What is ASAI? Overview of ASAI.
ASAI (Asai Shotokan Association International) is a non-profit organization founded in 2013 by Shihan Kousaku Yokota, 9th dan. Yokota chose the name of ASAI for the organization as he wished to keep the name of late Master Tetsuhiko Asai (1935 – 2006), one of the greatest Shotokan masters in karate history. This organization is also the first and most successful karate organization that utilizes the internet tool for communication and its promotion. The style of karate at ASAI is based on Funakoshi/Nakayama JKA style Shotokan with the advanced techniques developed by Master Tetsuhiko Asai which we call Asai ryu karate. The world famous Master Asai trained White Crane Kung Fu in Taiwan when he stationed there as a dispatched JKA instructor in the 70’s. After learning the techniques from this style, he combined the long distance fighting method of Shotokan and the short distance fighting method of White Crane Kung Fu. He also trained kobudo (Okinawan weapons) such as sai, nunchaku and 9 chain whip. Asai ryu karate is the advanced version of Shotokan karate. ASAI is also a non-political organization. This means that we open the door to all karate practitioners of any organization and the karate styles. Our main objective is to provide the advanced karate concepts and techniques to those who train traditional and budo karate. Though the management of ASAI does not prohibit or reject competitions we do not promote them either. We consider karate tournaments as only an introductory phase of budo karate. The organization is aware that there are numerous number of Shotokan practitioners who do not belong to any international organizations for whatever the reasons. ASAI welcomes them as we offer a “home” to those who wish to train with the world class instructors and to improve their karate skills. ASAI is also unique that it provides dan recognition (lateral transfer of dan ranks) to the legitimate diplomas that are issued by JKA and its lineage Japanese organizations such as JKS (Kagawa), IJKA (Kato and Chen), SKIF (Kanazawa), ISKF (Okazaki), JSKA (Abe), WSKF (Kasuya) and KWF (Yahara). For those who are interested, send us a photo copy of a diploma for our review and evaluation. The founder, Yokota at the age of 72 this year, has more than 60 years of martial arts experience including not only karate but also Ki-ko or Chi gong, Judo, Kyokushinkai full contact karate and kobudo. ASAI has a Technical Board, ASAI Shihankai that is consisted of six senior karate instructors across the world. Kousaku Yokota (9th dan): President of Shihankai Yuji Kamihara (9th dan): Asia Region Director Michael Johnson Ph D (8th dan): Northern America Region Director Sinval Bittencourt (7th dan): Southern America Region Director Ali Baher Oskuie (6th dan): Middle East and Africa Region Director John Lovatt (7th dan): Europe Region Director ASAI is extremely successful despite its recent establishment because of the credibility and legitimacy of the instructors and management team as well as the high level of karate skills. We have the members in more than 40 countries around the world and we are expanding consistently.