According to an information posted on the SKIF GB Facebook page, and then relayed by The Shotokan Times, Soke Hirokazu Kanazawa would have died December 9, at the age of 88. Born on May 3, 1931 in Iwate Prefecture (North of Tokyo), Hirokazu Kanazawa is considered as one of the greatest Sensei of contemporary Karate.
Legend of Shotokan, JKA World champion in Kumite and Kata in the 50s, he never stopped developing Shotokan Karate around the world and became one of the most renowned JKA instructors.
In 1977, however, he decided to leave JKA and found the “Shotokan Karate International Federation” (SKIF) which he directed until 2014. 10th Dan in 2000, he is one of the four Shotokan Sensei to ever obtain this distinction (with Teruyuki Okazaki, Hiroshi Shirai and Ueki Masaaki).
Hirokazu Kanazawa can be considered as the grandfather of all today’s Shotokan Karatekas. Almost all the renowned Japanese instructors have been his students or fellow travelers.
With his disappearance, it is the generation of the Great Elders who forged the legend of Karate in the 20th century that goes out. But not Shotokan Karate. His son Nobuaki now runs the SKIF (with Manabu Murakami). His grand daughter Hiyori was crowned World champion in 2019.
Our deepest condolences to the Soke family and friends🙏.