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Welcome to SKIF Yudansha Kai

Special SKIF YDK Seminar

Remembering Soke Hirokazu Kanazawa

A Message from SKIF Yudansha Kai President Dr Philip Kwok

About SKIF Yudansha Kai

What is SKIF Yudansha-Kai

SKIF Yudansha-Kai is the Official Black-Belt (Dan Holder) Association of the Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation (SKIF) established by order of Soke Hirokazu Kanazawa. It is an alumnus of SKIF Black Belts globally dedicated to promoting and preserving the teachings of Soke Hirokazu Kanazawa.  Membership is entirely voluntary but is exclusively reserved for Registered Black-Belt (Dan) Holders of SKIF.

At the Beginning

The inaugural SKIF World Championships took place in Tokyo in 1983, attracting participation from 16 countries. Over the years, the event expanded significantly, reaching 41 countries by the 4th World Championships held in Mexico City in 1991. During this event, Soke Hirokazu Kanazawa introduced me to the idea of a Yudansha Kai and requested that I assume the role of its founding chairman.

Dr Philip Kwok

Dr Philip Kwok Chairman of SKIF Yudansha Kai

Dr Philip Kwok - 9th Dan SKIF
Chairman of SKIF Yudansha Kai

The story began in 1957 when Dr Phillip Kwok (now SKIF Hanshi 9th dan) embarked on a journey from Hong Kong to pursue studies at MIT and Harvard, ultimately earning a PhD in Physics. While in the United States, he took up employment at IBM and became a member of a Shotokan-style karate dojo established by a colleague.

In 1971, Dr Kwok returned to Hong Kong, coinciding with Sensei Rikuta Koga's (now Chief Instructor of SKIF Switzerland) relocation to Hong Kong for work, where he established a JKA Dojo and became Dr Kwok's student. The subsequent year saw the arrival of Sensei Kenichi Namikata as a full-time instructor, leading to Dr Kwok's appointment as the chairman of the HK Branch. During that year, he was sent to Japan on karate-related matters, where he had his initial encounter with Soke Hirokazu Kanazawa. From that point forward, Dr Kwok visited Hong Kong three times annually and became a profoundly influential teacher renowned for his exceptional character.

It was also during this period that I first crossed paths with Sensei Satoru Iwai, now SKIF International Liaison. Sensei Iwai adhered to unwavering principles while maintaining an open-minded disposition. When he established the SKI Federation in 1978, Hong Kong became the first foreign country to join. Since then, we have collaborated numerous times, including organising the Yudansha Kai seminars at the world championships.

Why Yudansha Kai? 

Soke's vision for SKIF Yudansha Kai involved the gathering of SKIF members and practitioners from various martial arts styles to come together and exchange knowledge under his guidance. He observed that many Japanese martial arts organisations had alumni structures based on specific entry requirements. In the case of this alumni group, it was to consist of yudansha, individuals holding a dan grade (black belt). The intention was for karate-ka from around the world to not only gather for competition but also to train together, foster harmony, and contribute to the growth of SKIF through Soke's teachings and philosophy.

The Yudansha Kai operates as a registered company in Hong Kong and is overseen by a working committee. Its financial accounts undergo external auditing annually in compliance with Hong Kong corporate laws.

Yudansha Kai Over The Years 

The 1st Yudansha Kai Seminar was held at the 6th World Championship in Italy in 1997. It was immensely successful and appreciated by all as it was held before the dan examinations and tournament. Since then, the Yudansha Kai Seminar has been a fixture at every world championship, including the current one - the 10th Yudansha Kai Seminar. 

1st SKIF International Seminar held in Tokyo April 2014

1st SKIF International Seminar
April 2014 Tokyo Japan

In 2002, we organised our inaugural residential seminar in Hong Kong, featuring instruction from the esteemed Kancho Hirokazu Kanazawa, Sensei Manabu Murakami, and Sensei Daizo Kanazawa. Karate practitioners from across the globe attended this event. Its purpose and structure served as a precursor to the SKIF International Seminar, which has been held annually in Japan since 2014 until the unfortunate onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Yudansha Kai has been operational for nearly three decades, during which we have facilitated seminars, procured computers for the Honbu office in the 1990s, introduced English lessons for Honbu Dojo instructors, provided financial support for the SKIF All Japan Championships, shared proceeds from Yudansha Kai seminars with Honbu, and made donations towards causes affecting SKIF karate-ka, such as the 2011 Japan Tsunami Appeal and the 2015 Nepal Earthquake Relief Effort.

Upcoming Events

SKIF Ireland - Shuseki Shihan Manabu Murakami
Start Date: 06 Nov 2023
Shuseki Shihan Manabu Murakami will be in Ireland from 6-12 November 2023 for Nationwide Training Seminars and Gradings.
Country: Ireland Ireland
SKIF Slovenia - Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa
Start Date: 19 Oct 2023
Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa will be in Slovenia during October 19-22 to host a Seminar.
Country: Slovenia Slovenia
SKIF Germany - Shuseki Shihan Manabu Murakami & Shihan Akio Nagai
Start Date: 27 Jul 2023
Shuseki Shihan Manabu Murakami & Shihan Akio Nagai will be in Schworzhalle Oberkochen Germany to conduct the SKID Natsu No Gasshuku 2023.
Country: Germany Germany
SKIF Switzerland - Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa and Shihan Rikuta Koga and Kyoshi Toni Racca
Start Date: 24 Jul 2023
Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa and Shihan Rikuta Koga and Kyoshi Toni Racca will be hosting a seminar in Switzerland on 24-29 July 2023
Country: Switzerland Switzerland
SKIF Belgium - Shuseki Shihan Manabu Murakami & Renshi Stephane Castrique
Start Date: 22 Jul 2023
Shuseki Shihan Manabu Murakami & Renshi Stephane Castrique will conduct the SKIF Belgium Gasshuku on 22-23 July.
Country: Belgium Belgium
SKIF Greece - Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa & Shuseki Shihan Manabu Murakami
Start Date: 30 Jun 2023
Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa & Shuseki Shihan Manabu Murakami will be in Chania, Crete, Greece for a Seminar from 30 June to 2 July 2023.
Country: Greece Greece
SKIF Turkey - Shuseki Shihan Manabu Murakami
Start Date: 17 Jun 2023
Shuseki Shihan Manabu Murakami will be in Ankara, Turkey, to conduct a Seminar on 17-18 June 2023.
Country: Turkey Turkey
SKIF Argentina - Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa
Start Date: 16 Jun 2023
Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa will be in Argentina during 16-19 June 2023 for a Seminar.
Country: Argentina Argentina
SKIF Chile - Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa
Start Date: 09 Jun 2023
Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa will be in Concepcion, Chile on 9-11 June for Seminars.
Country: Chile Chile