Master Okuyama received the Key to the City of Cali, Columbia from Mayor Ricardo Cobo, for his efforts in the movement for peace, and has received special awards from the City of Be'er Sheva, Israel from Mayor Kakuv for peace work between Israel and Palestine.
The martial art journey of a true karate master lasts for a lifetime. Takemasa Okuyama is an example of someone who has risen to the top of his discipline with a never-ending desire to train and expand his knowledge about his chosen art. It has taken him to five continents as a teacher and tournament official, and he is now recognized internationally for his karate instruction.
Kancho (director or Principal) started training in sumo and judo as a seven-year-old, with his father Takemi and brother Takao, who was captain of the Nippon University Nojui Gakubu judo team. Young Takemasa Okuyama trained hard and was eventually made captain of the Hachijo High School judo team. His introduction to karate came when he was 13, through a karateka from Okinawa named Mr. Kinjo.
Okuyama entered Takushoku University in April 1960 and studied political science and received a degree in foreign trading. At the same time, he studied Karate under Senseis (Teachers) Tabata, Hamanaka, Ozawa, and Tsuyama. This university has produced some of the finest karateka and instructors in the world, and Takemasa Okuyama took advantage of his opportunity to learn. Okuyama came to Canada in 1969 and organized the IKA Canadian chapter under Soke Kubota.
From: Hanshi Nick Florian
Chairman, Hachi-O-Kai World Budo Federation
Congratulations to Kancho Takemasa Okuyama, who has been awarded the rank of 10th Dan
by the following organizations, worldwide:
President: Tomasz Piotrkowicz, 8th Dan
Headquarters: Warsaw, Poland
President: Ziko G. Becanovic, 9th Dan
Headquarters: Vienna, Austria
President: Dr. Nikolai Nemchinov, 8th Dan
Headquarters: Moscow, Russia
President: Gustavo Gondra, 9th Dan
Headquarters: Buenos Aires, Argentina
President: Moshe H Galisko, 8th Dan
Headquarters: Be'er Sheva, Israel
This year, Kancho Okuyama delivered seminars in Russia (April), and Poland (May), after which he was presented with a 10th Dan certificate. This elite rank comes to him after an illustrious karate career in which he has taught his art on 5 continents. His “Karate is Harmony of the Universe” approach has given countless Karate-ka the inspiration to pursue Karate-do as a lifetime activity. He has given seminars to military and police personnel and taught all age groups at his dojo.
Emphasis on natural, everyday human movement as well as sources of power (e.g., gravity, weather elements) are key elements of Kancho’s teaching method. All these elements join in harmony when training in Karate-do. Kancho deeply searches the meaning of each Kata’s name which Shotokan Karate Founder, Gichin Funakoshi re-created like “Kankudai”, “Jion”, “Meikyo” and many other Shotokan Katas. Kancho seeks the reason behind each name of the Kata to further develop the spirit of the Kata to teach to future generations.
Kancho pioneered a peacekeeping group of Israeli and Palestinian Karate-ka in Be’er Sheva, Israel, receiving a special award from that city’s mayor. Kancho Okuyama also received the Key from the City of Cali, Columbia.