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The History of Succession and Re-establishment of IJKA

On August 15th 2006, Master Asai passed away. After his funeral, members of IJKA from around the world visited our home, and talked about the future of the organization. Everyone requested that I take over, but it was so soon after Master Asaifs passing and I could not bring myself to do so at the time.

In November 2006, I was invited to Master Asaifs memorial camp in Switzerland, by Mr. Bruno Koller. For many years, Master Asai held a yearly technical seminar and camp, and members such as Mr. Bruno Koller from Switzerland, Mr, Otto Riedinger from Germany, and Mr. Giuseppe Formenton from Italy joined and many others from various countries trained under Master Asai. So that year, the regular karate camp became a memorial camp.
After the camp, we held a meeting and encouraged ourselves to continue to protect Asai karate, and concluded that I would succeed IJKA. However, still psychologically quite damaged by the loss, I could not do much at the time.
Many people continued to visit me from inside and outside of Japan, and with their warm support, by 2008, I was able to slowly start organizing myself.

One of the visitors during such period was Mr. Kosaku Yokota, who lived in the US. Because of his English ability, and upon his request to help, I asked him to look after English documents. He was never a vice chairman nor board member. I did not jointly establish IJKA with Mr. Yokota.
In the beginning of 2010, Mr. Yokota contacted me and requested that I send him 30 copies of blank dan certificates. I told him that the organization was still in the preparation stage and asked him why he needed them. To this, he replied that he would hold a dan examination and issue certificates on behalf of me to lighten my burden. I had to say no, but as I recognized there were karate students waiting to be tested and certified, I pushed forward the date to restart IJKA to March 8th, 2010. I told Mr. Yokota about the re-establishment of the group, and that he carry out tests in accordance with karate rules. Below is the response we received:
(*Translated from Japanese to English by IJKA. The original Japanese available.)

Dear Madam Asai Sensei,

Congratulations on the establishment of the organization on March 8th.
I read the article on the website and am sharing the joy from far away here in America.
I offer best wishes for IJKAfs great growth and success.

As for myself, however small my power may be, I have a renewed determination to spread Asai-senseifs karate to the world.

Please do take good care of yourself.

Kosaku Yokota

He did not mention about the certification, and he never contacted us again after that.

On March 8th, 2010, I have succeeded IJKA and reestablished the organization. Since then, we have been making decisions as a group as seen below based on Master Asaifs policies, so as to avoid consolidating power to a few individuals.

May 15th, 2010: Global meeting in Switzerland
March 27th, 2011: Meeting at Sohonbu Tetsuhiko Kan in Taipei, Taiwan
August 7th, 2011: Global meeting at Sohonbu Tetsuhiko Kan
February 19th, 2012: Meeting at Sohonbu Tetsuhiko Kan
December 26th, 28th, 2012: Meeting at Sohonbu Tetsuhiko Kan
April 13th, 2013: Meeting at Sohonbu Tetsuhiko Kan
May 5th, 2013: Global meeting in Switzerland
November 17th, 2013: Meeting at Sohonbu Tetsuhiko Kan
March 16th, 2014: Meeting at Sohonbu Tetsuhiko Kan
(See our website for more detail.)

IJKAfs Shuseki Shihan, Chen sensei is someone who studied karate waza for 50 years along side of Master Asai, and is well known in the field. Currently, over 90% of the tens of thousands of karateka population in Taiwain, as well as chairmen and instructors of karate organizations around the cities are students of Master Asai and Chen sensei. Chen sensei, with his deep understanding of Asai karate, is the most appropriate person to be the Shuseki Shihan of IJKA.

As for the karate history of Keiko Asai, it is as shown below, which are excerpts from her book gWaga Otto To Tomoni Karatedo 50 Nen (50 years of karatedo with my husband.)h

In 1963, after getting married to Master Asai, we dropped by Taiwan before heading off to Hawaii, where he was assigned to teach his students. In Taiwan, we exchanged martial arts techniques with Chen sensei and his white crane fist fellow pupils. We made a promise then that after the 5-year term at the dojo in Hawaii, we would come to Taiwan to spread karate there.

After arriving in Hawaii, I put all of my energy and time into work, as I suspected that introducing and starting up karate to Taiwan would require a great amount of funding. I taught Japanese, Chinese, Chinese dance, and worked at KIKU TV, in order to gain more income. The hardest was the job I had at a custom-made wedding dress shop. High-end wedding dresses had to be hemmed by hand, but as I came from being an actress I was not very good at sewing. Since not very many women could do it, and the pay was good, I stayed up many nights hemming dresses. Aside from what we needed for daily lives, I put all of my earnings and Master Asaifs income from teaching karate into our savings.

After five years in Hawaii, we returned to Taiwan, and Master Asai appointed me to look after public administration. I established karate committee in cities such as 䒆CITYCCITYCCITYCCITYCCITYCË`CITYCCITYCYCITYCCITYCV|CITYC CITYC壢CITYCkCITY , as well as setting up karatedo posts in universities. With their main students, Master Asai and Chen sensei concentrated on spreading karate without pay, and I organized exhibitions on TV and in public gyms, and was an interpreter. I even obtained an instructor certificate from the head office in Japan and taught karate at universities. No one knew about karate at the time, so we had a lot to do.

I then became the first chairman of Taipei Karatedo Committee, and using our private savings we opened 10 dojos in Taiwan to spread karatedo.

We came back to Japan without savings. We got engaged in a new task and I helped Master Asai with his new karate organization, including designing a new logo, making pamphlets for karate tournaments, writing monthly newspaper on karate, and publishing it for 5 years using my own funds. (Master Asai was starting to organize IJKA at the time.) I wrote the Japanese website, but I had to ask someone else to translate that into English, so including the translation fee and other administration fee, I singlehandedly paid and managed about $3000 to $4000US monthly for ten years, and I am still doing the same.
The fact that I put all my money into establishing karate in Taiwan, and that I spread karate with no compensation and burdened with some debts afterwards (as ordered by Master Asai,) is a manifestation of our Bushido spirit that places responsibility over monetary concerns.
Currently, IJKA has its honbu dojo in Taiwan Taipei Tetsuhiko Kan. Under the guidance of Shuseki Shihan, Chen sensei, along with European head Mr. Bruno Kolleer, Italian Chief Instructor Giuseppe Formenton, Germany Chief Instructor Otto Riedinger and other international instructors in respective countries, we are training peacefully and committed more than ever to spreading Asai karate around the world.

Keiko Asai
International Japan martial arts Karatedokai (IJKA)