Karate had come to Poland in 1970-1972. First sections had been founded in Poznań (Przemysław Ilukowicz), Warsaw (Leszek Drewniak), Szczecin (Kazimierz Krukowski), Łódź (Andrzej Juśkiewicz), and Cracow (Andrzej Drewniak - Kyokushinakai). In september 1976 the very first dan exam had taken place, exam had been led by dr Ilija Jorga /4 Dan/ from Jugoslavia, however the first black belt in Poland was acquired by Andrzej Drewniak in Kyokushinaki who passed his exams in Holland, 1974, before Loek Hollander. In 1978, Hideo Ochi /6 Dan/ visited our country for the first time. In the same year, after long preparations, the very first organization which had the purpose of leading karate's development was founded. It was Central Committee of Karate, as a branch of Main Headquarters of Association of Nourishing the Physical Culture in Warsaw. Unfortunately that organization's formulae would not give any chances to develop karate as a sport, and this chance was deeply expected by martial artists community in Poland.
Maestro Shirai with W.S.I. Poland team in Braunschwieg 2009
Some years later, in 22 January, 1980, Polish Karate Federation was created, and with its leader chosen, Janusz Świerczyński. In 1981 Poland had been visited by Keigo Abe /6 Dan/, Yoshiharu Osaka /5 Dan/, Takenori Imura /4 Dan/, Takayuki Tsuchi /3 Dan/. After 2 years of in the activity of PZK (Polish Karate Association) had started changes and the new leader must have been chosen Wacław Antoniak /6 Dan/ from Szczecin, and he is the actual organization's leader. In 1983 many other style committees were created as branches of PZK, they were shotokan, kyokushinkai, taekwondo, kendo, kick-boxing, jiu-jitsu, aikido, and kung-fu. The Federation was in advantage of about 85 clubs from whole country. As the time passed the Association was accepted to World Union of Karate Organizations (WUKO). Official Polish karate championships, and style's tournaments (at the beginning, the competitions were in shotokan, kyokushinkai, taekwondo, kick-boxing, and kendo styles respectively, presently in shotokan, and kyokushinkai only) take place starting from 1981 (primary in accordance with WUKO system, and now according to WKF's one).
In 1985, and in 1986 dr Ilija Jorga, EAKF Champion in kumite, visits Poland. In 1988 Krzysztof Kandratowicz and Ryszard Murat had founded Polish Federation of Far-east Martial Arts, as a matter of time the other organizations, and associations were isolating from it.
- Polska Unia (union) Shorin Ryu Karate (1991) Aleksander Staniszew
- Polska Federacja Okinawa Goju Ryu (1998) Ryszard Szczepański
- Polska Federacja Seitedo Karate (1998) Bogdan Czapla
- IFK Karate Do Shito Ryu Gembu Kai (2000) Andrzej Kozak
- Jundo Kan Goju Ryu (2001) Andrzej Piech, Grzegorz Burniak
- JKI Goju Kai (1999) Andrzej Pikuła
Maestro Shirai with W.S.I. Poland team in Hamburg 2009
In 1990 the Leader of Committee of Shotokan Karate in Polish Karate Association, Włodzimierz Kwieciński, together with some other members (Jarosław Meier, Paweł Krzywański, Józef Rączka) leaves the Association and founds in 10th January, 1990, Łódź, Federation of Traditional Karate "Fudokan") which had entered the structures of ITFKF (International Traditional Fudokan Karate Federation), and some time later ITKF (International Traditional Karate Federation). In the beginning, in Poland, the movement of traditional karate was being supported by dr Ilija Jorga /8 Dan/, however when Kwieciński left fudokan style (accordingly to H. Nishiyama's suggestion the name of the federation was changed and the word "fudokan" was in there no more), Jorga takes his support back. In 1992 for the first time Hidetaka Nishiyama /9 Dan/ visits Poland (Kwieciński's invitation). It is also the year when the first visit of Keneth Funakoshi /9 Dan/ in our country takes place (Andrzej Zarzycki's invitation). In the day of 10th February, 1993, Federation of Traditional Karate "Fudokan" was being transformed into Polish Federation of Traditional Karate which, in December, 1996, becomes Polish Association of Traditional Karate. In June, 1993, Hiroshi Shirai /9 Dan/ visited our country for the first time. However, in trainings led by him only the people from Kwieciński's clubs may participate. As the time passes, Poland was being visited by another well-known masters, such as Masaru Miura /8 Dan/ and Shiro Asano /9 Dan/ who had visited Poland with invitation given from Monika Wierzbińska from Suwałki.
In 1994 Jan Dyduch had founded Association Oyama Karate and Union Karate Oyama in Poland. By the means of his invitation, Shigeru Oyama /10 Dan/ had come to Poland. In 1995 Robert Sworek created Polish Association of Karate Shotokan which, surprisingly is not a polish association (despite its name) by the means of Physical Culture Legislation. Then he invites to Poland Keisuke Enoeda /8 Dan/, Taiji Kase /9 Dan/, and other karate masters. In 1996, Mariusz Jewdokimow left Sworek's group and founded Federation of Shotokan Karate known later as JKA Poland. After some years he began to organize cyclical trainings led by JKA Europe chief - Hideo Ochi /8 Dan/.
Maestro Shirai with W.S.I. Poland team in Hamburg 2011
In 1993, Kwieciński's group is being left by Tomasz Piotrkowicz. After he left, he founded Polskie Stowarzyszenie Karate (Polish Karate Association). He forged contacts with Takayuki Kubota /10 Dan/, the founder of Gossoku-ryu, and invited him successfully many times to Poland. In 1997, Zbigniew Ruta left PZKT, and then, he founded in November, 1999, Polish Federation of Traditional Karate Fudokan. He, intentionally, got hold of ITFKF (International Traditional Federation Karate Fudokan), and its founder Ilija Jorga /8 Dan/. At that time, karate-ka from this federation were taking part in international activities and representing polish fudokan, while PZKT which had to work as fudokan style group by the decision of Polish Sport Minister, does not even belong to ITFKF.
Masutatsu Oyama's death, who had visited Poland in 1994/95 thanks to Polish Kyokushinkai karate-ka, concludes in divisions in Polish Kyokushinkai. That is the consequence of international situations. Roman Kucfir enters IKO3, structures of Yoshikazu Matsushima, Eugeniusz Stanisławek starts cooperation with IFK which is led by Steve Arnil, and Jacek Baranowski creates his own organization and enters IKO2, structures of Kenji Midori. Cracovian centre and its leader, Andrzej Drewniak, remains in IKO1, which is led by Kyokushinkai descendant, Shokei Matsui.
In this time new regulations, which had much influence on karate's situation in Poland, were brought into force. Commonly criticised by Polish martial artists was the Minister's of National Education decree which came to force in 2001 and had artificially divided karate on two distinct sport's branches:
They are Karate (disciplines in: karate accordance to WKF system, Kyokushinkai, Shotokan, Goju-ryu, Gossoku-ryu, Oyama Karate, Shorin-ryu, Doshinkan, and other varieties), which are managed by Polish Karate Federation,
Traditional Karate (disciplines in: karate in accordance to ITKF system and Fudokan), they are governed by PZKT (Polish Traditional Karate Federation)
2003 was the year in which for the first time different, than so far going, occurences were happening. Instead of constant divisions, first tries of cooperation have appeared between schools with different origin. Zbigniew Ruta (traditional karate) entered PZK (he invited also 11 new clubs) and thanks to the association leader's support, Wacław Antoniak, Zbigniew Ruta created Subcommittee of Karate Shotokan WSI. Also in 2003, another Polish sports karate's association, second in its vastity, was created. Polish Karate Association was founded by Jan Dyduch (Oyama Karate), Aleksander Staniszew (Shorin-ryu Karate), Eugeniusz Stanisławek (IFK Kyokushin), Robert Sworek (PZK Shotokan), Andrzej Pikuła (Goju-ryu Goju-kai), and Juliusz Piwowarski (All Style Karate).
World Shotokan Institute
World Shotokan Institute /W.S.I./ was founded in 1994 by Sensei Hiroshi Shirai together with the other masters of traditional and shotokan karate. W.S.I. is an apolitical shotokan karate's style organization founded with no purpose of gaining money from it. Its main purpose is not only to nourish and develop technical shotokan karate's aspects and its ideas according to Sensei Gichin Funakoshi's and his son's, Yoshitaka Funakoshi's, teachings, but also to take the responsibility to pass this way of karate to the next generations. World Shotokan Institute, internationally, is not in charge of any trades. In the technical aspect it's deeply focusing on basic techniques. To W.S.I. belong organizations from Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Italy, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland, France and Poland.
Maestro Shirai with Dan Group after graduation - Wałcz/Poland,2011
In Poland, World Shotokan Institute / Shotokan Cultural Institute works in two organizational spheres: individual and W.S.I. Poland. To W.S.I./S.C.I. belongs over 70 peoples individually, but if we look at it counting clubs, there are 13 objects in which about 600 people train karate. Actually, closer to the truth would have been to say that we train shotokan in the traditional way. And that is the main purpose why our organisation had made arbitral decision to cooperate with World Shotokan Institute /S.C.I./. This decision was a conclusion from considering our clubs origin. In past we were training traditional karate. ITKF's technical director was then Sensei Hiroshi Shirai. Natural consequence after our department with ITKF is cooperation with Maestro Shirai (WSI President and Italian Federation of Traditional Karate /FIKTA/ Vice-President), and with Italian Masters who cooperate with him: Bernardo Contarelli /7 Dan/, Carlo Fugazza /7 Dan/, Dario Marchini /6 Dan/, Cristina Restelli /6 Dan/.
Sensei Marchini with his students and W.S.I. Poland instructors in Studio Shirai - Milano
World Shotokan Institute-Poland
c/o Zbigniew Ruta
ul. Bydgoska 21 A / 9
Leader: Zbigniew Ruta +48 502 118830
Viceleader: Roman Hurny +48 668 439281
Secretary: Karolina Pytel +48 503 758275