Seek perfection of character. Everything else follows on from that.Yasunori Ogura
A stalwart of the JKA, Yasunori Ogura is known for his attention to detail. He is a former kumite and kata champion, who is a senior instructor at the JKA Hombu.
Yasunori Ogura was born on 21 January 1958, in Hokkaido, Japan. Growing up, he loved playing baseball.
Wanting to build up his strength and also to protect himself, Ogura began learning Karate his first year of high school, in 1973. His teacher was Jyoko Ibata, a graduate of Takushoku University.
After high school, Ogura enrolled at Taisho University. He joined the University’s Karate club. One of his high school teachers was an ‘Old boy‘ of the club. His instructors at the club were Norihiko Iida and Norimasa Hayakawa.
On graduating from University Ogura enrolled in the JKA Instructors Course. He trained under JKA Chief Instructor, Masatoshi Nakayama.
Ogura graduated from the JKA Instructors Course in 1982. He became a full-time instructor at the JKA Hombu in Tokyo. By this time he was also married.
In 1984 at the 27th All JKA Japan Karate Championships, Ogura competed in the Men’s Individual Kata event. You finished in joint third with Mikio Yahara. The event was won by Hideo Yamamoto, with Masao Kagawa in second place.
The following year, at the 28th All Japan Karate Championships, Ogura reached the Men’s Individual Kumite final, where he lost to Masao Kagawa.
In 1986 Ogura improved his previous year’s performance. At the 29th JKA All Japan Karate Championships, he defeated Tomio Imamura in the final of the Men’s Individual Kumite final to become Champion.
Ogura was selected to represent Japan at the 3rd Shoto World Cup Karate Championships. The Championships were the JKA’s version of the World Championships. The 1990 Championships were held in Sunderland, England. Ogura was a part of the Japanese team, coached by Masahiko Tanaka, that defeated Belgium and England, to win the Team Kata title.
For a long time, Ogura was a member of the Foreign Affairs Division of the JKA. This meant he traveled around the world, conducting seminars, training camps, and courses. He eventually became the General Manager of the Division.
By 2019 Ogura had been appointed a Vice-Chief Instructor of the JKA. He continued to travel the world, being a guest instructor at various training camps and courses.
2019 was a busy year for Ogura. Between 15-17 March he traveled to Barcelona, Spain where he led the International Traditional Karate Course Shotokan JKA. He was then invited by Yoshinobu Ohta and JKA England to be a guest instructor at the Spring Gasshuku. The other instructors at the training camp included Yutaro Ogane, Kazuhiro Sawada, and Sergio Gneo.
Between 10-14 July, Ogura was a guest instructor with Koji Chubachi, at the JKA Summer Camp held in Connecticut, United States. This was the 50th Annual Shotokan Karate-Do International (SKDI) Summer Seminar. It was also a memorial camp held in honor of Masataka Mori, who had died in September 2018.
Ogura traveled to Halmstad, Sweden, between 7-8 September. He was a guest instructor alongside, JKA Chief instructor, Masaaki Ueki, Kazuaki Kurihara, and Mai Shiina, and at the 4th Zendokai Karate 2019 International Camp. The event was co-hosted by Ted Hedlund. The camp was attended by 340 students from around the world. During the course, Ogura focused on Kata and Kihon. He also focused on the importance of flexibility at any age.
2019 culminated for Ogura with him chairing the 16th JKA Asia-Oceania Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. It was decided at the conference that the 3rd JKA Asia and Oceania Karate Championships would be held in 2022.
Yasunori Ogura is one of the JKA Hombu’s most valued instructors. Currently, ranked at 8th Dan, he and Tomio Imamura are Vice-Chief Instructors of the JKA, under Masaaki Ueki and Takeshi Oishi. He sits on the JKA Board of Directors, as well as the Shihankai Committee. Being a longtime member of the Foreign Affairs Division, he also sits on the International Board of Directors.
Some have tipped Ogura as a future Chief Instructor of the JKA.