Master Shoko Sato is dubbed ‘father of Venezuelan karate’. He has been the President of the Pan-American Shitoryu Karate-Do Federation (PSKF) since 1993, and resides in the USA.
Arriving to Venezuela from Japan in the late 1960’s, Master Shoko Sato spread legitimate Shitoryu Karate-Do, with generosity, making it available to all ages (i.e. Dojo Shoko Sato was the first in Venezuela to develop a karate program for children). Through his tireless efforts, he helped lift Venezuelan karate to international standards—both in terms of BUDO practice and sports achievement. Venezuela has witnessed a high level of performance in KATA and has been able to stand tall vis-a-vis top countries in KATA competition around the world.
The invaluable contribution of Master Shoko Sato is evidenced in a number of elite Venezuelan athletes who at various points have experienced the benefit of his teaching: Eduardo Velazco (5th place, World Games 1985); Johanna Sanchez (WKF Champion 2010); and Antonio Diaz (WKF Champion 2010 and 2012). These are three internationally relevant examples of Shitoryu. Many students from Dojo Shoko Sato, both women and men, have stayed practicing for decades, and continue to be inspired, beyond their own training, to act as engines in the promotion of the practice of Karate-Do.
Master Shoko Sato accomplished enormous reach of presence throughout Venezuela, evidenced beautifully in the 30+ year-running annual GASSHUKU (training camp), which was first technically led by Master Shoko Sato in 1981. With the selfless leadership of one of his loyal students, Shihan Eduardo Riveros (7th Dan WSKF), this event now attracts international figures and offers a fruitful Shitoryu learning ground for all attendees. It is the event of most tradition and prestige of its kind in the American continent.
Master Sato honoured his teacher Master Manzo Iwata in life. He was able to invite Master Iwata to Venezuela many times. In 1987, he invited Mster Iwata to attend the annual Shoko Sato Cup. This was 20 years after Master Sato’s arrival to Venezuela. During this event, Master Sato gave a public demonstration as part of his exam for 7th Dan. Sensei Sandra was only 16 years of age then, but was able to compete at the event where Master Sato performed for his teacher, his students, and the students of his students. It was a momentous occasion…700 of Master Sato’s people were able to witness his reach, and the brave showcase of Master Sato’s discipline, fitness, technical ability and undivided commitment to our RYU-HA: Shitoryu.