On December 22, 2021, the IKD Shihan-kai Senate made the following promotions during the IKD 2021 Tenth Anniversary announcements.
- Shuseki Shihan Frank Woon-A-Tai – 10th Dan
- Fuku Shuseki Shihan Dr. W. Dexter Shim – 9th Dan
- Fuku Shuseki Shihan Maureen Woon-A-Tai – 9th Dan
Shuseki Shihan Frank Woon-A-Tai was the first JKA ISKF Instructor to be promoted to 7th Dan under the Japan Karate Association 2 decades ago. He was number one of the first four Instructors in the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF) to be promoted to 8th Dan in 2008 by Masters Okazaki and Yaguchi. Shihan Frank held the office of one of two ISKF Technical Committee Vice-Chairmen directly under Masters Yaguchi and Okazaki. He graduated the ISKF Instructor Training Institute in 1989, after willingly completing the course three times over. In 2004, he graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.A. in Japanese Studies and a minor in History. In 2011, Frank became a Member of the Order of Service of Guyana, and was awarded the Medal of Service by former President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo. In 1996, he was a recipient of the French Guiana Medal of Honour, bestowed on him by the Regional President for 20 years of service to that country. Frank is the author of Shu-Ha-Ri: My Life in Japanese Karate, published in 2020. His book illustrates his early life in Guyana to his move to Jamaica and Canada, then to the rest of the world, only to return to Guyana, his roots.
Fuku Shuseki Shihan Dr. W. Dexter Shim met Shihan Frank while he was a medical student in Jamaica in 1976. Dr. Dexter Shim, M.B.B.S., DLO, FRCS, was born in Trinidad and Tobago in 1952. He was educated at the University of the West Indies, the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, and the Royal College of Surgeons in England. Dr. Shim is an Associate Lecturer at the UWI Medical School, and heads the Department of Otolaryngology and Ophthalmology at Port-of-Spain General Hospital.
Fuku Shuseki Shihan Maureen Woon-A-Tai and Shihan Frank Woon-A-Tai have been married for 48 years. They both have over fifty years of training with world-renowned masters like Nakayama and Okazaki. After 30 years, Maureen retired as a Royal Bank of Canada officer and became the driving force behind Frank’s success. They are parents of Diandra, Michelle and Ken, 6th Dan, four-time World Champion. Michelle has five children, among whom are twins who are actors. Today, Frank and Maureen are proud great-grandparents.
According to the long-established Japanese Martial Arts convention, ninth and tenth dan ratings are reserved for karate masters who are 60 and 70 years old and older. They must have over 50 years of karate training and teaching experience, and the following credentials: an A-class International Supreme Instructor Degree, an A-class International Supreme Examiner Degree, and an A-class Supreme International Judge Degree. More importantly, such a person must be the leader of a large international karate organisation (A-Class), like the International Karate Daigaku (IKD).
In its ten years of operation, the IKD has amassed a membership of 80 regions in 57 countries across the globe. This fantastic achievement under the leadership of Shuseki Shihan Frank Woon-A-Tai surpasses many Japanese-led independent karate organisations with direct lineage and tradition to karate founders Funakoshi and Nakayama.