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The evolution of Shotokan Karate Do associations

By Dr. Christian Tribowski

When a movement becomes bigger, but wants to maintain order and set technical as well as behavioral standards, it is just a matter of time until it forms an association. This is a normal process of professionalization.

The same happend to Shotokan Karate Do. Since grand master Funakoshi, several associations have emerged. Some have already been closed. Some have created new branches or split into different suborganizations. Over the course of the last 70 years a constant evolution took place.

However, the ecology of Shotokan associations has become difficult to grasp. Especially for beginners it appears like a complex puzzle. In order to give you an overview, the Asai Shotokan Association International created the geneology of Shotokan Karate organizations. We hope this leads you through the jungle of Shotokan associations.

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Our aim is to cover them all. In the end, Shotokan is one big community.

Your association is not included in the chart? Please let us know. We are curious to hear from you and will add it.

Comments

  1. I would KASE rather attribute to WKSA (together with SHIRAI). And although MOCHIZUKI Minor“u“ briefly attended Funakoshi’s classes, it was rather his son MOCHIZUKI Hiroo who is related to the Yoseikan Karate style. Btw, I did a similar but not too detailed piece on Shotokan associations in 2011 (cf. https://hoploblog.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/uber-die-vielfalt-von-karateverbanden/; only available in German).

  2. Miyazaki Sensei’s U.S. Shotokai is actually misplaced. His organization is an off-shoot of Okano’s Kenkojuku, not the Shotokai.

  3. Tsutomu Ohshima’s Shotokan Karate of America is misplaced. SKA is not an offshoot of Shotokai (or the JKA). SKA is an independent organization in its own right, like the JKA, Shotokai, Kenkojuku, etc.

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