United States Kyokushin Karate - IFK Organization (USA-IFKK), with headquarters located in Rochester, New York, is the official U.S. organization of the International Federation of Karate (IFK) Kyokushin. The USA-IFKK was founded in 1996 by Shihan 師範 Michael Monaco, Nanadan 六段 (7th Dan), who was previously United States Branch Chief of the International Karate Organization.
In 1992, Sosai Oyama visited the United States, and was the guest of honor at the 1st Annual American International Karate Championships in Rochester. His visit was featured in an article in the Japanese magazine Power Karate Illustrated.
After the death of Sōsai 総裁 (President) Mas Oyama in 1994 and the subsequent splintering of the IKO, Shihan Monaco examined the various Kyokushin organizations in order to find one that he truly believed followed the principles and ideals of Mas Oyama. In doing so, he traveled to London to explore the structure of the IFK under the direction of Hanshi 範士 (Honorable Master) Steve Arneil. After weeks of discussion, Shihan Monaco accepted the invitation to join the organization and was appointed Chairman of the USA-IFKK.
The USA-IFKK is one of the 39 countries affiliated with the International Federation of Karate, which has more than 45,000 members worldwide.
During the 2007 Summer Training Camp with Hanshi Arneil, the USA-IFKK celebrated its 10th Anniversary of the organization's affiliation with the IFK.
The USA-IFKK is a corporation overseen by an Executive Committee elected by the United States dojo operators. The Executive Committee is composed of a Chairman/President, a Vice President of U.S. Operations, a Vice President of Marketing/Membership and a Treasurer.
Types of Membership
Individuals and dojos can become part of the USA-IFKK as a traditional Kyokushin member. They practice and learn the traditional Kyokushin kata and kihon, along with the grading syllabus established by the IFK. They also practice and learn full-contact fighting techniques, and if they want, compete in tournaments as part of the USA-IFKK Fight Team. The USA-IFKK certifies their advancement through the Kyu grades, and both the USA-IFKK and the IFK certifies their promotions to the Dan ranks.
Individuals and dojos that only wish to learn full-contact fighting techniques and compete in tournaments as part of the USA-IFKK Fight Team can join as a Fighting Affiliate.
Benefits of Membership in the USA-IFKK
- Membership in an established and recognized international Kyokushin Karate organization, with a legacy leading directly back to Mas Oyama.
- Membership in an organization in which major decisions and policies are made democratically
- Freedom from the politics that have disrupted and divided other Kyokushin organizations.
- Standardized international teaching and grading syllabus.
- Opportunity to attend international seminars on Kihon 基本 (basics), Kata 型 (forms), Kumite 組手 (fighting), self-defense, teaching and tournament officiating.
- Opportunity to compete in world-class international tournaments.
- Opportunity to visit and train at Kyokushin dojos around the world.
- Opportunity to build lifelong friendships with other Kyokushin karateka.
Joining the USA-IFKK
If you are an individual who would like to train in Kyokushin Karate, contact the nearest USA-IFKK dojo in your area.
If you are currently a Chief Instructor or Dojo Operator of a martial arts style and would like to become affiliated with the USA-IFKK, submit a request for application to:
United States Kyokushin Karate IFK
c/o Kyokushin Karate Fitness USA
482 Ridge Rd. West
Rochester, NY 14615
The following should be submitted:
- Photocopies of the Chief Instructor's or Dojo Operator's certification of rank.
- Photographs of the outside of the dojo and the inside training area with students.
- A video tape of a training session demonstrating Kumite and Kata at both the beginner and advanced levels.
- A list of current students and their rank.