IKA News - August / Sept 2011

Condolences for Japan

The IKA would like to send our heartfelt condolences for all our friends, relatives, and members of our karate family that have lost love ones and/or homes and businesses in Japan as a result of the Earthquake and Tsunami. We would also like to commend the gallant crew at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant that are sacrificing their lives for the safety of others. They are true heroes. We encourage IKA members to contribute to one of the many charities being set up to assist the victims of this great tragedy. We commend the Japanese people for their demonstration of support for one another. May their actions be an example for the entire world as to how we should conduct ourselves in trying times.

Soke T. Kubota

Soke, Shihan Petkovic (back), Shihan Bratakos , and Shihan Kuratomi (front) in the Nisei Week Parade, August 14th. (Photo courtesy of Shihan Hirano)

Soke, Shihan Petkovic (back), Shihan Bratakos , and Shihan Kuratomi (front) in the Nisei Week Parade, August 14th. (Photo courtesy of Shihan Hirano)


On August 14th, Soke was honored in the annual Nisei week parade as a “Karate Pioneer” recognizing his 72 years of training and originating the Gosoku Ryu system. The parade was viewed by thousands of spectators celebrating Nisei Week which honors Japanese American’s and their accomplishments. IKA headquarters also had several students and instructors participating in the parade giving karate demonstrations. Shihan Antonio Antonetti was the director and choreographer of the parade demo team and he did a fantastic job. Thanks to all the IKA members and parents that came out to enjoy the fun! Thank you to Shihan Tatsuo Hirano who took many photos and was the contributor of the You Tube video of the event. If you missed the video, check it out at:




Soke has just started posting videos of the actual classes taught at IKA Headquarters. For a small fee, you can download the class and view it as many times as you like. We see the future of IKA dojos with a big screen TV on the wall with dojos around the world taking part in virtual classes.  To see and download these videos, go to the IKA website at: www.ikakarate.com

Press the button on the left marked “Web Classes” to preview and download. It is our hope to post several videos every month. Don’t miss this opportunity to view IKA advanced classes in the comfort of your own home or dojo! This is a project that was put into action by our own video expert and instructor, Shihan Val Mijailovic.  Thanks Shihan Val!



Our sincere condolences go out to Shihan Val Mijailovic who lost his mother on August 16th. IKA Headquarters has very fond memories of Val’s mother as she worked all week preparing fantastic food for the annual Slava party at Val’s house. Our prayers are with the Mijailovic family….



On June 25th and 26th, the IKA held their World tournament in Toronto, Canada. The tournament was hosted by Kancho Takemasa Okuyama and was attended by several countries.

Here are a few of the top results:


Winning the Trip to Japan sponsered from CARSON LIT WAGON
Joe Schlesinger 1st Place in Men's Kata & Kumite 35 - 50 years

Master's Cup Kata, Over 7th Dan:
1st - Gustavo Gondra, ARGENTINA
2nd - Roger St. Arneault, Quebec Canada
3rd - Dusan Kljaic

Men's Kata 18 - 35
1st - Michael Piotrkowicz POLAND
2nd - Shinya Nasu CANADA
3rd - Brian Salmon CANADA

1st - James Penor USA
2nd - Michael Piotrkowicz POLAND
3rd - Peter Koves CANADA

Special Mention:

Boys 14 - 17 years old Kata & Kumite
1st Andres Cardenas ECUADOR

Children 6 years Old and Under Division:
1st  for KATA and KUMITE
Evangeline Toledo USA (Silverado Karate, Michigan)

A special congratulations to Jo Anne Wurdeman from IKA Arkansas. She came all the way from Arkansas, alone and won 2nd in both Kubodo and Kata 3rd in Kumite.

She is a local hero now. Here is a link to an article about her winning.......


Special thanks to IKA Canada for hosting the tournament and for all the work and preparation that went into the event. It is much appreciated.



Soke and The IKA Demo Team from the Nisei Week Parade

Soke and The IKA Demo Team from the Nisei Week Parade



Mark your calendar for the next IKA All Star Tournament to be held in Los Angeles at Occidental College on Sunday, October 2nd, 2011. The tournament usually runs from 9 am to 4 pm. Registration starts at 7:30 am sharp.  This tournament has been steadily growing over the past several years with many international competitors.

The tournament offers a reduced rate for entering the kata and kumite event and is one of the best values in tournament competition. Soke Kubota changes the medals every year with a new unique design that he creates himself. As always, there are a wide range of categories including Kobudo, and Gosoku Ryu kata. There are no team events.

The scoring system for this event will be a three point system (Shobu Sanbon) with all scoring techniques worth one point.

As always, it is imperative that we have volunteer support which is necessary for the success of this event. We ask that all IKA members in attendance plan on assisting with the event in some manner. We need judges and referees. We can train you how to be a time keeper or scorekeeper if you have no experience.

The registration forms are available at the website under the tournament section at:



On Sunday August 21st, 2011, the annual Nikkei games tournament will be held at the Pyramid at Cal State University Long Beach. Soke Kubota will also be teaching a self defense seminar using the hook top walking cane on Saturday, August 20th at the LAPD Academy. It is the aim of the tournament to hold an event free from politics in the spirit of true karate and Budo. It is organized by a group of Southern California Senseis and is supported by IKA and Soke Kubota. The So Cal Dojos have united in the common cause to promote karate in for those that may not be able to afford to compete in a mainstream tournament. The tournament is unique in that it is a karate, kendo, and judo tournament, all under one roof 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 $25 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  Shihan Rod Kuratomi at: Kuratomi@yahoo.com


Take a look at our website that has flyers, registration forms and general  information. The  website is: www.nikkeikarate.com



Soke has recently completed a video on Bokken kata (wooden Samurai sword). This video is brand new and to our knowledge it is unique in that it has two people performing kata in simulated combat. This is a way for one to practice sword skills and fighting without fear of major accidental injury. Since there are two persons doing the kata, each kata has essentially two pieces that needs to be learned. The new video features two new original katas created by Soke. “Ken No Michi” and “Ken No Mai”  We will announce as soon as the videos are available.



Soke and Shihan Rod Kuratomi are planning on travelling to New Zealand to teach a multi-day seminar near the city of Wellington. The dates are October 25th to 30th, 2011. Some of the seminars will be privately held for the Wellington students but at least one seminar will be open to the public. For more information, contact our host, Sensei Scott MacKenzie at his email at:




Soke is happy to announce that on May 5-6, 2012 he will be teaching a seminar and attending a tournament in Minsk, Belarus. The host will be long time IKA supporter and instructor, Shihan Dai Andrei Vedernikov (Also, Shihan Dai Andrei is the “most enthusiastic IKA instructor recipient). This trip is being made due to the tireless support of the IKA for close to three decades by Shihan Dai Andrei. Shihan Ted Bratakos and Shihan Rod Kuratomi are planning on attending. For more information, the host can be reached at his email at: ika.gosoku.blr@gmail.com



Soke Kubota has awarded the location of the 2013 IKA World Tournament to the city of Molinella, Italy (near Bologna). The host will be under the watchful eye of Kyoshi Pajello. We will update you with information as soon as the date is set for the event.


Soke with Karate Student LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich and Shihan Hirano at the Nisei Week Parade

Soke with Karate Student LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich and Shihan Hirano at the Nisei Week Parade


Look for Soke on Facebook. The name is:
IKA Karate Kubota. Soke will be using Facebook for posting photos of his travels and other happenings.


(Note: If you have not paid your fees yet, they are past due as payment date was January)

The IKA has a new membership policy for our affiliated dojos. It has come to our attention that many of the dojos have not been submitting their annual IKA membership fees in a timely manner. As the IKA has very high overhead costs with these costs rising annually, we must now implement some financial changes.

In the past, we have adjusted costs according to the financial status of the respective countries with some paying more and some paying less annually. Our goal has always been to make membership in the IKA affordable for everyone.  We have decided to lower our fees and make the fees standard  and affordable for all countries.

Effective and due immediately, the club (dojo) membership fees will be $100 USD per year. In the past, it was optional to make your students members. Effective this year, we are asking that all students become IKA members.  Students, contact your Sensei directly regarding your membership fees. If you are not part of an IKA affiliated dojo, you may contact IKA headquarters directly. Dojos, contact us directly for specifics regarding individual memberships for your students. This continues to be the absolute most inexpensive International  membership with many organizations charging upwards of $100 per student and over $1000 per year  in club fees.  For the IKA, money has never been important. Training and Karate-Do has always come first. However, the IKA cannot continue to exist without prompt and timely payment of fees by affiliates and students.

Senseis, a membership card will be issued for each student so please submit a list of names of the students and we will mail you a membership card for each student good until January 2012.

The timely and voluntary payment of fees is an important part of Reigi (traditional martial protocol).  It is considered disrespectful and dishonorable if we have to remind you to pay your fees.  PLEASE do not put us in the awkward position of having to send you reminder letters.

If due to financial hardship you are not able to submit your fees in a timely matter, please contact us directly to see if we can make special financial arrangements for you. We will work out an affordable payment plan for you. Your continued membership is the most important thing to us, not the money.

If you have already paid your fees recently, then we will pro-rate your fees for the year. For example, if you paid your $100 fee in June of 2010 then you only need to pay fees for half of 2011 or $50. The membership fee for students  may also be pro-rated. It is our goal to put everyone on the same payment schedule payable in the first quarter of each year.

Payment may be made by credit card via paypal direct to Soke@ikakarate.com,  faxing us an order with your credit card number (fax: 1-818-246-0063), personal or company check (USA only), bank to bank electronic transfer, or  Western Union. If you wish to pay using Pay Pal, you can do so at the IKA website. Contact us for specific instructions on bank to bank electronic transfer if you choose this option.


IKA Administration


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. With tournament season upon us,  Shihan Kuratomi has included an excerpt from his book. This month’s topic is on:


 Mastering a Few Good Techniques

For kumite competition, all too often the competitor practices too many techniques in preparation for the big tournament with little focus and direction.

 Let’s look at a typical situation, with your typical competitor and let’s call the fighter “Big Joe Kumite-san”.  Big Joe has been training in karate for two years now. He has been practicing all the kicks and punches in his arsenal preparing for competition.  He is proud that he has spent two hours a day practicing 500 kicks and punches every day. He has also been training 3 days a week at the dojo. He feels that now he is ready for anything since he has been diligently practicing for months for the big tournament.

                Tournament day comes around and Big Joe gets “smoked” (loses) in his first match by a guy that didn’t know how to do anything except for a reverse punch and a front kick. How could this happen? Easy….. This happens to most competitors new to the tournament “game”. Joe lost his match to a guy that only worked on a couple of techniques – and mastered them. Both competitors trained just as hard and put just as many hours in. The difference? While Joe practiced every move in the book that he has ever learned and did each move about 200 times over the past year, his competitor only worked on the kihon (basics) and the delivery of his front kick and his reverse punch. Joe’s opponent practiced the delivery of these two techniques at least 3000 times. The opponent’s foundations of his basics and the delivery of these techniques were so good that even though Joe knew exactly what the guy was going to throw at him, the execution was so perfect and the timing so precise, he could not defend against them. While Joe was working on his whole arsenal including his spinning back fist and his hook kick, two techniques that are rarely even used in the traditional tournament ring, his competitor worked on his kihon and the delivery of his two strongest techniques that were applicable to the sport. Joe on the other hand spread himself too thin.

It is a matter of focus of time and energy into what works for the fighter and working on what is applicable to the sport itself. In essence, this is one of the foundation premises of traditional karate. One strives to perfect the basics which lead to vast improvement of the technique. Notice that I did not say it leads to the perfection of the technique. This is because that no matter how good the basics or the technique becomes, it can always be made better by more practice. Perfection is not attainable but merely strived for, hence, the training in karate has no end. It becomes a way of life. When the physical side starts to reach the peak then the mental developmental side opens a whole new world that can be practiced for a lifetime.

Now let’s look at how and what techniques to master:

It is important that you master a few effective techniques that you can perform reflexively and flawlessly. The techniques should be tailored to your own strengths and build. Techniques should be simple, with no more than three moves. They should be tested thoroughly in practice against a number of opponents to test their effectiveness. These techniques will be the primary techniques used to earn points in tournament competition. The techniques should be so well perfected that it would be difficult for an opponent to defend; even if he or she knows the technique is coming. A technique that you have mastered can stand up to this test; a technique that you are only proficient at cannot.  The techniques should be simple and not so complex that they are difficult to perform with consistency.

The techniques should also be tailored so that they can be used against a variety of opponents. For example, if you are good at sweeping an opponent's foot and master techniques that only have a foot sweep, you will have your techniques neutralized if you fight someone much bigger and heavier than yourself. It is therefore important to master a few diverse techniques, with some utilizing only punching, some using kicks, some with sweeps, and some with a combination of two or three of the above components. The techniques need not be composed of multiple movements. If you are fast and are able to effectively deliver a single punch technique, such as the jab or reverse punch, then you should make that part of your arsenal. The key with the single movement delivery is timing and speed. If your speed or timing is not excellent, refer to the multiple movement combinations, which will give you a better chance of creating an opening for your point-scoring technique.

Not having mastered a few techniques will greatly reduce your point-scoring ability. You will not have any techniques that you can reflexively perform, and this will greatly limit the points you can secure. Typically, a fighter without a few mastered techniques randomly performs a number of techniques with limited focus, which are difficult to score with. Or, the focus may be good, but the timing of the delivery is off just enough to prevent the techniques from consistently scoring.

Saving One of Your Mastered Techniques

One strategy in kumite is to save one of your mastered techniques for when you really need the point. Good fighters are constantly observing your techniques when you are fighting in the ring. By the fighter observing your techniques, he or she has the ability to better prepare for fighting you.  This will reduce the number of times that you successfully score with the techniques you have mastered. Often, you may find yourself tied with points in a match, or worse, down a point with 30 seconds left in the match. If you are finding it difficult to score points with your preferred techniques, your opponent may be prepared to handle the techniques in your "regular" arsenal. This is a good time to pull out one of the mastered techniques that you hold in reserve for such occasions. It may even be a technique that may have a bit of complexity in the movement, but it is a technique that you have mastered nonetheless. The technique I have selected for this is my oitsuki (stepping-forward punch). This is a technique not often seen in competition.  Few fighters have the foot and hand speed to effectively execute it because it is slower to perform effectively than the reverse punch or the jab. The problem with the oitzuki is that, because it is slower to execute, once your opponent is expecting it, it is hard to secure points with it. This is why I "reserve" this technique for when it is needed.

Consider this type of technique your "Ace in the Hole". Use it when absolutely needed and you can count on it to secure a point when it is needed most. 

---If you enjoyed this excerpt, you can read more of “Karate: The Mental Edge” written by Shihan Kuratomi available only in digital format for the Kindle and iPhone from Amazon.com



“The man that has mastered one weapon is far more dangerous than one man with an entire arsenal that he does not know how to use well” – Shihan Rod Kuratomi



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
Chief Advisor Leonard Kramer
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
Hank Hamilton 7th dan     Shihan
Paul McCaul 7th dan     Shihan
Val Mijailovic 7th dan     Shihan
Boban Petkovic 7th dan     Shihan
Mike Berger 6th dan     Shihan
Ted Bratakos 6th dan     Shihan
Mark Grigorian 6th dan     Shihan
Tatsuo Hirano 6th dan     Shihan
Leonard Kramer 6th dan    
Rod Kuratomi 6th dan     Shihan
George Sinani 6th dan     Shihan
Antonio Antonetti 5th dan     Shihan
Norvell Carrere 5th dan     Shihan
Mark Gujda 5th dan     Shihan
Judy Marx 5th dan     Shihan Dai
Marcial Soto 5th dan     Shihan
Sami Asmar 4th dan     Shihan Dai
Victor Chico 4th dan     Shihan Dai
Danny Kahan 4th dan     Shihan Dai
Demetrio Munoz 4th dan     Shihan Dai
David Petrie 4th dan     Shihan Dai
Stuart Richman 4th dan     Shihan Dai
Kirk Stites 4th dan     Shihan Dai
David White 4th dan    
Alfanso Espinosa 3rd dan     Sensei
Aman Ikram 3rd dan     Sensei
Anthony Boosalis 2nd dan     Sensei
George Lopez 2nd dan     Sensei
Judy Rao 2nd dan     Sensei
Patrick Reddy 2nd dan     Sensei
Roy Simmons 2nd dan     Sensei
Jennifer Allen 1st dan      Shidoin
Maureen DeGuzman 1st dan      Shidoin
Richard Martrosian 1st dan      Shidoin


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

Jun - Jul 2011 News Letter

Apr - May 2011 News Letter

Feb - Mar 2011 News Letter

Nov - Jan 2011 News Letter

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