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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 worked 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 worked as an designer, and Koga Shihan established a JKA Dojo and began teaching Dr. Philip Kwok Karate-Do. After a period, 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, Soke visited Hong Kong three times annually and became a profoundly influential teacher renowned for his exceptional character.

During this period, I also 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 gathering 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 gather for competition and train together, foster harmony, and contribute to the growth of SKIF through Soke's teachings and philosophy.

The Yudansha Kai is a registered company in Hong Kong and 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

SKIEF Technical Seminar 2024
Start Date: 10 Oct 2024
Information about the SKIEF Technical Seminar 2024, which will take place on 10-13 October 2024 in Denmark.
Country: Denmark Denmark
SKIF Italy - Karate Shotokan International Cup
Start Date: 26 Jan 2024
Shihan Soshi Miura Masaru will conduct a seminar at the Karate Shotokan International Cup 2nd Memorial Grosselle Sensei.
Country: Italy Italy
SKIF Yudansha-Kai Livestream - Free Zoom Class
Start Date: 09 Dec 2023
We are pleased to inform you that SKIF Yudansha-Kai will host a free Zoom session on Saturday, December 9th, 2023, at 8:00 PM Japan Time. This session will feature Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa. The session will be limited to 100 participants due to Zoom limitations. Additionally, the session recording will be available exclusively to YDK members.
Country: Japan Japan
SKIF USA - Sensei Hiyori Kanazawa
Start Date: 11 Nov 2023
Sensei Hiyori Kanazawa will conduct a Zoom Class for SKIF USA on 11th November 2023.
Country: USA USA
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 Great Britain - Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa
Start Date: 05 Nov 2023
Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa will be in England on the 5th November 2023 for an Open One-Day Seminar.
Country: England England
SKIF Romania - Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa
Start Date: 27 Oct 2023
Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa will be in Romania on 27-29 October 2023 to conduct a Seminar.
Country: Romania Romania
SKIF Czech Republic - Shihan Soshi Masaru Miura
Start Date: 21 Oct 2023
Shihan Soshi Masaru Miura will be in Czech Republic on 21-22 October 2023 to conduct a Seminar.
Country: Czech-Republic Czech-Republic
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 Slovenia - Domzale International Cup 2023
Start Date: 14 Oct 2023
The SKIF Slovenia Domzale International Cup 2023 will take place in Slovenia on the 14th October 2023.
Country: Slovenia Slovenia
SKIF Venezuela - Sensei Shinji Tanaka
Start Date: 12 Oct 2023
SKIF Venezuela - Sensei Shinji Tanaka will be in Venezuela for a Seminar on 12-15 October 2023.
Country: Venezuela Venezuela
SKIF Australia - Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa and Sensei Paul Huglo
Start Date: 27 Sep 2023
Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa and Sensei Paul Huglo will be in Australia for Shotokan Week from 27th September to 1st October 2023.
Country: Australia Australia