International History

The martial art which came to be known as karate is believed to have begun in China and was brought to the island of Okinawa (south of Japan) in the 1300's where it mixed with indigenous Okinawan fighting arts.  The art was practiced in secret in Okinawa until 1902 when it was introduced to the school curriculum.   The most well known karate master to bring karate to the public was Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957).  Master Funakoshi brought karate to Japan in 1922 and formalized the art as karate-do (the way of the empty hand).  Master Funakoshi's students began to refer to his style of karate as "Shotokan".  "Shoto" was a pen name used by Master Funakoski and "kan" means hall.  Master Funakoshi and his senior students, including Master Masatoshi Nakayama (1913-1987) and Master Teruyuki Okazaki (1931-2020) founded the Japan Karate Association (JKA) in 1955.   Master Nakayama sent many of his senior instructors (including Master Okazaki in 1961 and Master Yutaka Yaguchi in 1965) abroad to spread Shotokan karate around the world.  Masters Okazaki and Yaguchi came to the United States where they continue teaching to the present.  In 1977 Master Okazaki founded the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF) as an affiliate of the JKA.  In 2007, the ISKF became independent of the JKA.  In 2011, the most senior Canadian student of Master Okazaki, Master Frank Woon-A-Tai founded a new international organization with a mission to further study karate using the model of a modern college.  Master Woon-A-Tai named this organization International Karate Daigaku (IKD).

More information on the IKD can be found at

Saskatchewan History

In 1981 Del Phillips founded the first ISKF karate club in Saskatchewan in Prince Albert.  One of his founding students was Marcel Lussier.  In 1986, ISKF Saskatchewan became incorporated as a non-profit co-operative with Chris Lair as the founding president.  Also in 1986, Greg Berezowski and Nick Loffler opened a dojo at the Regina YMCA.   In 1987, Ken Tsuji opened a dojo in LaRonge. In 1989, Sensei Lussier opened a dojo in his hometown of St. Louis, Saskatchewan.  In 1999, Del Phillips resigned from the ISKF, and Sensei Lussier became the Chairman and Chief Instructor for ISKF Saskatchewan.  In 2009, Sensei Chris Lair opened a dojo in Prince Albert, having previously operated dojos in LaRonge, Saskatoon, and Onion Lake.  In 2010 Sensei Philip Boutin opened a dojo in Saskatoon.  In February 2011, all ISKF dojos in Saskatchewan discontinued affiliation with ISKF and joined the majority of Canadian dojos who chose to affiliate with the International Karate Daigaku.