Last updated

Shotokan japanese.svg
Date founded1928
Country of origin Okinawa, Japan
Founder Gichin Funakoshi (1868–1957)
Yoshitaka Funakoshi (1906–1945)
Arts taught Karate
Ancestor schools Shōrei-ryū, Shōrin-ryū
Descendant schools Wadō-ryū, Shōtōkai, Chitō-ryū, Shindō jinen-ryū, Yoseikan Karate, Kyokushin, Tang soo do, Taekwondo [lower-alpha 1] , Soo Bahk Do
Practitioners(see notable practitioners)

Shotokan (松濤館, Shōtōkan) is a style of karate, developed from various martial arts by Gichin Funakoshi (1868–1957) and his son Gigo (Yoshitaka) Funakoshi (1906–1945). Gichin Funakoshi was born in Okinawa [1] and is widely credited with popularizing "karate do" through a series of public demonstrations, and by promoting the development of university karate clubs, including those at Keio, Waseda, Hitotsubashi (Shodai), Takushoku, Chuo, Gakushuin, and Hosei. [2]


Funakoshi had many students at the university clubs and outside dojos, who continued to teach karate after his death in 1957. However, internal disagreements (in particular the notion that competition is contrary to the essence of karate) led to the creation of different organisations—including an initial split between the Japan Karate Association (headed by Masatoshi Nakayama) and the Shotokai (headed by Motonobu Hironishi and Shigeru Egami), followed by many others—so that today there is no single "Shotokan school", although they all bear Funakoshi's influence.

As the most widely practiced style, Shotokan is considered a traditional and influential form of karate do.


Calligraphy of Shotokan ShotokanCalligraphy.jpg
Calligraphy of Shotokan

Shotokan was the name of the first official dojo built by Gichin Funakoshi, in 1936 [3] at Mejiro, and destroyed in 1945 as a result of an allied bombing. [4] Shoto (松濤, Shōtō), meaning "pine-waves" (the movement of pine needles when the wind blows through them), was Funakoshi's pen-name, [5] which he used in his poetic and philosophical writings and messages to his students. The Japanese kan (, kan) means "house" or "hall". In honour of their sensei, Funakoshi's students created a sign reading shōtō-kan, which they placed above the entrance of the hall where Funakoshi taught. [5] Gichin Funakoshi never gave his system a name, just calling it karate.


Shotokan training is usually divided into three parts: kihon (basics), kata (forms or patterns of moves), and kumite (sparring). Techniques in kihon and kata are characterised by deep, long stances that provide stability, enable powerful movements, and strengthen the legs. Shotokan is regarded as a dynamic martial art as it develops anaerobic, powerful techniques as well as developing speed. Initially strength and power are demonstrated instead of slower, more flowing motions. Those who progress to brown and black belt level develop a much more fluid style that incorporates grappling, throwing and some standing joint locking techniques, which can be found even in basic kata. [6] Kumite (fighting) techniques are practiced in the kihon and kata and developed from basic to advanced levels with an opponent.


Calligraphy of the Niju kun Nijukun.gif
Calligraphy of the Niju kun

Gichin Funakoshi laid out the Twenty Precepts of Karate [7] (or Niju kun [8] ), which form the foundations of the art, before some of his students established the Japan Karate Association (JKA). Within these twenty principles, based heavily on bushido and Zen, lies the philosophy of Shotokan. The principles allude to notions of humility, respect, compassion, patience, and both an inward and outward calmness. It was Funakoshi's belief that through karate practice and observation of these 20 principles, the karateka would improve their person. [5]

The dōjō kun lists five philosophical rules for training in the dojo: seek perfection of character, be faithful, endeavor to excel, respect others, and refrain from violent behaviour. These rules are called the Five Maxims of Karate. [9] The dōjō kun is usually posted on a wall in the dojo, and some shotokan clubs recite the dōjō kun at the beginning and/or end of each class to provide motivation and a context for further training.

Funakoshi also wrote: "The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of the participant." [5]

Common terms

Many terms used in karate stem from Japanese culture. While many are names (e.g. Heian, Gankaku), others are exclusive to martial arts (e.g. kata, kumite). Many terms are seldom used in daily life, such as zenkutsu dachi, while others appear routinely, such as rei. The Japanese form is often retained in schools outside Japan to preserve the Okinawan culture and Funakoshi's philosophies.

However, many schools of JKA (Japan Karate Association) affiliated Shotokan Karate used the full terminology on a daily basis, providing translations also. For example, the KUI (Karate Union of Ireland), utilises the full and proper Japanese name for each move and kata in training, grading and competition.


Rank is used in karate to indicate experience, expertise, and to a lesser degree, seniority. As with many martial arts, Shotokan uses a system of coloured belts to indicate rank. Most Shotokan schools use the kyū / dan system but have added other belt colours. The order of colours varies widely from school to school, but kyu belts are denoted with colours that in some schools become darker as a student approaches shodan. Dan level belts are invariably black, with some schools using stripes to denote various ranks of black belt. Gichin Funakoshi himself never awarded a rank higher than Godan (5th dan black belt). [10]


Kihon basics is the practice of basic techniques in Shotokan Karate. It includes stances, blocks, punches, kicks, various displacements and their combinations, as well as the practice of Kihon Kata like: Taikyoku Shodan, which was developed by Yoshitaka Funakoshi, the son of Gichin Funakoshi, as a basic introduction to karate kata. (Yoshitaka also developed Taikyoku Nidan and Sandan.) This first kata consists of successive restatements following the theme of gedan baraioi tsuki, and performing three oi tsuki by following the known "H" pattern or Embusen.


Gichin Funakoshi executing Kanku dai (Guan Kong Da ) kata, 1924 Funakoshi Gichin2.jpg
Gichin Funakoshi executing Kanku dai (観空大) kata, 1924
Embusen of Heian Shodan (from Best Embusen: Shotokan) Heian Shodan Embusen.gif
Embusen of Heian Shodan (from Best Embusen: Shotokan)

Kata is often described as a set sequence of karate moves organised into a pre-arranged fight against imaginary opponents. The kata consists of kicks, punches, sweeps, strikes and blocks. Body movement in various kata includes stepping, twisting, turning, dropping to the ground, and jumping. In Shotokan, kata is a performance or a demonstration, with every technique potentially a killing blow (ikken hisatsu)—while paying particular attention to form and timing (rhythm). As the karateka grows older, more emphasis is placed on the health benefits of practicing kata, promoting fitness while keeping the body soft, supple, and agile.

Several Shotokan groups have introduced "kata" (form) from other styles into their training. The original Shotokan kata syllabus is introduced in Funakoshi's book Karate-do Kyohan, which is the master text of Shotokan karate. Japan Shotokai's kata syllabus is the same as established in "Karate-do Kyohan" with the addition of Gigo Funakoshi's staff kata Matsukaze No Kon. [11] When the JKA was formed, Nakayama laid down 27 kata (26 mainly practised throughout most organisations) as the kata syllabus for this organisation. The standard JKA kata are: Taikyoku shodan (sometimes termed Kata Kihon or Kihon Kata, the name has been discontinued in some Shotokan dojos) (太極初段), Heian shodan (平安初段), Heian nidan (平安二段), Heian sandan (平安三段), Heian yondan (平安四段), Heian godan (平安五段), Bassai dai (披塞大), Jion (慈恩), Enpi (燕飛), Kanku dai (観空大), Hangetsu (半月), Jitte (十手), Gankaku (岩鶴), Tekki shodan (鉄騎初段), Tekki nidan (鉄騎二段), Tekki sandan (鉄騎三段), Nijūshiho (二十四步), Chinte (珍手), Sōchin (壯鎭), Meikyō/Rōhai (明鏡), Unsu (雲手), Bassai shō (披塞小), Kankū shō (観空小), Wankan (王冠), Gojūshiho shō (五十四歩小), Gojūshiho dai (五十四歩大), and Ji'in (慈陰). [2] [12] [13]


Kumite , or sparring (lit. Meeting of hands), is the practical application of kihon and kata to real opponents. The formalities of kumite in Shotokan karate were first instituted by Masatoshi Nakayama wherein basic, intermediate, and advanced sparring techniques and rules were formalised. [14]

Shotokan practitioners first learn how to apply the techniques taught in kata to hypothetical opponents by way of kata bunkai . Kata bunkai then matures into controlled kumite. [15]

Kumite is the third part of the Shotokan triumvirate of kihon, kata and kumite. Kumite is taught in ever increasing complexity from beginner through low grade blackbelt (1st – 2nd) to intermediate (3rd – 4th) and advanced (5th onwards) level practitioners.

Beginners first learn kumite through basic drills, of one, three or five attacks to the head (jodan) or body (chudan) with the defender stepping backwards whilst blocking and only countering on the last defence. These drills use basic (kihon) techniques and develop a sense of timing and distance in defence against a known attack.

At around purple belt level karateka learn one-step sparring (ippon kumite). Though there is only one step involved, rather than three or five, this exercise is more advanced because it involves a greater variety of attacks and blocks usually the defenders own choice. [16] It also requires the defender to execute a counter-attack faster than in the earlier types of sparring. Counter-attacks may be almost anything, including strikes, grapples, and take-down manoeuvres.

Some schools prescribe the defences, most notably the Kase-ha Shotokan-ryū, which uses an eight step, three directional blocking and attacking pattern, which develops from yellow belt level through to advanced level.

The next level of kumite is freestyle one-step sparring (jiyu ippon kumite). This type of kumite, and its successor—free sparring, have been documented extensively by Nakayama [14] [17] [18] and are expanded upon by the JKA instructor trainee program, for those clubs under the JKA. Freestyle one-step sparring is similar to one-step sparring but requires the karateka to be in motion. Practicing one-step sparring improves free sparring (jiyu kumite) skills, and also provides an opportunity for practicing major counter-attacks (as opposed to minor counter-attacks). [15] Tsutomu Ohshima states that freestyle one-step sparring is the most realistic practice in Shotokan Karate, and that it is more realistic than free sparring. [19]

Free sparring (or free style) (jiyu kumite) is the last element of sparring learned. In this exercise, two training partners are free to use any karate technique or combination of attacks, and the defender at any given moment is free to avoid, block, counter, or attack with any karate technique. Training partners are encouraged to make controlled and focused contact with their opponent, but to withdraw their attack as soon as surface contact has been made. [17] This allows attacking a full range of target areas (including punches and kicks to the face, head, throat, and body) with no padding or protective gloves, but maintains a degree of safety for the participants. Throwing one's partner and performing takedowns are permitted in free sparring, but it is unusual for competition matches to involve extended grappling or ground-wrestling, as Shotokan karateka are encouraged to end an encounter with a single attack (ippon), avoiding extended periods of conflict, or unnecessary contact in situations where there may be more than one attacker.

Kaishu ippon kumite is an additional sparring exercise that is usually introduced for higher grades. This starts in a similar manner to freestyle one-step sparring; the attacker names the attack he/she will execute, attacks with that technique, and the defender blocks and counters the attack. Unlike freestyle one-step sparring, however, the attacker may then be required to block the defender's counter-attack and strike back. This exercise is often considered more difficult than either freestyle one-step sparring or free sparring, as the defender typically cannot escape to a safe distance in time to avoid the counter to the counter-attack. [15]

Kumite within the dojo often differs from competition kumite. In dojo kumite any and all techniques, within reason, are valid; punches, knife hand strikes, headbutt, locks, takedowns, kicks, etc. In competition certain regulations apply, certain techniques are valid, and certain target areas, such as the joints or throat, are forbidden. The purpose of competition is to score points through the application of kumite principles while creating an exciting and competitive atmosphere, whereas the purpose of training kumite in the dojo is to be prepared to kill or cripple an opponent in a realistic situation. [20]


Gichin Funakoshi had trained in both of the popular styles of Okinawan karate of the time: Shōrei-ryū and Shōrin-ryū. After years of study in both styles, Funakoshi created a simpler system that combined the ideals of the two. [5] He never named this system, however, always referring to it simply as "karate." Funakoshi's karate reflects the changes made in the art by Ankō Itosu, including the Heian/Pinan kata series. Funakoshi changed the names of some of the kata in an effort to make the Okinawan kata names easier to pronounce in the Japanese Honshū dialect.

In 1924, Funakoshi adopted the Kyū / Dan rank system and the uniform ( keikogi ) developed by Kano Jigoro, the founder of judo. [21] This system uses colored belts (obi) to indicate rank. Originally, karate had only three belt colors: white, brown, and black (with ranks within each). The original belt system, still used by many Shotokan schools, is:

Funakoshi awarded the first 1st dan (初段; shodan ) Shotokan karate ranks to Tokuda, Hironori Ōtsuka (Otsuka), Akiba, Shimizu, Hirose, Makoto Gima, and Shinyō Kasuya on 10 April 1924.

Notable practitioners

See also


  1. Shotokan served as basis for several styles practiced by number of the original nine Kwans. The kwans eventually united and it led to a unified martial art style that is now known as Taekwondo. The kwans which style had Shotokan heritage include Song Moo Kwan, Chung Do Kwan, Moo Duk Kwan, Jidokwan, Yun Mu Kwan, Han Moo Kwan and Jung Do Kwan.
  2. "Holds a 3rd dan black belt in Shotokan karate, while his brother Shinzo holds a 4th dan and their father Yoshizo Machida holds a 7th dan and was head of the Japan Karate Association's Brazilian branch.
  3. Has a 3rd dan in Shotokan, although he has long practiced other karate styles such as Kyokushin and Goju Ryu


  1. Mark Bishop (1999). Okinawan Karate: Teachers, styles, and secret techniques. ISBN   0-8048-3205-6.
  2. 1 2 Funakoshi, Gichin (1973). "Karate-do Kyohan", Kodansha International Ltd, Tokyo. ISBN   0-87011-190-6.
  3. Funakoshi Gichin (1868–1957)
  4. "Gichin Funakoshi, the father of karate" . Retrieved 21 December 2008.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Funakoshi, Gichin (1981). "Karate-do: My Way of Life". Kodansha International Ltd, Tokyo. ISBN   0-87011-463-8. pg. 85
  6. Funakoshi, Gichin (1973). Karate-Do Kyohan . Kodansha. p.  227. ISBN   0-87011-190-6.
  7. JKA, Official site. "'The Twenty Precepts of Karate" . Retrieved 16 July 2006.
  8. Teruyuki Okazaki (2006). Perfection of Character. ISBN   0-9785763-2-2.
  9. South African JKA Affiliated Life Book (2010).
  10. Black Belt Magazine, March 1982, page 22
  11. The Official Homepage of Dai Nihon Karate-do Shotokai
  12. Sugiyama, Shojiro (1984). "25 Shoto-Kan Kata". Shojiro Sugiyama, Chicago. ISBN   0-9669048-0-X.
  13. Redmond, Rob (2008). "The Shotokan Canon". Kata: The Folk Dances of Shotokan (4th ed.). p. 45.
  14. 1 2 Masatoshi Nakayama (1978). Best Karate, Vol. 3: Kumite 1, Kodansha International. ISBN   0-87011-332-1.
  15. 1 2 3 Masahiko Tanaka, (2001). Karate-dō: Perfecting Kumite, Sake Publishers. ASIN B000Q81406.
  16. Randall G. Hassell and Teruyuki Okazaki, (1983). Conversations with the Master: Masatoshi Nakayama, Palmerston & Reed Publishing Company. ISBN   0-911921-00-1
  17. 1 2 Masatoshi Nakayama (1978). Best Karate, Vol 4: Kumite 2, Kodansha International. ISBN   0-87011-359-3.
  18. Masatoshi Nakayama. (1966). Dynamic Karate, Kodansha International. ASIN B000TBPU3C.
  19. Ohshima, Tsutomu (1998). "Notes on Training". Idyll Arbor, Enumclaw, WA. ISBN   0-937663-32-8.
  20. Japan Karatedo International
  21. Adams, Andy (1971). "The Father of Modern Karate". Black Belt (10): 41–47.
  22. "Bear Grylls: 'I'm 40, and fitter than I've ever been'" . The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 14 May 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  23. Jacques, Steve (1 August 1973). "John Saxon's Greatest Challenge". Black Belt : 14–18.
  24. "Male Celebs Who Practice Martial Arts", JET , 24 September 2001, at pp. 38–39.
  25. "Wesley Snipes: Action man courts a new beginning". The Independent. London. 4 June 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2010.


Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Karate</span> Japanese and Okinawan martial art

Karate (空手) is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom. It developed from the indigenous Ryukyuan martial arts under the influence of Chinese martial arts, particularly Fujian White Crane. Karate is now predominantly a striking art using punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open-hand techniques such as knife-hands, spear-hands and palm-heel strikes. Historically, and in some modern styles, grappling, throws, joint locks, restraints and vital-point strikes are also taught. A karate practitioner is called a karateka (空手家).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wadō-ryū</span> Style of karate

Wadō-ryū (和道流) is one of the four major karate styles and was founded by Hironori Ōtsuka (1892–1982). The style itself places emphasis on not only striking, but tai sabaki, joint locks and throws. It has its origins within Tomari-te karate, but was also influenced by Shito-Ryu and Shotokan; and was also influenced by Jujutsu.

Keigo Abe was a prominent Japanese master of Shotokan karate who founded the Japan Shotokan Karate Association in 1999 and is its Chief Instructor. He holds the rank of 9th dan in karate, is a direct student of Masatoshi Nakayama (1913–1987), and was a senior instructor in the Japan Karate Association.

Shotokai is the organisation formed originally in 1930 by master Gichin Funakoshi to teach and spread the art of karate-Do. The organization still exists and promotes a style of karate that adheres to Funakoshi's teachings, in particular the notion that competition is contrary to the essence of karate. Nowadays, the name also designates a formal practice method.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Masatoshi Nakayama</span> Japanese karateka

Masatoshi Nakayama was an internationally famous Japanese master of Shotokan karate. He helped establish the Japan Karate Association (JKA) in 1949, and wrote many textbooks on karate, which served to popularize his martial art. For almost 40 years, until his death in 1987, Nakayama worked to spread Shotokan karate around the world. He was the first master in Shotokan history to attain the rank of 9th dan while alive, and was posthumously awarded the rank of 10th dan.

The Pinan (平安)kata are a series of five empty hand forms taught in many karate styles. The Pinan kata originated in Okinawa and were adapted by Anko Itosu from older kata such as Kusanku and Channan into forms suitable for teaching karate to young students. Pinan is the Chinese Pinyin notation of 平安; when Gichin Funakoshi brought karate to Japan, he spelt the kata name as Heian, which is the onyomi of 平安. Pinan or Heian means "peaceful and safe". Korean Tang Soo Do, one of 5 original kwan of Korea, also practice these kata; they are termed, "Pyong-an" or "Pyung-Ahn", which is a Korean pronunciation of the term "ping-an".

Naihanchi (ナイハンチ) is a karate Kata, performed in straddle stance. It translates to 'internal divided conflict'. The form makes use of in-fighting techniques and grappling. In Shorin-Ryu and Matsubayashi-ryū Naihanchi Shodan is the first Ni Kyu although it is taught to Yon Kyu occasionally before Evaluations for the Ni Kyu rank. It is also the first Shorin-ryu and Shindo jinen-ryu kata to start with a technique to the right instead of the left. There are three modern kata derived from this. Some researchers believe Nidan and Sandan were created by Anko Itosu, but others believe that it was originally one kata broken into three separate parts. The fact that only Naihanchi/Tekki Shodan has a formal opening suggests the kata was split.

The Taikyoku series is a series of kata in use in several types of karate. The name Taikyoku (太極) refers to the Chinese philosophical concept of Taiji. The Taikyoku kata were developed by Yoshitaka Funakoshi and introduced by Gichin Funakoshi as a way to simplify the principles of the already simplified Pinan/Heian series. The embusen, or pattern of the kata's movements, are the same as in Heian shodan. Students of karate systems that use the Taikyoku kata series are often introduced to them first, as a preparation for the Pinan/Heian kata. Gōjū Kai developed five of its own Taikyoku kata, based on the Shotokan katas and retaining the I-shaped embusen. The embusen (pathway) of all the Taikyoku kata is simple :

 *--!   |  |  |  |  !--#
<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gigō Funakoshi</span> Japanese karateka

Gigō Funakoshi was the third son of Gichin Funakoshi and is widely credited with developing the foundation of the modern karate Shotokan style.

Hirokazu Kanazawa was a Japanese master of Shotokan karate. He was the Chief instructor and President of the Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation, an organisation he founded after he left the Japan Karate Association (JKA). Kanazawa was ranked 10th dan in Shotokan Karate.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tetsuhiko Asai</span> Japanese master of Shotokan karate

Tetsuhiko Asai was a prominent Japanese master of Shotokan karate of the Japan Karate Association (JKA), founder and Chief Instructor of the International Japan Martial Arts Karate Asai-ryu (IJKA), and founder of the Japan Karate Shoto Federation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gichin Funakoshi</span> Karateka

Gichin Funakoshi was the founder of Shotokan karate-do, perhaps the most widely known style of karate, and is known as a "father of modern karate". Following the teachings of Anko Itosu and Anko Asato, he was one of the Okinawan karate masters who introduced karate to the Japanese mainland in 1922, following its earlier introduction by his teacher Itosu. He taught karate at various Japanese universities and became honorary head of the Japan Karate Association upon its establishment in 1949.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Teruyuki Okazaki</span> Okinawan martial artist (1931–2020)

Teruyuki Okazaki, was a tenth degree black belt in Shotokan Karate, as well as the founder and chief instructor of the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF). Along with Gichin Funakoshi and Masatoshi Nakayama, Okazaki helped found the Japan Karate Association's instructor training program.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Takayuki Mikami</span> Japanese karateka

Takayuki Mikami is a Japanese master of Shotokan karate based in the United States of America. He holds the rank of 9th dan black belt in the art, awarded under the Japan Karate Association. In 1958, Mikami tied for first place in the All Japan Karate Championships. The following year, he became the All Japan champion in kumite (sparring) as well as kata (patterns). In 1961, Mikami won first place in kata again. He was also the first person to graduate from the Japan Karate Association's (JKA) instructor training program instituted by Gichin Funakoshi and Masatoshi Nakayama.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yutaka Yaguchi</span> Japanese karateka

Yutaka Yaguchi is the Chief Instructor and Chairman of the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF) Mountain States Region. He was born in Hiroshima, Japan, in 1932 and began karate training in 1952. He later tested under masters Gichin Funakoshi for his 1st dan black belt and Masatoshi Nakayama for his 2nd through 8th dan black belts. As one of the first graduates of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) Instructors' Training Program in 1959, he has played an important role in the growth of JKA karate and the internationalization of Shotokan karate. Yaguchi first arrived in the United States on June 5, 1965, and continues to reside in the US to the present day. In 1974, Yaguchi founded the ISKF of Colorado, the regional headquarters for the Mountain States Region.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kenkojuku</span>

Kenkojuku is a style of Shotokan karate previous to the establishment of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) style. It was founded by Tomosaburo Okano. Kenkojuku karate is similar to the teachings of Gichin Funakoshi and modifications made by Funakoshi´s son Yoshitaka Funakoshi. JKA Shotokan differs slightly in that it was Masatoshi Nakayama's version of Shotokan. Okano's/Yoshitaka's Kenkojuku karate and JKA karate are becoming more similar compared to other variants of Shotokan karate such as Shigeru Egami's Shotokai, Hirokazu Kanazawa's Shotokan Karate International or SKI.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Keinosuke Enoeda</span> Japanese karateka

Keinosuke Enoeda was a Japanese master of Shotokan karate. He was a former Chief Instructor of the Karate Union of Great Britain. Enoeda was ranked 8th dan in Shotokan karate, and was widely renowned as a formidable karateka. Following his death, Enoeda was posthumously awarded the rank of 9th dan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Taiji Kase</span> Korean -Japanese karateka

Taiji Kase was a Korean -Japanese master of Shotokan karate who was one of the earliest masters responsible for introducing this martial art into Europe. He taught his style of karate, Shotokan Ryu Kase Ha, in France from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s. In his later years, he travelled across the world teaching karate, but Paris remained his home. Kase held the rank of 9th dan in karate.

Japan Shotokan Karate Association (JSKA) was founded by Keigo Abe in 1999. Abe was a former instructor graduate of the Japan Karate Association and trained and taught at the JKA Headquarters for nearly 35 years. He held a number of senior positions within the JKA and latterly the Matsuno section of the JKA. He had been a senior student of Nakayama and as such the teachings of Nakayama remain an integral part of the evolution of the Shotokan style within the JSKA. Abe Sensei died on the 20th of December 2019.