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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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Keigo Abe Profile

Keigo Abe is one of the most famous karate instructors teaching today. Student of Master Nakayama, his deep skill and extensive knoweldge make him a Martial Arts treasure.

Keigo Abe was born 28th October 1938 in the town of Iyoshi in Ehime Prefecture on the island of Shikoken. Abe Sensei began training at the age of fifteen at his middle school karate club, and  was taught by an Okinawan Sensei from Toyama Sensei’s lineage of Shito Ryu Karate-Do.

By the age of eighteen, he was accepted into the famous engineering program at Nihon University in Tokyo, and just two years later in 1958 he began training at the JKA Honbu Dojo with a very powerful sensei named Masatoshi Nakayama who was to become his teacher and grandmaster. (Abe Sensei is in fact featured in several of M. Nakayama’s books)

As a young karateka, Abe also took a keen interest in comeptition, taking 3rd place in the first JKA National Championships, and becoming captain of the Japanese team at the second World Championships in Paris, France. Sensei Abe the took 1st place at the JKA international Friendship Tournament in 1973, and took 1st place in the second and third JKF National Championships as a representative of Tokyo.

More significantly, he was also responsible for devising the original rules for Ippon Shobu competition, and was an essential figure in the popularisaing of Karate, not just through the teachings, but through the rules he helped create.

After training at the Honbu for seven years, he become an instructor for the JKA in 1965. In 1985 he was made director of Qualification and from 1990 Technical Director of the JKA (Matsuno section), a position he held for nine years until retiring from the JKA on 31 January 1999.  

Japan Shotokan Karate Association was formed on the 10th February 1999, and quickly became incredibly sucessful. This success was totally to the credit of Abe Sensei, who is an inspiration to the world of karate, for he upholds the spirit of Karate-Do, while developing with the modern times.

The part he played in the popularisation of karate cannot be denied, and he is not only a living legend, but a credit to his teachers and will always be respected as one of the greatest karateka to have ever lived.