The following information was gathered from various sources,
in cluding the Hanshi Steve Arneil's Kyokushin
Karate Kata book and Kyokushinkai Magazine,
(Oct. 1995). The image on this page is taken from the cover of the
Kata book. If you live in Australia or New Zealand, or anywhere else Australian
Fighting Arts magazine is sold, you may have read the article I wrote
about his visit in the December 1995 issue. If you haven't, why, I just
happen to have a copy of the text here online!
||Myself, Hanshi, and Shihan Doug Turnbull at the 2004 IFK Black Belt Camp in Switzerland
Hanshi Steve Arneil was born in South Africa in 1934. At the
age of seventeen he became a black belt in Judo, as well as being
reasonably versed in both Kenpo and Karate. In 1962 he travelled to
Japan to study karate under Kancho
Mas Oyama. By the time he left Japan in 1965, he had gained the
rank of 3rd dan and had been the first person to complete the
100 man kumite after Mas Oyama.
Steve Arneil was "adopted" by Mas Oyama, in order to allow
Steve to marry a Japanese woman.
After his marriage, Steve Arneil travelled with his new wife to
Great Britain in 1965. In the same year, he and Shihan Bob
Boulton (now resident in Australia) founded the British Karate Kyokushinkai
(BKK) organisation, located on the premises of the London Judo Society (LJS). The first full time dojo was located in
Stratford, in East London, and now he teaches primarily at the Wimbledon and Crystal Palace dojo. The number of clubs expanded such that
today there are between 65 and 70 throughout Great Britain.
During the period spanning 1968 and 1976, Steve Arneil was the team
manager and coach for the All Styles English and British Karate team
which became the first non-Japanese team to win the World Karate Championship
in 1975/76. In 1975 the French Karate Federation also awarded him
the title of the "World's Best Coach".
In 1991, Steve Arneil and the BKK resigned their 25 year long membership
with the Japan based International Karate Organisation (IKO) and founded
the International Federation of Karate (IFK) which currently has a
membership of over 100,000 in up to 19 different countries. He currently
is the President of the BKK and head of the IFK.
His 8th dan was awarded to him, not by Japan or Mas
Oyama and Kyokushin, but by the entire British karate community
for his services to karate in Great Britain. On May 26th, 2001, Hanshi
was awarded his 9th dan by the IFK Country Representatives
at their meeting in Berlin. In August 2011, on the occasion of the 3rd Junior World tournament, the IFK Country Representatives voted to award Hanshi his 10th dan. I'm pleased to say that I was one of those Country representatives, and am proud to say that I was present at this historic occasion.
Senpai Jenny Fuller (IFK Australia), Hanshi with his brand new 10th dan belt, and Shaharin Yussof
Steve Arneil has authored a couple of books on karate, including
the kata book mentioned above, and a book outlining the kihon
techniques and sequences thereof required by the IFK syllabus.
Despite having built up his own international organisation, run several major world tournaments, and boasting a stable of some of the world's best Kyokushin fighters, past and present, he doesn't rest on his laurels. In 2010, at the age of 75, Hanshi is STILL busy (and enjoying) travelling around the various member countries of the IFK, giving seminars and training camps, teaching, and presiding over camps and tournaments.