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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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Hidetaka Nishiyama Profile 

Master Hidetaka Nishiyama is one of the Most Senior Shotokan Karate Instructors practicing and teaching today. As a student of  Master Gichin Funakoshi at the Shotokan, and a founding member of the JKA, he author of the worlds biggest selling Martial Arts book ‘The Art Of Empty Handed Fighting’, which is in its 70th re-printing according reports.

Born on October 10th 1928, Hidetaka Nishiyama was always very enthusiastic towards the Martial Arts from an early age, taking an active interest in other Martial Arts including kendo, judo, and eventually started training under Gichin Funakoshi in 1943.

As a member of the infamous Takushoku University from 1945, because of his impressive skill and ability he was named captain of the karate team, followed quickly by him receiving his shodan garde in 1946, then nidan in 1948.

Nishiyama, co-founder of the JKA, was elected to the JKA board of directors a very impressive and important position, making him an incredibly influential man in the establishing of the first and most important organisation of Shotokan karate the world had ever seen.

Beyond the JKA, he also aimed to promote the Martial Arts, and in 1952 was selected to be a member of the Martial Arts instruction staff for the Strategic Air Command (SAC) Combat Training Program. Other Shotokan instructors involved included M. Nakayama (Former Chief Instructor of the JKA), and I. Obata, who visited the SAC bases to teach the art of karate. 

In 1960, Nishiyama Sensei’s book ‘The Art Of Empty Handed Fighting’, co-written with R. Brown was published, and is highly regarded as the most comprehensive textbook on shotokan karate, and by record standards the most successful.

Throughout his long Martial Arts career, Nishiyama has provided his expertise not simply to SAC, but has also helped organise the All American Karate Federation (AAKF) as a nationally based amateur karate organization, and helped arrange the first National Karate Championship in Los Angeles under the AAKF. Since this point, Nishiyama has become one of the most important name in the popularisation of karate in the United States, along with Master Okazaki and several others. In 1965, he also helped organise the first major Japanese karate styles that led to the first United States vs. Japan Goodwill Karate Tournament, and in 1968 he helped organise the first World Invitational Karate Tournament held at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in conjunction with the Olympic Commemorative Tournament hosted by the Mexico Karate Federation in Mexico City.

What is now known as ITKF was formed under the name International Amateur Karate Federation (IAKF), and in 1975 America saw the very first World Championship which was held in Los Angeles. To this day, ITKF is a major organisation that promotes Traditional Karate international, and Nishiyama can to some extent be credited with promoting Shotokan throughout American and the world.

Today, after practicing karate since 1943, Nishiyama Sensei continues his study and promotion of the art and his name and influence will forever be present in the history books and in the karate widely practiced.