Zimbabwe JKA was founded in 1965 when the country was still known as Southern Rhodesia.
Zimbabwe JKA chief instructors to date are:
- Sensei Brian Batty (1965-78)
- Sensei Rene Regtien (1978-88)
- Sensei Graham Thawarts (1988)
- Sensei Gibson Sangweni (1988-2007)
- Sensei Phibion Mudzenda (2007 to date)
Zimbabwe JKA is affiliated to Japan Karate Association, the mother body of JKA karate as well as to the Zimbabwe National Karate Federation (ZNKF), the association in charge of semi-contact karate in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe JKA always takes part in national, regional and international events organized by the JKA/WF and ZNKF, including tournaments, meetings and seminars.
Every year, Zimbabwe JKA hosts at least two major tournaments namely the ZJKA Individual Championship and the ZJKA Team Championship.
Zimbabwe JKA has dojos around the country in major cities such as Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Kwekwe, Masvingo and Bindura, and is making in-roads into peri-urban and rural areas such as Gokwe and Nyika.
Zimbabwe JKA is indebted to several regional instructors such as the late Sensei Stan Schmidt and Sensei Edward Mtshali, who provided critical technical support for the association in its formative years.
Over the years, Zimbabwe JKA has honed some of Zimbabwe’s finest karatekas who have represented the country in JKA/WF and national inter-style tournaments with great pride. Zimbabwe JKA activities took a knock during some of the worst years of economic hardship in the country, which saw droves of karatekas leaving the country in search of better economic opportunities. In recent years, the association has made notable strides towards re-establishing itself as the style of first choice in Zimbabwe, as well as to rekindle the interest of some members who had become inactive for different reasons.