Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation (SKIF)
The Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation (SKIF) stands as a pillar of tradition and excellence in Karate. Founded by the legendary Hirokazu Kanazawa, SKIF has evolved into a global organisation dedicated to preserving and promoting the art of Shotokan Karate. In this article, we will delve into the history, mission, and contributions of SKIF, shedding light on its enduring legacy.
Founding and Hirokazu Kanazawa Sensei
SKIF owes its existence to Hirokazu Kanazawa, an eminent figure in the Karate world. Born on May 3, 1931, in Iwate, Japan, Kanazawa Sensei embarked on his Karate journey at a young age. He trained under the tutelage of Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan Karate, and became one of his top students.
In 1977, Hirokazu Kanazawa made a pivotal decision to break away from the Japan Karate Association (JKA), the organisation that had been the epicentre of Shotokan Karate. This move was primarily motivated by a desire to preserve the traditional teachings and philosophies of Shotokan Karate in their purest form. Consequently, he founded SKIF, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.
Mission and Philosophy
SKIF's mission is rooted in the preservation, propagation, and perpetuation of the art of Shotokan Karate as envisioned by Gichin Funakoshi. Kanazawa Sensei was deeply committed to maintaining the authenticity of Shotokan, emphasising the importance of kata (forms) and kihon (basics) as the foundation of Karate practice.
SKIF adheres to respect, discipline, and humility, instilling these values in its members. The organisation's philosophy emphasises the holistic development of individuals, both physically and mentally, through Karate. It seeks to create skilled martial artists and responsible and respectful individuals who contribute positively to society.
Global Expansion and Influence
Under Hirokazu Kanazawa's leadership, SKIF expanded rapidly across the world. His dedication to teaching and spreading Shotokan Karate transcended geographical boundaries. Kanazawa Sensei conducted numerous seminars, workshops, and demonstrations worldwide, leaving an indelible mark on Karate communities in countries like Europe, Asia, the Americas, and beyond.
Technical Excellence and Innovation
SKIF places a strong emphasis on technical excellence in Karate. Kanazawa Sensei's profound understanding of Shotokan Karate led to the development of training methods and techniques that have become hallmarks of SKIF. His commitment to maintaining the integrity of Shotokan Karate led to a rigorous approach to kata and kihon, ensuring that practitioners have a solid foundation in the art.
Gradings and Certification
SKIF conducts standardised gradings and examinations, ensuring practitioners' progress is systematically recognised and rewarded. This system maintains consistency and quality in Karate training across SKIF dojos (training halls) worldwide. Kanazawa's vision was to create a global network of Shotokan Karate dojos where students could confidently train, knowing they received authentic instruction.
Legacy and Continuation
Hirokazu Kanazawa's passing in December 2019 marked the end of an era, but his legacy lives on through SKIF. The organisation remains steadfast in its commitment to preserving the teachings of its founder. SKIF continues to flourish under the leadership of Kanazawa Sensei's dedicated students, who carry forward his vision and philosophy.
The Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation (SKIF) is not merely an organisation but a custodian of tradition, a beacon of technical excellence, and a symbol of respect and discipline. Founded by Hirokazu Kanazawa Sensei, SKIF has played a pivotal role in the global dissemination of Shotokan Karate, shaping the lives of countless practitioners. As SKIF continues to thrive, it upholds the legacy of its founder and perpetuates the spirit of Shotokan Karate for generations to come.