Nobuaki Konno (今野充昭, Konno Nobuaki), born 1953 is a Japanese reciding in the Netherlands (Holland). He founded the KLM Karate Club on 10 april 1987. Currently he claims to have received a 6th dan Genseiryu by Seiken Shukumine. He also claims to have a 6th dan from Koshiki given to him by grandmaster Hisataka (founder of Koshiki Karate).
He has two children: Tetsui (oldest) and Lisa (youngest).
His current assistant is David Roovers, who is currently in possession of 4th dan by Konno and WKF (through KBN). On 20 April there was an examination held by the Dutch Karate Federation (KBN), where he was awarded 4th dan by Mr. Konno.
Mr. Konno's Involvements in Genseiryu
Mr. Konno is born in 1953. In his childhood he copied his father with training judo. When Mr. Konno was just 18 years old, he went to Saitama University. At this place, he met a strong Bogu-fighter and he came in contact with karate. This Bogu-fighter is Shigeo Suzuki and he became Mr. Konno’s teacher. Although Mr. Suzuki was a good kata-performer, his trainings emphasises Bogu- and kumite-training (ref. Interview 1992 KO-Magazine with Mr. Derk Domela-Nieuwehuis, student at ths UvA).
In 1974 Mr. Konno came to Holland, as he asked Mr. Takahashi (Ryounkai) to promote Bogu karate. After coming to Holland, Mr. Konno was with Ryounkai for a number of years. After several years, an article in Taiko, issued in February 1983, was written by Edward Lease, Taiko (KBN-magazine), issue February 1983:” ...at this moment the Ryo Un Kai board are Norio Kayama - 6th Dan (Japan), Shigeo Suzuki – 5th Dan (Japan), Yasuo Takahashi – 4th Dan (Holland) and Nobuaki Konno – 3rd Dan (Holland)...”. Mr. Konno was in possesion of a rank of 3rd Dan Ryounkai. That same year, 1983, was for Mr. Konno a big breakthrough. During the 4-days walking in Nijmegen, he met Mr. T. Kaneko, chairman of the Japanese Walking Association. Through Mr. Kaneko, Mr. Konno met Mr. S. Sasegawa, who is the former chairman of WUKO (World Union of Karate-do Organisation, nowadays the World Karate Federation). Mr. Konno became a translator at the WUKO meeting. Through the secetary of All Japan Karate-do Federation he met Mr. Kunihiko Tosa for the first time at the Budokan in Tokyo, during the All Japan Karate-do Championships at the end of 1984. (ref. Interview 1992 KO-Magazine with Mr. Derk Domela-Nieuwehuis, student at ths UvA).
Mr. Konno left Ryounkai in that same year, as he has written it in a document in 1999: “...In 1983. Mr. Konno left Ryoun-Kai and traveling the world such as Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Indonesia and Italy and searching the roots of Genseiryu and trained Bogu/Koshiki karate...” It should be noticed that Genseiryu never had roots in Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Indonesia and Italy.
After he left Ryounkai, he went his own way. Since then, there is no cooperation between Mr. Konno and Ryounkai. After he went on his own, he founded in 1987 his own karateclub, the KLM Karate Club, and he announced he is practising Genseiryu.
On 26 April, 1992, the very first European Koshiki Karate-do Championships was held. Because it was the first Koshiki tournament in Europe, many VIP’s were invited. Among those VIP’s, there were people like Mr. Tosa (Genseiryu) from Japan, Mr. Hisataka (founder of Koshiki Karate, Shorinji-Ryu Kenkokan) from Japan, Mr. Donivan (Shorinji-Ryu Kenkokan) from Canada, Mr. McKean (Shorinji-Ryu Kenkokan) from Australia and John Gaddy the first american to win the Gold Medal in Koshiki Karate (Shito-Ryu & Shorinji-Ryu) from U.S.A. Before the championships began, a ceremony was held for Mr. Konno. During this ceremony Mr. Hisataka (Koshiki) awarded Mr. Konno 6th dan.
Later in 1992, an article was published in the magazine “Oosterse Karate”, issue 28. (ref. Article was written by Mr. Ino Alberga, a Shotokan-performer). A photo was published of Mr. Konno and Mr. Tosa sitting together. Above the picture, it explained that Mr. Konno was given a 6th dan from Mr. Tosa. A quote from the article states: "..Hij werd tijdens dit evenement door Kunihiko Tosa (zevende dan), het hoofd van de Japanse gensei-ryu, voor al zijn werkzaamheden gegradueerd tot zesde dan.." Translated, it states that "he (Mr. Konno) was graduated during this event by Kunihiko Tosa (seventh dan), head of the Japanese gensei-ryu, for his efforts to sixth dan." It should be noticed that Mr. Tosa was never informed by Mr. Konno about this article, until Mr. Peter Lee told Mr. Tosa about this in 19?? .
In 1994, Mr. Konno travelled to Japan together with a few students of him. There he went to Mr. Tosa to show his students were he trained.
As Mr. Konno and Mr. Tosa had a relationship, Mr. Tosa was invited to come to Denmark in 1996. During his stay, Mr. Tosa found out there were diplomas published with his name among other names, including Mr. Seiken Shukumine. These diplomas were used and bought by several other dojos, who wanted to join Mr. Tosa. As Mr. Tosa never gave permission to use his name, these diplomas can be considered as false and Mr. Tosa cut all of his connections with Mr. Konno in May 1996.
In 1997, Mr. Konno received 6th dan from Mr. Seiken Shukumine directly. Mr. Konno stated : “...In 1997 sensei Konno has gotten 6th dan and Shihan Diplomas from Sensei S. Shukumine directly...” Noticed that Mr. Konno already got his 6th dan Genseiryu, from Kunihiko Tosa, according to the article written in the magazine “Oosterse Karate”.
After giving a seminar in Holland in 2001, Mr. Lee went to Japan (to Mr. Tosa). Just before Mr. Lee went to Japan, Mr. Konno asked Mr. Lee if he could bring a letter to Mr. Tosa. During Mr. Lee’s stay in Japan, there was sad news within the world of martial art: On 26 November 2001, the founder of Genseiryu and Taido, Mr. Seiken Shukumine, passed away after a long sickbed. Not long after Mr. Shukumine’s tragic death, Mr. Tosa received several letters, including one of Mr. Konno. He asked Mr. Tosa if he may join Mr. Tosa’s organisation. Mr. Tosa denied all of these letters (incl. Mr. Konno’s) as these were respectless towards Genseiryu, Mr. Seiken Shukumine and Mr. Tosa himself.
As a response of this, Mr. Konno requested in 2003 to establish the World Genseiryu Karatedo Federation.
His 6th Dan
In 1999 Konno states the following in a private letter to one of his Dutch students: “...In 1997 sensei Konno has gotten 6th dan and Shihan Diplomas from Sensei S. Shukumine directly...”. This information is contrary to an interview with Nobuaki Konno, published in a Dutch martial arts magazine in 1992, in which Nobuaki Konno claims to have been awarded a 6th dan in Genseiryu by Kunihiko Tosa. Kunihiko Tosa has always denied any and all claims by Nobuaki Konno in this regard. Mr. Tosa always very clearly states, that he never ever awarded any ranks nor licenses (grading license) to Nobuaki Konno. All claims by Nobuaki Konno in this regard are false. Nobuaki Konno never had any authority whatsoever in Genseiryu.
Konno opened his first club on April 10th, 1987 and called it KLM Karate Club. After that he opened dojo's in Amstelveen, Anna Paulowna, Den Helder, Schagen (new) and Uithoorn (new). There used to be a dojo in Osdorp, but later it was closed.