The Birth of the Nikkei Karate Organizing Committee

In 2005, the Nikkei Games decided to send the Nikkei Games Karate Tournament to a select group of Southern California Japanese-American Karate Senseis (teachers) to reorganize the event. Unlike Judo and Kendo, karate is very fragmented due to the various styles and organizations. The coming-together and cooperation of instructors and competitors from various styles and organizations with a common goal was unprecedented. It became a reality because the goal was a noble one: To preserve and promote traditional Japanese karate in the spirit of Budo (way of the warrior) within the community, free from politics.

The group is not under the control of any of the existing tournament governing bodies and the committee was able to restructure the event in the best interest of the competitor and the art of karate. The Nikkei Games Karate Tournament is a rare event in that it is sponsored. It is not a moneymaking event and is therefore free from the constraints imposed on a tournament when it becomes a business venture. The low $30 tournament entry fee includes a free shirt for all competitors. Nowadays, most karate tournaments cost $50 to $100 just to participate. The tournament is designed to be affordable to anyone that wishes to compete. No special memberships or affiliation with any existing groups are required. Everyone is welcome.

At the Nikkei Games in August 2005, the new committee ran their first tournament. Feed back from the competitors, the parents, and coaches was all positive. Everyone commented how well organized the event was run and how professional the judges and staff were. More importantly, several comments were made that the tournament had a “relaxed” feel to it, free from the stress and pressure so common at tournaments today. This came in large part from the extensive experience of the organizing committee, which was composed not only of karate teachers, but competitors and experienced business consultants as well. No tournament can succeed without an extensive volunteer base. Nikkei Karate has the necessary volunteers in large part due to the support of the tournament by several distinguished Nikkei Karate Masters, which share our common goals. 

It is our desire to continually improve the Nikkei Karate Tournament to make your tournament experience the best that it can be. We thank you for your continued support and hope to see you next year !

About Nikkei Karate

2022 Nikkei Karate Committee Members

Art Ishii 
Kevin Suzuki
Rod Kuratomi
​Ron Izuno
Sean Demura
Cheryl Kuratomi
Christian Chico
Mike Yamasaki
Sakura Kokumai
2022 Nikkei Karate Committee (L to R): Ron Izuno, Mike Yamasaki, Art Ishii, Sakura Kokumai, Christian Chico, Cheryl Kuratomi, Rod Kuratomi, Kevin Suzuki, (not pictured Sean Demura)

For 2023 we are pleased to announce the Nikkei Karate Committee will be under the leadership of Sensei Juan Bautista.