The ISKF was founded in September 1977. Shihan Teruyuki Okazaki, 10th dan, the Chairman and the Chief Instructor of the ISKF (retired), and Shihan Yutaka Yaguchi, 9th dan, the Vice Chairman and the Vice Chief Instructor (retired), were two of the original founders. Today, the ISKF is comprised of over twenty-eight Pan American countries, and over thirty-two countries from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The ISKF is still growing and continually adds new clubs and countries to its membership, and currently has over 75,000 individual members worldwide.
By 1981, the ISKF had grown to include other countries in North and South America, and the Caribbean. Throughout the 1980s, the organization continued to grow and add member countries. This group of countries was later recognized as the Pan American region within the Japan Karate Association (JKA). In 1987, the ISKF hosted the first Pan American tournament in Trinidad with a handful of countries. In 1989, the tournament was held in Guyana and over 20 countries were invited and participated. Subsequent tournaments have been held throughout the Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States.