Shotokan Karate International Australia (SKIA)
Shotokan Karate International Australia is the official affiliate organisation of Kanazawa Soke’s SKIF in Australia. It is a vibrant organisation of approximately 50 clubs and over 1,000 members, making it one of Australia’s largest martial arts associations. SKIA has no chief instructor, although it has many high calibre senior instructors – most notably Sensei Brian Cox and Sensei Zivko Delevski (both Hachidan – 8th Dan Black Belts). The association is managed by a National Executive, which is elected by its membership every two years. SKIA is a not-for-profit organisation (ABN 58 401 440 832).
History of Shotokan Karate in Australia
Shotokan Karate was introduced to Australia in 1971 by the late Sensei Frank Nowak (1947-1991). Sensei Nowak’s first contact with Karate was in early 1963, when friends urged him to have a look at what was then an exciting new fighting art being introduced into Germany. He practised five to six times per week and after four years, at the age of 20, he scored a double success by winning the German National Kata Championship a day after being graded Shodan (1st Dan Black Belt).
Sensei Nowak’s interest in the art was such that he decided to take up teaching Karate professionally. At the age of 22, he took up residence in Tokyo to study for his Instructor’s License. Sensei Nowak was exposed to the rigours of the instructors education at the Headquarters of the Japan Karate Association (JKA), where he was awarded his Sandan (3rd Dan Black Belt) in 1971 by Master Nakayama. Sensei Nowak was the first fully qualified Shotokan instructor to arrive in Australia, establishing the first Shotokan Karate dojo (training hall) at South Sydney Junior Rugby League’s Club later that year.
In 1976, the Shotokan Karate Association of Australia (as it was then known), became affiliated with Kanazawa Soke’s SKIF. The following year, the first Australian National Championships were held in Sydney, with such great success that they have been held annually ever since. Kanazawa Soke visited Australia for the first time in 1980, returning in 1982 and almost every year thereafter until retiring from international travel.
Australia participated in the first SKIF World Championships in Tokyo in 1983, and proudly hosted the 11th SKIF World Championships in Sydney in 2012. Australia also participated in the first SKIF International Seminar in Tokyo in 2014, and continues to field a strong contingent each year.