JKA and the Club
Karate originates from a bare-hand fighting technique which was passed on from one generation to the next on the island of Okinawa, Japan. Gichin Funakoshi systematized this fighting technique into a fully-fledged martial art and dedicated his life to spreading Karate to mainland Japan.

Karate became a prominent martial art in Japan in the 1920s and it was spread internationally in the 1960s by Funakoshi's students.

The first karate dojo ever erected in Japan, in 1936, was called Shoto-kan, a name which Funakoshi's supporters chose because of Funakoshi's pen name "Shoto".
  Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957)
The Shoto-kan was demolished in an air raid over Tokyo in 1945. Soon after, in 1948, Funakoshi's students gathered together to form the Japan Karate Association (JKA) in Yotsuya, Tokyo, with Funakoshi as the honorary head of the organization and with Masatoshi Nakayama as the Chief Instructor.

Nakayama dedicated his life to spreading Karate internationally with the help of the many students of Funakoshi who had moved to the U.S. and to Europe, and the martial art became known worldwide as Shotokan Karate.

Nakayama's books Dynamic Karate (1966) and the "Best Karate" book series (1977-1989) have widely popularized Karate.
Masatoshi Nakayama
Hidetaka Nishiyama began training karate in 1943 under Funakoshi at the Shoto-kan. He was a co-founder of the JKA and was elected as first Chairman.

In 1961, Nishiyama Sensei moved to the U.S. and he established his dojo in Los Angeles, California. Since then he has been a major force in the propagation of Karate in the U.S. and internationally.

He is Chairman of the International Traditional Karate Federation (ITKF) and President of the American Amateur Karate Federation (AAKF).

In 2000 Nishiyama Sensei was honored by the Emperor of Japan for his worldwide promotion of Japanese culture as a Master Instructor of Traditional Karate.

Nishiyama helped popularize Karate in the U.S. with his book Karate: The Art of Empty Hand Fighting (1960).
  Hidetaka Nishiyama (1928)
Karate was spread throughout the Midwest primarily due to Shojiro Sugiyama and his students, who have founded dojos in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

In 1954, Sugiyama Sensei began training under Nishiyama among other instructors at the JKA headquarters dojo in Tokyo, after having trained in two other styles of Karate.

In 1963, Sugiyama Sensei moved to the U.S. to teach Karate at the request of the Chicago Karate Club, which was sponsored by Walter Nakamoto. The Club was then renamed to JKA Chicago with Sugiyama Sensei as Chief Instructor.

Students affiliated to our club can participate in training at the renowned Sugiyama Dojo in Chicago, where Sugiyama Sensei and his students hold regular classes and clinics.
Shojiro Sugiyama (1929)  
In 1964, Sugiyama Sensei opened the University of Chicago and Northwestern karate clubs.

Gregory Winston, 4th dan, is the instructor of The University of Chicago Shotokan Karate Club. Winston Sensei is also an instructor at the Sugiyama Dojo and has been training under Sugiyama Sensei now for over twenty years.

Nowadays there are many styles in Karate, among which Shotokan Karate is the most popular style. Our club teaches Shotokan Karate in the traditional form in which it was spread by JKA, Nishiyama Sensei and Sugiyama Sensei.
  Gregory Winston

Sugiyama Sensei's book 25 Shoto-kan Kata (1984) has become a standard reference in the world of Shotokan Karate, and it includes photographic demonstrations by Nishiyama Sensei.

25 Shoto-kan KATA (1984, 4th ed.) American Samurai, vol. 15 (2006)