teruyuki okazaki
Gichin Funakoshi
1867 - 1957
Masatoshi Nakayama
1913 - 1987
Teruyuki Okazaki
10th Dan
Yutaka Yaguchi
9th Dan

The International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF) is a non-profit organization that seeks to spread traditional Japanese karate-do throughout the world. The ISKF was founded in September 1977. Shihan Teruyuki Okazaki, 10th dan, the Chairman and the Chief Instructor of the ISKF, and Shihan Yutaka Yaguchi, 9th dan, the Vice Chairman and the Vice Chief Instructor, were two of the original founders. The roots of the ISKF have a deep lineage dating as far back as 500 BC at the Shaolin Monastery and possibly earlier in India. Today, the ISKF is comprised of over thirty Pan American countries, and over thirty countries from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The ISKF is still growing and continually adds new clubs and countries to its membership, and currently has over 50,000 individual members worldwide. All ISKF members have the privilege and are welcomed to train at any ISKF club throughout the world.

The vision of the ISKF founders was to promote traditional Shotokan karate-do as described in the teachings of the Dojo Kun and Niju Kun. Master Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of modern Shotokan karate, wrote the Dojo Kun and Niju Kun not only as a guide to practicing karate, but also as a guide to everyday life. He viewed karate as a vehicle to spread peace and harmony worldwide. Master Teruyuki Okazaki studied karate directly under Master Funakoshi and Master Nakayama, who was also a staunch supporter of spreading karate to the world and letting each culture adopt and spread karate in their homelands. Master Nakayama wanted to present karate-do in the context of each country’s culture and in a democratic fashion. He believed this approach would contribute to spreading karate-do around the globe. This vision laid the foundation for the structure and guidance of the International Shotokan Karate Federation and Master Okazaki has remained committed to this principle to this day.  He, along with Master Yaguchi and the high-ranking Technical Committee of the ISKF continue to travel throughout the world to perpetuate these values and standards. Once a year, Master Okazaki and the ISKF/US hosts an international training camp which brings approximately 500 members from over 60 countries together to train with world renowned Shotokan Masters. Master Okazaki does this so that all cultures can get together to get the best karate instruction, but more importantly, to gain a better understanding of each other. This knowledge and understanding is then brought back by these members to their respective countries thus also bringing peace and goodwill to the world.

The name of the organization (International Shotokan Karate Federation) encapsulates the purpose, history, and future of the ISKF. The choice for the name was a conscious decision of the founders to acknowledge the growth of karate around the world and to show respect to each member country. Because karate was becoming a worldwide martial art, the founders felt it was only fair to act as an international entity. Karate, although a traditional Japanese martial art, was now international; hence they dropped Japan from the title just as judo, kendo, and aikido organizations did. "Shotokan" shows respect and homage to Master Funakoshi for developing the form we now practice. This is because Master Funakoshi signed his poetry “Shoto” which means "waving pines" (his house was situated on the edge of a pine forest) and kan meaning house or school. Shotokan is now interpreted as the school or method of Funakoshi.

As the ISKF moves forward, continually growing and spreading throughout the world, members can be assured they will always learn traditional karate do as intended by its founder Master Gichin Funakoshi whose main goal was to teach not only karate techniques, but also to instill in everyone that to be a true martial artist, you must be a good human being first.