About Funakoshi Shotokan Karate

About Shotokan Karate

Gichin Funakoshi is the founder of Shotokan Karate-Do, perhaps the most widely known style of karate, and is attributed as being the “father of modern karate”. Following the teachings of Anko Itosu and Anko Asato, he was one of the Okinawan karate masters who introduced karate to the Japanese mainland in 1922. He taught karate at various Japanese universities and became honorary head of the Japan Karate Association upon its establishment in 1949.

Gichin Funakoshi

Gichin Funakoshi

About Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association (FSKA)

Shihan Kenneth Funakoshi

Shihan Kenneth Funakoshi, founder and ex-Chief Instructor of the Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association started judo training in 1948 under Arakaki Sensei at the Gakuen Japanese Language School in Honalulu, Hawaii.

In 1969, after training 10 years under three of Japans top instructors and winning the grand championship of the Karate Association of Hawaii for five years in a row (1964 – 1968), Kenneth Funakoshi was appointed as the Chief instructor for Karate Association of Hawaii.

Funakoshi moved to San Jose, California to teach karate in December 1986. In 1987, the non-political Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association was founded with its world headquarters now in Milpitas, CA and affiliates throughout the United States, Mexico, Europe, South America, and Africa.

Shihan Kenneth Funakoshi has stepped back and his son, Shihan Kyle Funakoshi is now head of FSKA.

Shihan Kenneth Funakoshi


Shihan Kyle Yoshinobu Funakoshi

Shihan Kyle Funakoshi was born on April 21, 1973 in Honolulu, Hawaii. When he was five years old, he began training in 1978 under his father, Kancho Kenneth Funakoshi at the original main dojo (Puck’s Alley) in Honolulu, Hawaii. Shihan Funakoshi trained directly under Japan Karate Association (JKA) instructors Asai and Kanazawa Senseis. As a youth, Kyle Funakoshi trained at seminars conducted by Asai Sensei and Kanazawa Sensei, two world renowned senseis and competitors.

Shihan Kyle has been training in Shotokan Karate for 39 years and currently instructs full time at the FSKA Headquarters, teaching all youth and adult classes, beginner through Black Belt. In addition to his teaching schedule, he attended San Jose State University, graduating with a BS Degree in Business, with emphasis on Accounting & Finance.

Shihan Kyle Funakoshi competed at the national and international levels as a youth and adult. His skills were such that, by age 16, he competed in the adult divisions where he continued his winning record. In numerous FSKA competitions, Shihan Kyle consistently demonstrated his skill and talent.

Shihan Kyle Yoshinobu Funakoshi


Renshi Debi Steven

Chief Instructor and head of Pee-Wee Karate and FSKA SW London

Renshi Debi was awarded her 6th Dan at the XIX Funakoshi World Championships, hosted by her own club, FSKA SW London in 2017. Subsequently she was awarded her title “Renshi” by Shihan Kenneth Funakoshi.

Renshi Debi Steven heads up both Funakoshi Limited (FSKA SW London) and Pee-Wee Karate Limited, with a total of over 750 students across SW London.

Renshi Debi always believed that karate is first about respect and discipline, second about perfecting technique and the third pillar is sport karate. To be considered a good karateka one needs to have worked equally on all three pillars. Her karate ethos was the inspiration behind the award-winning Kawaii Karate Lottie doll. 

Renshi Debi started karate at the age of 19 in South Africa having survived two rapes as a young girl. She was determined to learn to protect herself and to gain back her confidence. She excelled in kumite (sparring) and competed in many local and national competitions. She was a member of the Western Province Karate team for many years and in 1997 Renshi Debi was selected for the South African All-Styles Karate team and competed in Japan at the International Women’s Karate Cup.

The following year Renshi Debi’s partner was killed in a car accident and she moved to the UK where she set up Pee-Wee Karate Limited and Funakoshi Karate Limited. Renshi Debi also trained and taught Reality Based Self-Defence outside of traditional martial arts.

Renshi Debi has taught and completed instructors’ courses in South Africa, the UK, Canada, Switzerland and the USA and is rated as one of the top self-defence instructors in the world. She is recognised as a senior self-defence and karate instructor by the International Self-Defence Federation. She has also trained on numerous occasions with the highly respected Dave Turton of Self-Defence International.

In July 2013, she founded Action Breaks Silence to offer her training FREE of charge to women and girls at risk of sexual or gender-based violence in South Asia and Africa. In October 2014, Action Breaks Silence became a UK registered charity. The charity has already taught its “Empowerment and Personal Safety” workshops to over 40,000 women and girls and taught over 1000 young boys her Empathy Programme in India and South Africa. In order to make this work sustainable, Renshi Debi has become a Trainer of Trainers to over 60 local instructors.

In March 2015, Renshi Debi was the recipient of an “International Women of Change” award at the Indonesian Film Festival where “Power”, a documentary about Renshi Debi’s life and work by journalist and film-maker Jeanny Gering, was given a Platinum award. In May 2016 Renshi Debi started a Masters Degree at London MET studying Women and Child Abuse.

On 12 July 2016, Renshi Debi was given a “Point of Light” award by David Cameron, then the Prime Minister of the UK, in recognition of her “doing extraordinary things in the service of others … reaching thousands of girls and boys across India and South Africa and spreading the life-saving message of respect and support for women and girls”. In his letter to Renshi Debi, David Cameron wrote, “Through your hard work and dedication you are making our communities stronger and our country a better place”.

In 2018  Renshi Debi featured in the TOP 100 TRAIL BLAIZERS in the world and in the same year Action Breaks Silence was a short listed nominee for the COMMUNITY ORGANISATION AWARD for GENDER and went on to win the National Diversity Awards. Renshi Debi won the award for the European Diversity Awards as ‘INSPIRATIONAL ROLE MODEL’. To top off her personal achievements Renshi Debi  is completing her Masters degree in woman and child abuse.

Renshi Debi Steven

Sensei Debi Steven

The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants." - Gichin Funakoshi

Contact Us

  • 02089 406723

  • 07546 961462

  • info@fskauk.co.uk

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