IKA News - June / July 2015

Soke and The Seminar Group in Torino, Italy – May 2015

Soke and The Seminar Group in Torino, Italy – May 2015


On May 1-3, Soke, Ted Bratakos, Rod and Cheryl Kuratomi, and Armando Gongora traveled to Turin, Italy for the annual IKA Italy Karate Championship Cup. The tournament was hosted by Hanshi Giorgio Bortolin and was a special tournament for only brown and black belt competitors. In attendance were our IKA groups from Poland, Belarus, and Molinella -  Italy. The weekend kicked off with two days of seminars on kata, kumite, kubotan and kubojitsu taught by Soke in his usual dynamic and innovative manner and culminated with Dan testing.  A special presentation was done by Soke bestowing the rank of 9th dan, and the title of Hanshi to our host, Giorgio Bortolin and Allesandro Pajello from Molinella for all of their years of training and contributions to the art of karate. The IKA USA group was treated to accommodations in Hanshi Bortolin’s farm house located on his working vineyard producing excellent Barbera wine. The peace and tranquility of the Italian countryside was greatly appreciated by us city dwellers from Los Angeles. Soke and all of IKA would like to thank Hanshi Bortolin for hosting such a fine event and for being such an excellent host to all the visiting teams. We all enjoyed several excellent Italian meals and were exposed to some of the best wine we have ever had. It was great to have the IKA family together once again. Osss!



On Saturday, June 6th at 8:30 am, Soke will be having a mandatory meeting for all HQ instructors. Please mark your calendars.



On March 14th, Soke and Kyoshi Kuratomi taught the biggest Kubotan seminar ever. The seminar was hosted by long time Kubotan instructor, Tomas Miledi. Close to 100 students came out to Monterrey, Mexico to participate in a full day Kubotan seminar specifically designed by Soke for security and law enforcement personnel. Special techniques utilizing multiple security personnel to “swarm” and arrest a combative suspect were taught among numerous other techniques.

Tomas is one of the few people world-wide that have a dedicated Kubotan dojo and teaches Kubotan full time exclusively. For this reason and for his skill and dedication, Soke promoted Tomas to the first ever Black Belt in Kubotan. Sensei Tomas was given a 4th dan in Kubotan. It is a historic occasion and well deserved. Congratulations Tomas ! You earned it !

The Biggest Kubotan Seminar in Monterrey, Mexico – March 2015

The Biggest Kubotan Seminar in Monterrey, Mexico – March 2015

Soke Instructing in Kubotan Arresting Technique – Monterrey, Mexico – March 2015

Soke Instructing in Kubotan Arresting Technique – Monterrey, Mexico – March 2015

Soke Awarding 4th Dan in Kubotan to Tomas Miledi in Monterrey, Mexico – March 2015

Soke Awarding 4th Dan in Kubotan to Tomas Miledi in Monterrey, Mexico – March 2015


Los Angeles, - August 8, 2015
Soke will be teaching a seminar on choke holds, wrist locks, arm bars and counters as well as kaishi waza (force redirection) at the Nikkei Games seminar at Centenary United Methodist Church. The same day, Shihan Fumio Demura will be teaching a seminar on the nunchaku. The cost is only $30 for both seminars. For more information see the Nikkei Karate website at:


On Sunday August 9th, 2015, the annual Nikkei games tournament will be held at the Pyramid at Cal State University Long Beach. The tournament is unique in that it is a karate, kendo, and judo tournament, all in the same room at the same time. Spectators are able to see all three events taking place simultaneously.

The tournament is designed to foster good will among the martial arts community and is a sponsored event. Cost for registration is only $30 for pre-registration and $35 for registration the day of the event. This includes a free Nikkei games T-shirt for all competitors. The entry fee is a fixed cost
and does not vary regardless of the number events you are registered for. Cost for spectators is free.

Volunteers are critical for the continued success of this tournament. Last year, volunteers for the event were in short supply. If you can assist in any way, your help will be greatly appreciated. We need people to judge, time keep, score keep, and to help set up and clean up after the event. Any assistance of any kind will be greatly appreciated.  For additional information and registration information, you can contact  Kyoshi Rod Kuratomi at:


Mark your calendar for the next IKA All Star Tournament to be held in Los Angeles at Occidental College on Sunday, October 4th, 2015.  This tournament has been steadily growing over the past several years with many international competitors. Hope to see you in LA! Email Soke for more information if you are interested in attending.


Let your friends and family know, the IKA Headquarters is running a special promotional rate for new students. The introductory cost will be $50 for one month. This is a huge discount over the normal $105 per month rate. This gives a great opportunity for family and friends to try karate without a large financial investment.  (After one month, normal rates apply. Ask for family and multi month discounts)

Soke Presenting 9th dan and The Title of Hanshi to Giorgio Bortolin and Alessandro Pajello from Italy – May 2015

Soke Presenting 9th dan and The Title of Hanshi to Giorgio Bortolin and Alessandro Pajello from Italy – May 2015

Soke Sending Sensei Armando Gongora Airborne During the Kubojitsu Seminar in Turin, Italy – May 2015

Soke Sending Sensei Armando Gongora Airborne During the Kubojitsu Seminar in Turin, Italy – May 2015

The Men’s Kumite Champions From the Torino Tournament (left to right) Jacek Chalupka and Krzysiek Chalupka from Poland, Emanuel Clemente – Italy

The Men’s Kumite Champions From the Torino Tournament (left to right) Jacek Chalupka and Krzysiek Chalupka from Poland, Emanuel Clemente – Italy

The Women’s Kata Champions From the Torino Tournament (left to right) Elena Lardone - Italy, Mila Vedernikova - Belarus, Veronica Emmanuele – Italy

The Women’s Kata Champions From the Torino Tournament (left to right) Elena Lardone - Italy, Mila Vedernikova - Belarus, Veronica Emmanuele – Italy


The Masters Forum is dedicated to increasing the knowledge base of the IKA Family. Each month we will try to cover a new topic on a multitude of facets of the art, dealing with all levels of expertise. This month, we are featuring an article on Gosoku Ryu written by Air Force Officer and IKA Student, Pedro Tirado. I started karate 45 years ago in 1969 in Puerto Rico. I was lucky that the most convenient school to where I lived was the IKA school under Sensei Ben Otake, as I had no basis to compare the relative merit of one karate school or style versus another. I got my black belt from Shihan Manuel Gonzalez in 1974.

Over the years of practice and travel with the Air Force I have found that Shotokan, and Soke Kubota's Gosuku Ryu version of Shotokan in particular, is the most effective form of karate for fighting (at least I have not fought against or seen another style that was better). You can measure this by performance in Kumite in tournaments, in my estimation by who dominates the fight, regardless of who wins or loses. Generally tournaments are won on the basis of points scored, which depend on the ability and impartiality of the referee and judges to score accurately, which oftentimes is not the case (sometimes judges favor competitors from their school or style). If a point is scored the fight is stopped while the point is awarded, and then resumed and stopped at the next point. This follows the theory that the strike that was awarded the point was powerful and technically correct as to be disabling, which in real combat is unlikely to be achieved unless by a skilled fighter against an unskilled one. Even then, street fight experience shows that aggressors have required multiple full power hits to be disabled or subdued (they may be on drugs, drunk or mentally ill).

The U.S. Air Force's philosophy, "You fight like you train", should be a guide to those who practice karate for its self defense value as opposed to its sport value. Primarily the Kumite practiced at IKA concentrated on a quickly initiated, explosive, overwhelming and continuing attack on the opponent (sometimes called the "rush") that unbalanced the opponent and generally ended with him swept onto the floor. Key to enabling the effectiveness of this rush, is the ability to maintain momentum and adjust correct striking spacing from the opponent as he is driven backwards in the rush. This type of sustained attack technique was integral to Gosuku-Ryu and I've only seen some Shotokan stylists be able to do similar. This style of attack does not lend itself well to tournament scoring, because it is hard to see a clear technique amongst the flurry of punches and kicks you are unloading on the opponent (except for some extraordinary fighters such as Val Mijailovic and Boban Petkovic who have the ability, speed and timing to execute visible, clear cut and excellent form strikes in the middle of the rush). 

Knee damage has prevented me from practicing karate for over 20 years...I have stayed away from karate and being in contact with the IKA for most of this time because I miss doing it so much I don't want to be reminded of it. I was able to observe the last 2 IKA All Star Tournaments and from my perspective I was sorry to see that the black belt competitions were weak demonstrations of sport karate, as opposed to the intense demonstrations of speed and violence of action I remember from " back in the day"! This is ok I guess for those who are practicing karate for its sport value...better than no self-defense training...but probably not very effective in a street confrontation.

For me the purpose of competing in tournaments was the opportunity to face off against opponents I had not fought before who had unknown skill and technique. I fought in tournaments like I did in class and though often times I lost due to points or disqualification, I don't think I would have lost a real fight against anyone I ever competed against. That for  me, is the value of Gosuku-Ryu, the ability to win a fight rather than out scoring someone under controlled conditions.


“The more understanding you have about Karate, the less you need to change or modify it.” – Tsuguo Sakumoto 

(former World Karate Champion and master of Ryuei-ryu Karate)



New IKA Pin

The New IKA Pin


Soke is producing some very nice gold plated IKA pins. If you are interested, email Soke with your name and the quantity of pins you would like to order. The back has a single tie pin type backing.  The cost will be $15 USD each plus $5 shipping within the USA for up to 10 pins. Email for international rates as it varies by country. Acceptable payment, cash, check, credit card, or Pay Pal. Send payment directly to Soke along with the quantity desired and your shipping address.



It has recently come to our attention that there are many IKA black belts that have black belt certificates issued by their instructors in their respective dojos but they wish to have their rank registered with IKA Headquarters and have a certificate issued by Soke Kubota with his signature on it. There are even some counterfeit certificates out there with a forged signature of Soke on it.  If your instructor is recognized by Soke Kubota as an instructor that meets his standards, then Soke will register your rank and will issue a certificate by mail for the cost of $125. Sent a copy of your existing certificate for consideration.



Come and "Like" Soke on Facebook:


Soke will be using Facebook for posting photos of his travels and other happenings. Becuase Soke has exceeded 5,000 friends so he has started a new page on facebook:



There are many dojos that still have not paid their annual membership renewal fee. Please note that if your fees are not paid you should not be using the IKA name,  the IKA trademark, nor Soke Kubota’s name. If you have financial problems, please contact Soke Kubota directly to work out special financial arrangements. It is not about money, it is about respect. Please observe proper Reigi (protocol) as the overhead of running the IKA is very expensive. Send Soke an e-mail if you have questions as to the different methods of  payment, especially for dojos outside of the United States.



Each seek perfection of character.
Develop morals, ethics and distinguishable attributes.

Each be faithful.
Be loyal and devoted to a person, cause, or idea.

Each endeavor.
Have conscientious or concerted effort toward an end with an earnest attempt.

Each respect others.
To feel or show deferential value, honor, appreciation and regard for another.

Each refrain from violent behavior.
To hold oneself back from responding with inappropriate anger and physical force.

List of IKA Headquarters Staff and Instructors

President and Founder Soke Takayuki Kubota
Soke Dai James Caan
Vice-President Thea Kubota
Office Manager Carmen Kim
Senior Technical Advisors Val Mijailovic, Boban Petkovic
Technical Director Rod Kuratomi
National Coach and Advisor Ted Bratakos
Secretary Judy Rao
Liason, Special Projects Sara Kubota
Medical Advisor Dr. Ashok Rao, M.D.
Webmaster Brian McEvoy
Official Photographer Lee Fisher


Soke Takayuki Kubota  10th dan Master
Boban Petkovic  8th dan Hanshi
Hank Hamilton  8th dan Hanshi
Paul McCaul  8th dan Hanshi
Val Mijailovic  8th dan Hanshi
Antonio Antonetti  7th dan Kyoshi
George Sinani  7th dan Kyoshi
Rod Kuratomi  7th dan Kyoshi
Tatsuo Hirano  7th dan Kyoshi
Ted Bratakos  7th dan Kyoshi
Mark Grigorian  6th dan Shihan
Demetrio Munoz  5th dan Shihan
Marcial Soto 5th dan Shihan
Norvell Carrere  5th dan Shihan
Danny Kahan  4th dan Shihan Dai
Sami Asmar  4th dan Shihan Dai
Stuart Richman  4th dan Shihan Dai
Victor Chico 4th dan Shihan Dai
Alfanso Espinosa  3rd dan Sensei
Anthony Boosalis 2nd dan Sensei
Fumiko Hamada 2nd dan Sensei
Judy Rao 2nd dan Sensei
Patrick Reddy 2nd dan Sensei
Roy Simmons 2nd dan Sensei
Martyn Romero 1st dan Sensei
Randy Blue 1st dan Sensei


The average training time for the Shihan (Master) level instructor is 30+ years of training and teaching. Each Shihan not only teaches but trains as well in order to maintain their status. Title is not automatically bestowed with rank. Soke also has several other master level instructors in Kubojitsu , Kobudo and IPT (International Police Training). Shihan Dai is a Deputy Master level instructor with an average of 20-30 years of training and teaching. Titles are reserved only for instructors that are ACTIVELY teaching at IKA Headquarters. Dan ranks are retained but titles can be changed as Soke sees fit.


We welcome any contributions you may have that you wish to have published subject to approval by Soke. Submit the articles to Soke in writing or e-mail them to him at:


It has come to Soke Kubota’s attention that some organizations around the world may be using IKA’s name and trademarks without permission. The name ”International Karate Association, Inc.” (IKA) and its registered trademarks may be used by affiliated organizations only after first receiving Soke’s written permission.   In addition, Soke’s hand written signature or the red Japanese signature stamp must not be used without his expressed permission. The red stamp is like a legal signature in Japan and is a symbol of authenticity. It should not be used by anybody except for Soke or for purposes that he authorizes. The “International Karate Association” name must not be used by itself to represent your organization. There is only one International Karate Association, Inc. and it is at Headquarters in Glendale, California, USA. After receiving approval from Soke, you may use the IKA name, but it must be attached with another description to differentiate it from the IKA Headquarters.  For example, if you are from the state of Nebraska, you could use the name, “International Karate Association of Nebraska” or something similar.


Please note that proper protocol (Reigi) requires that information matters directly relating to IKA Headquarters, IKA tournaments, karate training and seminars must be communicated to Soke Kubota first before contacting other members within the organization. It is improper for Soke to be the last person to be informed of matters that directly involve him and IKA Headquarters such as, for example, your intention to attend his tournament or invitations to tournaments that are addressed directly to a Headquarters student without Soke’s knowledge. It is proper respect in both of these cases to inform Soke first or at the same time that the student is contacted.   Thank you for your consideration in these matters. 


Due to increased liability risks, it is necessary that all IKA schools carry some form of liability insurance to protect the school from legal issues that may arise from accidents. The amount of liability insurance will depend on your location. USA schools are suggested to carry one-million dollars of liability insurance.

Past News Letters

Feb - Mar 2015 News Letter

August 2014 News Letter

May - Jun 2014 News Letter

Dec - Jan 2013-14 News Letter

Aug - Sep 2013 News Letter

Apr - May 2013 News Letter

Jan - Feb 2013 News Letter

Nov - Dec 2012 News Letter

Aug - Sept 2012 News Letter

June - July 2012 News Letter

Mar - Apr 2012 News Letter

Jan - Feb 2012 News Letter

Nov - Dec 2011 News Letter

Aug - Sept 2011 News Letter

Jun - Jul 2011 News Letter

Apr - May 2011 News Letter

Feb - Mar 2011 News Letter

Nov - Jan 2011 News Letter

Tell us what's new!

We have a form where IKA affiliates around the globe can tell the world about their dojo's activities in their local area. These anecdotes can then be shared with the rest of the IKA family and others through articles in IKA's online newsletter!

© International Karate Association
3301 N. Verdugo Road
Glendale, California 91208
Voice: (818) 541-1240
Fax: (818) 246-0063
E-mail: info@ikakarate.com