Kensuke Seto

Every day we train Karate, basics, kumite, kata. Competition is just a testing place.

Kensuke Seto

A student of Masatoshi Nakayama, Kensuke Seto has been at the forefront of good technical Karate for many years.

Kensuke Seto was born on 6 February 1946 in Manchuria, China. His Japanese father was posted in occupied Manchuria. At the end of World War II, the Seto family returned to Saitama, Japan.

Seto began learning Karate in 1960, aged 14. He trained at the JKA Urawa branch in Saitama, under Masatoshi Nakayama and Hirokazu Kanazawa.

By 1963 Seto had been promoted to 1st Dan by Nakayama.

In 1965 Seto graduated from Saitama Prefectural Waribi High School. He enrolled at Dokkyo University.

Seto graduated from Dokkyo University in 1971, with a degree in Economics.

In 1975 Seto competed at the 18th JKA All Japan Karate Championships, held at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo. He finished in first place in the Team Tournament.

Seto was sent by the JKA to Hawaii in 1975. He taught in the country for two years.

Between 1979 and 1983, Seto competed at the JKA All Japan Karate Championships. He won five consecutive team titles.

On 15 April 1987, Masatoshi Nakayama died aged 74.

Around three years after the death of Nakayama, internal divisions within the JKA led to two opposing factions being formed, and using the JKA brand.

The Matsuno faction was led by Tetsuhiko Asai and included Keigo Abe, Akihito Isaka, Mikio Yahara, and Masao Kagawa.

The Nakahara faction was led by Tokyo businessman, Noboyuki Nakahara, and included Masaaki Ueki, Masahiko Tanaka, Yoshiharu Osaka, Minoru Kawawada, Tatsuya Naka, and Tomio Imamura. Seto joined this faction.

As a member of the Nakahara faction Seto was appointed the JKA Chief Judge for Tokyo. He was also a member of the JKA Technical Committee.

By 1996 Seto had been promoted to 6th Dan. For the next few years, he represented the JKA as an instructor.

In 2005 the 2nd Annual Hoitsugan Seminar was held in Los Angeles. It was organised by Jon Keeling, who had been a student at Masatoshi Nakayama’s Hoitsugan Dojo. The instructors of the seminar included James Yabe, Steve Ubl, James Field, Malcolm Fisher, Michael Berger, Jon Keeling, Bob Ehling, Glen Michel, Aaron Hoopes, Richard Amos, Erik Passos, and Fred Borda.

Seto competed in his last tournament in 2006. However, sixteen years later he resumed competing. In November 2022 he competed in the 21st Mature National Karate Championships, organised by the JKA. He won the Individual Kata title for the 75s and over category in the tournament. He was aged 76.

Seto was promoted to 8th Dan by the JKA in February 2023. On 14 February a party was held for him by family and friends, to celebrate his promotion.

In November 2023 Seto competed at the 22nd Mature National Karate Championships which the JKA organised. Aged 77, he won the Individual Kata event and was runner-up in the Individual Kumite event.

Even though Kensuke Seto is approaching his 80s, his desire to improve his Karate has not diminished. He still enjoys the thrill of competing. He continues to inspire his students through his example.

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