A karate style is usually defined by the type of kata, which is practised. So if you excercise Kyokushin kata, you practise the Kyokushin style, and if you e.g. excercise Goju-Ryu kata, you practise the Goju-Ryu style and so on.
Besides the style issue, these styles are organized in various organizations. It is well known that there are many different Kyokushin organisations, and that there are many different Goju-Ryu organisations. This also goes for Shotokan, Wado-Ryu, Shito-Ryu and all other major and well spread karate styles.
Each and every one of these organizations is rightfully in the way that they exist, and they all operate with a list of their particular virtues. This also goes for Ashihara karate.
Below are listed a number of existing international organizations that teach Ashihara kata:
- Enshin Karate with base in Denver, USA
- Josui International Karate Organization with base in Matsuyama, Japan
- Ashihara International Karate Organization (AIKO) with base in Zuidlaren, Holland
- International Ashihara Karate Association (IAKA) with base in St. Petersburg, Russia
- Ashihara Karate International (AKI) with base in Cape Town, South Africa
- Ashihara BudoKai with base in Moscow, Russia
- New International Karate Organization (NIKO) with base in Matsuyama, Japan
- TSG – Ashihara International Karate with base in Sweden
- Ashihara Karate Fudoshinryu with base in Singapore
There may well be many more international organizations operating with Ashihara karate. Readers are therefore welcome to inform of any additions to this list by sending a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
I am most familiar with the Josui International Karate Organization headed by Kancho Hiroshi Harada of Matsuyama, Japan. Kancho Harada was serving as instructor at NIKO’s Honbu in Matsuyama for the late Kancho Ashihara, Hideyuki from 1987 – 1991. As Kancho Ashihara, Hideyuki grow ill from the fatal ALS disease, Kancho Harada was from 1992 promoted to chief instructor for NIKO with responsibility to overlook all NIKO matters and in charge of all correspondence between Honbu and domestic as well as overseas branches. By the death of Kancho Ashihara, Hideyuki in 1995, Kancho Harada took care of all the practical details of the transition to the new time and for the organization to continue. Kancho Harada also wrote the Biography of Kancho Ashihara, Hideyuki “the Word of Life,” and Kancho Harada continued as chief instructor for NIKO 3 more years. As it became increasingly clear that the visions by the late Kancho Ashihara, Hideyuki for the future could not be realized under the new conditions, Kancho Harada resigned from NIKO in 1998 to form his own organisation, Josui.
The combination of inspiration by the late Kancho Ashihara, Hideyuki and the visions and untiring labor force of Kancho Harada has proven to be very good. In the Matsuyama area alone, Josui is now operating with 22 dojos. They have expanded to other regions of Japan and for the latest couple of years also gone international.
Amongst the assets of Josui International Karate Organization is:
- Solid knowledge of all the advanced Ashihara kata such as the series of Goshin, Buki and Enshin.
- None profit organization. There are no such things as signing up fees or annual fees.
- Josui ensures access to tournaments in Japan for all its members also the overseas. This is a life dream to many ambitious athletes.
- Kancho Harada speaks and writes English. All inquiries will be answered swiftly.
- The Josui leader, Kancho Harada, lives a quiet and healthy family life, thus serves as a good role model for young talents.
Kancho Hiroshi Harada can be reached at: email@example.com
OSU, Shihan Jens Bjerrekaer, Viborg Karate School, Denmark