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Sensei Dane Sutton
Hanshigo, 9th Dan
Active Senior Instructors:
Regan Williams, Kiyoshigo, 8th Dan
Donald McCandless, Kiyoshigo, 7th Dan
Paul Cote, Kiyoshigo, 7th Dan
James Miller, Kiyoshigo, 7th Dan
Ralph Miller, Kiyoshigo, 7th Dan
Jonathan Marmon, Kiyoshigo, 7th Dan
Que Dang, Kiyoshigo, 7th Dan
Ira Sasowsky, Kiyoshigo, 7th Dan
Carl Clark, Kiyoshigo, 7th Dan
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Our Style and Lineage: Isshinryu Karate
The founder of Isshinryu karate is Master Tatsuo Shimabuku. Isshinryu literally means "one heart school" or "one heart way". Master Shimabuku, shown to the left, developed the Isshinryu system based on his prior training in Shorinryu and Gojoryu karate. He sudied karate under Masters Chotoku Kyan, Chojun Miyagi, and Choki Motobu, and kobudo under Master Shinken Taira. Isshinryu karate is not just a selection of methods from the different styles, but a truly innovative system developed by Master Tatsuo Shimabuku. The art was passed on to Tatsuo's son, Master Kichiro Shimabuku, shown to the right, and also to his son-in-law, Master Angi Uezu, shown below left.
The Penn State Karate Club was founded in January of 1972 by a small group of martial artists including Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo, 9th Dan, shown above left. Sensei Sutton is fortunate to have received all of his training directly from recognized karate masters. His Isshinryu instructors from the early 1970's were the late Sensei Stuart A. Dorow, Hanshigo, 9th Dan, and his wife, the late Sensei Carol A. Liskai Dorow, Kiyoshigo, 8th Dan, shown below right. Sensei Dorow and Liskai trained directly under Master Tatsuo Shimabuku, and later, under his son, Master Kichiro Shimabuku, and on occasion, with Master Uezu.
Few westerners have achieved 9th Dan, Hanshigo via the Okinawan Masters. Sensei Dorow was one of the first to do so. Sensei Liskai was the first woman to achieve 8th Dan in Isshinryu, and to receive the prestigious title of Kiyoshigo. In fact, she was the only woman to ever be promoted to 3rd Dan by Master Tatsuo Shimabuku himself. In addition to these accomplishments, Captain Dorow was a decorated Vietnam Veteran, and both he and Major Liskai were consummate professionals in their respective civilian careers. Sadly, Sensei Dorow and Liskai passed away in 2000 and 2005, respectively. All students of our associated clubs dedicate their continuing training to the memory of Sensei Dorow and Liskai.
In addition to training under Sensei Dorow and Liskai, Sensei Sutton received intensive training from Master Kichiro Shimabuku, and also from Master Uezu, both in Okinawa and when the masters visited the U.S. On a number of such visits, he also trained with Master Tsuyoshi Uechi, Hanshigo, 9th Dan, IOTKA, shown to the right. Sensei Uechi had trained for many years in Okinawa under both Master Kichiro Shimabuku and Master Uezu. He was head of the OIKA after Master Uezu retired, and since 2007, he now heads his own organization.
In 2007, Master Kichiro Shimabuku presented Sensei Sutton with the Tatsuo Shimabuku Award for his extraordinary accomplishments and dedication to Isshinryu Karate, and for his continuing research on the biomechanics of karate. In 2011, Sensei Sutton was promoted to Hanshigo, 9th Dan by Master Kichiro Shimabuku in recognition of his more than 40 years of training in Isshinryu. Sensei Sutton has the unique distinction of also being an 8th Dan in the OIKA under Master Uezu.
Our School and Curriculum: All new members wishing to progress through our belt ranking system in Isshinryu are expected to start at the white belt level, regardless of previous kyu grade or dan rank. Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo, 9th Dan, and Head Instructor of the Penn State Karate Club, monitors and approves the student's progress at each belt rank. Through Sensei Sutton, we maintain affiliations with, and certifications through, the Okinawan home dojo of Master Kichiro Shimabuku, Hanshigo, 10th Dan (IWKA). Over the years, we have also maintained affiliations with, and offered certifications through, the Okinawan home dojo of Master Angi Uezu, Hanshigo, 10th Dan (OIKA). Master Uezu has since retired from active leadership of this organization. In our association of clubs, you will receive regular instruction from black belts, certified via Okinawa, and ranked from 1st to 7th Dan. A number of our senior instructors (7th through 9th Dan) conduct frequent seminars.
Our fundamental curriculum for the study of Isshinryu derives from the classical curriculum developed by Master Tatsuo Shimabuku. It was passed down to Sensei Sutton first, through Sensei Dorow and Liskai, who learned it directly from Master Tatsuo Shimabuku. Upon further training with Masters Kichiro Shimabuku and Angi Uezu, Sensei Sutton was able to reinforce his understanding of the curriculum, and also to incorporate minor modifications developed by these Masters, or interpreted from their own training under Master Tatsuo Shimabuku. Our Isshinryu curriculum consists of the following:
Junbi Undo: Exercises
In the classical curriculum, kyu grades will work their way through the Kihon and through the empty-hand Kata, along with empty-hand and competition Kumite (i.e., unarmed sparring). This has 10 levels from white belt (4 levels: beginner, white, yellow, orange), to green belt (3 levels), to brown belt (3 levels). The Penn State Karate Club also includes some supplementary techniques which are learned prior to testing for each kyu grade. These feature some additional grappling, releases, ground work, and other self-defense methods derived from both Isshinryu and other martial arts.
In addition to empty-hand and competition Kumite, students testing for Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) are required to know and demonstrate all of the Kihon and all eight of the empty-hand Kata with precision and power. Shodan testing for Nidan (2nd Degree Black Belt) are required to know and demonstrate all of the Kobudo and Kobudo Kumite.
In our original curriculum, Kyan No Sai was not included as seperate kobudo kata. Elements of Kyan No Sai had been incorporated into the ending of Kusanku Sai by Master Tatsuo Shimabuku. But Kusanku Sai is not a traditional kobudo kata (i.e., Kusanku Kata was empty-hand only). Tatsuo Shimabuku created Kusanku Sai with elements of Kyan No Sai to suggest adaptation of weapons for supplementary training in the traditional empty-hand kata.
Nidan testing for Sandan (3rd Degree Black Belt) are required to maintain proficiency in demonstrating and in teaching the entire Isshinryu curriculum of kihon, kata, kobudo, kumite, and supplementary techniques. Also, by this time, and through Sandan, they should be working on advanced training and conditioning techniques (kitai), and have brought one or more students up through the kyu grades to Black Belt. At this point, the Sandan qualify for a Full Instructor License.
At higher Ranks (4th through 8th Dan) and Teaching Titles (Renshigo, Kiyoshigo), the practitioner works to perfect his Isshinryu. They must devote time to teaching and mentoring, along with extensive training and research of Isshinryu technique, philosophy, and history. Kata and Kobudo from other Okinawan karate styles are also analyzed and compared to those in Isshinryu.
In other cases, senior Black Belts may also train in different specialized martial arts styles from Japan (e.g., judo, jujutsu, aikido), from China (e.g., Shaolin gong fu, xing-yi quan, bagua qaun, taiji quan), from the Pacific cultures (e.g., kali/arnis, silat, muay thai), or from the West (Medieval staff and spear, Brazilian jujutsu, mixed martial arts, modern weapons, etc). This fosters a sense of discovery and an expansion of knowledge and understanding of martial arts in general. The cross-training brings the essence and elements of such arts back into the club to further explore Isshinryu.
Dan Promotion Requirements
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Please note: All listings on this page were approved as of 10/13/17 by Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo, 9th Dan. The dragon logo and patch used by the Penn State Karate Club, depicted below right, was designed by, and is copyrighted by, and is owned by, Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo, 9th Dan, and Sensei Greg Sutton, 3rd Dan, all rights reserved. It is reproduced here with permission. Much of the photographic material posted on this page was provided courtesy of Sensei Dane Sutton and the Penn State Karate Club, or by Paul Cote of the PSKC and Academic Training Traditions.
Penn State Karate Club
Sensei Sutton’s Actively Teaching Black Belts: Rank and Title (as of 10/28/2017)
A complete list of all Penn State Alumni Black Belts will be published here soon.
This section describes examples of special events that involve PSKC group seminars. Here, club members gather and train under Sensei Sutton, and senior instructors in his PSKC group. At these events, Sensei Sutton schedules promotions for those who have been evaluated by him and their senior instructors to earn higher rank and/or title. PSKC Promotions and Seminar Series are held at Penn State University, University Park, Pa, unless indicated otherwise. These events are club specific and not open to the public.
Page Navigator Links: The Page Navigator links (i.e., PSKC Lineage, Related Links/Contacts, Special Activities, etc.) are provided at the start of the Special Activities section, and then later at the end of the Special Activities section. Use the Year Navigator links (i.e., 2017, 2016, 2015, etc.) provided below and throughout the Special Activities section to browse this section in more detail. While in this section, you can easily return to the Page Navigator links by clicking on the Year Navigator start date (2017) or end date (1999), and the Page Navigator links will be a short scroll away.Year Navigator Links (Special Activities): Click on a year in dark blue to navigate section.
Penn State Karate, Promotions and Seminars, October 28, 2017, noon-5:00pm, Kent Gardens Karate Club, McLean, Virginia: This seminar event was special, being the second in a row of our 2017 bi-annual events to be held at one of the PSKC satellite locations. This event was sponsored by Hanshi Dane Sutton, with Renshi Mami Gebereegziabher (Kent Gardens), Dmitriy Gulik (Takoma Park), Linda Keefer (NoVA), and Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky (PSKC). Masters of Ceremonies were Kyoshi Jim Miller and Kyoshi Ralph Miller of the NoVA club. Attending Kyoshi also included Jon Marmon (Philadelphia, Pa), Ira Sasowsky (Akron, Ohio), Que Dang (Clarksburg, Md), Don McCandless (State College, Pa), and Paul Cote (Frederick, Md). We thank all who traveled from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Ohio for this event in McLean, Virginia.
In the photo above are Hanshi Sutton and members of the PSKC Kyoshi-Kai who attended the 2017 Penn State Karate Fall Promotions and Seminars held in McLean, Virginia. (L to R) Kyoshi Jim Miller, Paul Cote, Don McCandless, Hanshi Dane Sutton, Kyoshi Que Dang, Ira Sasowsky, Ralph Miller, and Jon Marmon.
In the photo above are members of the PSKC Renshi-Kai who attended the 2017 Penn State Karate Fall Promotions and Seminars held in McLean, Virginia. (L to R) Renshi Jaeson Koszarsky, Jennifer Koszarsky, Joe Kotanchick, Linda Keefer, Dmitriy Gulik, and Mami Gebereegziabher.
Hanshi Sutton presided over the event and evaluated student and Dan rank activities during the seminars. In special presentations by Hanshi Sutton, Renshigo Mami Gebereegziabher was promoted to Godan (5th Dan), and several of our senior Renshigo were promoted by Hanshi Sutton to the prestigious rank of Rokudan (6th Dan), including Renshi Jennifer Koszarsky, Jaeson Koszarsky, David Willey, and Jin Jin Huang. Special mention goes out to those also receiving Dan rank promotion to Shodan: David Brillhart; Nidan: Aaron Wilson, Abe Tzou; Sandan: Matt Auman, Breanne Decker, Bruce Defibaugh, Kyle Dute, Lindsay Faust, Craig Hite, Vy Nguyen, with Sandan Eliza Gabel receiving her Instructors License.
Congratulations also to everyone in the Isshinryu youth group (photo below) on receiving kyu grade promotions at this seminar, and to those welcomed into the IWKA membership.
Kyoshi Paul Cote presented a seminar on basic and advanced applications for upper body techniques and footwork patterns in Seisan kata. He presented a second seminar on basic and advanced convergence lock applications that are derived from the "mother-and-child" hand kamae. This kamae is evident in most Isshinryu kata, and is characteristic in all martial arts.
Kyoshi Don McCandless presented a seminar on flow drills with associated impacting techniques that involve the wing block, kote uke, and teisho uke as found in Isshinryu kata. Several of these applications related to the "mother-and-child" kamae mentioned above. In a second seminar, Kyoshi McCandless related these flow drills to outcomes in "sensing hand" drills. These types of drills are represented in many oriental martial arts, including in Okinawa where they are known as muchimi (sticking hands drills).
Penn State Karate, Promotions and Seminars, May 20, 2017, noon-5:00pm, NoVA Karate Club, West Springfield, Virginia: This event was sponsored by Hanshi Dane Sutton, with Kyoshi James Miller, Ralph Miller, Paul Cote, and Renshi Mami Gebereegziabher. This seminar event involved a number of the black belts and black belt candidates from Penn State. The Akron, Ohio, and local NoVA, Takoma, and Kent Gardens dojos were also well represented. Kyoshi Cote led the class for 2.5 hours while Hanshi Sutton and the other senior dan evaluated the students for promotion. Kyoshi Cote covered several upper body and lower body basics (kihon), and then Seisan and Seiunchin kata with example applications. Kyoshi Jim Miller presented a slide show on how to set up and operate a karate club as an independent non-profit organization. Special mention goes out to those receiving Dan rank promotion to Shodan: Sara Wall, Benjamin Katz; Nidan: Blayde Woodrum, Jack Tosi, Walter Munyan; Sandan: Carl Denny, Arnold Selnick.
NoVA Isshinryu Karate Club, Promotions and Seminar Series, November 19, 2016, noon-5:00pm, West Springfield, Virginia: This event was sponsored by Kyoshi Jim Miller and Ralph Miller of the NoVA Isshinryu club. The Penn State and the local Takoma and Kent Gardens dojos were well represented at this event. Hanshi Sutton taught karate kihon, Seisan and Seiunchin kata, and brown and black belts were evaluated toward eventual promotions for spring 2017. Senior black belts in attendance assisted with the teaching and evaluations. Hanshi Sutton gave a slide presentation on standards and steps to advancement in our school of Isshinryu karate.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions and Seminar Series, September 24, 2016, noon-5:00pm: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo. Hanshi Sutton taught Chinto kata and continued his series on Tokumine No Kun kata. Kyoshi Regan Williams, Donald McCandless, and Paul Cote assisted with the teaching. Hanshi Sutton gave a slide presentation on the history and theory of Chinto kata. Renshi Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky led kobudo review from 10:00am to noon, and Kyoshi Marmon taught kata basics and applications from 11:00am to noon. Continuing from the previous spring seminar (March 19, 2016), Hanshi Sutton requested that the Kyoshigo wear their kohaku obi (red-and-white belt) and serve as Examiners to evaluate the club members seeking dan rank promotions.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions and Seminar Series, March 19, 2016, noon-5:00pm: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo. Hanshi Sutton continued with his seminar series on bo kata basics, two-person drills, and Tokumine no kun kata. He was assisted by Kyoshi Donald McCandless, Paul Cote, and Que Dang. Kyoshi Cote taught a seminar on unarmed applications based on bo movements without the bo (Kun Mu Kun). Renshi Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky led kobudo review from 10:00am to noon, and Kyoshi Jonathan Marmon taught kata basics and applications from 11:00am to noon. At this event, Hanshi Sutton presented the recently-certified nanadan/kyoshi with their kohaku obi (red-and-white belt) and delegated to them the responsibility of serving as a Board of Examiners to evaluate club members seeking dan rank promotions.
Takoma Isshinryu Karate & Kobudo Seminar, December 5, 2015, 2:00-5:00pm, Takoma Park, Maryland: This seminar was sponsored by Renshi Dmitriy Gulik, and Sensei Mary Kendall and Blayde Woodrum of the Takoma club. The local NoVA and Kent Gardens dojos were well represented at this event. Hanshi Sutton taught karate kihon, Seisan kata, and 2-person bo basics for all levels and was assisted by Kyoshi Que Dang, Paul Cote, and Jim Miller.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions and Seminar Series, October 17, 2015, noon-5:00pm: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo. Hanshi Sutton continued his seminar series presentation of Tokumine No Kun kata. He was assisted by Kyoshi McCandless and Cote. Renshi Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky led kobudo review from 10:00am to noon, and Kyoshi Marmon taught kata basics and applications from 11:00am to noon.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions and Seminar Series, March 21, 2015, noon-5:00pm: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo. At this seminar, Hanshi Sutton presented several of the senior Yudansha with their official IWKA Nanadan (7th Dan) and Kiyoshigo certificates of promotion from Master Shimabuku. Promoted to 7th Dan were Ralph Miller, James Miller, Jonathan Marmon, Que Dang, Paul Cote, Donald McCandless, and Ira Sasowsky. Hanshi Sutton continued with his seminar series on Tokumine No Kun kata and was assisted by Kyoshi Donald McCandless, Paul Cote, and Que Dang. Renshi Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky led kobudo review from 10:00am to noon, and Kyoshi Jonathan Marmon taught kata basics and applications from 11:00am to noon.
NoVA Isshinryu Karate and Kobudo Seminar, December 6, 2014, 2:00-5:00pm, West Springfield, Virginia: This seminar was sponsored by Renshi Jim Miller and Ralph Miller of the NoVA club for Hanshi Dane Sutton. Representatives from the local Takoma and Delaware clubs were in attendance at this event. Hanshi Sutton taught bo kata basics for all levels, assisted by Renshi Que Dang and Paul Cote. Renshi Cote presented an analysis of Naihanchi kata.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions and Seminar Series, October 18, 2014, noon-5:00pm: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo. Hanshi Sutton continued his seminar series presentation on Tokumine No Kun kata. He was assisted by Sensei Williams, McCandless, and Cote. At this seminar, Sensei Joe Trocchio, Renshigo, 5th Dan, was promoted to the IWKA rank of Rokudan. Sensei Trocchio's rokudan certificate (seated) is unique in that it is signed by an IWKA 8th Dan (Sensei Williams), 9th Dan (Sensei Sutton), and 10th Dan (Master Shimabuku).
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series, March 22, 2014, noon-5:00pm: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo. Hanshi Sutton presented a detailed seminar for all belt ranks on the Isshinryu bo kata, Tokumine No Kun. He was assisted in the training by Kyoshi McCandless, and by Renshi Cote, Dang, and Clark. Renshi Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky led group kata and a review session on kobudo for black belts.
NoVA Isshinryu Karate Club, Seminar Series, December 15, 2013, 3:00-6:00pm, West Springfield, Virginia: This special seminar was hosted at the NoVA club by Renshi James Miller and Ralph Miller featuring Hanshi Dane Sutton and Renshi Paul Cote and Que Dang. Renshi Dang presented on the orthodox warm-up series of stretching and exercises (junbi undo) that are used by our club to achieve conditioning for karate practice. Hanshi Sutton continued with a presentation on basic mental preparations used in karate to achieve proper mind set for practice of karate, and then guided the class through Seisan kata for flow, power, and proper stance and technique. He then taught Tokumine No Kun kata to the black belts. Renshi Cote guided the kyu grades further through some selected drills derived from Seisan kata, and covered a few selected unarmed concepts and applications from the bo kata. Hanshi Sutton and Renshi Dang reviewed progress for the kyu grades and made additional corrections on their Seisan kata, and then led the black belts through the bo kata with additional corrections.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series, October 19, 2013, noon-5:00pm: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo, 9th Dan. In a special presentation, Sensei Regan Williams, Kiyoshigo, 7th Dan, received his promotion to Hachidan (8th Dan) which was certified by Master Kichiro Shimabuku. It was awarded by Hanshi Sutton in recognition of Kyoshi William's many years of study and teaching of Isshinryu karate, including his service to the PSKC and to the Isshinryu Karate community in general. Congratulations to Sensei Williams on this accomplishment. Kyoshi Williams then presented an excellent keynote seminar on the concepts of go no sen, sen no sen, and sen sen no sen. Renshi Paul Cote presented on selected ashigumi techniques from Naihanchi kata, and showed integrated techniques combining the use of upper and lower body methods for various applications. Sensei Sutton then continued with his systematic presentation on the topic of Emergent Properties from the prior seminar series. Renshi Carl Clark presented a seminar on grappling methods from ground positions. Kyoshi Don McCandless presented on basic entries and hand trapping methods found in various martial arts (e.g., pak sao of Filipino arts) and their relationship to techniques in Isshinryu kata. Renshi Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky led group kata and a review session on kobudo for black belts. Renshi Jonathan Marmon taught kata applications from 11:00am-noon.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series, March 16, 2013, noon-5:00pm: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo, 9th Dan. Hanshi Sutton gave a presentation on the topic of Emergent Properties and the patterns which evolve from complex systems. Insights into movement can be gained by studying a system's morphology and its interactions with the environment and through space-time. Relating to karate, the student must seek to identify and exploit such emergent properties and movement patterns in order to produce effective technique and kata. Many of the emergent pattern examples that were featured in his presentation were drawn from Naihanchi kata, but all kata should be examined in this way. Renshi Paul Cote then presented a seminar segment on selected tegumi from Naihanchi kata, emphasizing upper body methods portrayed from fixed stances in order to learn proper body framing. He then used the stepping movements in Naihanchi with fixed upper body postures to show how they enhance upper body technique. Reference was made to the extension of such lessons from the kata to integrate upper and lower body methods for the various technique applications. Kyoshi Don McCandless presented on basic and advanced ashigumi methods from various martial styles with relevance also to Naihanchi kata. Renshi Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky, led group kata and a review session on kobudo for black belts.
NoVA Isshinryu Karate Club, Seminar Series, December 9, 2012, 3:00-6:00pm, Fairfax, Virginia: This special seminar at the NoVA club was hosted by Renshi Jim Miller and Ralph Miller for Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo, and Renshi Paul Cote and Que Dang. Practitioners from the Penn State, Takoma, and Kent Gardens clubs were in attendance. Hanshi Sutton presented on basic mental preparations used in karate to achieve proper mind set for practice of karate, and then guided the class through several of the upper body and lower body kihon techniques for flow and power, and included slow kick practice in all directions. Renshi Cote provided some pointers on the first kihon technique (oi tsuki) from the perspectives of body framing and movement, with example self-defense applications. Hanshi Sutton then taught Kyan No Sai kata to the black belts, while kyu grades reviewed Seisan and Seiunchin kata led by the brown belts.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series, October 20, 2012, noon-5:00pm: The 40-Year Anniversary of the Penn State Karate Club. This anniversary event was sponsored by the PSKC. Sensei Dane Sutton received a monogramed master's red belt as a gift from the club that was presented to him by club senior, Sensei Regan Williams, Kyoshigo, 7th Dan. This great honor of promotion to Hanshigo and Kudan was awarded to Sensei Sutton by Master Kichiro Shimabuku, 10th Dan, and President of the Isshinryu World Karate Association, well in advance of the PSKC 40-year anniversary. Hanshi Sutton presented on his continuing series on the theory of Kenpo Gokui and its relationship to Seisan kata. Renshi Paul Cote presented a seminar segment on the use of wrist block, palm strike, and palm grab from Seisan kata and adapted it for two-person drills. Renshi Cote featured methods from both static stances and dynamic flow, with weight shifting and stepping in order to illustrate how one can use these drills to feel and develop integrated external and internal power. Kyoshi Don McCandless presented on sai techniques that can be derived from the movements of Seisan kata. Renshi Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky led kata and a review session on kobudo for black belts.
NoVA Isshinryu Karate Club, Seminar Series, June 24, 2012, 3:00-6:00pm, Burke, Virginia: This special seminar at NoVA was hosted by Renshi Jim Miller and Ralph Miller featuring Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo, 9th Dan. The Penn State, Takoma, and Kent Gardens clubs were also represented at this event. Hanshi Sutton presented on the History of Te Development, Isshinryu Kata Lineage, and on the form and techniques in Naihanchi kata.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series, March 24, 2012, noon-5:00pm: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo, Kudan (9th Dan). Hanshi Sutton received the Nittany Lion Award for his many contributions to the intellectual and physical development of Penn State's students. He continued with a presentation on the theory of Kenpo Gokui, and on Seisan Shiai, Seisan Gokui, and Hangetsu as part of his ongoing seminar series on Isshinryu's Seisan kata. Renshi Paul Cote presented a seminar segment on concepts and applications from various katas against frontal choking attacks. Kyoshi Don McCandless presented from his continuing seminar series on stick fighting (tanbo). Renshi Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky led kata and review session on kobudo for black belts. Renshi Jonathan Marmon taught kata applications from 11:00am-noon. Professor John Challis, Penn State Kinesiology Graduate Program Director, received the Kenpo Gokui Award from the Okinawan Masters, Kichiro Shimabuku and Angi Uezu for his mentoring in kinesiology.
NoVA Isshinryu Karate Club, Seminar Series, November 20, 2011, 3:00-6:00pm, Burke, Virginia: This NoVA group seminar was hosted by Renshi Jim Miller and Ralph Miller featuring Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo, Kudan (9th Dan). This seminar was well attended by Penn State, Takoma, and Kent Gardens clubs. Hanshi Sutton presented on selected kihon, kata, and kumite.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series, October 1, 2011, 10:00am-5:00pm: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo, Kudan (9th Dan). Hanshi Sutton presented from his continuing seminar series on Seisan kata including the ideas of wu-chih, uniting of the hands, sei, and ki. Renshi Paul Cote presented concepts and applications for all belt levels from the first several movements of Kusanku kata. Kyoshi Don McCandless presented a seminar on practical applications for stick fighting (tanbo). Renshi Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky led kata and review session on kobudo for black belts. Renshi Jonathan Marmon taught kata applications from 11:00am-noon.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series, March 19, 2011, noon-4:00pm: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo, Hachidan. Kyoshi Sutton presented from his continuing seminar series on Seisan kata, including aspects of balance, fitness components, enbusen, and symbolism (uniting of hands, ten mountains). Renshi Paul Cote continued on this theme with a seminar on selected applications from Seisan kata. Kyoshi Don McCandless presented a seminar on the use of the hand-held 'stinger' for self-defense. Renshi Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky led kata and review session on kobudo for black belts. Renshi Jonathan Marmon taught kata applications from 11:00am-noon.
NoVA Isshinryu Karate Club, Promotions & Seminar Series, August 29, 2010, 3:00-6:00pm, Burke, Virginia: This NoVA group seminar was hosted by Renshi Jim Miller and Ralph Miller featuring Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo, 8th Dan. Kyoshi Sutton presented on selected kihon, kata, and kumite.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series, October 2, 2010, noon-4:00pm: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo, 8th Dan. Kyoshi Sutton presented from his continuing seminar series on Seisan kata, including Seisan Shiai, Zanshin, and Ma-ai. Kyoshi Regan Williams presented a seminar on Isshinryu kihon. Kyoshi Don McCandless presented from his continuing seminar series on traditional weapons. Renshi Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky, led group kata. Renshi Jonathan Marmon taught kata applications from 11:00-noon.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series, March 20, 2010, noon-4:00pm: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo. Kyoshi Sutton presented from his continuing seminar series on Seisan kata featuring the concept of chinkuchi; he also brought in aspects of healthy life style, fitness, and performance standards. Kyoshi Regan Williams presented a seminar on chinkuchi in Isshinryu kihon and Sanchin. Renshi Cote presented a seminar on selected applications from various Isshinryu kata, including Seisan and Naihanchi. Renshi Carl Clark presented a seminar of grappling methods and ground work.
NoVA Isshinryu Karate Club, Seminar Series, December 6, 2009, 3:00-6:00pm, Burke, Virginia: This NoVA group seminar was hosted by Renshi Jim Miller and Ralph Miller featuring Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo. The Penn State and Takoma clubs were represented at this seminar. Sensei Sutton presented on selected kihon, kata, and kumite.
Takoma Park Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate Seminar Series, November 23, 2009, 6:00-9:00pm, Takoma Park, Maryland: This Takoma Park club event was hosted by Sensei Dmitiry Gulik and Mary Kendall, featuring Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo. The Penn State and NoVA clubs were also represented at this event. Kyoshi Sutton presented on selected kihon, kata, and kumite. Renshi Cote, Dang, Jim Miller, Ralph Miller, and Sensei Gulik participated in the evaluations of students for promotion.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series, October 24, 2009, noon-5:30pm: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo. Kyoshi Sutton presented a seminar covering Seisan, Sanchin, and Sunsu Kata, with emphasis on kime and kiai, and related these to teachings from Chotoku Kyan, Chojun Miyagi, and those in the Matsumura Shorin-Ryu school. Renshi Paul Cote presented a seminar on selected applications from Seiunchin kata. Kyoshi Don McCandless presented a seminar on the figure-8 cutting patterns from Filipino arnis stick fighting and showed some of the translations from this method to the 6-foot bo, the knife, and empty hand methods.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series, March 21, 2009, noon-5:00pm. This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo. Kyoshi Sutton lectured on the history of karate and as a club activity at Penn State, on performance versus stress indicators, and biomechanical principles for maximizing effectiveness of techniques. He continued with his ongoing seminar series on Seisan kata with emphasis on kime and kihon. Kyoshi Regan Williams covered additional aspects of Seisan kata in his seminar.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series, October 4, 2008: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo. Kyoshi Sutton lectured on teacher-student relationship in the martial arts, including the sensei/sempai/kohai system, and the meaning of on-giri, after which he continued with his ongoing kata seminar featuring Seisan Shiai. Kyoshi Regan Williams presented a seminar on Isshinryu kihon; Renshi Don McCandless presented a seminar on Sanchin kata; and Renshi Jim Miller presented a seminar on Sunsu kata.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series, March 29, 2008: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo. The regular training and testing for promotions were followed by special seminar segments by: Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo (Aspects of the Seisan kata embusen, center of mass, and Seisan idea of 13 with speculations relating to tai chi 13 postures); Kyoshi Regan Williams (Special applications of Isshinryu upper body basics); Renshi Don McCandless (Seisan kata as a teaching tool for applications; angles, targets, weapons); Sensei Paul Cote (Cross-training: selected applications from the internal martial arts in karate kata); and Sensei Matthew Pain (Kumite Sparring).
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series, November 10, 2007: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo. Kyoshi Sutton lectured on kata lineage, and presented a seminar covering kihon, Sunsu kata, and kumite methods. Renshi Don McCandless presented a seminar on weapons use. Renshi Carl Clark gave a seminar on grappling methods.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series, April 21, 2007: In a special presentation, three of our Renshigo, 5th Dan, Sensei Denny Nau, Jim Miller, and Que Dang were promoted by Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo, to the distinguished rank of Rokudan [6th Dan Black Belt]. This was followed by several PSKC Instructor seminars to honor the recipients.
Special seminar segments were presented by: Renshi Dave Willey (The Teaching Craft); Renshi Ira Sasowsky and his wife Sensei Kathryn Sasowsky (Power Development); Sensei Elizabeth Ehrstein and Linda Suarez Gamboa, and her husband, visiting Sensei Alberto Gamboa (Brazilian Ju-Jutsu); Sensei Paul Cote with Renshi Jon Green (fin di/hen te, meaning "changing hand" methods); and Kyoshi Dane Sutton and Renshi Don McCandless (tanbo - short stick; five position kali for stick, translations to unarmed technique).
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series, October 28, 2006: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo. Seminar segments were presented by: Kyoshi Sutton (Weapons Kata: Kyan No Sai, Hamahiga No Tuifa, Shi Shi No Kun No Dai), Renshi Don McCandless (Empi technique; Bo-12 angles of attack); Sensei Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky (Bo-bo kumite); Sensei Liz Ehrstein (Brazilian Jujutsu).
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series, March 18, 2006: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo, as a tribute to the late Sensei Carol Liskai, Kiyoshigo, 8th Dan (left). The regular training and promotions were followed by special seminar segments presented by senior black belt instructors of the PSKC: Renshi Fredrick Wasser (Legal Aspects of Self-Defense and Realities of Street Encounters); Renshi Ira Sasowsky (Preparing to Win: Self-Defense Situations, Defusing Dangerous Situations, Philosophies on the Use of Force); Sensei Paul Cote (Translation of Bo Kata to Unarmed Techniques: Tokumine No Kun); Renshi Don McCandless (Empty Hand Flow Drills, Locks, and, Leg Checking Drills), Kyoshi Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo (Adaptive Potential vs Stress, Components of Fitness, Skill Development, Control of Movement, Traditional Concepts of Duty and Obligation). All seminar segments were dedicated to the late Sensei Liskai, Kiyoshigo.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series 2005:
March 19, 2005: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and was led by Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo. Kyoshi Sutton led the group through all karate kihon, kata, and kobudo weapons, with a featured seminar on Tuifa kata. He was assisted throughout the sets by Kyoshi Regan Williams, Renshi Don McCandless, Ira Sasowsky, Jim Miller, Sensei Paul Cote, and Jonathan Marmon.
A Note on Tournament Performance 2005: This past year (like many other club years) was an outstanding year for tournament performance by our club members, not only in the IWKA international at Akron (as indicated below in the IWKA Tournament section), but also in several local events (group and trophy photos shown here for Fall 2005 and Spring 2005).
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series 2004:
Spring, 2004: This seminar event was sponsored by the PSKC and was led by Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo, with assistant instruction during various segments by Renshi Don McCandless and Sensei Paul Cote. Sensei Sutton presented on selected karate kihon, kata, kumite, and on Okinawan kobudo weapons kata (Yari, Naginata, and Nunti Bo). Photo below is the PSKC group picture that was taken later in the Spring semester.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series 2003:
April 8, 2003: This seminar event was sponsored by the PSKC and was led by Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo. Sensei Sutton presented a seminar on Go Shujin Sama, and then continued with instruction on selected karate kihon, Sunsu kata, kumite, and kobudo weapons kata.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series 2002:
In the photo (L to R) are Renshi Dayton Sauerman, Sensei Paul Cote, Kyoshi Dane Sutton, and Renshi Don McCandless.
March 23, 2002: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and was led and by Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo, with assistant instruction by Renshi Don McCandless. Sensei Sutton presented a seminar on the concepts of Zanshin, Ma-ai, and Tau, and then continued with instruction on selected karate kihon, kata, and kumite. Renshi McCandless presented a seminar on applications from Isshinryu weapons kata.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions & Seminar Series 2001:
Spring, 2001: This special seminar event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo, as a tribute to the late Sensei Stuart A. Dorow, Hanshigo, 9th Dan (left). Kyoshi Sutton presented a seminar on the biomechanics of Tate Tsuki, and then continued with instruction on selected karate kihon, kata, and kumite.
Penn State Karate Club, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions and Seminar Series 2000:
August 29, 2000: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo. Kyoshi Sutton presented seminars on karate kihon, kata, and kumite (photo not taken).
April, 2000: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo. Kyoshi Sutton presented a seminar on the concepts of acceleration, effective mass, and kime, and then reviewed kihon, kata, and kumite. Photo below was the group picture taken later in the Spring semester.
January 29, 2000: This special seminar event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo, and included visiting senior masters, Stuart Dorow, Hanshigo, and Carol Liskai, Kiyoshigo. Hanshi Dorow and Kyoshi Liskai presented seminars on their experiences training with Master Tatsuo Shimabuku, and on his Te, Kihon, Kata, and Kumite. Kyoshi Sutton presented a seminar on links between Chinese Fujian white crane boxing and karate, and led the group in weapons kata.
Special Commemorative Penn State Karate Club Photo, Isshinryu Karate, Promotions and Seminar Series, April 19, 1999: This event was sponsored by the PSKC and Sensei Dane Sutton, Kiyoshigo, and featured one of the largest assemblies of PSKC black belts gathered since the club's inception in 1972. This event included special visiting head instructors, Sensei Stuart A. Dorow, Hanshigo (front center), and Sensei Carol A. Liskai, Kiyoshigo (to Sensei Dorow's left). Hanshi Dorow and Kyoshi Liskai presented seminars on Master Tatsuo Shimabuku's way of karate kihon, kata, and kumite. Kyoshi Sutton (to Hanshi Dorow's right) presented a seminar on the biomechanics of karate.
The text and sample of photos below traces some highlights of our club history from 1972 through the present. Study with The Masters by PSKC and our affiliated school members is documented and chronicled. We present only a small selection of examples to show where our art originated, and how we have continued to reach out and develop it. To do this, we have continued to train via our Okinawan Isshinryu Masters, and also with other recognized martial arts Masters. Our lineage of Isshinryu karate started with founding Master, Tatsuo Shimabuku (left), who taught Masters Stuart A. Dorow and Carol A. Liskai. Sensei Dorow and Liskai taught the founding members of the Penn State Karate Club, including Sensei Sutton, and subsequently, several other of our senior instructors. Sensei Sutton and our senior club instructors have followed in the tradition to Study with The Masters of Isshinryu, and also in other martial arts, as part of our continuing training, education, and research of martial systems.
Contents-Study with The Masters:
Beginnings: Up through the early 1970's, Master Tatsuo Shimabuku actively taught Isshinryu karate to United States Marine Corps members. This included Sensei Dorow and Liskai, who received their Isshinryu black belt rankings from Master Tatsuo Shimabuku. In 1972, Sensei Dorow and Liskai became the master teachers and mentors for Sensei Dane Sutton and the Penn State Karate Club. The photo below left shows Sensei Dorow and Liskai when they were studying under Master Tatsuo Shimabuku at the Agena Dojo in Okinawa. The photo below right shows Sensei Dorow with Master Shimabuku during a training session in 1970 (photos provided by Sensei Sutton).
Sensei Dorow and Sensei Liskai trained directly under Master Tatsuo Shimabuku in Okinawa during their time in the Marine Corps. After the passing of Master Tatsuo Shimabuku in 1975, they trained under Master Shimabuku's son, Master Kichiro Shimabuku at the Marine Barracks Dojo in Hawaii. They also mediated the early training of Sensei Sutton by Isshinryu Masters Kichiro Shimabuku, Angi Uezu, and Tsuyoshi Uechi both in Okinawa and when the Masters visited the states.
Sensei Dorow was one of the first westerners to achieve 9th Dan, Hanshigo in Isshinryu Karate under Master Kichiro Shimabuku. Sensei Liskai was the first woman to achieve 8th Dan, Kiyoshigo in Isshinryu under Master Kichiro Shimabuku. Earlier in her karate career, she was the only woman to ever be promoted to the rank of 3rd Dan by Master Tatsuo Shimabuku himself. Master Tatsuo Shimabuku promoted Sensei Liskai while she was training at the Agena Dojo. Due to Sensei Liskai's power, and fearless reputation as a fighter, none of the Okinawans were willing to spar with her. Tatsuo nicknamed her "Bad Masan", meaning "superior".
In addition to mentoring the PSKC, Sensei Dorow and Liskai established several karate schools and trained hundreds of students at these locations: Marine Barracks Dojo, Camp Smith, Hawaii; Reynolds Army Hospital Karate Club, Fort Sill, Oklahoma; and the Fort Sill Indian Reservation Karate Club, Oklahoma. In addition to these accomplishments, Captain Dorow was a decorated Vietnam Veteran, and both he and Major Liskai were consummate professionals later in their respective civilian careers.
Sensei Dorow and Liskai began their relationship with the Penn State Karate Club in the early 1970's. In 1972, Sensei Dane Sutton, then a Penn State student, and avid student of martial arts since 1968, met Sensei Dorow and Liskai while Sensei Dorow was pursuing an advanced degree at the University of Maryland. From this time forward, Sensei Dorow and Liskai became mentors the PSKC. Twice a year, they traveled from Oklahoma to Penn State University in order to provide instruction and guidance. They did not charge for their instruction, nor did they accept reimbursement for their travel expenses. They said that they were just "fulfilling a promise" that they had made to Master Tatsuo Shimabuku. In keeping with this tradition, the Penn State Black Belts continue to provide quality instruction free of charge to those students who promise to work hard and help others reach their goals.
The group photo above from one such visit in 1985 shows (L to R) Sensei Carol Liskai, Stuart Dorow, Dane Sutton, and Donald McCandless. The Penn State Karate Club continued to grow under Sensei Sutton and he began to sponsor additional visits to Penn State by Sensei Dorow and Liskai to conduct basic and advanced training (see further below).
Studies with Masters Kichiro Shimabuku, Angi Uezu, Stuart Dorow, and Carol Liskai: Master Shimabuku: Growth of the Penn State Karate Club up through the early 1980's enabled the club to sponsor a teaching visit to Penn State by Master Kichiro Shimabuku in 1985 (photos below).
In the ensuing years, the Penn State Karate Club sponsored numerous additional visits to Penn State by Master Kichiro Shimabuku. Many of these training sessions were in conjunction with trips that the Master made to the states on seminar tours and for various IWKA Tournaments (see IWKA Tournaments section for our continued training with Master Shimabuku). Sensei Dorow and Liskai continued to help mediate these seminars, and Sensei Sutton's training in Okinawa with Master Kichiro Shimabuku and Master Angi Uezu.
Master Uezu: During the late 1980's, and through much of the 1990's, Master Angi Uezu had also been conducting seminar tours in the states. Senior Penn State Karate Club instructors at the time, including Sensei Dane Sutton, Regan Williams, and Don McCandless attended one of the early camps that was held for Master Uezu in 1989. They are pictured together in the lower left of the group photo below.
Later, during the 1990's, Sensei Sutton and the Penn State Karate Club began to sponsor training sessions with Master Angi Uezu. When Master Uezu toured the states (1994, 1998), he was often accompanied by Sensei Tsuyoshi Uechi. Pictured in the photos below from 1994 (centered L to R) are Sensei Don McCandless, Sensei Tsuyoshi Uechi, Master Angi Uezu, and Sensei Dane Sutton.
Pictured above are individual photos of Master Angi Uezu taken at the PSKC in 1994 (left and center) and in 1998 (right).
In the group photo above taken in 1998, Master Angi Uezu, Hanshigo, 10th Dan, OIKKA, sits with the Penn State Karate Club. Centered from left to right are Sensei Don McCandless, Sensei Dane Sutton, Master Angi Uezu, and Sensei Regan Williams.
Masters Dorow and Liskai: By the mid-1990's, Sensei Sutton had established the Penn State Karate Club as one of the premier college athletic clubs and one of the longest-standing, university-based, martial arts clubs in the nation (see group photo below from 1994).
The Penn State Karate Club was fostering continued training and education in Okinawan Isshinryu karate and kobudo through the Okinawan Masters and through regular training seminars at Penn State featuring Sensei Dorow and Liskai (photos below from 1994 and 2000, and our Special Activities seminars from 1999 and 2000).
Sadly, in 2000, we experienced the sudden and untimely passing of Sensei Stuart A. Dorow. Sensei Carol A. Liskai remained associated with the club for the next few years until an untimely illness took her from us in 2005. All of our training sessions are dedicated to the memory of Sensei Dorow and Liskai for their many contributions to Isshinryu karate, and for their outstanding teaching and mentorship of our karate club and senior instructors.
Going Forward with Sensei Sutton: With the passing of Sensei Dorow and Liskai, the future leadership and mentorship of the karate club fell solely to Sensei Sutton. First, as a Penn State student, then as a member of the Penn State faculty, Sensei Sutton has been a driving force for Penn State Karate since 1972. Since 1974 he has been recognized as the Head Instructor and the Okinawan-certified Chief Examiner for the PSKC and its Black Belt lineage. He has taken care of the day-to-day advancement and growth of the club, and he has developed a rapport with the Okinawan Isshinryu Masters to lend stature and validity to the club.
Sensei Sutton has trained over 7,000 Penn State students (and others) to a significant level of proficiency in karate, and promoted hundreds of students to Black Belt. Essentially all of these individuals achieved academic credentials from Penn State and also went on to successful careers in a variety of professional fields. The PSKC is unique in that it requires its students to achieve university degrees, and continued professional development, along with their karate skills, in order to earn Black Belt and subsequent Dan promotion.
Athletically, all of our student belt ranks participate in karate tournaments, including the IWKA championships (see later). Here, they excel in competition kata and kumite. This is a result of the expert guidance, mentorship, and training under Sensei Sutton and his assistant instructors. The IWKA has rated Penn State Karate as the number one school out of more than 850 worldwide.
Sensei Sutton has earned numerous awards over the years from Master Kichiro Shimabuku, Master Angi Uezu, and Penn State for his leadership and accomplishments with Penn State Karate and the University. In 2007, Sensei Sutton was awarded a Certificate of Commendation and The Tatsuo Shimabuku Award for his many contributions to Isshinryu karate, and for his continuing research on the biomechanics of karate. Sensei Sutton's efforts over many years to provide his students with the best possible training culminated in 2011 with his promotion by Master Shimabuku to Hanshigo, Kudan (9th Dan). Hanshigo refers to Master Level Instructor. In addition, Sensei Sutton received the Nittany Lion Award in 2012 for his many contributions to the intellectual and physical development of Penn State's students.
A very large proportion of our karate students achieved significant kyu grades of brown belt (advanced) and green belt (intermediate) during their time at Penn State. Many of these PSKC Alumni continue their study of Isshinryu with us by returning frequently after graduation, or through our alumni-fostered Isshinryu clubs in various locations throughout the U.S. Through maintenance of rigorous standards over the years, about four percent of karate students starting with the club complete requirements to achieve black belt rank (Shodan).
All of our Black Belts have official certification through the Masters in Okinawa. A few of our Black Belts with significant time in training (i.e., 10-40 years) have progressed further to higher level ranks (4th through 8th Dan, see further below). These individuals are formally certified and titled through Master Shimabuku and Hanshi Sutton as Advanced Level Instructors (Kiyoshigo, 7th or 8th Dan) and Expert Level Instructors (Renshigo, 4th Dan and above).
Through Master Shimabuku, Hanshi Sutton expanded the PSKC Kyoshi-Kai (Advanced Level Instructor Association) from among his senior IWKA-certified 7th Dan Kiyoshigo. The Kyoshi now serve as an official Board of Examiners who, besides teaching, are responsible for evaluating kyu and dan ranks prior to their next promotion.
Evaluations by the Kyoshi are performed while wearing the kohaku obi (red and white belt) to signify that they are Examiners. The kohaku obi are worn also during formal promotion sessions where Hanshi Sutton wears his red belt to confer promotions. Otherwise, all Black Belts, including the Senior Dan, wear the black obi in keeping with the tradition established by Master Kichiro Shimabuku.
March, 2016 (L to R): Kyoshi Que Dang, Ralph Miller, James Miller; Hanshi Dane Sutton; Kyoshi Jonathan Marmon, Paul Cote, Don McCandless
September, 2016 (L to R): Kyoshi Ralph Miller, Regan Williams, Jonathan Marmon, Ira Sasowsky; Hanshi Dane Sutton; Kyoshi Paul Cote, Don McCandless, and James Miller; pictured to the right is Kyoshi Carl Clark.
For promotions, early kyu grades from white belt through gokyu are conferred by the senior dojo Sensei after a thorough evaluation, and approval by Hanshi Sutton. Evaluations of senior kyu grades and dan ranks are more involved. It is during the evaluation for yonkyu that prospects must agree to commit the time and effort it takes to becoming a black belt (Shodan) within 2 to 3 years.
Kyu grades seeking promotion to green belt (yonkyu), and to advanced brown belt (ikkyu), and then to first degree black belt (Shodan), are required to be evaluated by their dojo Sensei and by one of the Kyoshi. Each black belt seeking further dan rank is required to be evaluated by at least two of the Kyoshi. Each of the Kyoshi turn in a formal evaluation on the prospect to Hanshi Sutton who then confers with the Kyoshi. Then a decision on the promotion is made and the Okinawan dan certifications are sought through Master Shimabuku.
In order to master karate, one should study with recognized masters of this art. So it began with Sensei Dane Sutton in 1968. It evolved into many years of study under his main teachers, Masters Stuart Dorow and Carol Liskai. These fine teachers had trained in Okinawa under Master Tatsuo Shimabuku. They later studied under Tatsuo's son, Master Kichiro Shimabuku, and son-in-law, Master Angi Uezu. Sensei Sutton did much to follow suit during his long career in the martial arts.
Talking about Masters, below are photos of some very famous Okinawan Karate Masters.
Two Masters who taught karate to Tatsuo Shimabuku are Chotoku Kyan of the Shorinryu Tradition (seated far left) and Chojun Miyagi of the Gojuryu tradition (seated far right)
Tatsuo was also taught Shorinryu karate by Choki Motobu (left) and Kobudo (traditional weaponry) mainly by Shinken Taira (right).
Master Tatsuo Shimabuku, shown in the photo below, taught his Isshinryu karate and kobudo to many Okinawan students. This included teaching his son Kichiro, and son-in-law Angi Uezu, who are pictured centrally in the Okinawan group photo below. In addition, he taught many US Marines in the 1960's and 1970's. A number of these marines emerged as bona fide Isshinryu Masters in the west, including Sensei Dorow and Liskai.
One of Sensei Sutton's prized possessions is his Shodan certificate signed by Master Tatsuo Shimabuku. As mentioned earlier, Sensei Sutton received personal instruction in Okinawa from Master Kichiro Shimabuku, Master Angi Uezu, and Master Tsuyoshi Uechi, who are recognized Isshinryu Lineage Master Instructors via Master Tatsuo Shimabuku.
Okinawan Isshinryu Master Instructors of Sensei Sutton (above, L to R):
As also mentioned earlier, Sensei Sutton received instruction from Masters Stuart Dorow and Carol Liskai, who were recognized Isshinryu lineage students of Master Tatsuo Shimabuku, Master Kichiro Shimabuku, and Master Angi Uezu. In addition, they hosted various training sessions with Okinawan Isshinryu Masters in the US.
US Isshinryu Master Instructors of Sensei Sutton, 1992 (above, L to R):
Accordingly, Sensei Sutton received all of his Isshinryu Karate training directly from recognized Isshinryu Masters: Kichiro Shimabuku, Angi Uezu, Tsuyoshi Uechi, Stuart A. Dorow, and Carol A. Liskai. After over 40-years of martial arts study involving these Masters, and the teaching and administration of the Penn State Karate Club, Sensei Sutton was promoted to Hanshigo, Kudan (9th Dan) in 2011 by Master Kichiro Shimabuku. He also holds certification in the OIKKA as Kiyoshigo, Hachidan, under Master Angi Uezu, and he remains a close associate of Okinawan Master Tsuyoshi Uechi.
Sensei Sutton's lineage training and skill in karate and kobudo derive directly from Master Tatsuo Shimabuku's family tradition. He has indeed emerged as a lineage Master of Isshinryu. Sensei Sutton had made studies of other oriental and western martial arts. But he committed the greater part of his martial arts training to probing the essence of Isshinryu karate and kobudo through conditioning, competition, and conclusive self-defense.
Three other instructors also had a great impact on Sensei Sutton's martial arts training during these times: Professor Vance McLaughlin, Sensei Chet Cinamella, and Professor John H. Challis. They helped him translate the principles of an ancient art into effective training methods for modern law enforcement and military warriors. This bridging of the old and the new gave Sensei Sutton the impetus to examine the biomechanics of effective technique, and control of posture, as they apply to maintenance of balance, defensive tactics, and marksmanship. Because of their influence Sensei Sutton became a certified instructor of police defensive tactics, baton, and firearms. A brief outline of the credentials for these fine instructors is provided below to highlight their added influence on Sensei Sutton's martial arts career.
Professor Vance McLaughlin: B.S., Finance, PSU, 1971; M.S., Criminology, FSU, 1977; Ph.D. Criminal Justice Planning, PSU, 1984. Sensei Vance McLaughlin (pictured to the left, 1985) began training in the Martial Arts in 1963 at the American Jiu-Jitsu and Karate Academy in Pittsburgh, PA. Vance trained with Master Tatsuo Shimabuku in 1964 in Pittsburgh PA during the Master’s first trip to the U.S. He earned Shodan in 1966, and Nidan in 1970, in Koseido-ryu Karate and Jiu-Jitsu.
Since then, Vance has refused all Dan rank promotions offered by various martial arts associations despite having far exceeded the requirements. While a student at PSU he established the League of Oriental Karate. Also known as "Old Sensei", Vance is fond of saying "I have no students"; however, hundreds of the best martial artists in the U.S. are honored to have learned from him.
Sensei McLaughlin is an expert in law enforcement defensive tactics.
Dr. McLaughlin’s professional experience is also notable and includes:
Dr. McLaughlin has published three books, dozens of Journal articles, and maintains the website www.homicideresearch.com that is devoted to research on homicide.
Sensei Chet Cinamella: Sensei Cinamella has Black Belt certification in both Tang Soo Do and Isshinryu Karate. Before attending PSU, Sensei Cinamella was a member of the elite U.S. Army Rangers. While at Penn State, he was the starting pitcher for the PSU Nittany Lions baseball team. In 1973, he joined the Pennsylvania Game Commission and quickly became its most proficient Wildlife Conservation Officer. Chet also served as the Game Commission's Defensive Tactics, Baton, and Firearms Instructor. He is a Defensive Tactics Instructor for the Municipal Police Officer's Education Training Commission. He also taught at Lackawanna College as an instructor for the Criminal Justice Program. A top-rated firearms instructor and marksman, Chet received the National Rifle Association's highest rating, the elite Lifetime Master Marksman Classification. Through Sensei Cinamella's training and mentoring, Sensei Sutton has taught firearm safety and marksmanship to hundreds of Penn State students and law enforcement officers.
Professor John H. Challis: John H. Challis is a Professor of Kinesiology in the PSU Biomechanics Laboratory. Professor Challis focuses on the measurement and simulation modeling of the human musculo-skeletal system, with the aim of examining the role, function, and coordination of muscle in vivo. He is pursuing the development of improved biomechanical measurement protocols. This allows for more accurate measurement and simulation modeling of the human musculo-skeletal system, and the examination of human segmental inertial properties.
During his tenure as Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Kinesiology, the program was ranked as the top kinesiology graduate program in the country by the National Research Council. John is also the recipient of the Graduate Program Chair Leadership Award. He has over 123 publications in major refereed research journals and books. John assisted and mentored both Sensei Matthew Pain, Reader in Biomechanics at Loughborough University, and Sensei Dane Sutton in their studies of biomechanics.
As a true Sensei, John helped translate their innate sense of proper technique, learned through many years of training, into a more concrete form. Thus, he has greatly contributed to the search for the principles and biomechanics that form the basis of Karate-Do. In recognition of his contributions, the Okinawan Karate Masters awarded him the Certificate of Kenpo Gokui (Fist Way Higher Knowledge).
Sensei Dane Sutton: Sensei Sutton has extensive instructor experience and numerous certifications in the martial arts, defensive tactics, and the use of firearms. These certifications encompass allied fields which he blends into his career in public service.
Sensei Sutton became deeply committed through his karate to helping others achieve their goals in Isshinryu, and beyond. In the photo below (2010), Sensei Sutton appears with two of his senior students, Sensei Don McCandless and Sensei Paul Cote. Both of these men began their study of martial arts with Isshinryu at Penn State and they have continued to make their home in Isshinryu over the years under Sensei Sutton. Yet, with Sensei's encouragement, they seriously researched, combined, and introduced influences from other martial arts into Isshinryu. Other senior instructors including Sensei Carl Clark, Jonathan Marmon, Jim Miller, and Ralph Miller also sampled outside influences that were brought back into our Isshinryu school. Importantly, having the extensive training base and work ethic in Isshinryu became an advantage for these individuals as they explored and became skilled in other martial arts.
The Penn State Karate Club was never a "for profit" commercial dojo. It survived within the university for decades using university-provided space and through nominal membership dues that were used only to support student club activities (competitions, supplies, etc.). No payments are made to the club instructors for the instruction they provide. Our Special Activities are always run at no charge to club members for seminar instruction.
Sensei Sutton maintains two primary dojo rules: "Students must attend every class" ....and.... "Students must give 100% effort". If the students do not follow these rules they are excused from training until they resolve the issues that are preventing them from concentrating on their study of the martial arts. Students are expected to train under the code of on giri; here, the only way to re-pay "the irreparable debt" incurred for being taught karate is to help another student reach their goal of Black Belt.
Sensei's "club model" has endured to this day, both at Penn State, and at all of our satellite club branches. The karate club ostensibly became an "institution" on the Penn State University campus under Sensei Sutton's direction for the past 45 years. Operating since 1972, the karate school is one of the oldest university-based martial arts clubs in the country.
As a short tribute to Sensei Sutton, Hanshigo, Kudan (9th Dan), we present some of the club group photos from earlier in his career as founding Head Instructor of the Penn State Karate Club. We do not present photos for every year of his tenure as Head Instructor at the Penn State club, but those given make the point.
Shown are the many faces of Penn State karate students, and some from the community, taken over a very long period of time. Some go way back (see more recent group photos under Special Activities). Essentially all of the college students involved with the club achieved academic degrees at the university. And through the club, everyone was able to experience a special mentorship through rigorous karate training with Sensei Sutton, which helped to further infuse and shape their post-college careers.
On behalf of all of us, many thanks to you, Sensei, for being there for us.
Penn State Karate Club: 1999
Penn State Karate Club: 1996
Penn State Karate Club: 1993
Penn State Karate Club: 1990
Penn State Karate Club: 1988
Penn State Karate Club: 1983
Penn State Karate Club: 1982
Penn State Karate Club: 1979
Penn State Karate Club: 1976 (Paul Cote, Yonkyu, back row, 4th from the left)
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We emphasize here that in addition to their accomplishments in the martial arts, and contributions to the karate club, each of our senior instructors has pursued a successful job career in life in their chosen academic profession. We all agree that our early karate training had a significant and positive effect on our pursuit of life goals outside of karate.
Since the club's inception, Sensei Sutton has involved a number of senior dan instructors to organize regular study and training seminars at Penn State, and at our PSKC-affiliated clubs. Many of our senior black belt alumni also continue to participate in further research of the art and other martial systems so they can advance and contribute back to the club. Please refer to our Special Activities listings from 2000-2017. There we provide examples featuring traditional training, and club seminars by senior instructors on karate concepts drawn from their study with the Masters of Isshinryu and of other Oriental and Western martial arts.
Sensei Regan 'Sig' Williams: BS, Biology, PSU, 1974; MS, Aquatic Ecology, PSU, 1981; Job-Related Post-Grad Research, 1984-1986; 1987-1990. Sensei Williams is our club's most senior instructor under Hanshi Sutton. He began study with the PSKC in 1977 under Sensei Sutton, Dorow, and Liskai and received his Shodan in 1980. Since then, Sensei Williams has been dedicated continually with Sensei Sutton to the advancement of the Penn State Karate Club. Sensei Williams also maintains his own school of Isshinryu near Cleveland, Ohio (Twinsburg) where he has trained many through the ranks, including one to the level of Renshigo, Rokudan (6th dan).
Sensei Williams had been Kiyoshigo, Nanadan (7th Dan) for many years, recognized by Master Kichiro Shimabuku-IWKA, Master Angi Uezu-OIKKA, and by Sensei Dorow, Liskai, and Sutton. In 2013, he was awarded Hachidan (8th Dan) by Master Shimabuku. A look through club photos on this webpage (some dating back to the 1980's) provide just a glimpse of Sensei Williams' long-term dedication to Isshinryu and Penn State Karate. This includes frequent studies with Masters Shimabuku and Uezu, Sensei Dorow and Liskai, and his teaching with Sensei Sutton at yearly club activities (see Special Activities).
Sensei Williams conducted extensive research of Isshinryu karate and kobudo over the years. Rather than branching out further into other martial arts styles, Sensei Williams probed deeply into Isshinryu concepts and into its origins in the parent styles from Chotoku Kyan, Choki Motobu, Chojun Miyagi, and Shinken Taira (kobudo). He also maintains an interest in the Shobayashi Shorinryu kata and life of Master Eizo Shimabuku (the younger brother of Master Tatsuo Shimabuku).
Sensei Williams also struck up a highly informative relationship with the late American Isshinryu Master Don Bohan. Master Bohan presented Sensei Williams with numerous historical items dating back to his earliest studies with Master Tatsuo Shimabuku. Sensei Bohan was also great friends with our club mentors, Sensei Dorow and Liskai, from back in the 1960's and 1970's. We at the PSKC remain grateful to Kyoshi Williams for his research and teaching based on much of the original knowledge and skills passed down in Isshinryu.
Sensei Donald McCandless: BS, Wildlife Sciences, PSU, 1985; MBA, Notre Dame, 1988. Sensei McCandless is a dedicated PSKC senior yudansha who is recognized in both the OIKKA and IWKA. While a student at Penn State he began learning under Sensei Sutton starting in 1981. Don was mentored along his path since then by Sensei Sutton, Dorow, Liskai, Uezu, and Shimabuku. While living and working in the Penn State community, Sensei McCandless assisted Sensei Sutton in club training, student evaluations, and special seminar instruction, which continues today (see club photos). Don is an OIKKA-certified 6th Dan, and an IWKA-certified, Kiyoshigo, Nanadan (7th dan).
In addition to continuing research on Isshinryu, Don gathered further insights through extracurricular training in martial arts systems that are native to other regions of the Pacific rim, including the Philippines (arnis/escrima) and Indonesia (silat). One influence in these systems was Master H. Hochheim, pictured below left and in the group photo. Don's other major outside influence has been the American Master at Arms, James A. Keating, pictured below right working with Don at a seminar.
Master Hocheim was instrumental in helping Sensei McCandless to simplify-the-complex and to focus such elements into various solo and two-person drills. Such tools could be easily trained, remembered, and applied. Sensei McCandless has developed and used this perspective to structure club training so that everyone can follow and assimilate material for practice on their own. Extrapolation of structured solo and two-person drills to our karate and kobudo has enabled many to adopt self-defense and combative flow into their training and applications.
The drills represent a means to an end, and not a system unto themselves (although this can result). The cross-training with Master Hochheim influenced Don on how to methodically integrate unarmed tactics, weapons systems, and the mental aspects of fighting into a coherent whole. This developed his considerable expertise not only in Pacific rim systems, but also shaped his approach for discovery within Isshinryu karate and kobudo.
Master Keating exposed Don to outstanding unarmed and blade technique extracted and combined from multiple martial arts. These include Chinese kung fu systems, Filipino martial arts, karate/kobudo, fencing/saber, and various western systems. It was the conceptual approach to Master Keating's teaching that made a difference in how Don now thinks about lines and angles of attack and defense in kata bunkai. The instruction was delivered in terms of concepts that could be referenced flexibly.
Sensei McCandless brought this into some of the ways we now think about and teach Isshinryu. Such movement patterns represent universal lines that can be applied for empty hand, knife, or stick. Sensei McCandless remains in frequent contact with Master Keating as part of his continuing development in the martial arts.
The extracurricular training with the above Masters had a consistently positive influence on Don's approach and pedagogy in teaching Isshinryu in our club. Don has since sought and uncovered some novel training methods with applications to the martial arts. He has extensive experience as a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He saw an opportunity there to combine concepts from the above mentioned universal angles of attack, with the addition of half-beat inserts, using popular fitness conditioning ropes. The result was to create several new workout routines geared towards the martial artist, which he released in his "Martial Ropes" DVD in 2011.
Kyoshi McCandless has taken up permanent residence in the Penn State area. He oversees a number of 4th through 6th Dan Renshi and also mentors club officer interactions with the university Club Sports program. He continues to provide an experienced role model for all of the students and club instructors. He integrates his physical conditioning, academic credentials, corporate leadership skills, and multidisciplinary martial arts expertise in optimal ways to further mentor and advance the club.
Sensei Paul J. Cote: BS, Biology, PSU, 1974; MS, Physiology, PSU, 1977; PhD, Biology, Georgetown, 1986. Starting in 1978, Paul pursued a 35-year long academic career at the Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He retired in 2012 from his full-time position as a Research Professor of Microbiology with more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, and many formal conference presentations in Virology and Immunology. He also taught courses in Virology and in Physiology during the latter part of his university career. He continues to do so at Georgetown as a part-time Adjunct Professor.
Sensei Cote began his study of Isshinryu in 1974 at Penn State under Sensei Sutton and other club instructors of the day. After graduation with an MS in 1977, he returned on occasion to Penn State during 1978-1986 where he studied under Sensei Sutton as his main teacher in karate and kobudo.
During this same time, he was also seeking a PhD at Georgetown University while holding a full time job there in biomedical research. Slowly over time, and in follow-up through today, Paul worked his way gradually through club rankings under Sensei Sutton. Under Hanshi Sutton, Sensei Cote became a certified yudansha instructor in both the OIKKA and IWKA, and is an IWKA-certified, Kiyoshigo, Nanadan (7th dan).
Sensei Cote had the good fortune along the way to train privately on many return visits to Penn State with many senior Isshinryu club instructors, including Sensei Baughman (ret.), Sauerman, and McCandless. He also trained through the 1990's with Penn State alumni Sensei Cook, Little, Green, J. Miller, and R. Miller at their affiliate clubs in Maryland and Northern Virginia. He taught frequently at the Maryland club, and now leads monthly training sessions for the Takoma Park Maryland club (headed by Sensei Dmitriy Gulik and Mary Kendall), the Kent Gardens club (under Sensei Mami Gebereegziabher), and the Northern Virginia club (see more below).
In 1987, Sensei Cote took some time away from visiting and training responsibilities through the Penn State club. He took up a serious study of two Chinese internal martial arts: xing-yi quan (mind-formed fist) and bagua zhang (eight diagram palm). He completed rigorous studies of these two arts in the Washington D.C. area under renowned martial arts master, teacher, and author, the late Robert W. Smith who he is pictured with in the photo below left. Paul became a Senior Instructor for Master Smith's group by 1992 and remained a close family student until Master Smith passed away in 2011.
Paul returned to parallel studies of karate under Sensei Sutton in the mid-1990's. But he also continued making further progress in the Chinese internal martial arts via Master Zhang Yun from 1997 to 2002 who he is pictured with in the photo above right. Here, he earned certified Master Instructor status in xing-yi quan and bagua zhang, and Expert Instructor status in Wu style taiji quan as a martial art and also in qigong. In 1994, Sensei Cote also established Academic Training Traditions in order to blend these martial arts activities with his training in holistic health and academic pursuits. For example, he has adapted his taijiquan to teach it also as a useful holistic health modality for seniors and others since 2003.
By the late 1990's, Sensei Cote's training and teaching of Chinese internal arts overlapped strongly with his advancing studies in Isshinryu karate and kobudo under Sensei Sutton. Sensei Cote's progress in the internal arts added to the overall martial arts knowledge and skill that he was able to bring back into the Penn State club. His "cross-training" taught him much about the evolution and application of martial technique through different cultures. Sensei Cote is well-recognized for his unique and multi-faceted interpretations of Isshinryu kata concepts and self-defense applications.
In addition to his role in the PSKC under Hanshi Sutton, Paul also organized a number of martial arts educational events over the years that feature senior martial arts instructors and masters, including one in 2008 in collaboration with Sensei Sutton at Penn State involving the internal arts group of Master Zhang Yun (see Community Service activities). Moreover, he has reached out over the years to work with many other internationally-recognized martial arts groups as invited faculty where he shares his Isshinryu and his expertise in Chinese internal arts (see Community Service activities).
Sensei Cote has worked on numerous martial arts educational projects of his own and with others, including the recent release of several DVD sets. One is on Naihanchi Sho kata where he led a collaboration with karate instructors from other styles. In others, he teaches the Chinese internal martial arts of xing-yi quan and bagua zhang.
From his home base in Frederick, Maryland, Kyoshi Cote provides highly experienced classical martial arts education that assists one's practice and teaching of such arts through solo and hands-on drills. In his karate shi ho do (way of teaching karate), he blends extensive field research, an academic approach to instruction, and multidisciplinary martial arts knowledge with physical training and broad skill set to mentor and advance our club.
Sensei Carl Clark: BS, Administrative Justice, PSU, 1986; MS, Public Administration, Shippensburg, 1999. Sensei Clark began with the Penn State Karate Club in the early 1980's and was mentored mainly under Sensei Sutton, Dorow, and Liskai. He regularly attended club-sponsored seminars when Masters Shimabuku and Uezu visited the states. He earned his way over the years through club rankings to achieve Kiyoshigo, Nanadan (7th Dan) through Hanshi Sutton.
Upon graduation from Penn State University, he secured employment in the justice administration field. He became interested and well-versed in how traditional karate concepts and modern martial art derivatives might apply in practical ways to this line of work. The highly effective and destructive karate techniques readily applied to combat training. However, this skill set (and mind set) can often lose sight of the need for appropriate use-of-force, as legally defined, for many other types of jobs (e.g., social workers, probation officers, law enforcement peace-keepers).
Carl took a wide-ranging extracurricular journey to study such applications to augment his job training and career requirements at the time. Over time, he introduced their utility to others in the Penn State Karate Club, and at his prior karate club in Elysburg, Pa. He also taught them to those in allied fields of law enforcement. In the process, Sensei Clark had become highly specialized in use-of-force instruction designed for allied law enforcement careers.
For example, Carl completed a Pressure Point Control Tactics (PPCT) program under Master Bruce Siddle. He then became a certified instructor for the Crisis Prevention Institute where he had opportunity to further research body language recognition, safer physical management and restraint, and de-escalation protocols for law enforcement. To his credit, none of his many trainees to date have ever gotten disarmed or seriously injured while on the job. Carl also studied allied methods more intensively in the 1990's through Insights Training under Masters Greg Hamilton and John Holschen and eventually became an adjunct instructor for Defense Tactics International.
In the classical and modern martial arts, Carl trained additionally in Jeet Kun Do and Filipino Martial Arts under Master Dan Inosanto, in Brazilian Jujutsu under Master Chris Peiffer, and in Muay Thai under MMA fighter Luis Silva. Recently, Sensei Clark made a career change in life that drew him away from teaching job-specific applications for the martial arts and into an administrative role. However, he continues to teach traditional Isshinryu karate and kobudo in West Chester, Pa. Through his journey, Kyoshi Clark brings a unique blend of intensive physical conditioning, traditional karate, and allied specialized training and martial perspectives into our club leadership and instruction.
Sensei Jonathan Marmon: BA, Economics, PSU, 1991; MBA, Temple, 1995. Sensei Marmon began with the club in 1987 under Sensei Sutton, Nyahay, McCandless, Dorow, and Liskai. He underwent rigorous day-to-day training under assistant club instructors, Sensei R. Miller, Mankin, Shepley, Clark, and Hitchings. Since then, he has advanced to IWKA-certified, Kiyoshigo, Nanadan (7th dan) under Hanshi Sutton.
After graduating and returning to the Philadelphia area, Jonathan focused on his training and research of karate and kobudo and taught Isshinryu locally with fellow PSKC alumnus Sensei Joeseph McGarrey. Subsequently, Sensei Marmon has been instrumental in the creation and operation over the years of several PSKC affiliated clubs, including at Penn State Delaware County Campus (with Sensei Paul Strommer), the Pennsylvania College of Osteopathic Medicine (with Sensei Lauren Johnson), and his Philadelphia Chapter of the PSKC. During these times, Jonathan sought further study of Isshinryu with several well-known American Isshinryu Masters who had studied under Master Tatsuo Shimabuku, including A.J. Advincula and the late Sherman Harrill.
All the while, Jonathan's interest in the deeper meanings in karate led him to study with master instructors of different styles who would share their knowledge and experience in the martial arts. This included attending seminars by Masters Seiyu Oyata (Ryu-Te) and Patrick McCarthy (Koryu Uchinadi). Some of the most influential extracurricular teachings Jonathan experienced came via seminars he attended twice per year featuring combined instruction in tuite-jutsu, kyusho-jutsu, ju-jutsu, and stick work by Masters George Dillman (Ryukyu Kempo), Wally Jay (Small Circle Jujitsu), and Remy Presas (Modern Arnis).
Jonathan has continued his research and study of tuite-jutsu and kyusho-jutsu with other Ryukyu Kempo and Jujutsu instructors in the above lineages, including Master Jack Medaris (Ryukyu Kempo), and renowned kyusho-jutsu Master Evan Pantazi. Jonathan gained additional understanding of the Chinese origins and internal aspects of martial arts in 1995 through classes in qigong by Master Faxiang Hou of the Qigong Research Society. Sensei Marmon has become an outstanding senior dan and practitioner. He combines excellent research and study with his orthodox teaching approaches in Isshinryu to foster continued growth of our organization and affiliated clubs.
Sensei James Miller: BA, Speech Communication, PSU, 1990; SAHE, UIP, 1994. Sensei Jim Miller studied Isshinryu karate at Penn State starting in 1987, but had actually been a student of the art as a boy in Pittsburgh, Pa. since 1979. He continued with the Penn State club under Sensei Sutton, Nyahay, Dorow, and Liskai. Sensei Jim Miller has been one of our most prolific and successful instructors outside of the Penn State campus community since the 1990's. He has advanced to senior yudansha under Sensei Sutton in the OIKKA (Renshigo, Godan [5th dan]) and IWKA, where he is presently IWKA-certified, Kiyoshigo, Nanadan (7th dan) under Hanshi Sutton.
Sensei Miller has fostered PSKC-affiliated clubs starting early on in McKeesport, Pa (1990-1992), and now while working in Virginia since 1997. These include clubs in Arlington, Va., at Marymount University, Va., and in Northern Virginia (NoVA). Jim is currently an AAU Level 3 Club Coach and Chief Instructor of Isshinryu Karate and Kobudo in NoVA. In his community, Sensei Miller works as an administrator for universities, and is a member and volunteer of the Okinawa Kai of Greater Washington, D.C. He and his club perform karate demonstrations there and annually at the D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival.
Through his Isshinryu schools, Jim has taught over 350 dedicated students, including 22 who have achieved the rank of black belt (Shodan), and including a number who have progressed to certified instructor levels. Jim has also been instrumental in recruiting other senior dan black belt instructors to his club who have taken up residence in the Maryland/DC/NoVA areas. These include Sensei Ralph Miller (Co-Head Instructor, Kiyoshigo, Nanadan, 7th Dan; see below), Linda Keefer (Renshigo; 5th Dan), and guest instructor Sensei Paul Cote (Kiyoshigo, Nandan [7th Dan]).
Sensei Jim Miller's research in karate has led him to extracurricular studies with masters of other styles, as well as into the depths of study with Isshinryu karate masters. For example, in addition to experimenting with kendo, Indonesian, and Korean arts, Jim has attended occasional seminars over the years in karate with Master Patrick McCarthy, and also in Chinese Internal Arts with Master Robert Smith, Warren Conner, and Sensei Cote. Along with others in our organization, Sensei Jim Miller has attended seminars in karate and kobudo with Masters A.J. Advincula and Kensho Tokumura. He has also attended over 30 seminars through the years on traditional Isshinryu karate from our lineage Masters Kichiro Shimabuku, Angi Uezu, and Tsuyoshi Uechi.
We are indeed privileged and proud to have Sensei Jim Miller in our circle where he continues to develop his knowledge and skill, to train children and adults in weekly classes, to train children in special self-defense and fitness programs, attract talented senior instructors in this pursuit, and sponsor annual Special Activities seminars for Hanshi Sutton.
Sensei Ralph Miller: BS, Computer Science, PSU, 1992; MS, Management Information Systems, UMUC/Bowie State, 2000. Sensei Ralph Miller began his study of Isshinryu karate at Penn State in 1984 under Sensei Sutton, Nyahay, Dorow, and Liskai. Sensei Miller has distinguished himself over the years in parallel with Sensei Jim Miller in the development of the NoVA Isshinryu club. Sensei Ralph Miller is presently an IWKA-certified, Kiyoshigo, Nanadan (7th dan) under Hanshi Sutton. Sensei Miller (along with Sensei Jim Miller) sponsors yearly seminars for Sensei Sutton, and frequent training sessions with Sensei Cote. Sensei Miller makes it a point to keep in great physical condition through club calisthenics and is expert in fast and efficient self-defense using the Isshinryu kihon in rapid combination. He is also a champion competitor in kata and kumite. While he has had some outside martial arts interests via Sensei Cote, he has continued mainly to focus his studies on the core of Isshinryu. We are indeed fortunate and privileged to have Sensei Ralph Miller bring his perspective into the club training repertoire.
Sensei Ira Sasowsky: MS, Geology, PSU, 1988; PhD, Geology, PSU, 1992. Sensei Sasowsky began his study of Isshinryu karate at Penn State in 1988 under Sensei Sutton, Nyahay, Dorow, and Liskai. He runs a small dojo at the University of Akron, Ohio where he is a Professor of Geosciences, specializing in the study of caves. Sensei Sasowsky continues his training as an IWKA-certified, Kiyoshigo, Nanadan (7th dan) under Hanshi Sutton. He is also closely affiliated with Sensei Regan Williams, Kiyoshigo, Hachidan, in nearby Twinsburg, Ohio. Sensei Sasowsky has presented seminars at the Penn State gatherings blending his ideas on power development with precision execution of kata. He maintained his focus and enthusiasm in Isshinryu over these many years, and his research of the art and science of karate represents a great asset for the club.
Sensei Que Dang: BS, Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology, PSU, 1996; PhD, Microbiology and Immunology, West Virginia University, 2003. Sensei Dang is currently a Program Officer at the National Institutes of Health and has published several peer-reviewed journal articles on her research in virology. She began her karate training under Sensei Sutton, Dorow, and Liskai in 1990. While at Penn State, she served as a club President and received the Student of the Year Award. She is currently an IWKA-certified Kiyoshigo, Nanadan (7th dan) under Hanshi Sutton. Sensei Dang is also a 5th Dan Renshigo in the OIKKA. She is a champion competitor in kata and kumite, having won numerous awards at the IWKA World Championships, and is presently the highest ranking woman in our club. She has made an in-depth study of Isshinryu kata and kobudo over her time and shares this regularly with the students she trains. Following the lead of her fellow Black Belts, she is currently working hard to increase membership.
Sensei Joseph Trocchio: BS, Civil Engineering, University of Akron, 1985; Registered Professional Engineer of the State of Ohio, 2006. Sensei Trocchio is an Environmental Engineer with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He conducts compliance inspections of all wastewater treatment facilities, reviews detail plans from private consulting firms for the construction of water pollution control devices, and coordinates discharge permits for the State of Ohio.
Sensei Trocchio began his study of Isshin-Ryu karate at the Ohio EPA in 1990 under Sensei Regan Williams and later under Sensei Sutton, Dorow, and Liskai. Sensei Trocchio has also trained under Master Angi Uezu and Master Kichiro Shimabuku during their visits to the United States. Sensei Trocchio holds both OIKKA and IWKA certificates and is presently an IWKA-certified, Renshigo, 6th Dan under Kyoshi Williams and Hanshi Sutton. He is currently our most senior active Renshigo, Rokudan.
Sensei Trocchio has spent time with Kyoshi Williams teaching many of his co-workers who were interested in karate at the Ohio EPA. He makes it a point to keep in great physical condition through club calisthenics and health and fitness training. He is a dedicated family man, and enjoys golf for relaxation. In the martial arts, he has continued to focus his studies and teaching on the core principles and methods of Isshinryu.Back to Contents
Sensei Jaeson Koszarsky: Sensei Jaeson Koszarsky: BS, Computer Science, PSU, 1994. Sensei Jaeson Koszarsky has been training with Sensei Sutton and the PSKC since 1994. He is a certified yudansha in both the IWKA and the OIKKA and is currently Renshigo, Rokudan (6th Dan) in the IWKA under Hanshi Sutton. Both Jaeson and his wife, Sensei Jennifer Koszarsky (see below), have served a major role as lead resident PSKC University Park Instructors and Competition Team coaches since 2010. They have served as mentors for hundreds of karate students thorough the years and have guided many through the rank of Black Belt.
Both Jaeson and Jennifer have attended numerous training seminars with Master Kichiro Shimabuku, Master Angi Uezu, and Master Tsuyoshi Uechi, plus several early on in their karate career with Sensei Dorow and Liskai. They have also attended Isshinryu workshops with Hanshi William H. Duessel and Master A.J. Advincula, and additional martial arts workshops with Hanshi Patrick McCarthy and Master Don Schule (taijiquan).
Jaeson has competed in 7 IWKA World Championships and has placed several times in the top 3 in both kata and kobudo. He once took first place in both events in 2009 in Pittsburgh and competed subsequently in the Grand Championship. He and Jennifer have conducted numerous self-defense workshops for various groups at Penn State, and in 2009, they received an endorsement for these workshops from Centre County Sheriff Denny Nau. In 2006, Jaeson and Jennifer received a Penn State Air Force ROTC award for a self-defense workshop for their cadets.
Jaeson has always excelled athletically and has helped others to work as a team in order to reach their goals. Jaeson was team captain of his high school varsity swim team and under his leadership during his senior year the team won first in their section. Jaeson and Jennifer each participate regularly in Beaver Stadium 5K runs, which benefit the Special Olympics, and in THON 5K runs, which help raise funds for the Four Diamonds to conquer pediatric cancer. In 2014, he finished first in his age group in a 10K run supporting a non-profit State College hospice (House of Care). Since 2007, Jaeson and Jennifer have included Pilates and apparatus work to balance out their mind-body fitness routines in which they have been active since 2007.
When Jaeson was at PSU, he was president of the Penn State Association for Computing Machinery in 1992 and 1993. He also co-founded and was a president of a Commodore Amiga computer student club from 1992 to 1994. He also taught 3D computer animation at PSU in the Science Technology and Society Department computer lab from 1992 until 1996. Here, he created several 3D animations for a Penn State student Aerospace Engineering project that was presented to NASA in 1992. He collaborated with other 3D animators on a student project that won 2nd place at the Penn State Can Film Festival in 1994.Back to Contents
Sensei Jennifer Koszarsky: Sensei Jennifer Koszarsky has been training with Sensei Sutton and the PSKC since 1994. During that time she (and her husband, Jaeson, see above) also trained with Sensei Dorow and Liskai, and attended seminars by Master Kichiro Shimabuku, Master Uezu, and Master Uechi. She competed in 7 IWKA World Championships and has placed 3rd in kobudo in both 2011 and 2013, and 3rd in kata in 2017. She and Jaeson have conducted self-defense seminars for PSKC, and have volunteered for the Summer Special Olympics since 2007. Jennifer has also sponsored the R.A.D. course (Rape-Agression Defense) among PSKC female students where there is opportunity to employ 'full force' punches and kicks against a mock assailant dressed head-to-toe in a heavily padded suit. Sensei Jennifer Koszarsky is currently an IWKA-certified Renshigo, Rokudan (6th Dan) under Hanshi Sutton. As a lead instructor with the PSKC, she and Jaeson have mentored and assisted many students in their training toward Shodan and beyond.Back to Contents
Sensei David Willey: Sensei Willey is a resident in the Penn State area and has worked for the university as a System Administrator since 2000. He is also matriculating there presently toward a degree in Information Science and Technology. He began his study of Isshinryu in 1996 and he was promoted to Shodan in 2000. He has earned his way presently to Renshigo, Rokudan (6th Dan) under Hanshi Sutton. Over the past several years, Sensei Willey has served the club as a senior instructor and he has played a significant role in the day-to-day development and mentoring of many PSKC students through the ranks and to black belt.
He has participated in biannual club seminars, assisting other black belts with their demonstrations, and presenting on the teaching craft. For example, David’s work at the Penn State Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence led him to develop and present a popular club seminar, one that compares traditional martial arts teaching methods used by the PSKC and several principles known for successful teaching in undergraduate education. Sensei Willey remains an aspiring role model to kyu rank members and to junior black belts. He is an accomplished Isshinryu karate stylist and an excellent and proven teacher of others. We are very proud to have him as a part of our Renshi-kai.Back to Contents
Sensei Jin Jin Huang: BS, Mechanical Engineering and Minor in Engineering Management, PSU, 2002. MPA, Environmental Science and Policy, Columbia University, 2011. Sensei Huang joined the PSKC as a freshman at Penn State in 1997, training under Sensei Sutton. She is currently certified by the IWKA as Renshigo, Rokudan (6th Dan) under Hanshi Sutton. Sensei Huang lives in the New York metro area and her professional career is in energy and sustainability. Her training in Isshinryu karate and kobudo led her further in recent years to study other martial arts, such as Wu style taijiquan with Shifu Clayton Shiu and Master Zhang Yun, and also Ving Tsun, Yang style and Chen style taijiquan, and Shaolin Quan with Master Henry Moy. Sensei Huang remains an accomplished Isshinryu stylist and maintains her school of Isshinryu in Northern New Jersey. She has also served as an advisor to the Forest Hills Karate Club of Sensei Thomas George.Back to Contents
Sensei Elizabeth Ehrstein: Sensei Elizabeth Ehrstein: BS, Psychology, PSU, 1996. Sensei Ehrstein joined the PSKC as a senior at Penn State in 1996, training under Sensei Sutton. After graduating, she moved to Philadelphia and was mentored further by Sensei Lauren Johnson and Jonathan Marmon. She earned the rank of Shodan in 1998, and is now an IWKA-certified Renshigo, Godan (5th Dan). After moving to Montgomery County, Maryland, she served as an instructor for the Cider Mill Isshinryu Karate Club under Sensei Rob Cooke, Nicole Little, and Jonathan Green. She later served as an instructor for the Montgomery Isshinryu Karate Club (which she founded with Sensei Dmitriy Gulik). She now teaches martial arts and conditioning in other venues. A lifelong interest in strength and conditioning led her to become certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and work as a personal trainer. Sensei Ehrstein is an accomplished Isshinryu stylist who has also studied other martial arts, including judo, Brazilian jujutsu, and krav maga. Her primary area of interest in the study of Isshinryu karate is in the practical application of empty hand techniques.Back to Contents
Sensei Dmitriy Gulik: BS, Accounting, UMD, 2010. Dmitriy is a Certified Public Accountant and provides accounting advisory services to financial services institutions. Sensei Gulik began his study of Isshinryu in 1996 when he was 9 years old at the Cider Mill Isshinryu Dojo in Gaithersburg, Maryland under Sensei R. Cook, N. Little, J. Green, P. Cote, and L. Ehrstein. He rapidly drew the attention of PSKC seniors with his budding talent in karate. Dmitriy received his Shodan in 2003 from Hanshi Sutton at the age of 16, and remains the youngest and only person in our club to ever do so.
Sensei Gulik became a phenomenon at local tournaments in the ensuing years. At IWKA tournaments, held every two years by Master Shimabuku, he placed 1st in Kata and 1st in Kumite in 2007 in the 1st/2nd Dan men's division; here, he competed in the Grand Championship in both kata and kumite, where he finished as runner up in kumite (second place). He placed 2nd in Kata, 1st in Kumite, and 2nd in Kobudo in 2009 in the 3rd/4th Dan men's division in 2009. Sensei Gulik has since become an IWKA-certified Renshigo, Godan (5th Dan) under Hanshi Sutton. Since 2008, Sensei Gulik and Sensei Mary Kendall lead the Takoma Isshinryu Karate Club in Takoma Park, Maryland. He also does monthly seminars at the Kent Gardens Isshinryu school of Sensei Gebereegzhiaber (see below). Dmitriy also holds an Open Water Diver Certification from PADI and dives for recreation.Back to Contents
Sensei Linda Keefer: Sensei Linda Keefer: BA, History/Political Science, Emory University, 1986; MA, International Affairs, George Washington University, 1991. Sensei Keefer first began her study of Isshinryu under Hanshi Sutton in the PSKC in 1998 while a staff member in the International Programs office at PSU. After she received her Black Belt in 2002, she moved back to the Washington, D.C. area and continued to study Isshinryu under Sensei Jim Miller in the Northern Virginia (NoVA) Isshinryu Karate Club. Sensei Keefer has achieved IWKA certification as Renshigo, Godan (5th Dan) under Hanshi Sutton. She is presently a senior instructor in the NoVA club under Sensei Jim and Ralph Miller where she continues to learn, teach, and participate in club events. She has demonstrated her skills annually in kata and kobudo in the Cherry Blossom Festival, and in the Spring Festival (Shin Shun Kai) sponsored by the Okinawan Kai of Washington, D.C.Back to Contents
Sensei Mami Gebereegziabher: BS, Accounting, Marymount University, 1999; Certified Public Accountant (CPA), 2008. Sensei Gebereegziabher began her study of Isshinryu in 1996 under Sensei Jim Miller at the Marymount University Isshinryu Club and then at his NoVA Isshinryu Karate Club where she earned her brown belt. Following a work-related relocation, she continued training at the Cider Mill Dojo in Gaithersburg, Maryland under Sensei R. Cook, N. Little, J. Green, P. Cote, and L. Ehrstein. She received her Shodan in 2005 from Hanshi Sutton. Sensei Gebereegziabher was back at NoVA in 2010 where she resumed her study under Sensei Jim and Ralph Miller and eventually achieved 4th Dan.
Sensei Gebereegziabher now specializes in teaching Isshinryu karate to children and to parents and their children. In 2014, in McLean, Virginia, she incorporated the Kent Gardens Isshinryu Karate Club as a Nonprofit Organization for children and adults through the Kent Gardens Elementary School. She now teaches Isshinryu karate to both a ‘Parent and Child’ class, and an ‘After School Academy’ for grades K through 6. She also runs a summer camp for karate through the Kent Gardens Elementary School that also includes students from other area elementary schools. In 2015, Sensei Gebereegziabher expanded her teaching of Isshinryu karate for an After School Academy (grades K through 6) at Franklin Sherman Elementary School.
Sensei Gebereegziabher excels at kata and kumite and she regularly hosts Sensei Cote at her club. He assists with student evaluations, helps with basic skills development for children, and provides further insights for Sensei Gebereegziabher into principles of kata and its applications. As a result of her efforts with children, parents, and her own training, she was promoted to Renshigo, Godan (5th Dan) under Hanshi Sutton.Back to Contents
Sensei Joseph Kotanchick: BS, Information Sciences and Technology, PSU, 2009. Sensei Kotanchick is currently employed as a software engineer in the Penn State area. Joe began training in the martial arts in 1996 in Chayonryu, a multifaceted style of Korean karate and grappling, where he achieved a Shodan in that style in 2003. He was tournament team member, competing nationally, and a class instructor. He began training at the PSKC in 2007 under Sensei Sutton, Jaeson Koszarsky, and Jennifer Koszarsky, and in doing so, humbly donned the ‘white belt’ in Isshinryu to get started. His talents in karate were obvious from the start. He trained rapidly through the system to achieve Shodan in Isshinryu in late 2008.
Sensei Kotanchick competes regularly at the IWKA Tournament held every two years by Master Shimabuku. In 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, he garnered multiple 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place wins in kata and kumite. He competed in the Grand Championship in black belt kata and kumite in 2009, and recently in kumite in 2017. He has attended seminars with Master Kichiro Shimabuku, Master Tsuyoshi Uechi, Hanshi William H. Duessel, Master A.J. Advincula of Isshinryu. In addition to his background in Korean Chayonryu, he also has sampled other martial arts styles in seminars via Master Iain Abernethy (Shotokan Karate), Mark Larson (Aikikai Aikido, Rokudan), and James Sullivan (Aikikai Aikido, Yondan).
Sensei Kotanchik has been deepening his study and teaching of Isshinryu in recent years. He traveled to Okinawa to train at the honbu dojo of Master Tsuyoshi Uechi with the Camp Foster Isshinryu Karate Club. He also trained and taught at the NoVA Isshinryu Dojo of Kyoshi Jim and Ralph Miller from 2009 to 2011, and at the Philadelphia Isshinryu Dojo of Kyoshi Jon Marmon from 2011 to 2016. Sensei Kotanchick achieved IWKA Instructor certification in 2013. He is currently an IWKA-certified Renshigo, Yondan (4th Dan) since 2014 under Hanshi Sutton. He is presently training and teaching as one of the Lead Instructors at the Penn State Karate Club since 2017.Back to Contents
Sensei Mary Kendall: BS, Communications, PSU, 2000; MS Community Planning, University of Maryland. Sensei Kendall joined the Peace Corps upon graduation and lived abroad until 2004. She is fluent in Spanish. She had started her training with Sensei Sutton and the PSKC just before graduation in 2000. By 2004, she moved to the Washington, DC region and in 2006, began training more intensively for her black belt under Sensei Elizabeth Ehrstein and Dmitriy Gulik at the Montgomery Isshinryu Karate Club. In 2008, after achieving Shodan, the club relocated and was re-founded by her and Sensei Dmitriy Gulik as the Takoma Park Isshinryu Club. Sensei Kendall is now a lead instructor at this club with Sensei Gulik and is presently IWKA-certified as Yondan (4th Dan). She frequently teaches self-defense classes to adult women and middle-school aged girls.
NoVA black belts (L to R) Kyoshi Ralph and Jim Miller and PSKC black belts (L to R) Renshi Joseph Kotanchik, and Jennifer and Jaeson Koszarsky trained with Isshinryu Karate and Kobudo Master Kensho Tokumura (2009).
PSKC black belts (L to R) Renshi Joseph Kotanchik and Jennifer and Jaeson Koszarsky trained with Isshinryu Master A.J. Advincula (2010).
Renshi Jaeson Koszarsky and Jennifer Koszarsky trained with Master Tsuyoshi Uechi on a USA tour (2011).
Renshi Joseph Kotanchik (far right) visits with Master Tsuyoshi Uechi and his students in Okinawa (2015).
Renshi Joseph Kotanchik, Kyoshi Jim Miller, and visiting Master Tsuyoshi Uechi.
A few next-generation students, with Renshi Mami Gebereegziabher (Kent Gardens Club) and Kyoshi Jim Miller (NoVA Club), are pictured above left with Master Angi Uezu on his USA tour (2012). PSKC students Elizabeth Gabel and Brianne Decker (now black belts), and Renshi Jennifer and Jaeson Koszarsky are pictured above right with Master Angi Uezu on his USA tour (2012).
Master Angi Uezu: Master Uezu had significant influence in the development and growth of the Penn State Karate Club.
Master Kichiro Shimabuku: Our club members continue to attend seminars by Master Kichiro Shimabuku on Isshinryu kata at IWKA international tournaments. Master Kichiro Shimabuku in Akron (2005), with PSKC Lead Instructors Sensei Sutton, Dang, and Williams (front row: at far right, second from right, and 4th from right, respectively; Sensei Cote is off in the distance under the red dot).
Master Shimabuku teaching at the 2007 IWKA Championships at Princeton.
On a recent trip to Okinawa (2015), several of our students posed for a photo in front of Shuri Castle. But the real reason for their visit was to train with Master Kichiro Shimabuku.
In addition to demonstrating their proficiency in karate, this same group of students also entertained Master Shimabuku with their astounding a cappella rendition in Japanese of Shima Uta (Island Song). Shown above are Penn State Karate Students training with Master Kichiro Shimabuku at the IWKA Dojo in Okinawa. They are (L to R) PSKC Black Belts, Lindsay Faust, Laura Egan, [Master Shimabuku in center], Brianne Decker, Elizabeth Gabel, and PSKC Blue Belt, Keli Henrickson.
And the legacy continues.
The tournament listings below represent only a few recent IWKA World Championships which were attended by PSKC members and affiliated schools of the PSKC. The IWKA is held every two years, and Master Kichiro Shimabuku, pictured to the left, attends these events. Our club members expand on their training and his teachings in his pre-tournament seminars. More detailed listings of results and photos from all IWKA Championships, as well as local and national karate tournaments, are kept on file at the home dojo of the Penn State Karate Club. We are all grateful to Sensei Sutton for his training and guidance in helping with preparations for tournaments.
IWKA World Championship Tournament, June 23-24, 2017, Augusta, Maine: Master Shimabuku held his seminars followed by the tournament. We congratulate the karate-ka from Penn State and NoVA clubs who competed in the 40th Anniversary IWKA Memorial Championships. Photo below shows Penn State Karate Club members with Master Shimabuku representing the clubs from Penn State (led by Sensei Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky, Joe Kotanchik, Breanne Decker, Elizabeth Gabel, and Sarah Wall) and from NoVA (led by Sensei Carl Denny). Our competition team (photo) won a combined total of 16 trophies in their divisions for kata, kobudo, and kumite (5 first place, 4 second, 7 third).
IWKA World Championship Tournament, August 6-8, 2015, Princeton, NJ: Master Shimabuku held his seminars followed by the tournament. We all congratulate the karate-ka from Penn State and associated clubs who went to compete. We give special commendations to those who attended the seminars by Master Shimabuku and who placed in kata, kobudo, and/or kumite. Photo below shows Penn State Karate Club members with Master Shimabuku representing the clubs from Penn State (led by Sensei Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky), NoVA (led by Sensei Jim and Ralph Miller), and Philadelphia (led by Sensei Jon Marmon). Our competition team won 14 trophies (3 first place, 6 second, 5 third), with Sensei Carl Denny (NoVA) competing in the Grand Championship.
IWKA World Championship Tournament, July 11-13, 2013, Akron, Ohio: We all congratulate the karate-ka from Penn State and associated clubs who went to compete. We give special commendations to those who attended the seminars by Master Shimabuku and who placed in kata, kobudo, and/or kumite. Photo below of Master Kichiro Shimabuku with the PSKC contingent (led by Sensei Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky and Joe Kotanchik), and the NoVA group (led by Sensei Jim Miller), the Maryland group (led this trip by Sensei Mary Kendall), and Kent Gardens Virginia group (led by Sensei Mami Gebereegziabher). Our competition team won 17 trophies (2 first place, 4 second, 11 third).
IWKA World Championship Tournament, June 23-25, 2011, Indianapolis, Indiana: We all congratulate the karate-ka from Penn State and associated clubs who went to compete. We give special commendations to those who attended seminars by Master Shimabuku and who placed in kata, kobudo, and/or kumite. Photo below of the PSKC contingent (led by Sensei Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky and Joe Kotanchik). Our competition team won 17 trophies (6 first place, 5 second, 6 third).
IWKA World Championship Tournament, June 18-20, 2009, Pittsburgh, Pa: We all congratulate the karate-ka from Penn State and associated clubs who went to compete in the IWKA World Championships in Pittsburgh, Pa. Master Shimabuku was unable to attend the event this year. The event was sponsored by Sensei William H. Duessel, Hanshigo, 9th Dan, of the Pittsburgh Isshinryu Karate Academy, who was also honored for his more than 50 years in the martial arts, and for his special dedication to Isshinryu karate. On behalf of all of us, we want to congratulate Hanshi Duessel on his many accomplishments. He presented the seminars on Isshinryu karate kata at this event. Sadly, Hanshi Duessel passed away recently; we are honored to have been able to partake in his seminars at the IWKA and elsewhere when opportunities came along.
We give special commendations to those who placed in kata, kobudo, and kumite. Our competition team won a total of 23 trophies (10 first place, 11 second, 2 third), with Sensei Jaeson Koszarsky competing in the Grand Championship for both kata and kobudo. Photo below (top) is of the PSKC contingent (led by Sensei Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky and Joe Kotanchik), members of the Akron group (led by Sensei Ira and Kathryn Sasowsky), the Northern Virginia group (led by Sensei Jim Miller and Linda Keefer), and the Maryland group (led by Sensei Paul Cote, Dmitriy Gulik, and Mary Kendall); the middle photo shows many from our group with several of the trophies won (some not shown); the bottom photo shows some of the group at the banquet (bottom).
IWKA World Championship Tournament, June 28-30, 2007, Princeton, NJ: We all congratulate the karate-ka from Penn State and associated clubs who came to compete. We give special commendations to those who attended seminars by Master Shimabuku and who placed in kata, kobudo, and/or kumite. At this tournament, Sensei Sutton was awarded a Certificate of Commendation (left) and The Tatsuo Shimabuku Award (right) for his many contributions to Isshinryu karate.
Photos below (top) show some of our black belt competitors with their trophies, including (L to R, standing) Sensei Mackin, George, Gulik, Huang, Koszarsky, and Koszarsky, and (L to R, kneeling) Sensei Balance and Miller. Our overall competition team representatives won a total of 5 trophies (2 first place, 1 second, and 2 third). Sensei Dmitriy Gulik competed in the Grand Championship in both kata and kumite, where he finished as runner up in kumite (second place). Also shown is Master Kichiro Shimabuku with the group attending his kata seminar (middle), and with the group attending his black belt seminar (bottom).
IWKA World Championship Tournament, June 23-25, 2005, Akron, Ohio: We all congratulate the karate-ka from Penn State and associated clubs who came to compete. We give special commendations to those who attended seminars by Master Shimabuku and who placed in kata, kobudo, and/or kumite. Our competition team won 11 trophies (1 first place, 5 second, 5 third).
Photos above of Master Kichiro Shimabuku and Sensei Que Dang of PSKC (left), and of Sensei Dane Sutton with part of the group of PSKC Black Belts who competed and won trophies (right, not all shown).
The Penn State Karate Club is a student-run sports club sanctioned by the Pennsylvania State University. Our club promotes academic excellence, physical fitness, self-defense, leadership, and cultural exchange through the practice of traditional Okinawan Karate. The members include students from throughout the U.S. and the world, representing a true diversity of backgrounds, ethnic origins, and political and religious affiliations.
Our club is a model for goal setting and cooperative effort to achieve success. The effectiveness of this training is seen not just in our many tournament victories, but also in the academic and professional achievements of thousands of Penn State Karate Club alumni. Several times in its history, the Penn State Karate Club has been rated as the top school in Isshinryu out of more than 850 such schools worldwide.
Okinawan Masters have frequently visited the club to provide instruction in the martial arts and culture of Okinawa, and we have participated in all of the IWKA World Championships. Weekly lessons in karate are taught by students who have achieved Dan rank in the art of karate. Additional instruction and mentoring is provided by senior Black Belts who are also Penn State alumni. These instructors are sanctioned as 'Coaches' through the university Club Sports system.
There are also several highly-ranked senior Sensei, many of whom are Penn State graduates from the 1970's and 1980's, who devote time and effort, at no cost to the club, in order to teach at special seminar sessions at PSU and its satellite clubs. Both at home and at the university, as well as at its other locations, Penn State Karate Club members pride themselves in community service and activities that promote diversity and good will as an extension of their practice of Isshinryu Karate.
Diversity and Skill at Work:
Black Belt Promotions to Shodan at the PSKC (2008). Pictured (L to R) are Sensei Joel Steudler, Carmen Cummings, Joseph Kotanchick, Caroline Slothour, Matthew Auman, and Vy Nguyen.
Championship form and focus from two of our lady black belts (2010).
Intensity and focus from two of our top competitors (2009).
Fall 2017 PSKC Competition Team. Black Belt Alumni Coaches (left end) Brianne Decker, Elizabeth Gabel, Lindsay Faust, and (right end) Benjamin Katz (PSU Student Coach), Jennifer Koszarsky, and Jaeson Koszarsky.
Spring 2017 PSKC Competition Team. Black Belt Alumni Coaches (left end) Dave Willey, Joe Kotanchik, Breanne Decker, and (right end) Lindsay Faust, Jennifer Koszarsky, Elizabeth Gabel, and Jaeson Koszarsky.
PSKC members demonstrate their karate at the 2015 Otakon Conference. Pictured (L to R) are Sensei Lindsay Faust, Renshi Joe Kotanchick, Sensei Breanne Decker, Renshi Jaeson Koszarsky, Renshi Jennifer Kozsarsky, Keli Henrickson, Sensei Laura Egan, and Sensei Elizabeth Gabel.
PSKC members led by Renshi Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky perform Seisan Kata barefoot in a creek to better understand how environmental factors can affect balance and movement to produce emergent properties.
Kyoshi Que Dang performs the opening of Kusanku Kata at the IWKA tournament (2005).
Sensei Dmitriy Gulik (to the left) and Sensei Paul Cote giving a seminar at the Penn State dojo show a defense against a frontal choke taken from Naihanchi kata (2012). Sensei Cote's right forearm decends down and inward on the inside of Dmitriy's left elbow (photo left) and his left hand deflects Dmitriy's right elbow outward and upward and to the right while simultaneously delivering a 'returning wave kick' (nami-gaeshi keri) to the back of Dmitriy's left knee (photo right). The result is to spin and spiral the opponent to his left and to the ground for follow-up. At the moment of the right photo, one could also change to the starting sequence Naihanchi kata going rightward; i.e., right foot down into kiba dachi, catch Dmitriy's right elbow (or his left armpit, torso, and neck) with a right haito chop (or forearm chop) as you catch inside his left elbow with the left palm and pull; add a left fumi-komi keri] to the groin in order to accelerate the fall.
Sensei Matthew Pain performs a spinning hook kick demonstrating flexibility and agility.
Sensei Matthew Pain performs Yoko Tobi Geri (flying side kick).
Community Service and Culture:
The Penn State Karate Club receives Community Service Award from PSU Club Sports.
The PSKC volunteer crew, supervised by Kyoshi Don McCandless, serving as referees for the Summer Special Olympics at Penn State (2012).
The PSKC members led by Renshi Jaeson and Jennifer Koszarsky compete as a team at Beaver Stadium 5K Benefit Runs (2014, top; 2015, bottom).
PSKC members celebrating the Year of the Monkey on Chinese New Year (2016).
All in the Family: A family of black belt graduates from the Cider Mill Dojo in Gaithersburg, Maryland (2002) with Sensei Linda Keefer of the NoVA Dojo. Pictured (L to R) are Sensei Gustavo Suarez, Sensei Linda Suarez, Sensei Maria-Cristina Suarez, and Sensei Keefer.
Sensei Matt Auman on security duty at the White House (2013).
Kyoshi Jim Miller (left) and Sensei Elizabeth Gabel (middle) at an Okinawa Kai event in Washington DC with Okinawa Governor Onaga (2016).
Commander Bruce Defibaugh, U.S. Navy (middle), at the Pentagon, Hall of Heroes, at his retirement ceremony (2015). Commander Defibaugh was a naval aviator among many other things. We are proud to have him as a Sandan (3rd Dan) Instructor in our NoVA Karate Club. Commander Defibaugh has two sons who are black belt and brown belt members of the NoVA club. Pictured are (front row, L to R): Sensei David Jung, Sensei Jack Tosi, Renshi Linda Keefer, and Sensei Carl Denny; (back row, L to R): Kyoshi Que Dang, Hanshi Dane Sutton, Commander Bruce Defibaugh, Kyoshi Paul Cote, and Kyoshi Ralph Miller.Some of Commander Defibaugh's accomplishments from his brilliant military career include:
- 3000 flight hours (350 in combat) and 500 aircraft carrier arrested landings
- Designated Strike Lead, Mission Commander and F-14/F-3 Flight Instructor
- Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) Distinguished Graduate
- Joint Targeting School Officer in Charge
- Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC): Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom
- Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) DEEP BLUE Project Manager
- National War College Master’s Graduate in National Strategic Studies
- Special Operations and Irregular Warfare (Sub-Saharan Africa)
- One of the first naval officers to be designated as a Naval Strategist.
- Participated in:
- Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (Iraq)
- Operation Southern Watch (Iraq)
- Operation Restore Hope (Somalia)
- Operation Allied Force (Kosovo)
- Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq)
- Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)
- Meritorious Service Medal
- Joint Service Commendation Medal
- Two Navy Commendation Medals
- Navy and Army Achievement Medals
- Various joint ribbons and service ribbons
In The News: The PSKC is often featured in press releases and news articles published by PSU and local community media. Articles and photos are frequently posted on the PSKC website, so see their link below. In one article (Center Daily Times, 2007), Kyoshi Que Dang (left), was photographed at a group practice in an opening posture from Seiunchin kata, where she was captured in her characteristic competition form and focus. The PSKC and NoVA karate club have been involved with many other newsworthy community service and extension activities that are posted on their respective websites at www.pennstatekarate.org and novaisshinryu.wordpress.com. Below we highlight some extension activities pursued by Sensei Paul Cote, who hosts this webpage on the Academic Training Traditions website.
Representing Penn State Karate and Academic Training Traditions: Sensei Paul Cote
Yin Cheng Gong Fa Fellowship Event, 2008: This event was sponsored in collaboration with mentors and student officers of the PSKC. The PSKC, headed by Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo, played host to the Yin Cheng Gong Fa (YCGF) Internal Martial Arts Family. YCGF is headed by Grandmaster Zhang Yun. This event, held in August 2008, featured a series of demonstrations and seminars from the Chinese internal martial arts, including taiji quan, taiji push hands methods, san da fighting methods, bagua zhang, and bagua sword. The event was free and open to the public as spectators, and to several guest participants invited by the PSKC and YCGF groups.
The event was covered in a live radio interview with WRSC/WBLF Sports Radio in order to provide some background for the community, and to describe the weekend activities. Sensei Paul Cote, who is a senior member of both PSKC and YCGF groups, was interviewed on live radio along with PSKC student officers Joel Steudler and Carmen Cummings. The whole event was covered by the local media, including the Center Daily Times and Penn State Live.
Crouching Lion Hidden Dragon: Sensei Sutton, pictured above left, presents Grandmaster Zhang Yun with the Nittany Lion Award as a gift to commemorate his visit to PSU. During the demonstrations, Grandmaster Zhang, pictured above right, uses taijiquan to simultaneously off-balance, uproot, and throw Master Strider Clark.
Photo of Sensei Sutton and Grandmaster Zhang Yun to the left, and photo of Master Zhang Yun taken with senior PSKC members and PSU student officers of the PSKC to the right.
CURRICULUM FOR YIN CHENG GONG FA
The photo above left shows the IWKA Banner for the 2007 IWKA Championships held at Princeton, New Jersey. It is flanked (L to R) by Sensei Paul Cote, Jim Miller, Bruce Mackin, Jennifer Koszarsky, and Jaeson Koszarsky. The photo above right was taken at the 2007 Princeton IWKA and shows Sensei Paul Cote with Master Kichiro Shimabuku.
The Don Bohan Memorial Tournament, Seminars, and Banquet were held in Virginia (2008). Shown (L to R) are PSKC black belt representatives from the Maryland-Virginia area, Sensei Jim Miller (NoVA), Dmitriy Gulik (Takoma), Mary Kendall (Takoma), and Paul Cote (ATT). In addition to the competition and banquet, we participated in seminars by guest instructors Dr. Muang Gi (Bando/Qigong), Master Kensho Tokomura (eku kata), and Kyoshi Javier Martinez (Wansu kata).
In 2014, Kyoshi Paul Cote teaches Isshinryu Karate and Chinese Internal Martial Arts as part of his Academic Training Traditions Extension Program in the martial arts. Here, Paul was a member of the instructor faculty at the Shurite Bujutsu Kai Advanced and Internal Martial Arts Conference held in Dallas, North Carolina. Shown (L to R) are Shihan Nate Mohler, Shihan Mark Baker, Renshi Bob Speed, Shihan Joe Pounder, Kyoshi Paul Cote, Shihan Alex Ormaza, Kyoshi Jeff Rhodes, and Kyoshi Troy Price.
In 2017, Kyoshi Paul Cote teaches Isshinryu Karate and Chinese Internal Martial Arts as part of his Academic Training Traditions Extension Program in the martial arts. Here at the Marshville, North Carolina dojo of Sensei Mark Ciprich (pictured to the left of Sensei Cote), Paul taught karate kata applications and related them to Chinese martial arts methods. Sensei Ciprich is ranked: (1) as Rokudan (6th Dan) in the American Okinawan Karate Association (AOKA) under Master Mitch Kobylanski, (2) as Sensei in the Shurite Bujutsu Kai under Kyoshi Troy Price, and (3) as Advanced Student Level, Shang Ji (e.g., brown belt level) in the Shurite Xingyiquan and Baguazhang Program under Kyoshi Cote and Price.
As a Renshi, Paul presented a seminar on Seisan kata at the Shorin-kan Summer Camp in Hendersonville, North Carolina (2013, above). The Shorin-kan Kensankai Karate and Kobudo group is headed internationally by Hanshi J. Doug Perry, Kudan, of Hendersonville, N.C., pictured to the right. He and his group are direct Shorinryu lineage under the late Okinawan Master, Shuguro Nakazato. Interestingly, before this, in his earlier days as a marine in Okinawa, Hanshi Perry earned a Black Belt while training Isshinryu under Master Tatsuo Shimabuku.
Paul has frequently trained Shorin-kan kobudo and taught Isshinryu at the summer camp and related winter camp (Hampton, Va). In the photo above (Hampton, 2017), Sensei Cote (far left) is training group kobudo with the Tekko (or Techu). The kata is Takemyoshi No Tekko Dai Ichi, led by Kyoshi Tom Harris (front left center) of the Shorin-kan Kensankai.
Paul was introduced initially to Hanshi Perry in the late 1990's by Master R.W. Smith and began training and teaching at these camps on 2004. Three to five 60-minute seminars are always ongoing at one time during these camps. Over the years, Sensei Cote has taught elements of the forms and applications for Isshinryu katas Seisan, Seiunchin, Chinto, Kusanku, and Bo (Shi Shi No Kun No Dai). He also taught some of his Chinese arts from Master Robert W. Smith, including baguazhang, and also some 'chin na' (joint locking), with Kyoshi Troy Price. Many thanks for these opportunities, Hanshi Perry!
By the way, just for comparison, this is Kyoshi Cote (above) teaching Seisan stance to the Kent Gardens After School Children's Camp of Renshi Mami Gebereegziabher (2017). And yes, they represent a tough bunch!
Kyoshi Cote with Renshi Gebereegziabher (above) and her Kent Gardens 'After School Children's Group' (2016).
Kyoshi Cote with Renshi Gebereegziabher (above) and her Kent Gardens 'Parent-Child Class' (2016).
Kyoshi Cote teaching members of the NoVA and Takoma clubs (2015). (L to R) Sensei Craig Hite, Emmanuel Kamga, Dmitriy Gulik, Kyoshi Cote, Sensei Mary Kendall, Blayde Woodrum, and Carl Denny. Also shown (in the orange belt) is Takoma student, 'Lady' Carmen, who has since relocated to California to be with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren!
Isshinryu Karate & Kobudo
Karate Clinics and Cross-Training in the Martial Arts
Sensei Paul Cote, Kiyoshigo, Nanadan (7th Dan)
Academic Training Services, Inc.
PO Box 475
New Market, Maryland 21774
Academic Training Traditions. Click on the dark blue font if you want to browse the Academic Training Traditions website for our other services and activities. Additional information and background on Isshinryu karate can be found on our 'Martial Arts' page. We teach orthodox Isshinryu karate and serve as an advisor to the Takoma Isshinryu Karate Club, and to the Kent Gardens Isshinryu Karate Club, and have participated in numerous NoVA and Penn State Karate Club functions over the years. We offer seminars in orthodox Isshinryu karate, conduct periodic Isshinryu review sessions with our local affiliates in Maryland and Virginia, and hold specialized clinics in karate and kobudo for those interested in our extended services, as described below, and on the ATT website.
Events and Clinics - Academic Training Traditions Karate/Kobudo: We are teaching and evaluating students on a monthly basis, year around, at each of our satellite schools: NoVA Isshinryu club on Fridays, 7:30-9:30pm, Takoma Park Isshinryu club on Wednesdays, 7:00-8:30pm, and Kent Gardens Isshinryu club on Mondays, 6:45-8:15pm. Classes are for club members only.
About Our Karate Clinics: Please contact ATT about offering a clinic or seminar at your dojo. Clinics feature general training in karate methods, and so your style of karate is not an issue. We do conduct clinics in certified orthodox Isshinryu Karate, for the novice, intermediate, and advanced practitioner, but we also can incorporate a number of advanced training methods from other martial arts styles that are highly relevant to all karate, including Isshinryu. Many of these methods are based on my 43 years of experience with karate, and 30 years of cross-training in the Chinese internal martial arts. You will definitely learn many new ways to apply your traditional kata, and the many principles upon which these applications are based. Karate practitioners can develop added power through the application of relaxation methods that refine your root and relax body alignments for generating such power. Practitioners of internal martial arts can further discover some of the higher level fighting applications and principles inherent to karate kata.
All belt or sash ranks from all styles are welcome to attend ATT clinics, unless otherwise indicated. For these classes, formal uniforms can be worn, and any belt or sash that you are entitled to wear. Gi pants and T-shirts are also acceptable.
Academic Training Traditions® is a registered tradename of Academic Training Services, Inc. All website contents are Copyright © 2005-2018 by Academic Training Services, Inc., and Paul J. Cote. All rights reserved. Please request permission in writing to copy or use contents of this website.