Kokusai is the Japanese word for "International".
Butokukai is Japanese and means martial arts association. Bu (warrior, weapon), Toku (virtue, morals), Kai (association).
The name Butokukai dates back to the Dai Nippon Butokukai which was founded in 1895. Our grand master Hanshi Richard Kim became a member of the DNBK in 1939 (Kyoto, Japan). In 1945 the DNBK was banned by the allied forces. After the USA and Japan had signed the peace treaty the DNBK was revived as a private organization presided over by Ono Kumao.
Being a close friend of Hanshi Ono Kumao, Hanshi Richard Kim was asked 1959 to found the DNBK outside Japan. Thus the Zen Bei Butoku Kai was born in San Francisco the same year. Growing international relations beyond the USA necessitated the foundation of the Butokukai International in 1976. After 60 years grand master Richard Kim left the DNBK in 1999 due to association politics.
In 2006, technical directors Hanshi Jean Chalamon (Butokukai Europe), Hanshi Rod Sanford (Zen Bei Butoku Kai), Hanshi Louis Jemison (Zen Bei Butoku Kai) and Kyoshi Stephan Peitz (Butokukai Germany) changed the name Butokukai International for Kokusai Butokukai. This with the approval of O'Sensei Richard Kim's longtime companion, Hanshi Robert Leong. As a consequence, the club emblem was changed according to the design by Stephan Peitz to distinguish it from the DNBK.
Who represents the Kokusai Butokukai?
Since 2006 the Kokusai Butokukai has been represented by the Butokukai Germany e.V. legally.
The technical directors take the sole charge of international technical representation as far as the purpose of the association is concerned:
- Meijin Jean Chalamon
- Hanshi Rod Sanford
The President of the association:
- Kyoshi Jean-Michel Argant
The coordination of international matters is the responsibility of the secretary general of the association:
- Kyoshi Stephan Peitz (legal responsible)