IKA News - June / July 2012


Belarus Seminar, May 2012


On May 5th to 8th, Soke made his first trip to the country of Belarus. He was accompanied by Shihan Bratakos and Kuratomi. The purpose of the trip was to teach seminars and to attend the 1st Euro Stars tournament hosted by IKA Belarus under the guidance of Shihan Dai, Andrei Vedernikov. A piece of interesting trivia is that Soke’s wife Thea is part Belarussian as her grandfather was originally from Minsk which is the host city where the event was held. One of Soke’s missions of the trip was to secure photos and postcards of Minsk for Thea as she was not sure if she would ever be able to make it to the country of her ancestors.

The arrival of the Los Angeles group was greeted at the airport by Shihan Dai Andrei and his family in the traditional eating of bread and salt at the airport. This was also accompanied by one of Belarus’ famous products; quality vodka! Our arrival was made easier by Shihan Dai’s friend, security chief Anatol, who whisked us right thorough security, customs, and passport control. Thank you!

The hotel was located at the Raubichi Winter Olympic training center just outside of the city of Minsk. The center was

beautiful, nestled in the woods with trees and lush greenery surrounding the entire area. The center was especially interesting as right behind the hotel was the 90 meter ski jump and freestyle and half pipe course. They look so out of place with no snow but were still beautiful nestled among the trees and green grass.

Our first impression of Minsk was not what we expected. The city was very clean and modern. More so than most of the European cities we have visited. Part of this was that Minsk was totally destroyed during World War II and therefore everything is relatively new in comparison to most European cities which have many very old structures. The city was absolutely beautiful with so much lush green grass, rivers, and trees. A familiar site was a McDonalds restaurant which I jokingly refer to as the “American Embassy”!

The first day of official activities included Dan testing. We are happy to announce the passing of the 4th Dan test by Jacek Chalupka of Poland, 3rd Dan by Mila Vedernikova  and Shodan by Andrei  Dziachko and Uladzislau Abtseshkalau all of Belarus. The day concluded with seminars on Kubojitsu and karate waza.



Soke Conducting Dan Testing in Belarus With Shihan Bratakos and Shihan Dai Vedernikov.

Day two included seminars on the use of the Bokken and Kubotan and Kubotactical self-defense. Shihan Kuratomi and Shihan Bratakos then held a judge and referee meeting followed by a bus tour of the city.

Day three was tournament day with competitors from India, two teams from Italy, Serbia, and Armenia. Of note was the team from Armenia who came by bus. It took them four days to get to the tournament. That is eight days round trip! The reward of the Armenia team was that they received the most medals of any team in attendance. Though this team was not an IKA team, like  IKA Armenia they train heavily for tournament competition and are seasoned veterans of kumite. One interesting thing about this  tournament was that the rings each had computers that were linked together by a wireless network. Kata and kumite competitors were tracked on the computer and the computer also tracked time with a built in stopwatch. It was a custom program created by the Belarus team member Vitali. He was truly a warrior working on the program the entire night before the tournament. Though the computer system was not without flaws, I see this as the future of tournaments incorporating computer technology.

Accommodations at the hotel were very reasonably priced and also included three delicious meals a day which were planned and selected by our host’s wife, Ludmilla. She did an excellent job and we were treated to excellent borsch, potato pancakes, and a variety of fish, chicken, and pork. Of interesting note was that most of of the meats were topped with cheese which was delicious. We also had many salads with cabbage and beets. Wines were from Georgia, Italy, and Chile. The local Belarus beer was excellent with a strong 6.7% alcohol content, and the vodka was superb!

Our return home was on the largest commercial passenger jet, the Airbus A380. The capacity is over 500 passengers. The airplane has two full levels like a two story building with the entire top level dedicated to business and first class and the lower level for economy class (kind of like the Titanic!).

We give our sincere thanks to our host, Shihan Dai Vedernikov,  and the entire Belarus team for all their hard work and their extremely warm and friendly hospitality. Shihan Dai could not have accomplished this task without the fantastic support of his daughter Sensei Mila and his wife, Ludmilla. We also thank Kyoshi Bortolin from Italy, Kyoshi Pajello from Italy, Shihan Choudhry from India, and Sensei Puric from Serbia for bringing their teams.



The Giant Airbus A380 That Soke Came Home On (notice it has two complete levels)



Shihan Eric Adams of our Colorado dojo relays a story about one of his students from his self-defense class that recently used her skills to stop a crime and maybe even safe her life. While working at her job at a retail store, she was confronted by a robber who initially pulled out a pistol and pointed it at her and asked her for all the money in the cash register.  She complied but he then ordered her towards the back of the store (there was no one else in the store at the time) and told her to go in a back room.  She did but when he began to grab her hands to tape them behind her back she remembered Shihan Adams’ teaching her  "it doesn't have to be this way, you don't have to be here right now!'  She then wrestled free from her assailant and attacked him with her hands then got the gun away from him and chased him out of the store and down the street with his own gun!  He ran through a bar and went out the back entrance where he was filmed on surveillance video. The assailant was later arrested from information from an anonymous tip in Fort Collins a few days later.   This is karate and the combat mindset in action!



IKA Spain recently hosted a Kubotan class that was used to raise money to provided much needed surgery to a underprivileged child. The event was a big success. We comment Jose Alcaide and Pedro Tamayo, our certified Kubotan instructors from Alicante, Spain for the selfless act that will help make a profound difference in a child’s life.



In April, IKA Serbia, under the leadership of Sensei Bozidar Puric hosted the 2nd IKA Serbia Open tournament. It was a resounding success and was attended by many dojos including IKA Ukraine. Due to the success of this event, Soke is considering allowing Serbia to host a larger IKA tournament in 2014.



Starting with this  IKA Newsletter, we will be posting a calendar of IKA events world-wide.

Please submit the name and date of your event along with contact information (e-mail and/or phone) and we will list the event  in the IKA News. Also indicate if it is a seminar, tournament, or other karate related event.

It is our hope that this will better enable our affiliates to support one another.



Sensei Puric of Serbia and Shihan Dai Lozovoy of Ukraine at the 2nd IKA Serbia Open Tournament



On September 28-30th, 2012, IKA Ukraine will be hosting seminars and a tournament in celebration of 10 years of Gosoku Ryu in Ukraine. Soke Kubota will be attending and Shihan Kuratomi, and Shihan Bratakos will be assisting. For more information contact Shihan Dai Lozovoy at his email at:




Due to renovations at the Pyramid, the Nikkei Budo Tournament will be temporarily moved to the Next Level Sports Complex in Garden Grove. The complex is a huge converted warehouse that has 10 basketball courts and 4 soccer fields, all indoors. Due to the location change, the date has been moved to Sunday, August 26th. In addition, we are pleased to announce that Shihan Val Mijailovic will be teaching a seminar at the Centenary Church in Little Tokyo on Saturday, August 25th. This is a seminar you will not want to miss as Shihan Val will be teaching some of his techniques that helped him dominate kumite competition for many years. In addition, Sensei Fumio Demura will also be teaching a seminar on kata bunkai.
Mark your calendar!



Mark your calendar for the next IKA All Star Tournament to be held in Los Angeles at Occidental College on Sunday, October 7th, 2012. 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.



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:


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!



Many of the IKA kata  and waza videos are now available for download by the specific kata or waza topic in small groups by a website set up by IKA New Zealand under the guidance of Sensei Scott McKenzie. This way instead of buying the entire DVD, you can selectively pick topics or small sets of katas that interest you for the low price of $6.99. There are also discounts for bundles of videos.

The videos are available from the Karate Cosmos Wiki Store at:



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” . Order through the IKA Store at: www.ikakarate.com



Soke in Belarus at the Euro Stars Tournament



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.



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 take an excerpt from Kyoshi Jim Mather’s karate blog on kata:

“Many years ago, the legendary Sensei Oshima demonstrated several years running at the IKA tournaments, hosted by my primary instructor, Soke Takayuki Kubota. Each time, he would perform Tekki Shodan kata. One year, he took the microphone and said, “I know what you are thinking, ‘On no, Mr. Oshima is going to do Tekki Shodan again.’ But I am will continue working on it until I can get it right.” He had been a direct student of Sensei Funakoshi and surely been working on this kata for 40 or more years at the time.

There’s an old saying “Practice makes perfect”. When it comes to kata, however, I tell my students “Practice makes better” as I think it’s impossible to perform a perfect kata. I certainly can’t, even after 55 years. When a student tells me he “knows” a certain kata, I ask him to ask me how many I know. When he does, I tell him “None. I’m working on a bunch of them but don’t know any of them yet.” To me, “Know” infers having perfect knowledge of something. And I am far from that point on any of them.

There are 21 moves in Heian Shodan kata. Each of these moves can easily have one hundred possible errors – improper foot placement (feet not flat on the floor or correctly angled vertically; improper horizontal foot angles; improper width of stance; depth of stance, toes not in proper position, etc.); improper knee position (legs bent too much or little; front knee not pressed vertical, etc.); incorrect back angle; improper position of hips, neck, head, shoulders, arms, hands, etc. In addition, there are mental qualities involved in each move. Mistakes can include improper concentration, eye direction, breath control, etc. And lastly there should be spiritual control (not spiritual in the religious sense but in the sense of a person’s strength of drive and determination – as in “He rode a very spirited horse”) evidenced by means of the intensity of each move, their total focus, the fire in their eyes, etc. I think it’s likely impossible to perfectly execute all of these within a single kata performance.

A downside to all this and my years of training, coaching, and judging competitive quality kata is I’m no longer able to really enjoy a kata performance as I had before. Ignorance is bliss, they say. Every performance I now watch contains a slew of “errors”. Someone recently posted a clip on Facebook of what they described as a perfect performance by a former world champion. I spotted three or four major errors, including a bad slip. (Bad, of course, is relative to the venue. For a world champion, such a slippage would surely cost him the championship.)”

Editors Note: The original article said the kata performed by Sensei Oshima was Heian Yondan. Soke Kubota made the correction that it was not Heian Yondan but rather Tekki Shodan.



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.



August 25th, Little Tokyo
Nikkei Games Karate Seminar
Taught by Shihan Val Mijailovic on tournament kumite and
Sensei Fumio Demura on Oyo Bunkai

August 26, 2012 – Garden Grove, California
Nikkei Games Tournament
Next Level Sports Complex

October  7, 2012 – Los Angeles
All Star Tournament hosted by IKA Headquarters

May 2013 – Torino Italy
IKA Tournament hosted by Kyoshi Bortolin
Black Belts only.

November 2013 – Molinella, Italy - Tentative
Karate and Kubotan Seminars hosted by Kyoshi Pajello
Taught by Soke Kubota

IKA Serbia Tournament and seminars – Tentative
Hosted by Sensei Puric
Soke Kubota teaching



"We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training."

-Archilochus, poet and soldier, circa 650 B.C.



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

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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