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The Shotokan Karate-do International Federation (SKIF)

History and Inception:

The Shotokan Karate-do International Federation was founded by Hirokazu Kanazawa Kancho (Head of Organisation), who is the Chief Instructor and President of the SKIF. He began his karate training in the Japan Karate Association (JKA). Kanazawa Sensei held various prestigious positions within the association, including JKA Chief Instructor, first in Hawaii, then in U.K. and Europe, and eventually became a Director of the JKA and Principal Director of the JKA International Division. In 1978, he formally withdrew from the JKA, leading a group of high-ranking practitioners and exceptional Shotokan exponents including Masaru Miura, Shiro Asano, Akio Nagai and Masao Kawasoe to found Shotokan Karate International.

Shotokan Karate International (SKI) was formally established as a non-profit organisation in December 1978, with its general headquarters in Tokyo. In April of 1988, the organisation's name was formally changed to the Shotokan Karate-do International Federation (SKIF), presumably in appreciation of the growing presence of the organisation in countries all over the world.

Since then, the SKIF has continued to grow, fuelled on by the passion of students and instructors worldwide, and led by Kanazawa Sensei's unique vision. It has far outstripped any other Shotokan karate organisation, now having over two million practising members, and representation in over 100 countries, and all inhabited continents - including Antarctica!!!

Kanazawa Sensei spends most of his time visiting members countries all over the world, providing personal guidance to instructors and students towards furthering their development in karate. Besides Kanazawa Sensei, SKIF dojos receive visits from various senior instructors, resulting in a very high standard of karate practice being maintained worldwide all across the SKIF.

While the traditional aspects of Shotokan karate are given great importance in the SKIF, the emerging popularity of competition karate is also encouraged within the organisation. Tournaments are organised regularly at all levels, from regional to internaitonal.

As members of SKIF, we hoped to be blessed with Kanazawa Sensei's guidance for a long time to come. Kanazawa Sensei is a remarkable person in every aspect, and his vast experience and understanding is not easy to come by. To read more about Kanazawa Sensei, click here.


Shotokan Karate International Federation - SKIF


Shotokan Karate International Australia (SKIA)


In 1947 Australian Shotokan karate associations established in the states of New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania, teaching karate under the guidance of Frank Nowak Sensei, combined to form the Shotokan Karate Association of Australia (SKAA).

In 1976, the SKAA became affiliated with the newly emerging Shotokan Karate International, headed by Hirokazu Kanazawa Sensei. This organisation was eventually joined by Shotokan associations from Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and came to be known as Shotokan Karate International Australia (SKIA).

Having been closely associated with the development and growth of the SKIF almost since its inception, SKIA has benefitted a great deal from Kanazawa Sensei's guidance and encouragement. With the support of many passionate karateka all over the country, SKIA has grown to be the largest Shotokan karate organisation - and possibly the largest traditional-karate organisation as well - in Australia. With new members joining all the time, and new clubs being established, SKIA is represented all over Australia, with students even in the Red Centre!

Organisational Structure and Operation:

SKIA does not operate under the direction of one particular chief instructor for Australia, as is the case with many other member countries. Instead, the organisation is run by an elected National Committee, aided by a national Technical Development panel. The organisation itself is comprised of separate State committees that are responsible for SKIA activities within the respective states and territories.

SKIA operates as a non-profit organisation, with any funds generated being used principally to maintain a high technical standard across the country. Students are regularly provided the opportunity to attend seminars and special training sessions organised for instructors visiting from other parts of the country as well as from overseas. SKIA members are also very fortunate in being able to train directly with Kanazawa Sensei every year during Shotokan Week.

Shotokan Week is an annual national event giving all members the chance to meet for a few days of concentrated training, grading under Kanazawa Sensei and participation in the SKIA National Championships. Keen competitors also have the opportunity to compete inat state or regional tournaments, with some members regularly participating in All-Styles tournaments and achieving great results. Teams are also selected from across Australia for the SKIF World Championships, held every three years in a different part of the world.

For more information about the SKIA, click on the SKIA logo on the right to go to the official homepage. (Opens in a new window - may not work if pop-ups are disabled in your browser).


Shotokan Karae International Australia

Hirokazu Kanazawa Kancho

Shotokan Karate-do International Federation is led by Hirokazu Kanazawa Sensei. As the head of the organisation, he is referred to as Kancho by SKI members the world over.

Before taking up the study of karate-do, Kanazawa Sensei was a practitioner of Judo while at high school. He went on to enrol at Nippon University for higher studies, and it was at this time that he observed students of another university practising karate. He was greatly impressed by their skill and resolved to learn the art. He was so committed to this decision that he transferred to Takushoku university, which had one of the most active karate clubs of the time, in order to learn.

It is a testament to Kanazawa Sensei's dedication, right from the beginning, that even though he joined as a beginner, in a matter of two years, his skills had already outstripped those of most fellow practitioners at the club. He literally practiced day and night, training in a room in his dormitory when others were asleep. In fact, he was reprimanded for staying up late by the dormitory authorities, who had discovered him because of the light in the room. In response, instead of quitting, Kanazawa Sensei simply continued his nightly training, but in darkness so the light would not attract attention.

Upon graduation fromTakushoku university, he began training directly under the Japan Karate Association (JKA). He is one of the few people alive today to have had the priviledge of taught by the founder of Shotokan, Gichin Funakoshi, and the late headmaster of the JKA, Masatoshi Nakayama.

In 1957, Kanazawa Sensei accomplished an unforgettable achievement during the first All-Japan JKA Chamionships. He had broken his arm and was not going to participate in the tournament. However, his mother had come to visit, and not wanting to disappoint her, he agreed to enter anyway and went on to become Kumite Champion that year. Next year, he won both the kumite and kata events, becoming the first ever JKA Grandchampion.

In 1961, ranked 5th dan at the time, Kanazawa Sensei was sent by the JKA to Hawaii, USA, as Chief Instructor. He returned from Hawaii in 1963, and in 1965, went to Great Britain to serve as JKA Chief Instructor for Great Britain. He then shifted to Germany, becoming Chief Instructor of Europe and of the German Karate Federation. In 1968, Kanazawa Sensei coached the European team in the World Championships held in Mexico.

He then returned to Japan, taking up the post of JKA Director as well as General Manager/Principal Director of the JKA International Division in 1971. Around this time, Kanazawa Sensei also managed and coached the JICA team, leading them to success in the 1972 WUKO Championships in France.

In 1978, after what is rumoured to have been a bitter disagreement with the JKA, Kanazawa Sensei broke away and formed his own association, Shotokan Karate International. In this venture he stood alone, taking responsibility for any consequences only on himself. However, he was joined in his efforts very quickly by high-ranking friends and former colleagues. Since then the SKIF has grown to be one of the largest Shotokan karate associations in the world, with members from every continent including Antarctica!


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