SOKE HIROKAZU KANAZAWA
Grandmaster Hirokazu Kanazawa, Shotokan Karate International Federation (SKIF) founder, was born on May 3, 1931 in Japan. He was one of the most gifted students of Master Gichin Funakoshi, (Shotokan Karate style founder) and one of the few who are still alive transmitting with great fervor his legacy. He was the first time Kumite (sparring) Champion of the prestigious JKA (Japan Karate Association) tournament in 1957, retaining his title consecutively for three more years.
Grand Master Kanazawa started in Judo training during his middle school age reaching a 2nd Dan level in this discipline. On a visit to Takushoku University he had the opportunity to see Okinawa karate (this is the style that his brother was practicing) which made him so impressed with its technique that he decided to immediately learn the beautiful martial art. He enrolled in this University to begin his training with another legendary master of Shotokan, Grandmaster Masatoshi Nakayama, who was one of Master Funakoshi's closest students and who almost immediately stared training made the young Kanazawa as an elite student.
By 1956, Master Kanazawa graduated from Takushoku University, having passed all tests becoming an instructor and receiving his 3rd DAN. The following year (1957) Soke Kanazawa achieved his first Championship title in Kumite (sparring) in the first JKA Karate tournament held in Tokyo were he demonstrated his preparation, unbreakable spirit and mental strength by fighting with a fractured right hand and having to use only the left one to execute all attacks and defenses. Master Kanazawa won a Championship title in Kumite (sparring) in 1958 and 1959, and also won the Championship title in Kata (forms) in 1958. In an interview many years later, the Great Kanazawa said:
In 1961 he was sent to Hawaii by the JKA to open a Dojo and to promote Karate. In 1963 he went to Europe with the same purpose and in 1977 he returned to Japan to found his own organization: SKIF (Shotokan Karate International Federation) which currently is known as one of the most important and prestigious Karate organization in the world with more than 5 million active members in 135 countries on 5 continents.
"It's all about training. I have trained in the morning before going to school, trained in the afternoon and evening. And when I was resting, even at that moment, I continue to train in my mind. It's all about training”
HANSHI HIROSHI ISHIKAWA
Hiroshi Ishikawa Toda was born in Miyazaki, Japan in 1947. He was a direct student of the grand master Kancho Hirokazu Kanazawa leader of the SKIF (Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation) and Master Masatoshi Nakayama Chief Instructor of the famous JKA (Japan Karate -do Association). He is considered the best Sensei (instructor) in Latin America, at the age of 28 he went for the first time to Mexico and in 1980 he became a technical director of two of the most important Karate-Do associations: “Subsecretaria de Deportes” and The Mexican Association of Karate-Do.
Hanshi Ishikawa during his student days in Japan was a kata champion. He belongs to the second generation of Japanese teachers who teach Karate Do in foreign countries like Mexico, Venezuela, Guatemala, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. Hanshi Hiroshi Ishikawa is currently the highest authority in Latin America who controls Shotokan (considered as a way of life, not a sport) in most of the Pan American countries. He has earned the title of "THE TIGER OF AMERICA".
Hanshi Hiroshi Ishikawa achievements as the Latin American Technical Director are varied:
1988- III World Championship of S.K.I.F. in Utsunomia, Japan. 4th place in team Kumite. 5th place in team kata with the National team of Mexico.
1991-Organized the IV World Championship of S.K.I.F. In Mexico City D.F. 2nd place in team Kumite with the National team of Mexico.
1994- V World Championship of S.K.I.F. In Yokohama, Japan. 6th place in team kata with the National team of Mexico.
1997- VI World Championship of S.K.I.F. In Milan, Italy. 1st place in team Kumite with the Venezuelan team.
2000- VII World Championship of S.K.I.F. In Bali, Indonesia. 3rd place in team Kumite with the Venezuelan team. 5th place in team kata with the national team of Mexico.
2003- VIII World Championship of S.K.I.F. In Durban, South Africa. 3rd place in team kata. 3rd place in team Kumite with the team of Mexico.
2006- IX World Championship of S.K.I.F. In Tokyo, Japan. 2nd place in team Kumite with the National team of Mexico. 3rd place in team Kumite with the team of Venezuela.
2008- Representative of Latin America in the event alluding to the 30th Anniversary of the SKIF celebrated in Tokyo, Japan.