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Respect But Fear No Man

West Coast Shotokan Karate Association was founded by “Shihan” Edwin Hamile, who was involved in martial arts for over forty years. He passed away June 22, 1999 at 75 years of age.

Hamile was one of the founders of the famed Karate Association of Hawaii, where he studied under highly-acclaimed instructors Hirakazu Kanazawa, Masataka Mori, and Tetsuhiko "the Tornado" Asai.

Kanazawa has been called the foremost martial artist of the 20th century. Asai has been described: “His inimitable talent has its source in training since youth, fostering powerful hips, a flexible body, deep technical skill, excellent reflexes and nerveless courage. He probably has no equal.”

Under their tutelage, Hamile developed into a talented instructor and became the first non- Japanese recipient of the Gichen Funakoshi Award (Funakoshi was the founder of shotokan karate), presented personally by another renowned instructor, Master Hidetaka Nishiyama.

Shihan Hamile’s early teaching assignments were made directly by Master Masatoshi Nakayama, who took great interest in his career and the development of karate in Hawaii. As President of the Japan Karate Association in Hawaii, Hamile’s team was the first to defeat the Japanese team in kumite competition. In 1965 Hamile was designated a JKA branch instructor by Nakayama.

In 1968, Shihan Hamile founded the West Coast Shotokan Karate Association in Southern California. As President of the WCSKA, he was the chief instructor of karate groups in several foreign countries, representing thousands of students.

As International Chief Instructor he traveled extensively to Europe, Mexico, Hawaii, and the Middle East in support of his duties. Shihan Hamile was involved for many years with the American Amateur Karate Federation and International Karate Federation with Master Nishiyama. He was one of the very few ITKF Class A Examiners. Additionally, Hamile was much sought after for his skills as one of the world’s most respected tournament arbitrators.

With fellow Hawaiian Ed Parker and Caylor Adkins, he authored the first rules for AAU Karate, and was subsequently appointed to head the karate referee certification program of the AAU. Having served as chief arbitrator of the now legendary Third World Karate Championships in 1975, Shihan Hamile formed the Referees, Judges and Arbitrators’ Association (RAJA) to train and assist individuals in obtaining WUKO-Standard judging certification.

In late 1994, as a result of meetings with a number of American and European karate instructors who had approached him concerning the need for a new kind of organizational structure in traditional karate, Hamile formed the World Federation of Karate-Do Organizations. He was elected President of that organization and asked to serve as its chairman. In 1996, driven by the desire to further explore the relationship between karate and other martial arts, to bring unity and coherence to the arts, and to help shape a “budo” physically and spiritually appropriate to the 21st century, Shihan Hamile chartered WFKO’s International Sogobudo Development Project, the federation’s central research forum.

Shihan Edwin Hamile passed away Tuesday June 22, 1999 at 2 p.m. PDT from complications due to cancer. He lived in Temple City and Arcadia, California and held the 9th degree Black Belt.

His legacy continues through the instruction provided by many of his top students at the founding dojo in Temple City, California and in many other countries throughout the world.

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