9th Dan, ISKF Chairman and Chief Instructor
Hiroyoshi Okazaki was born in Chiba, Japan on March 4, 1961. As a young child his father’s career as a civil engineer meant that he and his family resided in different locations on the main island of Honshu. By the time he entered high school, his family had settled permanently in Kawasaki City. Prior to graduating from Teikyo High School in 1978, he began his martial arts training at the Japan Karate Association headquarters in Tokyo.
On August 25, 1979 Okazaki moved to the United States, settling in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and continued his training at ISKF Headquarters. While in Philadelphia he attended Temple University and in 1990 received his BFA degree from the Tyler School of Art. Throughout that time he continued to train, compete and teach at the ISKF Honbu Dojo under the tutelage of Shihan Teruyuki Okazaki. In 1995 he graduated from the ISKF Instructor Training Program becoming a Certified Instructor, Examiner and Judge.
In 2015 upon his retirement, Shihan Teruyuki Okazaki designated Hiroyoshi Okazaki to assume the position of Chairman and Vice-Chief Instructor of the International Shotokan Karate Federation. The International Board of Governors and Technical Committee unanimously approved this appointment. Upon his retirement, Shihan Yutaka Yaguchi appointed Okazaki as Chief Instructor of the ISKF. Both the ISKF Shihankai and Technical Committee members approved this appointment.
Okazaki currently holds the rank of 9th Dan. At this time, he continues as Chief Instructor at ISKF Headquarters in Philadelphia, is an Adjunct Professor in the KPAP program CPH at Temple University and instructs at his Okazaki Karate Academy club in Palmyra, New Jersey. Additionally, he travels extensively both nationally and internationally to conduct seminars and examinations.
7th Dan, ISKF Mountain States Head instructor
Mark Tarrant is the head of our Mountain States region, he is a long time practitioner that trained for many decades under Sensei Yutaka Yaguchi.
Passed away. 10th Dan
Born June 22, 1931, in Fukuoka, Japan. Passed away April 21st, 2020. After studying aikido, judo, and kendo, he began karate training in 1947. Master Okazaki joined the Japan Karate Association (JKA), where he studied under both Master Gichin Funakoshi and Master Masatoshi Nakayama. In 1953, Master Okazaki graduated from Takushoku University in Tokyo with a BA in Political Economics. In 1955, he helped Master Nakayama develop the JKA Instructor’s course. Later, as a pioneer instructor, he became the first coach of the course. He later taught at Boei University (considered Japan’s West Point), Takushoku University, and Tokyo Toritsu University. He also instructed the instructor trainees for the JKA Headquarters. Master Okazaki was sent to the United States by JKA Chief Instructor Masatoshi Nakayama in 1961 to help share Shotokan karate with people throughout the world. He established a dojo in Philadelphia (now Headquarters for the International Shotokan Karate Federation) and formed the East Coast Shotokan Karate Association in 1963. In 1977, he founded the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF), which is now one of the largest karate organizations in the world. The ISKF, of which Master Okazaki remains Chief Instructor, has approximately fifty thousand members in over thirty countries. Master Okazaki received the rank of 10th Dan in October of 2007. He has been a faculty member of Philadelphia’s Temple University since 1970, and is also an instructor at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, West Chester University, and Thomas Jefferson University. In June of 2007, the ISKF became independent of the JKA/WF, allowing the ISKF to spread to more countries outside of the Pan-America region. Master Okazaki conducts seminars and clinics, provides training sessions, and administers ranking examinations all across the United States, as well as internationally. He is the author of two books, The Textbook of Modern Karate, and the Perfection of Character: Guiding Principles For The Martial Arts & Everyday Life.Master Okazaki was chosen as Black Belt magazine’s Man of the Year and belongs to their Hall of Fame.
Advisor/Retired 9th Dan
Born in 1932 in Hiroshima, Japan, Sensei Yaguchi began karate training in 1952. He studied under Masatoshi Nakayama, the late chief instructor of the JKA, Motokuni Sugiura, the present chief instructor of the JKA, and Teruyuki Okazaki, chief instructor of the ISKF, and received his shodan and nidan from Master Funakoshi himself. Among the first to graduate from the JKA Instructors Program, he trained with and competed against the likes of Hirokazu Kanazawa, Takayuki Mikami, Katsunori Tsuyama, Hiroshi Shoji, Keinosuke Enoeda, and Tetsuhiko Asai. Master Yutaka Yaguchi is not only the previous chief instructor for the Mountain States region, including part of Canada, he was also the technical director for the International Shotokan Karate Association. He is a 9th degree black belt who came from Japan to help start Shotokan Karate in the United States over 45 years ago. Famous for his speed and power, he has developed more national champions than any other JKA instructor. Master Yaguchi is now still continuing to train as a retiree, with occasional guest instructor appearances.