IKA News - Feb / Mar 2015

Soke and The Seminar Group in Warsaw, Poland  November 2014

Soke and The Seminar Group in Warsaw, Poland – November 2014


In November, Soke Kubota and Kyoshi Rod Kuratomi travelled to Warsaw, Poland to teach karate and kubojitsu seminars.  The seminar was hosted by Shihans Jacek and Krzysiek Chalupka. In attendance were several dojos from the Poland area and also our dojos from Italy, Belarus and Serbia. Once again, the Brothers Chalupka did a fantastic job organizing the trip. The hospitality was fantastic and the weekend was capped off by a wonderful banquet complete with the finest Polish cuisine and music. We would like to sincerely thank our hosts and to our dedicated IKA groups that travelled long distance to attend the event. The IKA continues to grow in Europe and it is due to the dedication and training of our affiliates.

We thank you and look forward to our next visit !



Soke would like to thank all that came out and attended the annual IKA Holiday party in December. It was a fantastic event with a 40 foot long table of food and drink. This is the annual event that all IKA members look forward to and all IKA members and their family are invited and encouraged to attend. Mark your calendar for the next party which is slated for the Saturday before Thanksgiving which will be Saturday November 21st . By having  the party early, it will not conflict with so many other events during the holidays in December. Don’t miss it!



Monterrey, Mexico – March 14, 2015
Soke Kubota and Kyoshi Rod Kuratomi will be travelling to Monterrey, Mexico to teach a one day intensive Kubotan seminar (all day of a “little ouchy!”). The host will be our long time kubotan instructor, Tomas Miledi. For more information, contact Sensei Miledi at his email at:




Turin, Italy – May 1-3, 2015

Soke Kubota will be traveling to teach seminars and oversee an advanced black and brown belt tournament in Turin (Torino) Italy. The weekend will be hosted by long time and dedicated instructor, Hanshi Giorgio Bortolin. For this trip, IKA Headquarters will be sending a group to honor Hanshi Bortolin for his many years of dedication and service. We expect Thea Kubota and Kyoshi Ted Bratakos will accompany Soke as well as Kyoshi Rod Kuratomi and his wife Cheryl. Seminars will be on May 1st and 2nd with the Tournament on Sunday May 3rd. We expect attendance from our Italy groups as well as Serbia, Belarus, and Poland. For more information, contact Hanshi Bortolin at his email at:



Soke in Poland with Hanshi Pajello and the Black Belts Attending the Seminar

Soke in Poland with Hanshi Pajello and the Black Belts Attending the Seminar


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.


Soke will soon announce the dates of the Mother/Daughter self defense class. This class will be taught once a week for three consecutive weeks on Saturdays from 11 am to 12 pm at a cost of only $25 for both the mother and the daughter. Help keep your family safe and have them attend the class. You can’t afford not to ! No martial arts experience necessary. The start date to be announced.


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 welcomes Sensei Scott McKenzie and his group from New Zealand that will be training for one week at IKA Headquarters. Sensei Scott and his group will be coming in the month of May. This is an excellent opportunity to get training right from the source. Soke welcomes all visiting groups to come and train at IKA Headquarters. We can also arrange special Dan testing for those visiting students. If you are interested, email Soke to make sure he is in town when you come to visit.


The IKA would like to welcome Sensei Andrey Piliposyan of Armenia to the IKA organization. Sensei Piliposyan was recruited by Shihan Dai Andrei Vedernikov. We welcome Armenia to the IKA and look forward to a long relationship with Sensei Piliposyan. We also thank Shihan Dai Vedernikov for his support.


Kubotan Seminar with Soke Kubota
 Mexico – March 14, 2015
Host: Tomas Miledi

Black Belt Tournament
Torino, Italy – May 1-3, 2015
Host: Hanshi Giorgio Bortolin

Nikkei Games Tournament and Seminar
Long Beach, California August 9, 2015
Seminar, Saturday August 8th with Soke Kubota in Los Angeles

51st Annual IKA All Star Tournament
Los Angeles – October 4, 2015



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 reprinting an article from Aibudo on “Why Students Drop Out of Martial Arts Classes”. If we know why people drop out, we can learn how to keep them training.
Why Students Drop Out of Martial Arts Classes
 OCTOBER 6, 2014 
Source: Aibudo

The high dropout rate among martial arts students is not surprising: many come in with visions of Bruce Lee and leave with memories of knuckle push-ups.  Instead of being formed into acrobatic fighting machines within a month, they have been forced to perform boring and repetitious sets of blocks, kicks and stretching exercises.

In many cases, dropping out is a considered decision made by a person who recognizes that he or she is not willing or able to commit the time and energy to learn a sophisticated system that, ideally, requires a lifetime of study.  Other times, however, students drop out when they hit a slump, telling themselves they will just take a break from the martial arts and then return.  Most, of course, never come back.

There are three danger periods in martial arts training, times when students are most likely to quit.  Following is a look at these three periods, with an explanation as to why they occur.

Early-Belt Fizzle
By far the greatest number of students leave the martial arts after earning their first or second belt promotion.  As mentioned previously, these students often go in with superficial motivation and quickly realize they’re not willing to sweat and suffer for the next few years to achieve their goal.  Yet they are unwilling to be outright “quitters,” so they stay on to earn that first or even second promotion before dropping out.  Thus, they are left with at least a mild sense of accomplishment, having earned a belt in the martial arts.

Some students quite honestly realize at this time, that they are not willing or able to meet the demands of martial arts training. 

Intelligent and interested adults who, while still admiring the martial arts, decide they simply are not willing to invest the time, energy and money to pursue them in earnest.  It is wise for instructors not to urge such students to continue their studies.  Martial arts, unlike, say, guitar playing, is not something one can do haphazardly, just now and then.  With a guitar, one has the choice of learning a few chords or of going on and becoming expert.  In martial arts, it goes against the system to stay at the “few chords” stage.

In fact, if a student is going to quit the martial arts, the early-belt stage is probably the best time, for there has been no great investment–of time or money.  For whatever reasons, the student has decided the martial arts are not for him or her.  Who can argue?  Let them go.

Brown Belt Slump
The World Tang Soo Do Association “Black Belt Manual” describes the brown belt stage as “analogous to the plants which curtail their growth and prepare to flower in late summer.” The brown belt is a sort of plateau, in which the student has become adept at basics and is ready to gear up for the harder training leading to a black belt.

A student who earns a brown belt is justifiably proud.  However, with this pride often comes a sense of complacency, the feeling that “I’ve earned my brown belt, now I can sit back and take it easy awhile.” Quite frequently this feeling deteriorates into a slump in which the student loses his or her sense of motivation, attends class less often, and slacks off in practice.  The brown belt slump seems to be one of the most difficult syndromes for the students to conquer.  Those students who decide to lay off at this point just for “awhile” often never return.  This is compounded by the fact the student may feel confident in self-defense skills and not feel a burning need to learn more.

Lower-belt students should be cautioned in advance about this brown belt slump, which at times seems almost universal.  Instructors should tell students to expect such feelings so that they will not be lulled into the false security that may ultimately end in their quitting the school.  Forewarned, they can recognize the symptoms of the brown belt slump and wait it out.  The cure is to continue practice on a minimal level, forcing oneself to go through the basics until the slump has passed.  For, as black belts can attest, once the brown belt slump has passed, a

remarkable and unexpected energy surges forth.  Suddenly, that “plant” begins to flower!

Black Belt False Peak
To a beginning martial artist, the black belt represents the ultimate goal.  He or she can rarely see beyond that.  And that is as it should be.  To a person standing in a valley, the mountain peak on the horizon appears to be the highest, when in fact it is merely one of the lower peaks at the edge of a vast, unseen mountain range.

As a student approaches his or her black belt, however he or she should recognize it as merely the end of one life cycle and the beginning of another.  Unfortunately, some students reach their first-degree black belt and decide they have mastered their art and obtained their goal–and they wind up quitting altogether.

This is perhaps the most puzzling of the three danger periods.  Quitting practice after achieving black belt is analogous to receiving an expensive and coveted car, and then never changing the oil, lubricating or otherwise caring for the car, until it finally falls apart at an early age.

A martial artist, black belt or otherwise, must practice regularly to keep his or her skills honed.  Reflexes, flexibility, power–these attributes do not magically exist in the body and mind of a student upon earning a black belt.

What’s the cure for this false peak of the first-degree black belt?  Perhaps the answer is exposure to dedicated and interested masters or higher-ranking students, who can show the first-degree black belts that they are merely beginners on a wondrous road that need have no end.  All martial artists need to remember that mastery of a style is a process, not a destination, and if they can keep plodding past the slumps and false peaks, their skills will not desert them.  They should also remember that a person must decide for oneself whether to continue martial arts study.  An instructor should not attempt to make a student feel bad or guilty for quitting.  Instead, the instructor should give the student every opportunity to understand the reasons for not quitting.  Some people are just not ready to learn the martial arts, and for them it is probably better that they quit.  Yet, when one is ready, truly ready, there is no holding that person back.



“Karate aims to build character, improve human behavior, and cultivate modesty; it does not, however, guarantee it.” 

 Yasuhiro Konishi (founder of Shindo Jinen-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

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

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