Karate for Women in Seattle - Feminist Karate Union
Discover Your Strongest Self

Upcoming Events:


January 3 - Winter term begins at Thurgood Marshall Elementary


January 8 - Winter term begins at Fairmount Park Elementary


January 9 - Winter term begins at Cascadia Elementary


January 20 - 14th Annual Kick-A-Thon


February 23-25 - AWMAI Conference, San Diego CA


April 19 - Karate 101 for Women begins


April 22: 47th Annual Spring Demo at Miller Community Center


July 19 - Karate 101 for Women begins


July 19-22 - NWMAF Special Training, Naperville IL


August 17-20 - PAWMA Camp, Camp Loma Mar, CA


Sept 20: Karate 101 for Women begins



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Principles of the International Karate Federation


by Alicia Crowley (essay for her shodan-ho exam)


The International Karate Federation is one of the most renowned schools in the karate world. The tournament performance of IKF students has been consistently outstanding since its founding. IKF students have won many awards and titles both nationally and internationally. This can be attributed to the excellent training unique to IKF. Students are taught the internal aspects of karate-do as well as the physical aspects. There is philosophy behind the art, which every student must understand before becoming a true adept. It is vital for karate students to learn to discipline their minds as well as their bodies, to respect their teachers, fellow students and the art, to strengthen their spirit, and to develop the correct attitude. Included in these teachings are the seven principles of IKF:

1) Henceforth, I shall faithfully train to strengthen my mind and body.
2) I am willing to endure rigorous training to achieve goal.
3) As my strength increases, I shall seek to cultivate a gentle heart.
4) I shall not use my skill outside the dojo except in the most extreme circumstances.
5) At all times I will try to avoid inflicting injury upon another person.
6) I will not brag about my skill nor use it maliciously.
7) I shall train with the spirit of humility.

These principles are incorporated into the way classes are taught, and are implemented from the beginning of students’ training. They teach students the importance of training hard, and maintaining a kind, respectful, humble, and sporting attitude even as their bodies become stronger. It is also very important for karate to be used only when absolutely necessary. It is not to be used lightly outside the dojo to impress others, and should be used only in self-defense.


All students are expected to show the self-control and discipline to uphold IKF’s principles. For example, when faced with an attacker, a karate-ka who has had sufficient training, as well as the correct attitude and discipline, will appear confident and ready to fight. This strong presence is likely to drive an attacker away. IKF is a school that teaches these principles and values as a part of the art of Shito-ryu.

Shito-ryu is one of the four major styles of karate-do (Shito-ryu, Shotokan, Goju-ryu, and Wado-ryu). It was the first officially recognized style of karate, and was founded by Kenwa Mabuni. Mabuni was born in Shuri province in Okinawa in 1887. He was a descendant of one of the samurai of Okinawan nobility, and wished to be like his warrior ancestors. However, he was weak and sickly as a child. When he was thirteen years old, Mabuni Sensei began training with master Ankho Itosu (1830-1915) in Shuri. From that point on, he trained diligently in the art of karate. Another teacher of his was master Kanryo Higaonna (1845-1915), who lived in the Naha province.

Mabuni Sensei learned the two different styles taught by Itosu and Higaonna. Itosu Sensei was master of the Shorin-ryu school, and Higaonna Sensei was master of the Shorei, or Goju school. Mabuni combined the two styles of Shuri-te and Naha-te, and created a new style, which he called Shito-ryu. The name Shito-ryu comes from the alternate ideograms (ways of writing) of Mabuni Sensei’s two masters’ names. "Shi" comes from the "Ito" of Itosu, and "to" is the "Higa" of Higaonna. Mabuni Sensei moved to Osaka, Japan in 1927-1928 to teach Shito-ryu karate-do. Mabuni’s teachings spread over the years, and Shito-ryu became the first officially recognized style of karate-do in 1930-1935. Mabuni Sensei died in 1952, but his style lives on in the International Karate Federation.

Sensei Chuzo Kotaka is the founder of IKF. He was born in Osaka, Japan in 1943. Kotaka Sensei’s career began when he stared karate training at the age of seven. His teachers were Genru Kimura and later, Shogo Kuniba, from the Seishinkai dojo. Kotaka Sensei won the All Japan Karate Championship, the most preeminent karate tournament in Japan, in 1962 at he age of nineteen. After his victory, he was asked by many organizations to start a karate school in many countries, including the United States. He traveled to Hawaii on a Goodwill tour in 1965. In 1966, he returned to Hawaii to live permanently, and established the International Karate Federation.

Through Kotaka Sensei's hard work in training and teaching, he continues to perfect the style. Since the founding of IKF, Kotaka Sensei has achieved world-wide recognition. He was appointed the National Director of Shito-ryu Karate-Do for the All-American Karate Federation, and has important positions in many distinguished karate organizations, including the All-Japan Karate-Do Federation and Nippon Karate-Do Rengo-Kai. He is also the AAU/USA National and Jr. Olympic Technical Advisor, Executive Member, and Referee Council. There have also been many awards and titles won by students of IKF. Two of his students, Sensei George Kotaka and Sensei Elisa Au, became world champion gold medallists when they both won first place in the 2002 WKF World Karate Championships in Madrid, Spain. That was the first time that two karate-ka from the same school won the title in the same year. There have been many other titles and awards attained by IKF students nationally and world-wide. The International Karate Federation truly is the school of champions.