Japan Karate Federation

The Japan Karate Federation (JKF), a.k.a. Japan Karatedo Federation, is a national governing body of sport karate in Japan.[1][2] The JKF is officially affiliated with the Japan Olympic Association (JOC), World Karate Federation (WKF), Japan Sports Association (JSA) and Japanese Budō Association (JBA).[2] The styles recognized by the JKF are Wadō-ryū, Shotokan, Shito-ryu and Goju-ryu.[3] The headquarters is located in Tokyo, Japan.

Japan Karate Federation
JKF National Headquarters in Tokyo
FormationJanuary 13, 1969
TypeSports National Governing Body
Legal statusA public organization, approved by the Cabinet of Japan
PurposeBringing unified order to Karate and development of karate as a sport in Japan
Headquarters1-1-20 Tatsumi, Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan 135-8538
Region served
Japan Olympic Association
World Karate Federation
Japan Sports Association
Japanese Budō Association
Official language
LeaderTakashi Sasagawa, Chairman
WebsiteOfficial Website


Early yearsEdit

In 1959, the original Japan Karate Federation, formally known as the Federation of All Japan Karatedo Organizations (FAJKO), was formed to be an unifying organization to bring karate schools together by the Karate world leaders, who were its chairman Choko Sai, a head the Shudokan of Kanken Tōyama and vice chairmen Konishi from Shindō Jinen-ryū, Hiroshi Kinjo from Kanbukan, Otsuka Hinorori from Wado-Ryu, Tatsuo Yamada from Japan Kenpo Karate and Shinkin Gima from Shotokan.

New FormationEdit

On October 1, 1964, the original Japan Karate Federation, which changed its own name to Japan Karate Renbukai, handed over its organization name to the new united league, such as Gōgen Yamaguchi of Goju-ryu, Ōtsuka Hironori of Wadō-ryū, Nakayama Masatoshi of Shotokan, Mabuni Kenei and Iwata Manzao of Shitō-ryū, in addition to the Japan Karate Rengokai, which was founded by Ryōichi Sasakawa. ThIs unified all the Karate organizations in Japan. Japan Karate Renbukai later changed its name to the JKF Renbukai, and then became an official member of the new JKF as a group, encompassing Bōgu uniformed Karate. Japan instilled "a uniform order in Karate", recognizing the four major schools, Goju-kai, Wado-Kai, Shotokan and Shito-kai.[3][4] In 1967, Ryoichi Sasakawa became the chairman.

On January 13, 1969, the JKF was officially incorporated as a central umbrella body for the four partner organizations and recognized under the Cabinet of Japan. In December in the same year, the All Japan Karate Championships were held at the Nippon Budōkan in Tokyo. The JKF also works with organizations using the traditional styles of karate.

In October 1970, the JKF became a member of the World Karate Federation (WKF).[5][6] On March 29, 1972, JKF became a member of the Japan Sports Association (JSA).[7]

In 1978, the JKF first participated in the National Sports Festival in Matsumoto, Nagano. In 1981, Karate became an official game event of the National Sports Festival. Traditionally, karate organizations followed disparate competition rules. Japan Karate Association (JKA) attempted to standardize such rules. They addressed conflicts between the organizations that teach Kyokushin, a full-contact karate style, and other non-member organizations such as Seidokaikan.

On December 11, 2009, the JKF started building a new headquarters named the Japan Karate Kaikan in Koto-ku, Tokyo. The JKF became a member of the Nippon Budokan (Japan Martial Arts Council). The JKF has been officially participating at the Asian Games, East Asian Games and the IOC-sponsored World Games as an official competition. The construction of the new Japan Karate Kaikan was completed and opened in November 2011.

As a member of the Japan Olympic Association (JOA), the JKF has been putting efforts to include Karate into the Olympics as an official game along with other affiliated Karate organizations.

In May 2016, it was announced that The Emperor’s Cup and The Empress’s Cup will be given to the champions of Japan Cup Karatedo. The ceremony of notification was held at the Imperial Household Agency and the Emperor’s Cup and the Empress’s Cup were commissioned in the presence of Mr. Michiyasu Takahashi, Deputy Commissioner of the Japan Sports Agency on May 17, 2016.

On August 3, 2016, the IOC approves Karate as one of the five new sports for Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.[8]

Ranking systemEdit

The JKF officially recognizes the Dan, a Black Belt degree ranking system, from 1st Dan to 10th Dan and requires students to take a physical test up to 8th Dan. Since 2014, the JKF has also installed the additional basic ranking system called Kyū from 5th Kyū to 1st Kyū, and it requires a student to earn 1st Kyū first in order to earn 1st Dan.

Dan gradesEdit

From 1st Dan to 3rd Dan
The test is conducted by the JKF affiliated Prefectural Federations that represent their Prefectures; other associations such as Japan Business Group Karatedo Federation, Japan University Karatedo Federation, Japan High School Karatedo Federation, or Japan Junior High Karatedo Federation; or the cooperation groups.
From 4th Dan to 5th Dan
The Dan test for fourth and fifth are conducted by The Regional Council, All Japan Business Group Karatedo Federation and All Japan High School Athletic Federation Karatedo Division.
From 6th Dan to 7th Dan
The test for sixth and seventh Dan is solely conducted by the JKF itself every November in Tokyo or Osaka.
For 8th Dan
The test for eighth Dan is solely conducted by the JKF itself every March in Tokyo.

Dan examinationEdit

Dan examination consists of Kata and Kumite.

From 1st Dan to 5th Dan
The examination consists of two performances of Shitei Kata (designated kata) and Tokui Kata (selected kata) as well as two rounds of Kumite.
For 6th Dan
The examination consists of two performances of Shitei Kata (designated kata) and Tokui Kata (selected kata) as well as a written test.
For 7th Dan
The examination consists of performances of two Tokui Kata (selected kata) as well as a written test.
For 8th Dan
The examination consists of performances of two Tokui Kata (selected kata) as well as an essay written test.

Shitei KataEdit

Besides rank exams, many JKF tournaments also require the performance of 'Shitei Kata' (designated kata) in the first and second rounds, selected from a defined list that all examiners and judges should be familiar with. For each of the main four styles there are two kata to choose from in the first round (the 'daiichi shitei kata') and second round (the 'daini shitei kata') of any compliant tournament.

  • For Shitō-ryū, the kata are Seienchin (セイエンチン), Bassai Dai (抜塞大), Matsumura no Rohai (松村ローハイ), and Nipaipo (二十八歩).
  • For Gōjū-ryū, the kata are Saifa (砕破), Seipai (十八手), Kururunfa (久留頓破), and Seisan (十三手).
  • For Shotokan, the kata are Kanku dai (観空大), Jion (慈恩), Kankū Shō (観空小), and Enpi (燕飛).
  • For Wadō-ryū, the kata are Seishan (征射雲), Chintō (鎮闘), Niseishi (ニーセイシ), and Kūshankū (公相君).


Cooperative associations (Ryu-ha)Edit

Competition organizationEdit

  • Japan business group karatedo federation
  • Japan university karatedo federation
  • Japan high school karatedo federation
  • Japan junior high school karatedo federation

Amicable organizationsEdit


On April 2, 2016, the JKF officially appointed Shin Koyamada, a Hollywood actor, producer and martial artist as the Karate Ambassador at the headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 日本空手協会除名について (PDF) (in Japanese). Jkf.ne.jp. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b "AAU Rebuilds Karate". Black Belt: 38. Retrieved 7 November 2014. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ a b "A New Day of Karate". Black Belt. October 1965: 12. Retrieved 23 November 2014. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ "Nishiyama calls for New Look at Karate Tournaments". Black Belt. August 1967: 33. Retrieved 23 November 2014. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "Karate - Friend of Animals". Black Belt. November 1970: 52. Retrieved 8 November 2014. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ "AAU Rebuilds Karate". Black Belt. March 1975: 38. Retrieved 8 November 2014. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Guttmann, Allen (2001). Japanese Sports: a History. University of Hawaii Press. p. 180. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  8. ^ "IOC approves five new sports for Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 @ olympic.org".
  9. ^ "記者会見を実施! 国際空手道連盟極真会館と『オリンピック空手道採用』に向けて友好団体に".
  10. ^ "Shin Koyamada appointed as Karate Ambassador".

External linksEdit