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. The first full time dojo was located in Stratford, in East London. 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".

Hanshi Steve Arneil

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. He held the rank of 8th dan for many years, which 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. Hanshi Steve Arneil now holds the rank of 9th dan which was awarded to him by all the International Federation of Karate (IFK) country representatives from arround the world.

Steve Arneil has authored a couple of books on karate and a book outlining the kihon techniques and sequences thereof required by the IFK syllabus.

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Courtesy British Karate Kyokushinkai

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