Profile of Zanshin Shotokan Founder, Sensei Frank Nowak
Born on the 6th October 1947 in Germany, Mr. Nowak's first contact with Karate - Do was in early 1963. He practised five to six times per week and after four years, at the age of 20, he scored a double success by winning the German National Kata Championship a day after being graded a 1st Dan black belt. Mr Nowak represented Germany a number of times at international competitions, including the European Championships held in Brussels in 1968 when the German team gained third place in team Kumite. During that time he was a German team champion as well as Kata champion.
At the age of 22 he moved to Tokyo, Japan, for two years of rigorous training at the instructor's Class at the Headquarters of the Japan Karate Association. In April 1971 he was awarded his 3rd Dan by the late Mr. Nakayama, the 9th Dan Chief Instructor. Prior to leaving for Australia, Sensei Frank and Sensei Kora Nowak were invited to stay with Mr. Nakayama while he took them through a rigorous training of all Shotokan kata.
Mr. Nowak moved to Australia on 12th November 1972 and was the first fully qualified Shotokan Instructor ever to arrive in this country. As the first JKA instructor in this country, he commenced teaching immediately at Miranda and South Sydney, and helped expand dojos elsewhere in the Sydney suburbs and Brisbane. He later followed his teacher, Mr. Kanazawa when he established the Shotokan Karate International organisation.
Mr. Nowak travelled to Japan more than 20 times in order to continue his own progress in the art. Promoted to 6th Dan by Mr. Kanazawa in 1981, Mr. Nowak was given recognition of his progress in 1984 by being awarded the teacher's rank of 'Kyoshi', which freely translated means 'senior teacher'.
Sensei Nowak was highly active in the All Styles Karate environment and had provided leadership to all Australian Karate - Do as Chief Judge of the Annual National Championship of the Federation of Australian Karate - Do Organisations (now the Australian Karate Federation) 10 times in a 15 year period.
As a Karate - ka, Mr. Nowak was proud of the fact that his Karate lineage could be traced through his teacher Mr. H Kanazawa, 9th Dan, and the late Mr. Nakayama, 9th Dan, directly to Gichin Funakoshi Sensei, who is acknowledged as the pioneer of modern Karate - Do.
In 1986, Sensei Nowak formed Zanshin Shotokan Karate - Do with the aim of maintaining a traditional martial arts base with incorporating more realistic fighting techniques.
Sensei Frank Nowak passed away in November 1991 after a long illness. Prior to his death he appointed his loyal student Sensei Kora Nowak, 6th Dan, to succeed him as Chief Instructor.
Zanshin Shotokan's Honbu Dojo is dedicated to the memory of Sensei Frank Nowak who had proved himself to be an exceptionally gifted, talented and inspirational Shotokan Karate - Ka and teacher.