What is the Japan Karate Association?

The Japan Karate Association (“JKA”) is one of the oldest and largest single-style karate organisations in the world. It is also considered by many as the world’s leading and most prestigious Shotokan-style karate organisations.

As mentioned above, the JKA practices the original Shotokan karate style as taught by Funakoshi Gichin Shihan, who is widely regarded as the founder of modern day karate. JKA was established by Funakoshi Shihan’s direct students, which included Nakayama Masatoshi Shihan.

Today, JKA is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The current chief instructor for JKA is Ueki Masaaki Shihan.

JKA karate is focused on developing and perfecting ‘kime’, requiring both mental and physical concentration. Kime is generated by the balance of strong stances, focus, timing and speed of techniques. Our training also places emphasis on the ‘holy trinity’ or essence of JKA karate – kihon, kata and kumite. Each individual movement of kata is analysed and practiced to provide us with a spectrum of kihon (fundamental) techniques. By practicing these techniques we are able to refine our kata to be more applicable and suitable for kumite (sparring).

‘Point scoring’ is not the purpose of JKA karate – our focus is on the importance of dedication, commitment and discipline. Karate is a martial art that trains a practitioner to be peaceful.

What is JKA Australia?

The Japan Karate Association (JKA) Australia Inc. (“JKA Australia”) is a not-for-profit organisation incorporated in Victoria and is registered as a ‘Registered Australian Body’ with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. JKA Australia’s general administrative business is conducted by the Executive Committee elected under the rules approved by Consumer Affairs Victoria. Matters related to the instruction of karate are overseen by the JKA Australia Technical Board.

JKA Australia was incorporated in 2010 and was established by the late Nishimura Takaatsu Shihan. JKA Australia is one of the leading JKA karate organisations in Australia with hundreds of members practicing at our branches or ‘dojos’, located at various locations in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.

JKA Australia teaches traditional JKA Shotokan-style karate. The standards taught are of the highest level in keeping with the technical requirements set by JKA Headquarters. JKA Australia instructors are all certified and accredited by JKA Headquarters.

We, at JKA Australia, are committed to promoting the high standards of JKA Karate in Australia. We strive to provide people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to learn the martial art of karate. We believe that practicing karate is highly beneficial in improving one’s physical wellbeing and instilling important character traits such as respect, discipline and perseverance.

What can JKA Australia offer branches and members?

1.) Access to highly qualified instructors

JKA Australia has a highly qualified Technical Board who oversee the consistent instruction throughout Australia.

Our Chief Instructor, Deputy Chief Instructor and senior instructors regularly liaise with our JKA HQ in Japan and attend seminars run by JKA HQ, so they can impart the latest teachings and their experience with the rest of JKA Australia’s instructors and members.

JKA Australia also invites high ranking guest instructors from Japan at least once a year, as part of training seminars which all JKA Australia members are able to attend and participate in.

2.) State and national seminars & competitions

JKA Australia hosts an annual training seminar and competition with a guest instructor from JKA Headquarters. These national seminars are held at different locations every year to provide all JKA Australia members the opportunity to attend at their home states.

In addition, state-level seminars and competitions are also held during the year, to provide further training opportunities and competition experience for JKA Australia members.

3.) Direct membership to JKA Headquarters, Japan

Annual membership with JKA Australia includes individual registration with JKA Headquarters in Japan.

4.) Opportunities to gain JKA qualifications

As well as conducting regular black belt or ‘dan’ examinations, the JKA Australia Chief Instructor is also licenced to carry out examinations for members to gain qualifications as instructors, competition judges and grading examiners. JKA Australia members are provided with support to attain these qualifications, through regular training sessions tailored for senior or black belt students.

5.) Dan grade recognition & transfer program

For those wishing to join JKA Australia from other Shotokan organisations, JKA has a black belt or ‘dan’ transfer system – when the required technical standard is demonstrated, existing dan ranks will be recognised. There is no official equivalent program for colour belts or ‘kyu’ grades however, it is common for students with prior experience to progress quickly through the kyu ranks.

Before joining JKA Australia, please contact the branch which you are interested in joining.