Kato Shihan was born in Kochi, Shikoku Island, Japan on 22 July 1943. He attended the world famous Takushoku University in Tokyo, training under Katsunori Tsuyama Sensei. He was also strongly influenced at Takushoku University by Kanazawa Sensei and Urui Sensei.
Kato Shihan won a place on the Japan Karate Association (JKA) Instructors Course and later in 1965 was sent to teach in Germany. In 1966 he was sent by the JKA to the UK and Kato Shihan became resident in England for the rest of his life and was always in great demand to teach throughout Europe and worldwide.
Kato Shihan’s Do (way) allowed him to acquire knowledge from the great karate masters of the day namely, Enoeda Sensei, Kanazawa Sensei, Kase Sensei, Nakayama Sensei and later Asai Sensei. Kato Sensei took that knowledge and added his unique style, senses and intellect in order to move the boundaries of Shotokan karate to new limits.
After the division of the JKA in Japan, Asai Sensei 9th Dan asked Kato Sensei to help in the formation of a new association in 2000, International Japan Karate-Do Association (IJKA). Kato Sensei became European Chief Instructor for IJKA and continued to be influenced by Asai Sensei’s style.
Kato Shihan graded to 8th Dan under Asai Shihan, and was loyal to him until 2006, when Asai Sensei sadly passed away. After one year of respect for Asai Shihan, the 2007 IJKA congress meeting held in Hungary saw Kato Shihan elected IJKA World Chief Instructor.
Kato Shihan held that position and single-handedly managed IJKA International and IJKA in the UK, from the UK, until his sad passing on 16 April 2020. The UK is therefore the spiritual home of Kato Shihan’s unique karate style.
Kato Shihan, The Genius, rest in peace Sensei.