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Soke Hirokazu Kanazawa - (1931-2019)
Supreme Instructor of Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation
One of the world's most renowned and respected traditional karate masters ever was Kanazawa Soke, 10th Dan. He was the first karateka to have won the notorious All Japan karate Championship.
In 1957 kumite champion, In 1958, kumite and kata champion, on one occasion winning the finals whilst nursing a broken wrist from an earlier event.
Although trained in Judo in his early years, Kanazawa Soke took up karate whilst at University under the late headmaster of JKA Shotokan, Sensei Masatoshi Nakayama. Kanazawa Soke was also one of the last karatekas privileged to have studied under Sensei Gichin Funakoshi, the famous Okinawan school teacher who brought karate to mainland Japan from Okinawa and founded the Shotokan style.
In 1977, Kanazawa Soke set up SKIF (Shotokan Karatedo International Federation). SKIF is the largest Shotokan Karate Association in the World and has been under the leadership of Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa and Shuseki Shihan Manabu Murakami since the transference of leadership in 2014. SKIF has over 5 million members in over 130 countries worldwide.
Kanazawa Soke and instructors from SKIF GHQ in Tokyo came to Ireland twice a year, including his three son's Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa, Sensei Fumitoshi Kanazawa and Sensei Daizo Kanazawa, to conduct training seminars and gradings. I am privileged to have graded under Soke Kanazawa my whole life, and the new students of the Bushido Karate Club will follow in my footsteps and train and grade with the other SKIF GHQ instructors.
Soke Hirokazu Kanazawa Timeline
- 1931 - Born in Iwate, Japan
- 1956 - Graduated from Takushoku University and joined Japan Karate Association
- 1957 - Kumite Champion at the 1st JKA All Japan Championship Tournament
- 1958 - Kumite and Kata Champion at the 2nd JKA All-Japan Championship
- 1961 - Chief Instructor in Hawaii, USA @ Godan (5th Dan Black Belt), JKA
- 1966 - Chief Instructor of Karate Union of Great Britain @ Rokudan (6th Dan Black Belt), JKA
- 1967 - Chief Instructor of JKA Europe & German Karate Federation
- 1968 - General Manager of the European team at the World Championship in Mexico
- 1971 - NanaDan (7th Dan Black Belt), JKA. Director and General Manager of the International Division of JKA.
- 1972 - General Manager of the Japanese Team at the 2nd WUKO Championship in Paris, France
- 1973 - NanaDan (7th Dan Black Belt), All Japan Karate Federation
- 1976 - Referee 1st IAKF World Championship in Los Angeles. Referee JKA Asia-Oceania Championship in Hong Kong
- 1978 - Left JKA and Established Shotokan Karate-Do International
- 1978 - Hachi-Dan (8th Dan Black Belt), International Martial Arts Federation
- 1983 - Chairman, 1st SKIF World Championship in Tokyo, Japan
- 1985 - Chairman, 2nd SKIF World Championship in Dusseldorf, West Germany
- 1988 - Kyu-Dan (9th Dan Black Belt), International Martial Arts Federation Chairman, 3rd SKIF World Championship in Utsunomiya, Japan
- 1991 - Chairman, 4th SKIF World Championship in Mexico City, Mexico
- 1994 - Chairman, 5th SKIF World Championship in Yokohama, Japan
- 1997 - Chairman, 6th SKIF World Championship in Milan, Italy
- 2000 - Chairman, 7th SKIF World Championship in Bali, Indonesia
- 2003 - Chairman, 8th SKIF World Championship in Durban, South Africa
- 2006 - President, 9th SKIF World Championship in Tokyo, Japan
- 2009 - President, 10th SKIF World Championship in Athens, Greece
- 2012 - President, 11th SKIF World Championship in Sydney, Australia
- 2014 - Awarded the title of Meijin by the hereditary Shogun of Japan, and the great-grandson of the last ruling Shogun, Mr Tokugawa Yasuhisa
- 2019 - Passed away in Tokyo, Japan