Mr. Ohshima left Japan in 1955 to continue his studies at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In January 1956 Ohshima Sensei led his first U.S. practice and in 1957 established the first university karate club at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA. In 1959 Ohshima Sensei founded the Southern California Karate Association (SCKA). This organization grew to become a nationwide organization, Shotokan Karate of America (SKA). In addition to being the Shihan (Chief Instructor) of SKA, Ohshima Sensei was recognized as Shihan of many other national organizations; thus his influence on karate is felt globally.
Canada Shotokan is an affiliate of Shotokan Karate of America (SKA). Canada Shotokan was formed in the Fall of 1972 by Gene Malec, George Quessy and Norman Welch. Each met Ohshima Sensei through their practice of martial arts. Each changed the course of their practice as a result of their introduction to Ohshima Sensei.
In 1972, Mr. Welch met with Mr. Malec and Ohshima Sensei in Vancouver where Ohshima Sensei invited them to form Canada Shotokan Karate with 3 dojos: UBC in Vancouver, Westmount YMCA in Montreal, and Sept-Iles in Upper Quebec. Ohshima Sensei appointed Mr. Welch the President of Canada Shotokan, Mr. Malec the Vice-President and Mr. Quessy the Treasurer.
Following the formation of Canada Shotokan, Ohshima Sensei made numerous trips to Canada to lead special practices and dan tests in both western and eastern Canada. Ohshima Sensei continued making special visits well into the late 1990’s. In August 1997, Canada Shotokan celebrated its 25th Anniversary with over 300 members from around the world joining in the celebration.
Since 1972, the number of dojos in British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario have grown. Canada Shotokan members maintain a strong relationship with Shotokan Karate of America. Canada Shotokan members regularly practice at the Shotokan Ohshima Dojo in Santa Barbara. This dojo, opened in 2000, is a special place for students from groups around the world that have sprung from the leadership of Tsutomu Ohshima Sensei. Canada Shotokan members regularly attend special events hosted by international affiliates of Ohshima Dojo, taking part in international demonstrations and tournaments.
In August 2018, Ohshima Sensei retired on his 88th birthday. Ohshima Sensei appointed each country its own Shihan. Norman Welch became Shihan of Canada Shotokan Karate. The current President of Canada Shotokan Karate is Alan Kazuta. The current President of Canada Shotokan Black Belt Council is Donald Gee.
Each of the black belt instructors in Canada received their rank directly from (or had it recognized by) Ohshima Sensei. Upon Ohshima Sensei’s retirement, each new black belt promotion in Canada is now approved by the Shihan of Canada, continuing the direct line from Ohshima Sensei to you. This direct line assures you the highest level of instruction.
Canada Shotokan Karate (CSK) is a non-profit organization teaching traditional karate-do in Canada since 1972, offering authentic, high quality martial arts instruction to the public.
Canada Shotokan is devoted to teaching karate at its highest level, as a martial art and as a way of life.