Genzo Iwata

It’s important to have a balance. The truth path lies in a balance between training Karate for health, training Karate for sports and recreation and training Karate for Budo (Karate for a life and death self–defence situation). Technically these things are very different. You must not mistake the true Path as been only one of these aspects of Karate.

Genzo Iwata

One of the foremost practitioners of Shito-Ryu Karate, Genzo Iwata carries on the legacy of his father, Manzo Iwata. The study, practice, and teaching of Karate has become a way of life for him.

Genzo Iwata was born on 9 October 1958 in Saitama, Japan. He began learning Karate informally at an early age from his father. However, in 1970 when he was 12 years old, he began learning Karate more formally from his father.

Manzo Iwata was one of the foremost Shito-Ryu Karate masters in the world, having been a direct student of Shito-Ryu founder, Kenwa Mabuni. He frequently traveled the world giving demonstrations. In 1978 Genzo Iwata began accompanying him.

In 1981 Genzo Iwata married the daughter of Shoko Sato. Sato had been responsible for establishing Shito-Ryu Karate in Venezuela.

Iwata was graded to 5th Dan by the JKF (Japanese Karate Federation) in 1982.

In October 1984 Iwata’s son, Yuzo, was born.

1986 saw the publication of the book “Shito–Ryu Karate-do“. It was written by Manzo Iwata, with the help of Genzo Iwata.

In 1988 the JKF Shitokai awarded Genzo Iwata his Shihan license.

The WSKF (World Shito–Ryu Karate-do Federation) was established in March 1993. The aim of the federation was to unify the many Shito-Ryu groups. Iwata’s father, Manzo, was appointed the WSKF’s first President. Genzo Iwata was appointed a Director of the WSKF.

On 4 June 1993, the Iwata family was faced with the loss of Manzo Iwata. He died following a heart attack. With the death of his father, Genzo Iwata became one of the faces of Shito-Ryu Karate, giving seminars around the world.

At the 2nd World Shito–Ryu Karate-do Federation Championships, held in Puebla, Mexico in 1996, Iwata conducted a seminar on kata.

In April 1997 Iwata was appointed the Chief Instructor of the WSKF Hombu Dojo.

Iwata continued his father’s legacy of traveling the world and promoting Shito-Ryu Karate. In August 1998 he was invited by Sam Moledzki’s Shito-Ryu group to conduct several seminars in Toronto, Canada. He also traveled to the 14th Shito–Ryu Karate-do Pan American Championships.

In 1998 Iwata was appointed the manager of the Shitokai Headquarters. Two years later he was appointed the Technical Headquarters Director of the JKF Shitokai.

Iwata was awarded his 7th Dan by the JKF in 2003. Four years later he was awarded his 8th Dan by the JKF. The following year he became the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the JKF Shitokai.

The JKF awarded Iwata the title of Kyoshi in 2009.

In 2016 Iwata became a member of the JKF Technical Committee. He was also appointed Hanshi by the JKF Shitokai. The following year he was appointed Kaicho (President) of the JKF Shitokai.

A Modern master of Shito-Ryu Karate, Iwata continues to carry on the legacy of Kenwa Mabuni and his father Manzo Iwata.

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