7th dan JKS, director of the international department of JKS, instructor at the Honbu Dojo, Takashi Yamaguchi is a field man, a field master. He is as great fighter as he is an outstanding technician. As a genuine pedagogue, he passes on his knowledge throughout the world. Met during a training stay in the Honbu Dojo, he tells us about his Sensei’s life between two "Keiko".

 By Fournier Florian



Unlike many Japanese children, Yamaguchi Sensei started karate at the age of ten, which is quite late when you consider that the average age to begin Karate in Japan is around 4-5 years old. Being a Bruce Lee’s fan brought him to open the doors of the dojo next to his house. He first started his karateka career at JKA (Japan Karate Association). Later, by integrating the Teikyo University, he discovered the JKS (Japan Karate Shoto federation) and its founder, Asai Sensei. Close to Kagawa Shihan, and admirer of Asai Sensei, Takushi Yamaguchi has become one of the most renowned instructors of JKS and Shotokan Karate. At 53 years old, he keeps teaching and sharing whether with children or elders, not to mention a daily personal training that he does with an impressive rigor.

What is your role in the JKS ?

I am director of the international department of the JKS. I take care of the good development of the association around the world. I make sure that Karate is correctly taught by competent teachers who pass on the values and the karate as we work it at the Honbu Dojo.

Moreover, I manage the relationships with other countries when it is necessary to organize competitions or internships directed by our Sensei. Finally, I also do my main job : I am a teacher at the Honbu Dojo and coach for the Japanese JKS’s competitors.

Do you still regularly train ?

Of course, Karate is a martial art, a sport that allows a practice for all your life. And, as Asai Sensei wanted, the JKS Shotokan Karate is made for all people. So it allows me to keep doing a personal and regular training. Consequently, I train almost every day with some other Senseis during the instructors' course and I maintain my physical condition with a few weighlifting.

What development do you seek for the JKS ?

Nowadays, Kagawa Shihan's idea is to combine traditional and modern Karate. It is important to keep the traditional and technical base developed by Asaï Senseï while bringing a modern physical work. The JKS Shotokan Karate has to fit everyone. That's really the motto. So we try to develop around the world this way of working through seminars given by all the instructors of the Honbu Dojo.

Are there any new instructors being in education today ?

At the moment, there is no one. But, in the coming years, many will be trained. The training lasts three years and the selection is difficult so we train instructors in whom we have a total confidence.