On this day, 7 June 1935, Shotokan master and former technical director of the Japan Karate Association (JKA), Tetsuhiko Asai was born in Ehime Prefecture, Japan.
As a boy Asai had trained in Sumo, Judo and Kendo. He became interested in Karate after seeing a karate-ka defeat a boxer in a fight. Upon entering Takushoku University he trained in Karate under Masatoshi Nakayama and Teruyuki Okazaki. After graduating in 1958 and following a recommendation from Nakayama, Asai enrolled on the JKA’s instructor program.
After graduating from the instructor program Asai spent five years teaching Karate in Hawaii. On returning to Japan he was sent to Taiwan, becoming the first instructor to introduce karate to that country. He eventually returned to japan, teaching at the JKA’s hombu dojo.
Asai was a former winner of the JKA All Japan Karate Championship in kumite in 1961, going on to become only the third man to be name named Grand Champion after also coming 2nd in the kata competition. Hirokazu Kanazawa and Takayuki Mikami were the other men to named Grand Champion. Asai was also a winner of the kata title in 1963.
Tetsuhiko Asai died 15 August 2006. Earlier that year he had undergone liver surgery.