The President of Isshinryu World Karate Association is O’Sensei Shimabuku, Kichiro 10th Dan. He was the first born son of the late founder of Isshin-Ryu, Tatsuo Shimabuku. Born in Okinawa, February 15, 1939, O’sensei Shimabuku was around Karate all of his life. He started physically training on the floor with his father Tatsuo at the age of 5. Receiving his first black belt at age 14, in his youth he never stopped training.
Along with his continual practice, Kichiro also helped his father with the lettering and mailing out of certificates. He became familiar with the difficulties of administration of such a large organization. He continued to be present, as he saw his father set and reset techniques and best practice in the development of our beloved Isshinryu. Always protective and true, at his father’s side, O’sensei Kichro Shimabuku can be found in the crowd of nearly every picture.
When O’sensei Kichro Shimabuku reached college age, he decided to go to school in Japan. He studied in Tokyo for four years, obtaining a teaching license to teach both Junior High and High School.
When confronted with failing health, his father summoned him to come home to Okinawa to help administer and then to take over the reins of Isshinryu Karate. Kichiro (which means “Man of Peace”) took this job with enthusiasm and wisdom. Realizing that the old American-Okinawan Organization had a self-limiting quality, he changed it to a World Wide organization. Now there are branches in Europe, Africa, Mexico, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, South America and still growing. When he took over the running of Isshinryu there were approximately one hundred branches or schools in the United States. Today there are some 45000 Isshinryu World Karate Association members.
At the Honbu dojo in Okinawa his student clientele rang from age 5 to 65 years old. This student population is well known at the tournament seen. Often placing first, his students are hard to beat, which makes him proud of his Isshinryu.
In honor of his father he maintains Isshinryu. His desire to promote and help Isshinryu worldwide is proven by his tireless work to teach as well as assist any dojos which reach out in regard to his beloved Isshinryu. As he is intolerant of those which have alternative agendas which lie against his father’s dream, ISSHINRYU.