7th dan, Teikyo University coach, Japan JKS manager and Japan Karate Shotorenmei instructor at JKS Honbu Dojo, Kosho Kanayama is one of the most comprehensive Sensei that Japanese and world karate possess. At 53, he was in France to give 4 days of intense training. An great opportunity to meet him and discuss Karate.

By Florian Fournier
Traduction : Hannah Jonhston
Photos : Xavier Vachy



Kosho Kanayama is undoubtedly one of the great Sensei who has the least years of practice to his credit. He started karate at the age of 12 in Osaka, but he really put his heart and soul into the discipline when he enters university. Member of the JKA (Japan Karate Association) at first as the majority of Japanese Shotokan of that time, he turns to the JKS after a meeting with Masao Kagawa. He then integrates Teikyo University.
Today known to be one of the most « physical » Sensei of the Tokyo Honbu Dojo, Kosho Kanayama indeed has an amazing physical form. Endowed with a very high technical level, he is also a great fighter. His nickname « The Machine » fits him perfectly.

Is karate the secret of your good health ?

It is an essential factor of my health. I train to be healthy and, like any enthusiast, I want to practice Karate as long as possible so it's a perfect balance.

Being healthy allows me to practice karate and practicing karate helps me to be in shape. However, it requires seriousness and daily application in life outside Karate.

What is your training schedule ?

One could set his watch by me. Every morning, I get up between 6 and 7 and I do 40 to 45 minutes of jogging before going to Dojo, even on Sunday if I'm in shape. This moment is important for me. Then, from Monday to Saturday, I train 2 to 3 hours a day and I give 2 to 3 hours of classes at the Honbu dojo.

I keep this pace by being in sync with myself. I go to bed early, I do not drink alcohol, I do not smoke. There is no secret to get there. You have to work and take care of your body.

Do we still learn when we are a great Sensei ?

Karate is a continuous learning. But where I learn the most is during classes between Sensei led by Masao Kagawa. He always comes to bring us new technical aspects, new methods... Kagawa Senseï is a true pioneer of Karate.




Do you prefer something in Karate ?

A karateka must have no preference. Kihon, Kata and Kumite are part of the key triangle of a karateka. Without one of them, the practitioner becomes unbalanced and harms his practice. In any situation, you have to give your whole being in your practice and not think about our preferences.

What are your goals for the future ?

I have only one wish, to be in good health as long as possible. That's what makes me happy and blossom in my life. Thus, I can continue my practice of Karate, enjoy my loved ones and continue to discover life and its wonders.

How is JKS organized and developed in Japan ?

JKS is all around the country, but there are some prefectures where it must be developed. This is one of my missions as JKS Japan’s head. But I hope to see JKS present throughout the territory.

The organization starts at thez Honbu Dojo in Tokyo, where we manage the development in our offices, whether it concerns the national or international level. Seminars, competitions... everything is centralized at the Honbu Dojo. We have just moved to a larger and more modern structure.

You have dedicated your life to Karate. Do you have other passions ?

It is true that my life rotates around karate but I have a 7 years old girl with whom I spend a lot of time. She is my other passion. I try as best as I can to share a lot of time with her and to live her passions. It's part of my life balance, and hers at the same time.