Kofukan International is an association practising Tani-ha Shito-ryu Karate-do which is based in Europe but has members worldwide. In April 1997 Kofukan International celebrated their 25th Anniversary with a World Championship and Open Training Courses supervised by Guest of Honour Master Chojiro Tani (1921-1998), 10th Dan Hanshi, founder of the Tani-ha Shito-ryu Shukokai organization of which Kofukan is a member and official representative outside Japan.

Instruction

Joint World Chief Instructors for Kofukan International are Shihan Keiji Tomiyama, resident in England, and Shihan Naoki Omi, resident in France, who are both 7th Dan Tasshi. It is expected that each member country hold at least one seminar per year with Shihan Tomiyama, with the possibility of other visits if desired, unless exceptional circumstances do not permit it. It is possible for smaller countries to join together with neighbours to organize seminars. Around the world, these and other special courses aimed at students of all grades are regularly held by member countries. What is more, black belt members frequently have the opportunity to join organized tours of Japan for training and sightseeing. See our Events page for details.

Advancement

Kyu gradings are held at different intervals according to common practice in each individual country, ranging between 4 months and 6 months (a minimum of 6 months for 1st kyu to 1st Dan). The level of fees charged for kyu gradings is also set by each country's Secretariat, from which they can make funds for their organization. Many Dan gradings are conducted by each country's own senior grading officers, although others, especially higher Dan grades, are conducted by the Chief Instructors of Kofukan International. The fees for Dan gradings are payable to Kofukan International, of which a portion goes to the Tani-ha Shito-ryu Shukokai, and are currently £70 including diploma.

Embroidered black belts, made in Japan, can be purchased separately, as well as karate gis direct from Japan. Different sizes are available-please enquire for prices. We can also provide belts and gis to non-members.

For groups joining Kofukan International, grades obtained with a previous association are honoured (however, a diploma for existing dan grades cannot be supplied by Kofukan International). New members can then upgrade when appropriate (minimum one year).

Activities

Kofukan International prefers their member countries to become members of their country's governing body for karate and endeavour to support and participate in its various initiatives. These might include such things as coaching schemes, competitions, seminars and fund raising. Being members of the national governing body, and consequently members of the world governing body (the World Karate Federation) means that Kofukan members can also take advantage of any opportunities those bodies may offer.

As we firmly believe that karate-do can and does combine many elements, especially in this modern fast-moving age, we encourage young (and young-at-heart) members to participate in competition. The thriving competition scene which exists in the association culminates in a joint International Championship for Seniors and Juniors each year.

Each member country holds their own training courses during each year, most of which are open to members of other member countries. Also, our Senior International Instructors meet as often as possible to research and review techniques and discuss administrational matters, and ultimately play a part in producing study and instruction material for distribution to members. Other instructional material such as books and videos by K. Tomiyama is available to all members to aid and improve their enjoyment of the art. Kofukan International previously published its own newspaper 'In Harmony' twice a year, featuring articles and news from around the globe. It now publishes a Newsletter in PDF format which will be accessible via this web site.

Costs

A modest annual international membership fee is payable for each individual student which is due before January 31 of each financial year (which runs from April 1 to March 31). These membership fees should be collected by the Treasury of each member country and forwarded to Kofukan International. However, in the initial stages of membership there is some scope for negotiation in cases of genuine hardship.

In summary, as an International organization we aim to operate with the minimum of bureaucracy. Each country's organization is free to run their group independently inasmuch as it does not contravene the articles of the Constitution of Kofukan International. However, this does not mean that we are not ready and willing to supply guidelines and support regarding organizational matters when required. Overall we see membership as being based on the concept of 'give and take', a combination of rights and duties.

General aims of the association

  1. Cultivate good personality and strong character
  2. Preserve correct techniques and katas
  3. Promote friendship among members


Instructor principles

  1. Respect the values of the traditional katas
  2. Unified study of kata and kumite
  3. Scientific approach in analysing techniques


Technical principles

  1. Do not make any unnecessary movements
  2. Do not use any unnecessary force
  3. Use the whole body to perform techniques
  4. Start the next movement fom the present position