Kaichō David Farzinzad was born just north of Tehran, Iran in 1962. From age seven, he was involved with sports, principally soccer and Olympic wrestling, and became attracted the practice of martial arts. Kaichō captured the title of junior youth champion of Olympic wrestling in Tehran from the age of nine until he was 12. Kaichō experimented with the practice of Kung Fu briefly, but later was captured by the Kyokushin style of Karate. At the age of twelve, Kaichō decided to dedicate himself to Kyokushin and would forgo other sports in order to practice the art seriously. Through his hard work and dedication, Kaichō excelled in the art and captured his first national bare-knuckle karate championship at the age of 16. Kaichō would later go on to win 10 consecutive national championships by the age of 26. Additionally, Kaichō took two national titles in Kyokushin Kata competitions and placed an impressive 10th in a national competition open to all styles (many of which focus principally on the practice of Kata). During that period, Kaichō assumed a leadership role in Iran’s Kyokushin community, having become the manager of Iran’s central dōjō at the age of 17. Kaichō became a candidate for two World Karate Tournaments held in Japan in 1984 and 1987, but could not compete due to the Iran – Iraq war and his military service obligations.

In 1989, Kaichō Farzinzad traveled to Japan to train under Sosai Oyama and within a brief period of time Sosai Oyama appointed  Kaichō as Iran’s representative to the International Kyokushinkai Organization (I.K.O.). In 1990, Kaichō represented Sosai Oyama and the IKO Honbu Dōjō (Headquarters School) as a fighter in Japan’s National Championship. Later that year, he returned to Iran and founded the Iran Kyokushinkai Karate Association (I.K.A.) and opened the central dōjō for the Middle East region in Tehran. Then in 1991, Kaichō coached the Iranian National Team and led them to the 5th World Championship Tournament in Japan.

During his tenure as his country’s representative to the I.K.O., Kaichō rehabilitated Iran’s Kyokushin Organization and turned it into the most active I.K.O. branch in the world. He instituted a strict meritocracy that included the traditional Black Belt Promotion system and which ended corruption and illegitimate certifications. Further, he convinced Sosai Oyama to create a Middle East branch position and was singularly responsible for identifying the Middle East chairman based on his experience with the member countries and familiarity of the politics involved.

Then in 1993, Sosai Oyama, recognized Kaichō’s public relations and administrative skills, plus, his technical knowledge and competitive history, and thusly overruled I.K.O. policy and awarded him his 5th Degree of mastery. Until that moment, a candidate had to be at least 35 years of age to be eligible for such a promotion. Kaichō Farzinzad is the first and last person to be awarded a 5th degree (Go Dan) from Sosai Oyama under age 30, making him the youngest 5th Dan in Kyokushin history. Concurrently, Kaichō became one of the youngest Kyoshi (Shihan) promoted by Sosai Oyama and was subsequently honored for his hard work and commitment to I.K.O. with one of the most coveted Kyokushin certifications, awarded by Sosai Oyama to only a handful of elite practitioners worldwide, authorizing the training of instructors, judges, and referees for competition at the International level.

Subsequently, Kaichō was named the technical director for the Middle East region and facilitated several national and regional tournaments. Most notably, he was able to negotiate between the Arab states and Israel, which culminated in their joint participation in a World Tournament. Additionally, at that time, Kaichō simply stated that any “Kyokushin fighter who lives on the earth deserves to participate in the World Tournament competition. If one side thinks they have something to prove, let them do it in the ring the Kyokushin way. The responsibility of a true teacher, is to treat everyone fairly and equitably, regardless of their race, religion or nationality.”

Moreover, during this period, the Iranian revolution came to pass and with it new challenges for Kyokushin and its members. Under the new regime, ladies were expelled from many public activities including organized sports. Committed to his belief in the value of women in society and the need for freedom, Kaichō reinstated public Kyokushin practice for women in his headquarters. This public support for women’s freedom subjected Kaichō to much harassment and intimidation from the new regime and its supporters. As a result, Kaichō was left without any government support, faced spurious interrogations and, on one occasion, had his Honbu Dōjō (Headquarters School) locked and sealed by the authorities. Notwithstanding, Kaichō continued his hard work as was rewarded by having his Honbu Dōjō featured in the 1994 I.K.O. calendar that was distributed in Japan. It was to be the last official I.K.O. calendar under Sosai Oyama as he passed away that year. Kaichō’s woman’s program grew to be so successful that one of his students (and wife) was allowed to travel to Japan and succeeded in attaining her 3rd Degree (San Dan) from Sosai Oyama. In accomplishing her promotion, Sensei Farzinzad became the only woman from the Middle East, and one of a handful of women in the world to complete a thirty-man kumite – a grueling test in which the candidate has to fight thirty men in a row under the traditional bare-knuckle format.

Upon her return to Iran, Sensei Farzinzad excelled as an instructor under Kaichō’s supervision and was able to develop and award nine women their black belts. When Kaichō left for the United States, the Iranian Kyokushinkai program under his control had over 8,000 members. Kaichō cares very much about Kyokushin, and writes The Sword of Truth to express his opinions, concerns, and philosophy.

On September 10, 2012 Kaichō was inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame and currently, he is the director or I.K.U. and instructs students in Kyokushin at his Honbu Dōjō in Canton, CT. Kaichō is married to the aforesaid Shihan Nahid Farzinzad and has 3 children, all whom have reached their various ranks of black belts; Sensei Mohammad, Sempai Reza, and Sempai Pegah, respectively.
Copyright © 2013-2018 国際 極真会 連合 International Kyokushinkai Union - IKU NYC All Rights Reserved
To learn more about Kaichō Farzinzad, the Honbu Dōjō, and IKU (International Kyokushinkai Union), you can read the Winter Edition of Karatekas of Karatedō Issue No. 7, an on-line magazine that features IKU, which includes interviews with Kaichō Farzinzad, Shihan Farzinzad, IKU's Secretary Sempai Casey, and Sensei Bobb, Sensei Wood, and Sensei Sweet of Kyokushin Rensselaer Dōjō in Castleton, NY.
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