Shihan Maureen Woon-A-Tai, 8th Dan
Maureen Woon-A-Tai, 8th Dan, is a Deputy Chief Instructor making her the first female traditional karate master in the world to hold such a position. She attained this rank in June 2011 by Special Resolution of the International Board of Directors and Shihan-kai. She received her First Dan in 1974 and seventh dan in 2006 from Masters: Okazaki, Yaguchi, Mikami, Koyama, Takashina, and Ueki (observer). She teaches at the Headquarters dojo in Toronto and travels extensively throughout the IKD world promoting IKD training methods and to administer rank examinations.
A quiet and unassuming woman, Master Woon-A-Tai has a long and distinguished tournament career. She placed sixth in the world at the first International Amateur Karate Federation (IAKF) World Championships in Los Angeles in1975; second in kata at the 1982 Canadian Nationals, persevered, and finally became a World Champion at age 54, capturing gold and silver medals at the 2008 ISKF World Shoto Cup. She followed this up in 2010 by winning another gold medal at the 11th ISKF Pan Am Championships held in Guyana.
Shihan Woon-A-Tai is married to Frank Woon-A-Tai since 1974 and has four grandchildren. She recently retired as a Royal Bank of Canada officer after 30 years’ service. During her tenure at RBC she successfully completed several bank management courses. As well, she completed a course at the University of Toronto in Japanese language and has visited Japan on many occasions for training and tournaments. She brings to the IKD a wealth of experience.
Like her husband, she has trained with almost every famous Japanese and non-Japanese Karate Instructors the JKA has produced since the 1950s. As a deputy chief Instructor, she sits on the IKD Shihan-kai with IKD AAA credentials, some of which she obtained from the JKA and ISKF.
Courtesy of the IKD World Cup Program, 2012