Master Shoko Sato, Official Webpage

Master Shoko Sato (Kyoshi)

sato-seizaMaster Shoko Sato is considered to be one of the great masters and pioneers of Japanese Traditional Karate. He was born in 1945 in Miyagi , Japan and began practicing Karate when he was a teenager in the early 1960s under Great Grand Master Manzo Iwata, a direct disciple of founder Kenwa Mabuni. Master Sato then enrolled in the prestigious Toyo University in Tokyo, also known as a Karate powerhouse, and focused on competitive Karate. While there, his skills were highly regarded and as a result, he was appointed as the captain of the Toyo University team that led them to become All Japan Karate Championship during the late sixties. Upon graduation, he worked as an Economist for a short time and then was called upon to diffuse the teachings of Karate in Latin America, particularly in Venezuela, where he is today credited as the father of traditional and competitive Karate. These days, Master Sato continues to travel throughout the world teaching Karate. He is currently the Pan-American Director for World Karatedo Shitoryu Organization (WSKF) and one of the youngest and highest ranking 8th dan black belts in Shitoryu Karate today. He has now turned his attention to developing Shitoryu atheltes worldwide. His teaching style is geared toward all students, regardless of rank, gender or capacity. He lets them advance at their own pace, encouraging them but never pushing them beyond their abilities. He always maintains a level of familiarity, understanding, flexibility and respect for all his students. He feels that by not interacting with the students, they learn bad habits, and thus, bad karate. He is willing to teach karate to anyone willing to learn, and he has often compromised his time, money and personal life to achieve that goal. But that is what makes him truly unique among martial arts instructors. Teaching karate is not really a job to him, it is a way of life that he enjoys.


All Japan Karate-Do Championships, Tokyo 1967. Master Kyoshi Shoko Sato (second from right from Toyo University Karate Team ), President of PanAmerican Shitoryu Karate-Do Federation.

Daisuke and Kenji Sato are Master Sato’s two sons. Their training in Karate began at a very early age when they were roughly 3 – 4 years old. Master Sato never pushed any of his children, Daisuke or Kenji, to take formal classes until they wanted to do so, however they often went to the Academy after school and on weekends.

Both began competing in tournaments early on and thanks to their performance and achievements, they received black belts from the hands of late-Master Manzo Iwata when they were only 11 and 12 years of age. Daisuke turned his abilities to the practice of Kata and became Panamerican Karate Shitoryu Kata champion in 1992 and placed 4th in the World in 1993. He is also an avid fighter and has participated in the 1992 All Japan Karate Junior Chamionship (2nd place), 1997 Florida Sunshine Cup (1st Place) and more recently, in the 2002 and 2003 Texas State Championships (1st place – 75 Kg. and Open). Similarly, Kenji’s most memorable moments as a competitor was when he participated in the first Shitoryu Karate World Championship in Tokyo in 1993 and placed 4th worldwide at the age of 17 years old. Since then, he has continued to collect more medals and trophies, most notably in the Shitoryu Panamerican Games in Ponce, Puert Rico in 1996 (1st place), Miami’s Sunshine Cup in 1997 (1st Place) and the 1999 All USA AAU Championship in Orlando, Florida (1st place). Today, due to their achievements, the Sato brothers are regarded as one of the greatest atheletes that Karate Shitoryu has had thanks to their discipline and achievements. Throughout their busy Karate career, both Daisuke and Kenji have maintained a rigorous teaching schedule of seminars and classes and are always up to the next challenge. Currently, they feel very privileged to be part of his father’s teaching staff and spread the techniques perfected by his father all over the world.