Yuichi Sato

I have to admit, when I felt my strength starting to diminish, I hated it and it was also a motivation for me. I don’t want to show weakness. The difference today is that I am no longer looking for an immediate result. I look for technical progress, hip, mobility, shoulder placement, what location, what muscle. I’m always looking to gain speed, power, stability, the best use of my body, and I have room to make progress because I’m just starting to analyse.

Yuichi Sato

Regarded as one of the best Shotokan instructors teaching in Europe, Yuichi Sato has helped establish Shotokan Karate in Monaco.

The eldest child, Yuichi Sato was born in 1954 in Akita, Japan.

In the early days of Karate practice in Japan, Karate had a bad reputation, with Thai Boxing, being a more popular martial art. Sato began practising Shotokan Karate in 1969. He had paid for the lessons himself.

Sato competed in his first regional Karate tournament at age 16. He made a mistake in the kata event and came second in the kumite event.

In 1973 Sato moved to Tokyo because his father had been transferred there for work. In Tokyo, he began training under Masahiko Tanaka of the JKA.

Sato was promoted to 1st Dan in 1975. The following year he was promoted to 2nd Dan. He received his 3rd Dan in 1981.

In 1984 Sato moved to Bordeaux, France to study. As the eldest child in his family, he had received permission from his parents to travel. He was later joined in France by his future wife.

As a member of the JKA, Sato introduced himself to Taiji Kase, who was a resident of Paris.

In France, Sato trained at the dojo of Haku Michigami.

Taiji Kase sent Sato a letter in 1987, informing him that Monaco was looking for a Shotokan Karate teacher. Sato moved to Monaco to take up the position.

Sato and his fiance returned to Akita, Japan, in 1988. His parents wanted them to get married in Japan. They remained in the country for around three years.

In 1989 Sato was promoted to 4th Dan while in Japan.

Sato and his fiance were married in 1990. They returned to Monaco the following year. He had received news that Monaco was looking for a permanent instructor. His parents had wanted him to remain in Japan and were a little disappointed with his decision.

In 1991 Sato opened a dojo at the Ecole des Revoir in Monaco.

Sato was promoted to 5th Dan in 1992. His 6th Dan promotion was in 1997. It was approved by the FFKAMA (French Federation of Karate and Affinity Martial Arts).

In 2005 Sato was promoted to 7th Dan. For this promotion, he had to write a dissertation on Karate.

On 17 November 2009, Sato was presented with the Silver Medal for Physical Education and Sports on Monaco’s National Day. The medal was presented by Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Between 8–10 July 2016, a three-day seminar was held at the Gymnase de la Viguerie in the French city of Cassis. This was the third time that the seminar had been run. Sato and five other Japanese instructors were invited to conduct the seminar. The other instructions were, Yukinobu Shimbukuro (Uechi-Ryu), Hiroo Mochizuki (Yoseikan Budo), Ryozo Tsukada (Shito–Ryu), Seisuke Adaniya (Shorin Ryu), and Zenei Oshiro (Goju–Ryu). The three-day seminar culminated with a two-hour martial arts gala.

On 21 July 2016, Sato was named a Knight of the National Order of Merit, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, in Monaco. This was for his work, promoting Japanese culture through Karate.

A reception was held at the Café de Paris, to mark the 83rd birthday of the Japanese Emperor, Akihito. Sato was presented with his award by Masato Kitera, the Japanese Ambassador to the Principality of Monaco. This was in the presence of Prince Albert II 2nd of Monaco.

Also, was awarded the formal medal for physical education and sports, in November 2021. He received the medal from Prince Albert II of Monaco.

On 29 October 2022, a martial arts seminar was held in Paris, France. There were nine Japanese experts in attendance. They were Sato, Seisuke Adaniya, Eiji Kawanishi, Hiroshi Aosaka, Kenji Nakata, Tsutomu Kamohara, Zenei Oshiro, Yukinobu Shimabukuro, and Ryozo Tsukada.

Currently ranked as an 8th Dan, Yuichi Sato is an in-demand instructor in France and Germany. He has been a resident of Monaco for over 30 years. He has helped establish Karate in the Principality. He also helped to develop a generation of Shotokan practitioners.

Away from Karate Sato, enjoys swimming, cycling, and playing golf.

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