The Trinidad Karate Association, a non-profit organization, is currently one of the largest active organizations teaching traditional Japanese Shotokan Karate in Trinidad and Tobago (TT). With a current active membership of over 175 students, the organization has trained over 7,500 students in TT between the ages of 4 yrs. and 70 yrs. since its inception. The Chief Instructor is Shihan Dexter Shim, 8th Dan who has forty years experience in teaching karate.
Founded in 1967 the TKA soon grew rapidly in Trinidad and it became afounding member of large international organizations such as WUKO (World Union of Karate-do Organizations), and subsequently, the World Karate Federation (WKF). The TKA was previously affiliated to the International Karate Shotokan Federation which is a non-profit organization that seeks to promulgate traditional Japanese karate-do throughout the world.In 2011 the TKA joined the International Karate Daigaku which is headed by Master Frank Woon-A-Tai 9th dan. With its Motto – The International Karate Daigaku — Tradition in the 21st Century, the IKD is a new non-profit World Karate Organization that is dedicated to furthering the art of Karate by studying and analyzing the medical and scientific aspects including physical education and fitness, self defense, and sport as part of its stated philosophy, with the intention being to strive to help curb violence and crime by giving direction to youth.
Currently, no other Shotokan organization in the World has a stated commitment to improving the level of instruction through the promotion of research and innovation. The TKA was a founding member organization of the T.T.K.U. which is recognised by the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs as the national governing body for the Sport of Karate in TT.
The TTKU is also recognized by the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Recognition Committee due to its membership in the Pan American Karate Federation (PKF), the regional body for the World Karate Federation (WKF). The TTKU promotes sport karate under the direction of WKF and upholds standards recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as Karate works towards becoming an Olympic sport, when the WKF. The WKF currently has over 10 million individual members.The TTKU is also a member of the Central American and Caribbean Karate Federation (CCCK), Pan American Karate Federation and a founding member of the CKF (Caribbean Karate Federation).
The Caribbean Karate College (CKC) is a unique organization established in 2007. Currently it falls under the aegis of the IKD. The College was established to integrate the training of examiners, instructors and judges with the high school education system in the Caribbean. As such, the College designs and delivers standardized qualifications for Teachers of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Physical education (PE) Programme.
The CKC therefore undertakes inter alia the following:
- designs and delivers courses to enable suitably qualified students
- to attain the International Karate Daigaku qualifications as Judges, Instructors, and Examiners
- designs and delivers courses in the art and science of coaching karate and co-curricular credit courses in karate
- provides teaching and education fora for dialogue and research on Karate related matters
The TKA facilitates the College in achieving its objectives and TKA students regularly participate in training programmes offered by the College. The College is the source of instruction for the whole of the Southern Caribbean and provide the external examiner for the Practical examination in karate in CXC Physical Education for Trinidad and Tobago for the Karate CXC practical in Physical Education.
Former Chief Instructor Fuku Shuseki Shihan
Dr. W. Dexter Shim
Dr. Wesley Dexter Shim, M.B., B.S., DLO, FRCS, 8th Dan, was born in Trinidad and Tobago in 1952. He was educated at the University of The West Indies (UWI), The Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, and The Royal College of Surgeons in England. Dr. Shim is Associate Lecturer at the UWI Medical School and heads the Department of Otolaryngology and Ophthalmology at Port-of-Spain General Hospital.
He was the Chief Instructor of Trinidad and Tobago and began training in 1968 at St. Mary’s College. He continued training under Sensei Woon-A-Tai while perusing his medical degree at UWI Jamaica and received his First Dan from Master Okazaki in 1976 and his seventh Dan in 2006.
Dr. Shim moved to Barbados in 1980 and contributed to the standard of karate there. During 1980 and 1982 he and his wife Frieda, visited Japan and trained under a number of world-renowned masters that included Shoji, Asai, Tanaka, Osaka, and Yahara.
Dr. Shim continued with his medical specialist studies that took him to England in 1983. There he had the opportunity to train under Master Enoeda. He represented Enoeda’s dojo and won medals on two occasions. He has also won several national and Caribbean championships. Dr. Shim is the originator of the Caribbean Karate College, a revolutionary new idea for including karate in the educational system. He elaborates on the rationale of such bold and pioneering steps:
“There is clearly a need in the society to help curb the violence among young people and to offer people who might not have full academic qualification, but possess the necessary skill, the opportunity to obtain a viable way of earning a living. In addition to this, for the first time, karate has been included in the Caribbean Examination Counsel Physical Education syllabus. We see karate with its maxims of respect and discipline as an important vehicle by which we can help young people find direction. It builds self-esteem and gives an ethic by which a young person can live. As a result there is a need to train Instructors properly to carry out the task of imparting the correct principles by which a person can practice this art…It is also designed to cover the syllabus to be taught for the CXC program and in this way provide a cadre of Instructors who could adequately teach the practical aspect of the CXC martial arts syllabus.”