyo.
Nakayama's books, which include Dynamic Karate and the Best Karate series, are fundamental reference materials 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 1974, one of the founders of JKA, Hidetaka Nishiyama, broke away from JKA and created the International Traditional Karate Federation (国際伝統空手連盟, Kokusai Dentō Karate Renmei) or ITKF.
- In 1977, JKA instructor Shiro Asano formed his own organization, and invited master Hirokazu Kanazawa to take his place as 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 (notable student of Hidetaka Nishiyama), both senior JKA instructors in Europe quit to form the World Union of Karate-Do Organizations. 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, Japan Shotokan Karate Association, and Karatenomichi World Federation, 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 the JKA.
- In 2009, Takahashi Shunsuke broke away from JKA Australia to form the TSKF Australia (Traditional Shotokan Karate-Do Federation). TSKF joined Teruyuki Okazaki's ISKF in 2011.
- By 2011, it was acknowledged that Masao Kawasoe, 7th Dan JKA, had returned to the JKA.
Due to these divisions, there is today the notion of a separate JKA karate style—that is, Shotokan karate that follows the JKA tradition to a large extent, but is taught by instructors who are not officially affiliated with JKA (though most of them are former JKA instructors and graduates).
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 Nakayama Masatoshi. 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, deceased Dec 9, 2019|
|Yaguchi Yutaka||1958||9th dan||USA ISKF Mountain States|
|Kisaka Katsuharu||1961||8th dan||USA - JKA New Jersey since 1967 (current)|
|Ueki Masaaki||1961||9th dan(2011)||HQ Shihan Chief Instructor Worldwide|
|Keinosuke Enoeda||1961||9th dan||Deceased March 29, 2003|
|*Miyazaki Satoshi||1961||8th dan||Deceased May 31, 1993|
|Sakai Ryusuke||1962||8th dan|
|Ochi Hideo||1963||9th dan||DJKB ("JKA Germany")|
|Itaya Michihisa||1963||6th dan||South America JKA - "Deceased 1972"|
|Abe Keigo||1965||9th dan||Japan JSKA|
|Takashina Shigeru||1966||8th dan||USA JKA/WFA Deceased September 3, 2013|
|Kawazoe Masao||1967||8th Dan (Also Chief Instructor ITKF)|
|Okamoto Hideki||1967||8th dan||Egypt - "Deceased 2009".|
|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|
|Minoru Kawawada||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||6th dan||HQ Full-Time Instructor|
|Iwasawa Mayumi||1998||3rd dan||HQ Secretariat
Enda O'Toole 1998 3rd "dan"
|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 see below:
- Kisaka Katsuharu (Katsuya) 8th dan JKA Instructor JKA of New Jersey, USA (current)
- 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, 9th dan (former JKA instructor) JKS Chief Instructor)
- Kanayama Kosho, 7th dan (former JKA instructor) (Chief of Domestic Department JKS)
- Mizuno Yoshihisa, 8th dan (former JKA instructor)
- Naito Takashi, 7th dan (Has left E.T.K.F & returned to JKA)
- Tamang Pemba, 8th dan (former JKA HQ instructor) NSKF Chief Instructor
- Yahara Mikio, 8th dan (former JKA HQ instructor) KWF Chief Instructor
- Yamaguchi Takashi, 8th dan (former JKA instructor) (Chief of International Department JKS)
- 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, 9th 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)
- Amos Richard, 8th dan (former JKA HQ instructor) Chief Instructor WTKO)
- Maeda Eiji, 6th dan (former JKA HQ instructor)
- Kawasaki Norio 6th dan (former JKA HQ instructor)
- Koike Yutaka 6th dan (former JKA HQ instructor)
- Fischer Malcolm 6th dan (former JKA HQ instructor)
- Montoya Leon 5th dan (former JKA HQ instructor)
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 Federation, which also held the name JKA between 1990 and 1999).
Karateka such as Dave Hazard (UK), 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 Otsuka Masamichi (KWF - Japan), Koike Yutaka (JKS - Japan), Inada Yasuhisa (JKS - Japan), Kyle Kamal Helou (JKS - Lebanon), Matsue Takeo (JKS- Japan), Makita Takuya (JKS - Japan), Nagaki Shinji (JKS - Japan).
Although Gichin Funakoshi wrote that there are no contests in Karate, Nakayama Masatoshi's teachings led to more scientific and competitive approach to the training and in 1957 the first All Japan Karate Championship was held, and has been held annually since.
In addition, the JKA has organised a number of international tournaments amongst which the following have been considered to be the JKA's World Championships:
|1975||1st IAKF World Championships||Los Angeles, USA|
|1977||2nd IAKF World Championships||Tokyo, Japan|
|1980||3rd IAKF World Championships||Bremen, West Germany|
|1983||4th IAKF World Championships||Cairo, Egypt|
|1985||1st ShotoCup||Tokyo, Japan|
|1987||2nd ShotoCup||Brisbane, Australia|
|1990||3rd ShotoCup||Sunderland, England|
|1992||4th ShotoCup||Tokyo, Japan|
|1994||5th ShotoCup||Philadelphia, USA|
|1996||6th ShotoCup||Ohsaka, Japan|
|1998||7th ShotoCup||Paris, France|
|2000||8th ShotoCup||Tokyo, Japan|
|2004||9th ShotoCup||Tokyo, Japan|
|2006||10th Funakoshi Gichin Cup World Karate-do Championship||Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre, Sydney, Australia|
|2009||11th Funakoshi Gichin Cup World Karate-do Championship CANCELLED||Nihon Budo-kan, Tokyo, Japan|
|2011||12th Funakoshi Gichin Cup World Karate-do Championship||Pattaya, Thailand|
|2014||13th Cup World Karate-do Championship||Nihon Budo-kan, Tokyo, Japan|
|2017||14th Funakoshi Gichin Cup Karate World Championship||Ireland|
|1975||Masahiko Tanaka||Takashi Oishi||Billy Higgins|
|1977||Masahiko Tanaka||De Michelis||Willrodt|
|1980||Toshihiro Mori||Dusan Dacic||Hoffman|
|1983||Hideo Yamamoto||Guazzaroni||Hosny Gabr|
|1985||Minoru Kawawada||Masaaki Yokomichi||Takayuki Tsuchii/Masao Kagawa|
|1987||Tomio Imamura||Frank Brennan||George Best/Marco Barone|
|1990||Masao Kagawa||Ronnie Christopher||Fillipo Allata / Jensen|
|1992||Tomio Imamura||Frank Brennan||Kunio Kobayashi / Tatsuya Naka|
|1994||Pavlo Protopapa||Jeannot Mulolo||Colin Smith / Katsutoshi Shiina|
|1996||Don Sharp||Toshihito Kokubun||Kunio Kobayashi / Takuya Taniyama|
|1998||Toshihito Kokubun||Koji Ogata||Pierre Toudjip / Jeannot Mulolo|
|2000||Toshihito Kokubun||Johan LaGrange||Takuya Taniyama / Koji Ogata|
|2004||Koji Ogata||Miroslav Femic||Ohkuma Kouichiro / Johan LaGrange|
|2006||Koji Ogata||Chinzo Machida||Nemoto Keisuke / Ohkuma Kouichiro|
|2011||Rikiya Iimura||Koji Chubachi||Nemoto Keisuke / Andrey Mazurov|
|2014||Koji Chubachi||Rikiya Iimura||Nemoto Keisuke / Supa Ngamphuengphit|
|2017||Rodrigo Rojas||Okada Yasunori||Ueda Daisuke/Haga Yusuke|
|1977||Yoshiharu Osaka||Mikio Yahara||Fugazza|
|1980||Yoshiharu Osaka||Mikio Yahara||Karamitsos|
|1983||Yoshiharu Osaka||Mikio Yahara||Saedd El Herem|
|1985||Minoru Kawawada||Masao Kagawa||Akira Fukami|
|1987||Takenori Imura||Masao Kagawa||Okazaki Hiroyoshi|
|1990||Tomoyuki Aihara||Frank Brennan||Masao Kagawa|
|1992||Tomoyuki Aihara||Imura Takenori||Yuji Hashiguchi|
|1994||Imura Takenori||Okazaki Hiroyoshi||Tomoyuki Aihara|
|1996||Imura Takenori||Yuji Hashiguchi||Tomoyuki Aihara|
|1998||Yuji Hashiguchi||Seizo Izumiya||Takuya Taniyama|
|2000||Takuya Taniyama||Seizo Izumiya||Katsutoshi Shiina|
|2004||Katsutoshi Shiina||Takuya Taniyama||Kobayashi Kunio|
|2006||Kurihara Kazuaki||Kobayashi Kunio||Saitoh Yuki|
|2011||Kurihara Kazuaki||Naoto Maruoka||Hideki Hukuhara|
|2014||Kurihara Hidemoto||Daisuke Ueda||Kurihara Kazuaki|
|1990||Yuko Hasama||L. Zelissen||Karen Findley / Keiko Kawano|
|1992||Yukiko Yoneda||Yoshimi Naoko||Sakurako Sasaki / Keiko Kawano|
|1994||Hiromi Hasama||Mayumi Baba||Kimiyo Nakamura / Daud Nilawati|
|1996||Hiromi Hasama||Mayumi Baba||Shoko Sakuragi / Yuko Okuda|
|1998||Mayumi Baba||Caroline Quansum||Colette Glynn / Hiromi Hasama|
|2000||Hiromi Hasama||Yuko Okuda||Christy Cauvin / Mayumi Baba|
|2004||Okuie Satomi||Takahashi Yuko||Tatjana Nikolic / Krisztina Zsigmond|
|2006||Yuko Takahashi||Okuda Yuko||Tracy Pearce / Storm Wheatley|
|2011||Asumi Isiduka||Glusa Akdag||Sergeeva Alla / Josmaira Quiroz|
|2014||Taguchi Satoshitama||Mai Shiina||Yuki Ito / Cifkova Petra|
|1977||Hiromi Kawashima||Keiki Hayakawa||R Senior|
|1980||Hiromi Kawashima||Hiroko Moriya||Schweiber|
|1983||Hiroko Moriya||Yuko Sakada||Yoko Nakamura|
|1985||Yoko Nakamura||Kikue Yamamoto||Yurika Yoshida|
|1987||Yuki Mimura||Yoko Nakamura||Hiroe Sekimori|
|1990||Yuki Mimura||Lena Svensson-Pyrée||Maiko Asano|
|1992||Yoko Nakamura||Miyo Gunji||Miwa Akiyama|
|1994||Yoko Nakamura||Ompi Omita||Haruna Ikutake|
|1996||Yoko Nakamura||Miyo Gunji||Nakata Terumi|
|1998||Miyoko Fujiwara||Miyo Gunji||Karin Prinsloo|
|2000||Nakata Terumi||Miyo Gunji||Chiharu Azuma|
|2004||Nakata Terumi||Misako Aragaki||Oshima Nozomi|
|2006||Misako Aragaki||Nozomi Oshima||Shirota Takaki|
|2011||Nozomi Oshima||Miki Nakamachi||Serino Fukasaku|
|2014||Miki Nakamachi||Takagi Ayano||Hikawa Nao|
|2017||Ayano Nakamura||Yuna Sato||Rio Hayakawa|
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