JKA Brooklyn


What is the JKA?

With members in over 100 countries, the Japan Karate Association (JKA), is the world’s largest and most prestigious karate organization, and the only legal karate entity officially recognized by the Japanese government as an association of members for the promotion of karate. More importantly though, we are The Keeper of Karate’s Highest Tradition, the preserver of the soul and spirit of the art of karate in line with the tradition of Bushido (the way of the samurai). Our mission is to promote the way of karate throughout the world, while ensuring that it remains true to the philosophical precepts upon which it was founded. This has been the mission of Japan Karate Association since its establishment in 1949.

Japan Karate Association – Timeline

1922: In the spring of this year, Master Funakoshi was invited to Tokyo from Okinawa to present karate at the First National Athletic Exhibition organized by the Japan Ministry of Education.

Master Funakoshi remained in mainland Japan and taught karate at various universities in the Tokyo area.

Master Gichin Fukanoshi

1929: Master Funakoshi changed the name of karate to Karate-Do, or empty hand. According to Funakoshi in “Karate-Do Kyohan”:

…in a fundamental way, the form of the universe is emptiness (kara), and, thus, emptiness is form itself. There are many kinds of martial arts, judo, kendo, sojitsu, bojitsu, and others, but at a fundamental level all these arts rest on the same basis as Karate-do. It is no exaggeration to say that the original sense of Karate-do is at one with the basis of all martial arts. Form is emptiness, emptiness is form itself. The kara of Karate-do has this meaning.

1936: Funakoshi built his first karate dojo in Tokyo, named Shotokan (translated as “Shoto’s Hall”) by his students.

1948: The Japan Karate Association was officially established. Master Funakoshi became the highest master, or Shuseki Shihan.

1953: Karate is introduced to the members of the United States military branch of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) whose team came to study the art. This led to the first exposure of karate to people and places outside Japan.

October 20, 1957: Japan Karate Association presented the first ever All Japan Karate-Do championship. Henceforth the championship is an annual event, featuring sparring (kumite) and forms (kata).

April 10, 1958: Japan Karate Association was officially sanctioned by the Japanese Ministry of Education.

1961: 5th All-Japan Karate Championships at which Prince Akihito presided as guest of honor.

1968: Invitational Karate World Tournament at Mexico Olympics, at the invitation of the Mexico Olympic Committee.

1970: First World Karate-Do Tournament in Tokyo, sanctioned by the World Karate-Do Organization..

1985: The Shoto Cup International Championship opens in Tokyo. Henceforth, the Shoto Cup is held every third year in major international cities.