Wednesday 12 November 2008

Nishiyama Sensei dies at age 80

I just read that Hidetaka Nishiyama Sensei passed away last Friday (November 7th, 2008).

Whilst I was never associated with him in any way, he was always ‘as senior as one can get’ amongst Shotokan practitioners. Quite simply, the name 'Hidetaka Nishiyama' immediately summoned your attention, especially if you have any links to the JKA. I remember Asai Sensei talked about his 'direct seniors' in his youth, especially Nishiyama Sensei and Kase Sensei. Sadly now, Asai Sensei, and both of these masters, are gone. One thing I will never forget was Asai Sensei telling me that his style, and what he taught, was “perfectly opposite to Mr. Nishiyama’s karate way”. He never said this negatively, he merely pointed it out to demonstrate the diversity amongst the kohai/deshi of Nakayama Sensei.

A true karate pioneer: Here are just a few of the achievements that this legendary Shotokan master is internationally known for... Nishiyama Sensei was a co-founding member of the JKA (Japan Karate Association); the founder/chairman of the ITKF/International Traditional Karate Federation (previously the IAKF/International Amateur Karate Federation; - which ran the first few JKA World Championships); and the founder of JKA karate in the United States. It truly is an understatement to say that Mr. Nishiyama made a mark in the karate world! His influence was huge! For more information you can check out the ITKF website:

I’d like to use this opportunity to give my condolences to the many students of Nishiyama Sensei, especially those in the ITKF, who have become my friends over the years. I sincerely wish you all the very best in keeping your teachers karate-do alive.
© André Bertel, Japan 2008

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