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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
President 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 Slovenia - Shuseki Shihan Manabu Murakami
Start Date: 10 Jul 2024
Shuseki Shihan Manabu Murakami will be in Slovenia from the 10-14 July 2024 for the SKIF Slovenia Gasshuku.
Country: Slovenia Slovenia
SKIF Belgium - Shuseki Shihan Manabu Murakami & Sensei Hiyori Kanazawa & Sensei Stephane Castrique
Start Date: 05 Jul 2024
Shuseki Shihan Manabu Murakami & Sensei Hiyori Kanazawa & Sensei Stephane Castrique will be in Belgium on the 5-7 July 2024 for the SKIF Belgium Summercamp.
Country: Belgium Belgium
SKIF Austria - Soshi Masaru Miura
Start Date: 28 Jun 2024
Soshi Masaru Miura will be in Austria on 28-30 June 2024 for Seminars in Bad Aussee Austria.
Country: Austria Austria
SKIF USA - Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa
Start Date: 08 Jun 2024
Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa will be in New York City on June 8th 2024 for Seminars.
Country: USA USA
SKIF Montreal - Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa
Start Date: 01 Jun 2024
Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa will be in Montreal, Canada, from 1st - 2nd June 2024 for Seminars.
Country: Canada Canada
SKIF Morocco - Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa
Start Date: 18 May 2024
Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa will be in Morocco during 18th and 19th May 2024 for Seminars.
Country: Morocco Morocco
SKIF USA - Fumitoshi Kanazawa Sensei & Paul Huglo Sensei
Start Date: 27 Apr 2024
Fumitoshi Kanazawa Sensei & Paul Huglo Sensei will be in Houston USA on the 27th and 28th April 2024 for a Gasshuku.
Country: USA USA
SKIF USA - Sensei Paul Huglo
Start Date: 24 Apr 2024
Sensei Paul Huglo will be in Minnesota, USA, from April 24 to 25, 2024, for seminars.
Country: USA USA
SKIF Yudansha Kai - Special Seminar in Honbu Dojo
Start Date: 28 Mar 2024
Information about the Special SKIF Yudansha Kai Seminar taking place in SKIF Honbu Dojo on 28 March 2024. With two sessions and being taught by Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa, Shuseki Shihan Manabu Murakami, Sensei Shinji Tanaka and Sensei Ryusho Suzuki.
Country: Japan Japan
SKIF Hawaii - Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa
Start Date: 09 Mar 2024
Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa will be in Hawaii on March 9th for a Seminar in the Halawa District Gym.
Country: USA USA
SKIF France - Sensei Paul Huglo & Sensei Stephane Castrique
Start Date: 02 Mar 2024
Sensei Paul Huglo & Sensei Stephane Castrique will be in France for a Seminar in 2nd and 3rd March 2024.
Country: France France