Shotokan Karate International of Hong Kong

Shotokan Karate International of Hong Kong(S.K.I.H.K) is in its 45th year, as of January 2023; however, as the Shotokan Karate dojo in this city, it has been in existence for 52 years, having first been established in 1971. It was then a member of the Japan Karate Association (J.K.A.) of which - then Sensei Kanazawa -- was J.K.A. International Director.

The Hong Kong connection was established by a group of British colonial stalwarts. They had previously trained in another eminent karate style and school also based in Tokyo. After relinquishing their membership there, they opted for the Shotokan school and joined the J.K.A. family, setting up the dojo at the then all-European Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC) in Happy Valley race course area. The local J.K.A. pioneers were joined by a number of their Hong Kong Chinese senior karateka colleagues most of whom remain associated with our dojo to this day. The establishment of the J.K.A. H.K. dojo was an instant success. Shotokan Karate attracted a relatively sizeable following, so that by the end of its first year, membership numbered close to eighty, so training in those heady years of generally martial arts popularity, numbered some forty students at each of the two daily sessions five times a week. By then, the dojo committee had secured, largely through the office of Sansei Hirokazu Kanazawa, the service of Sensei K. Namikata from Osaka city of Japan , to be our first Chief Instructor.

In 1973, a traumatic change came over the J.K.A.H.K. dojo. The annual meeting of the dojo committee that summer resulted in a complete overhaul of the general committee and the advent of the dojo’s first all-Chinese executive administration with Dr. Philip Kwok set up as President, the office he still holds today. Another equally dramatic change came in about at the end of the 1970s when Sensei Kanazawa broke away from J.K.A. to establish Shotokan Karate International Federation in 1978. There followed the big decision to be made by J.K.A. dojos all over the world. Here in Hong Kong, our own decision was quick and brisk. No sooner had, Soke Kanazawa declared his S.K.I.F. in business in Tokyo, than we have hoisted up our own S.K.I.F. flag.

At this time, the HKFC decided to regain the premises they had leased us and we were faced with the grim prospect of finding alternative dojo space. But our fears were soon allayed. For Dr. Kwok had been able to persuade South China Athletic Association - the largest and oldest multi-sports centre in Hong Kong -- to set up a dojo, offering the unstinting services of our fledgling S.K.I. Hong Kong. And today, our SCAA dojo can safely claim to be the envy of karate dojos anywhere among the S.K.I.F. family. Over the years, we have seen young men, young ladies, children joining our karate training and turned out to become remarkable young people with distinguish physical strength and personality. Some of them are now professionals, successful executives and athletics representing the Hong Kong SAR.