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Hanshi Arneil announces a new President of the IFK

14/01/2021 1698

On January 14th, 2021 Hanshi Steve Arneil 10th Dan, has formally confirmed by letter that he has now retired from his position as President of the International Federation of Karate (IFK).

Since 2013, it has been Hanshi’s wish that Shihan David Pickthall be his successor and this decision has been ratified by the IFK Board and the Country Representatives.

Hanshi will retain his role as Founder of the IFK and his place on the Board of the IFK.

The President of the IFK, Shihan David Pickthall 7th Dan.


Hanshi Announcement

14th January 2020

To all the members of the IFK,

I would like to wish you all Happy New Year.

With the world still gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic, I asked our Secretary General to contact all IFK Country Representatives to relay my wish that I relinquish my position of President of the IFK and they accept our Vice President, Shihan David Pickthall, as my successor.

I am pleased to announce our Country Representatives unanimously agreed with this decision and the IFK Executive Board ratified the vote on the 3rd January 2021.

I want this to take place with immediate effect as from today.

As my years advance and my ability to be able to travel abroad and see you all has declined, I have relied on the work of my Board to push the IFK forward and I am confident this new era will see growth within our Organisation.

I will retain the role of Founder of the International Federation of Karate that has seen me dedicate my life to the art I love so much.

I will further retain a place on the Board of the IFK and will be on constant communication with the board to lend my experience.

It has given me great pleasure to be part of a World Organisation that has grown stronger and more diverse over time. The work we have done to unite Kyokushin h§s and will be an important part of our future and I believe with Shihan David as our new President this goal will become closer through our place at the forefront of the KWU.

I look forward to witnessing the next stage of our development and I wish all our members good health and to stay safe until we are through this difficult time.



Dear Country Representatives and all of our members,

Happy New Year to you all,

Thank you for all of your hard work during 2020. The last year was possibly the toughest since our inception in 1992, but our representatives have done an incredible job to keep you all engaged and ready for the future.

The global pandemic has altered the face of Martial Arts at this time. I hope this year we can return to some normality and all enjoy time in our dojos again soon.

I am truly humbled by the unanimous support of the Country Representatives of the IFK as I succeed Hanshi Arneil. I am honoured to accept the position of President of the International Federation of Karate.

Of course, Hanshi’s decision to step down from his position of President will leave us all with heavy hearts, but I am pleased that he will remain as our founder, so the Executive Board can draw on his experience when required.

On a personal level I must thank Hanshi for his vision in building such a great and openminded organisation. I hope that I can live up to his expectations and prove myself worthy of this role.

We hope that once travel is allowed again you will still take time to visit Hanshi at his dojo in the UK.

I would also like to take this opportunity to announce that Shihan Liam Keaveney will assume the position of Vice President, selected by Hanshi and the Executive Board.

I wish him success in this new role.

I am excited by the challenge ahead, and together with the Executive Board we will strive to strengthen our federation, whilst maintaining steady growth.


The President of the IFK, Shihan David Pickthall, is a 7th Dan and a brief resume follows:
He started his Kyokushin career in October 1976 at Crawley dojo and still runs the dojo to this day. He has represented Great Britain nationally and internationally in both Kumite and Kata. He has participated in three World Open Championships achieving 13th place in the 5th World Open 1991 and winning the British, European, and All Japan titles. He was also a two-time silver medalist at the IKO 1st and 2nd European Kata Championships.

Shihan David was the Great British Kata Coach for the 1st and 2nd World Kata Tournaments and then took over the role of Great British Knockdown Coach from 2003-2013.
He was chosen for Vice-President of the IFK in 2013, he is also a member of the Executive Committee of the British Karate Kyokushinkai (BKK) and a member of the Executive Committee of the Kyokushin World Union (KWU).

Shihan David Pickthall announces that Shihan Liam Keaveney 7th Dan takes over the role of Vice President of IFK.

Shihan Liam assisted Hanshi Steve Arneil in founding the IFK in 1992 and became the IFK Secretary-General after resigning as EKO General Secretary in 1991. He was a BKK Executive Committee member from 1978 to 2018 and Chairman of the BKK from 1993-2018. He has traveled the world with Kyokushin both under the IKO and IFK and went to Japan in 1979, 1987, and 1991 and has trained with the founder of Kyokushin Sosai Mas. Oyama.

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