About IJKA South Africa

The International Japan Karate-Do Association South Africa (IJKA SA) with its headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, is affiliated to the International Japan Karate-Do Association (IJKA) based in Yokohama, Japan. The Chief Instructor of IJKA SA is Bernard Buys sensei, a 6th Dan Japanese graded karateka with over 40 years experience. He is an internationally qualified instructor, examiner and judge. IJKA was formed in 1990 with the late Asai shihan (1935 – 2006) as World Chief Instructor and Kato shihan as European Chief Instructor.

While still a mainstream ‘shotokan’ organization, it also promoted Asai shihan’s unique style of karate. Notwithstanding Asai shihan’s unbelievable ability to demonstrate his style, it was Kato shihan’s ability to interpret and teach that has seen the organization grow and gain tremendous popularity with karateka all over the world. Everyone who has ever had the privilege to train under Kato shihan will be testament to his incredible ability and knowledge as a true karate master. Kato shihan attended the world famous Takushoku University in Tokyo, Japan and trained under famous masters such as Tsuyama, Kanazawa and Urui. Kanazawa sensei’s influence was very strong and Kato shihan won a place on the JKA instructors course.

Upon completion of the instructors course, Kato shihan went on to teach in Germany and in 1966 he was sent by the JKA to the UK. At the 2007 IJKA congress held in Budapest, Hungary following one year of respect after Asai shihan’s passing in 2006, Kato shihan was asked to take over the mantel of World Chief Instructor. Sadly, Kato shihan passed away in April 2020 and was subsequently succeeded at Kato shihan’s request by Utsumi sensei who is the current IJKA World Chief Instructor. Utsumi sensei is a young, dynamic and brilliant karateka, well respected, and the right person to steer IJKA into the future.


For more on the history of karate, read here