Shihan Kenneth Funakoshi, Founder and Chief Instructor of the Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association, started judo training in 1948 under Arakaki Sensei at the Fort Gakuen Japanese Language School in Honolulu, Hawaii. He attended Farrington High School in the Kalihi District and was on the football team and captain of the Territory of Hawaii (Hawaii was not a state yet) Championship swim team. While attending the University of Hawaii on a swimming scholarship Funakoshi Sensei started Kempo training under Adriano Emperado from 1956 to 1959.
In 1960, Shihan Funakoshi started Shotokan training when the Japan Karate Association (JKA) assigned its first Grand Champion, Sensei Hirokazu Kanazawa, to teach at the Karate Association of Hawaii, Shihan Funakoshi remained a student of Sensei Kanazawa's for the next three years. Then from 1963-1966 Shihan Funakoshi trained under Sensei Masataka Mori, another instructor from the JKA. Finally from 1966 to 1969, he trained under the third and last instructor sent by the JKA, the legendary Sensei Tetsuhiko Asai, another former Grand Champion from Japan.
In 1969, after training 10 years under three of Japan's top Shotokan instructors and then winning the Grand Championship of the Karate Association of Hawaii for five years in a row (1964-1968), Shihan Funakoshi was appointed as the Chief Instructor for the Karate Association of Hawaii.
Shihan Funakoshi moved to San Jose, California to teach karate in December 1986. In 1987, the non-political Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association was founded with its world headquarters now in Milpitas, California and the organisation now has affiliates throughout the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Europe, Russia, Mexico, and many other countries around the world.