P. Sonny Pillay, 8th Dan Black Belt
Chief instructor Sonny Pillay has received many special awards during his karate career spanning 35years.
During the 1996 WKF (World Karate Federation) World Junior and Cadet Championships, the WKF awarded him with a special honorary award. In 1998 he was honoured with an international award for his worldwide contribution to the martial arts by the India festival committee of New York.
KASA, the national governing body for karate in South Africa honoured him with a Sixth degree all styles grade and a commendation award for his contribution to the karate fraternity in 1999. In addition to his responsibility of SKISA, he presently holds the following positions:
Member of UFAK(Union of the Federation of Africa Karate) technical commission
Executive Member of the Grading Commission of KASA (Karate Association of South Africa)
Sonny Pillay started off with the JKA Shotokan style in 1968 and in 1971, he opened a small dojo with some fellow students. Owing to great frustration that because of their "non-white" status, he and of his fellow colleagues were not able to test for Black Belt ranking, he set his sights abroad, particularly on England, as his idol, the great Kanazawa Sensei was the resident instructor in England at the time.
Sonny did not manage to meet Mr Kanazawa during his short visit to England in 1975, as Kanazawa had moved to Canada. Nevertheless, he did meet and train another great master who played a tremendous influence on his karate career - none other than Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda.
During 1976, he represented the S.A. Indian team against the English National team, gaining vast experience in tournament fighting techniques, fighting against such famous karateka as Billy Higgins, Ticky Donovan and others.
In August 1977, he emigrated to Britain with his newly wedded wife. For one solid year he trained under the watchful gaze of "The Tiger" (Enoeda Sensei) as well as with Sensei's Kawazoe, Tomita and Asano. December of 1978 had him testing for Black Belt under Asano Sensei who had in that time, switched to SKI. Soon after that he returned to South Africa at the invitation of a local Shotokan instructor who had requested his services to teach. This was the foundation for the SKISA
In 1979, he went back to England for a three months intensive course with Asano Sensei, after which, Asano Sensei visited South Africa. That opened the way for the many other Japanese Sensei to visit and teach. He has also since then, on a yearly basis, taken teams abroad to compete and train.