The WJKA proudly takes its roots from
two of the most distinguished Shotokan instructors the world
has ever seen:
Nakayama Masatoshi 10th
Dan, (1913 -1987) Chief Instructor, Japan Karate Association
Asai Tetsuhiko 10th
Dan (1935-2006) Former Technical Director, Japan Karate
These paths, although from the same roots, function as
individual entities within the shotokan system itself and
Nakayama Ryu, which was the
style of shotokan taught at the JKA up to 1987 whilst
Nakayama Shihan was headmaster. It was the basis on which
the JKA, in its heyday, ran its
teaching syllabus both in Japan and abroad.
Asai Ryu, which was developed
by Asai Tetsuhiko
Shuseki-Shihan, throughout his lifetime and most certainly
during his time at the JKA and beyond, and subsequently
was taught to his
students after he left to follow his own path.
Gichin Funakoshi appointed Master Nakayama, JKA headmaster.
Asai Shihan held the position of JKA Technical Director
under Nakayama Shihan and was in post
at the time
of his death in 1987. No successor had been named and a
split within the JKA occurred with Asai shihan leading one
of the groups. This group was
officially disbanded in March
Asai Shihan dedicated his life to
studying and developing his karate, pioneering new
techniques and ideas leading to him gaining the title of
‘The Thunderous Storm'.
His studies covered a wide range of
martial arts and karate styles and it is reputed that he
knew and practiced around 140 Kata (forms) some of which he
The uniqueness and efficiency of Asai
Shihans karate can be attributed to his constant search to
make his body as supple as a willow tree. As a direct
students of Asai Tetsuhiko, the legacy which is Asai Ryu,
continues within the WJKA under the direct guidance of Jan
Knobel 9th Dan WJKA President.
The aim of the
World JKA Karate Association is to propagate pure JKA
Shotokan karate steeped in the
teachings and traditional
methodology of the Japan Karate Association of the 1960's
through to the early
1980's, prior to the death of Masatoshi Nakayama, and as
outlined in the Best Karate Series.
The concept of
the WJKA was first put to an international board in 1994 in
Brussels, by Sidoli Sensei and Knobel Sensei at the 2nd JKA
Euro-Camp in 1996.
The reasoning for this was the fact that
both felt that karate-ka from both sides of the JKA (as
prior to political divisions) should be able to train
together and test together.
They proposed that a neutral and
non-political 'friendship society' of JKA karate-ka should
be created, where no individual association should be in
control of any other, allowing autonomy and the freedom to
fully develop. Between 1997 and 1999 there were several
discussions between the European instructors. At
the conclusion of these discussions all seemed keen to try
and alma gate in friendship.
was not to create yet another JKA body, but to create a
'union' where everyone was in communication, affording
everyone access to instruction, regardless of which
association an instructor.
A meeting was
held in Germany in May 2000 between students of Mikami
Sensei, Yahara Sensei, Asai Sensei and Ochi Sensei. All
agreed on the need for such an organization in order that JKA Karate could still be enjoyed by all, rather than one
association being in total control of the mantle of JKA
At the 12th (Asai faction) JKA World Karate
Championships, held in Cardiff in July 2000, discussions
took place between high grade non Japanese instructors.
All agreed with the need to begin the international
friendship, and to draw from the experiences of senior
karate-ka from around the globe and at this point the WJKA
Sensei Jan G. Knobel,