Master Hirokazu Kanazawa
Master Hirokazu Kanazawa was born in Iwate Prefecture, Japan in 1931. He started Karate at the age of 18 after studying Judo and decided he liked it better because he didn’t have to use size as an advantage. After enrolling in Takushoku University he gained his black belt and continued to progress through the ranks including graduating from the Japan Karate Association’s rigorous Instructor Program. He was then sent abroad to Hawaii as a 4th degree black belt to spread Karate internationally and subsequently to the United Kingdom and Germany.
In 1977 he formed his own organization called Shotokan Karate International Federation and he continues to be the Chief Instructor of his own organization. Currently at the age of 73 he is to my knowledge the only living 10th degree black belt in Shotokan Karate. A 10th degree black belt is the highest rank possible in Karate and indeed in most martial arts. It has taken a lifetime of study for Master Kanazawa to reach this level but there is no doubt that he is worthy of the rank. His organization now includes over 2 million members in over 100 different countries around the world. To say the man has had a profound influence on the spread of Shotokan Karate is an understatement.
Outside of his phenomenal ability in Karate, Master Kanazawa has also attained the highest possible rank in Tai Chi, a Chinese martial art dealing with internal power and energy. Kanazawa-sensei feels that his Karate practice of strong and powerful techniques is perfectly balanced by his study of the smooth and flowing movements of Tai Chi.
If ever you were seeking a complete Master of Martial Arts then Kanazawa-sensei is a perfect example of a man who has dedicated his whole life to the perfection of his own character and ultimately to the development and personal improvement of literally thousands of other practitioners.