Hanshi Steve Arneil celebrates his 85th birthday today, August 29.
The South African-British Kyokushin master has learned the art of karate directly from the founder of Karate Kyokushin – Masutatsu Oyama and was a senior instructor in Oyama’s International Karate Organization (IKO) until 1991. He is the founder and President of the International Federation of Karate (IFK), holds the rank of 10th dan, and holds the title Hanshi (teacher of teachers).
Hanshi Steve Arneil is born on August 1934 in South Africa and began to train kung-fu, judo and boxing at the age of 10. 7 years later, he had earned a black belt in judo. In 1959 he arrived in Southeast Asia.
Two years later, he had started learning Karate Kyokushin under the guidance of Masutatsu Oyama. He recalled that, unlike the other karate schools he had visited in Japan, Mas Oyama’s Kyokushin school was selective; on their first meeting, Mas Oyama told Arneil, “Remember, you asked me to train, I didn’t ask you. You don’t follow the rules, you out. Understand?”
On 22 May 1965, Arneil became the first person to complete the 100-man kumite after Oyama himself. The 100-man kumite took him around 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete, with each round scheduled to take 1 minute and 30 seconds. In an interview in 2005, Arneil said, “I did not have to beat everyone I fought, that would have been ridiculous! I just had to keep going, I had to have the spirit not to give up, no matter what they threw at me.”
Sosai Masutatsu Oyama junto a Hanshi Steve Arneil. pic.twitter.com/iNOew64oOY
— German Carballo (@German_Carballo) May 12, 2015
On 23 July 2011, Arneil was awarded 10th Dan at the 3rd IFK U-18 World Tournament by the IFK as recognition for his commitment to Kyokushin Karate.