Kofukan Karate Australia

Kofukan International 50th Anniversary Awards

On 5 April 2022, Shihan Keiji Tomiyama, President of Kofukan International, awarded two senior Australian Kofukan karate-ka new ranks and titles.

In 2022 we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the origins of Kofukan International, as Naoki Omi and Keiji Tomiyama moved to Europe to teach Tani-ha Shito-Ryu in March 1972.

“To commemorate the occasion and to express our gratitude for their loyalty and service to our organization over so many years, we have decided to award our eligible senior members new Dan grades, Shihan Diplomas and Shōgō titles,” said Shihan Tomiyama.

Ninety-three awards were issued worldwide, including four awards to two Australian practitioners:

  • Brian Chambers: 6th Dan
  • Matthew Beaumont: 7th Dan Shihan Renshi
Brian Chambers is the Principal Instructor of the Kalgoorlie Kofukan club and Matthew Beaumont recently retired from training.

Shihan Tomiyama with black belts at the Kwinana Dojo in 2016
Shihan Keiji Tomiyama (centre) with Matthew Beaumont (third from left) and Brian Chambers (second from right) and other black belts at Kwinana dojo in 2016

“ ‘Shihan’ means ‘Senior Instructor / Master’ and the minimum grade to receive a Shihan Diploma is 6th Dan,” Shihan Tomiyama explains. “Some non-Japanese people start to call themselves Shihan after receiving 6th Dan, but that is not correct.  To be called Shihan, one must have received a Shihan Diploma.”

Renshi, meaning Expert, is the first of the three Shōgō titles which can be awarded at the top end of the discipline. “Renshi (expert) will be awarded to eligible people who have had 6th Dan for some years,” said Shihan Tomiyama. The other Shōgō titles are Kyoshi (fine teacher), awarded to eligible people who have had 7th Dan for some years, and Hanshi (example to others), awarded to eligible people who have had 8th Dan for some years.

2022 is the 31st year of Kofukan in Australia and we are very pleased to have Sensei Brian Chambers continue to provide senior leadership and teaching to Kofukan karate-ka in Australia.

Kofukan Karate Australia congratulates Sensei Brian Chambers on achieving his 6th Dan rank.