Traditional Karate North Central Region

Regional Representative of the AAKF for clubs in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Midwest Karate Association, Minneapolis, MN – Sensei Robert Fusaro

Sensei Robert Fusaro is one of the highest ranking non-Japanese black belts in the world at 8th Dan. He began his study of Karate-do in 1955 while stationed in Japan during the Korean War at the main JKA dojo. There he participated in the first JKA tournament held in 1957. While rising through the ranks, the members of that dojo received instruction from Senseis Kanazawa, Mikami, Mori, Kisaka, and Enoeda among others of the famed JKA Instructors’ School. He received his Sho-Dan in 1959.

Midwest Karate teaches classes that are open to all ages and both genders. One of the oldest karate schools in the United States, Midwest Karate offers classes for all levels of ability, for ages 7 years and up. Sensei Fusaro’s goal is to teach the art of Karate-do to all willing to learn. Teaching karate has never been an occupation or career to him, it is a way of life.

Sensei Fusaro is a senior member of the AAKF Technical Development Committee. His sons, Senseis Michael Fusaro, 4th Dan and Darrell Fusaro, 3rd Dan continue to follow in their father’s footsteps by teaching at the Dojo.

Currently located at 1010 East Lyndale Ave North in Minneapolis. For more information call 612-870-1795 or visit



Midwest Karate Association, St. Paul, MN – Senseis Joel Ertl and Anita Bendickson

The Midwest Karate Association is a traditional Shotokan Karate dojo recognized by the Japan Karate Association and the American Amateur Karate Federation. Our instructors, Sensei Joel Ertl, 6th dan and Sensei Anita Bendickson, 5th dan, are internationally respected instructors. Senseis Ertl and Bendickson have each been teaching karate for over 25 years.

Midwest Karate Association of St Paul is affiliated with Midwest Karate Association of Minneapolis. The Minneapolis school, under the direction of Sensei Robert Fusaro, 8th Dan, is one of the oldest dojos in the country. Sensei Ertl and Sensei Bendickson are also well known for their instructional videos produced by E/B Productions.

Midwest Karate Association of St Paul, 762 E 7th Street, St Paul, MN 55106. Phone: 651-771-7901 or visit



Northfield Karate Club – Sensei Tom Meagher



Midwest Karate, Lakeville, MN – Senseis Al Kotula, Jon Hodapp, Bruce Faacks, Sue Hansen, Jim Eng

Midwest Karate has been teaching Shotokan, traditional Japanese Karate in the south suburbs for over 30 years and is affiliated with Midwest Karate Association in Minneapolis under the auspices of Master Robert Fusaro, 8th Dan. MKA Lakeville offers Shotokan Karate training Mondays and Thursdays at the Lakeville Lifetime Fitness. Instructors include Al Kotula, 5th Dan; Jon Hodapp, 4th Dan; Bruce Faacks, 4th Dan; Sue Hansen, 1st Dan; Jim Eng, 1st Dan.

Classes are held at: Lifetime Fitness, 18425 Dodd Blvd., Lakeville, MN 55044. Phone: 952-237-7481 or visit



Jamestown Karate Association – Senseis Gerry Scherbenske and Dean Jensen

Sensei Gerry Scherbenske founded the Jamestown Karate Club in1973. He was the first North Dakotan to achieve the level of black belt under the Japanese Karate Association (JKA), which focuses on traditional Shotokan Karate.

Back in 1973, training was difficult for Sensei Scherbenske as he had to drive back and forth to Minneapolis and train under Sensei Robert Fusaro. Among Gerry’s students was Dean Jensen who after training under a different style of karate joined the Jamestown Karate Club on January 1974. Beginning with only one class a week held at the Jamestown College Student Union Building, the Jamestown Karate club then moved to the Armory building in 1974. In 1975 the Jamestown Karate Club became the Jamestown Karate Association. This new change brought Greg Allmaras to become president, Terry Mickelson as vice president and Dean Jensen as Secretary/Treasurer. Sensei Jensen took on the role of teacher in 1977. In the early 1980’s the James River YMCA took over the Armory building and we became affiliated with this organization. When the Y moved to the Larson Sports Center, it brought us with it in 1983.

Currently, Sensei Scherbenske and Sensei Jensen teach adult classes. Sensei Jensen also teaches children’s classes and a Spring Semester Karate class for Jamestown College. The Jamestown Karate Association is affiliated with the Japan Karate Association, Japan Karate Association of the United States (JKAUS), American Amateur Karate Federation (AAKF) and the International Karate Federation (ITKF). Sensei Jensen also serves as the North Dakota Chairman for the AAKF and is the certified regional instructor and coach for the ITKF.

Classes are held at: 918 7th Street Northeast, Jamestown, ND 58401. Phone: 701-269-3008 or visit jamestownkarateassociation/home

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