Traditional Karate North Central Region

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

2024 February Traditional Karate North Central Region



Traditional Karate North Central Region Newsletter

2024 NCR Seminar – Highlights

NCR recently held a noon kumite seminar at the SKM on January 27, 2024. The seminar covered reaction timing and distance principles. The drills involved partner work. The seminar was taught by Sensei Art Wong (St. Paul) and Sensei Tom Meagher (Northfield). Students were given feedback by both the senseis and their training partners. Participants had fun and learned new techniques and training drills to better their kumite.

Below are some photos from the kumite seminar working on reaction timing. Click here to see additional photos from the kumite seminar.

2024 NCR Shiai – Noon Saturday March 23

The 2024 NCR shiai will be held at the SKM dojo. The shiai is always well attended by adults and kids from all the surrounding dojos in our region. The shiai will have certified AAKF/WTKF judges in both kumite and kata. The NCR judges come with many years of national and international experience in judging as well as competing nationally and/or internationally. The shiai will provide the students an event that will test their skills against fellow karatekas, provide an environment for comradery of like minds, and have fun. The shiai will prepare students for their next kyu test or dan examination. The students will receive feedback from the judges so they can improve their skills and knowledge of karate. The shiai will sharpen the judge’s skills and performance in preparation for the 2024 AAKF National Championships that will be held in the twin cities in June of this year. More details to follow regarding the 2024 AAKF Nationals.

Click here for online registration link or download the PDF Registration form.

AAKF Website Redesign Status

The AAKF national organization, which Traditional Karate North Central Region (NCR) is a member of as well as the regional clubs and students, is redesigning their website. At this time, static information have been posted on the new AAKF website with more changes to come that will provide a better online entry experience for registering clubs, student’s memberships, student’s kyu ranks and dan ranks, and examiner and judge’s certification. Click here to view the latest AAKF website. Also, click here to view the AAKF Facebook site.

Upcoming Calendar of Events and Registration

  • Upcoming events
    • 2024 March 23 – NCR Shiai. Noon. SKM dojo. Click here for more information. Click here for online registration link. Or, download the PDF Registration form.
  • NCR 2024 plans
    • May 18 noon-2pm Preparation for 2024 AAKF National Champioships – NCR judging seminar and competitor feedback. St. Paul dojo. More details to follow
    • May 3 Friday Black belt test – Shodan/nidan – MKA St. Paul
    • October 12 NCR SKM Shiai SKM. More details to follow
    • November 2nd Madison Tournament. More details to follow
    • November 16th U of M Tournament. More details to follow
  • AAKF upcoming events:
    • 2024 April 12-14 – AAKF Spring seminar – Madison, WI – Click here for more information
    • 2024 June 19-22 – (tentative). AAKF National Championships – Twin cities, MN – Hosted by Traditional Karate North Central Region. More details to follow.
  • WTKF Events
    • November – WORLD TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO CHAMPIONSHIP in Lima,Peru. More details to follow
    • 2025 – tbd – TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
    • WTKF calendar  – Click here for more upcoming WTKF events.

Click here to see past event videos and click here for past event photos from the NCR video and photo Library.  Click here for additional photos from the U of Mn club photo library.

Dan Examination Schedule

  • NCR and AAKF dan exam schedule
    • Spring 2024
  • Dan examination testing requirements shodan-sandan – click here
  • Dan rank registration required when you pass your dan exam – click here

Traditional Karate North Central Region Subscription

Art Wong – Traditional Karate North Central Region Director, Godan

2023 November Traditional Karate North Central Region



Traditional Karate North Central Region Newsletter

Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays to everyone as we wind down 2023. This fall we had a lot of karate competition events:

  • 2023 NCR fall shiai at the SKM dojo in Mpls,
  • 2023 Pan-Am championships in Buenos Aires,
  • 2023 Traditional Karate-do Academy UofMn Tournament, and
  • 2023 Fall Great Lakes Region Madison tournament.

Below are the highlights from those events. Have a happy holiday and happy new year.

Happy holidays from SKM club

NCR Fall Shiai – October 14, 2023 – Highlights

The 2023 NCR Fall Shiai held at the SKM dojo was a huge success. We had more competitors participating than last year and more judges helping out in the two rings. The students had a good time and received valuable feedback from the judges on their kata performance.

Below are a few photos from the 2023 Fall Shiai. Additional photos links on NCR Facebook site and UofMn Facebook

Sensei Trung Le reviewing the kumite rules with the competitors and judges

WTKF 2023 Pan-Am Tournament – Highlights

The World Traditional Karate Federation (WTKF) held the 2023 Pan-Am championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Al Kotula, Laurie Elliott, and Mark Abeln represented the Traditional Karate North Central Regions as USA judges at the Pan-Am tournament. A karate seminar and judging seminar was held prior to the tournament. This allow the judges and participants to review and train on traditional karate principles, and WTKF tournament rules and procedures.

NCR Judges Travel to Pan-Am Games in Argentina

Laurie Elliott

The 2-day judging seminar was held on Wednesday/Thursday with the Championships on Friday.

Sensei Tabassi reviewed 5 judging concepts including 1) Ethics, 2) Physical ability, 3) Know the rules, 4) Know the principles, and 5) Budo. An analogy was made between a) knowing the rules, and b) knowing the principles. Knowing the rules is like knowing the driver’s manual for the rules of the road. Knowing the principles is like actually driving a car. Both are important and interrelated, but they are very different in practice.

Some (very) brief highlights from the seminar include:

Posture: Must have good posture for correct breathing and connection to the floor in order to get energy from the floor. Every stance starts with the skeletal structure (bones). The spine directs the movement.

Body dynamics: Use body dynamics to increase energy.

Power: Use pressure to create sharp action.

Transition: Transition means you’re not giving your opponent an opening.

Keep eyes soft. Think of looking at a mountain, but only focus on a small rock on the mountain. The eyes carry a lot of power over the body.

Below are some photos from the 2023 Pan-Am Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina. More photos and videos on the Pan-Am Championships can be found on NCR’s Facebook, click here.

Judges at the 2023 Pan-Am Championships

Traditional Karate-do Academy at UMN

Tournament Highlights November 18, 2023

The annual Fall Traditional Karate-do Academy at UMN tournament was held near the UMN campus on November 18, 2023 at the Van Cleve Park Gym 901 15th Ave SE, Mpls. MN. The competitors came and tested their skills with fellow karatekas at this fun filled event. The event helped prepare them for their next kyu or dan examination. For senior black belts, they came and helped judge, coach, and provide feedback to the students.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is UofM-Fall-tournament-poster-663x1024.gif
2023 UMN Tournament Results

Click here to see posted photos from the Traditional Karate-do Academy at University of Minnesota

The UofMn tournament helped the competitors and judges prepare for next year’s annual 2024 AAKF National Championships hosted by Traditional Karate North Central Region (NCR), more details to follow on date and location in Mpls, MN.

Click here to view more posted photos from NCR.

Great Lakes Region Madison Japanese Karate Club

Tournament Highlights

The Great Lakes Region Madison Japanese Karate Club is one of the oldest Martial Arts clubs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison held their annual fall tournament Nov 4, 2023.

Click here for NCR’s posted photos of the event. Post two click here. Post three click here. Post four photos/videos click here.

New Black Belts at Shotokan Karate MN

On November 11, 2023 Mike Winter achieved the black belt rank of Nidan, and Abdi Omar achieved the black belt rank of Shodan. Both students are from Shotokan Karate Minnesota dojo. CONGRATULATIONS! Mike and Abdi on your achievement.

Mike and Abdi executing their dan test kumite

Upcoming Calendar of Events and Registration

  • Upcoming events
    • 2024 March 23 – NCR Shiai. Noon. SKM dojo. Click here for more information. Click here for online registration link. Or, download the PDF Registration form.
  • NCR 2024 plans
    • May 18 noon-2pm Preparation for 2024 AAKF National Champioships – NCR judging seminar and competitor feedback. St. Paul dojo. More details to follow
    • May 3 Friday Black belt test – Shodan/nidan – MKA St. Paul
    • October 12 NCR SKM Shiai SKM. More details to follow
    • November 2nd Madison Tournament. More details to follow
    • November 16th U of M Tournament. More details to follow
  • AAKF upcoming events:
    • 2024 April 12-14 – AAKF Spring seminar – Madison, WI – Click here for more information
    • 2024 June 19-22 – (tentative). AAKF National Championships – Twin cities, MN – Hosted by Traditional Karate North Central Region. More details to follow.
  • WTKF Events
    • November – WORLD TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO CHAMPIONSHIP in Lima,Peru. More details to follow
    • 2025 – tbd – TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
    • WTKF calendar  – Click here for more upcoming WTKF events.

Click here to see past event videos and click here for past event photos from the NCR video and photo Library.  Click here for additional photos from the U of Mn club photo library.

Dan Examination Schedule

  • NCR and AAKF dan exam schedule
    • Spring 2024
  • Dan examination testing requirements shodan-sandan – click here
  • Dan rank registration required when you pass your dan exam – click here

Traditional Karate North Central Region Subscription

Art Wong – Traditional Karate North Central Region Director, Godan

2023 September Traditional Karate North Central Region



Traditional Karate North Central Region Newsletter

NCR Fall Shiai – October 14, 2023

NCR is holding its annual fall shiai hosted at the SKM dojo on October 14, 2023 from noon-3pm

This is your opportunity test your skills with fellow karatekas form our region.  Use the fall shiai as a precursor to testing for your next kyu rank or dan rank.  You will get feedback, assess your skills, and it will help develop your karate way of life roadmap.

NCR judges will use the fall shiai event to help test and hone their judging skills for future regional, national and international tournaments.

Come and participate at the fall shiai and have fun cheering on your fellow karatekas.

WTKF 2023 PanAm Tournament

The WTKF 2023 Pan American Tournament which covers North America, South America and Central America will be held in Buenos Airess, Argentina on October 4 to 7, 2023.  NCR will sending three judges from our region – Al Kotula, Laurie, Elliott, and Mark Abeln will represent USA as one of the certified international judges. The event will include an international camp, judging seminar, youth competition and adult black belt PanAm championships.  Help support our fellow karatekas by donating to NCR to help offset their travel expenses. Click here for more details on the 2023 Pan-Am tournament.

Highlights from the Japanese Obon Festival at St. Paul

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

Sensei Trung Le and his Traditional Karate-Do Academy at UMN Club gave two demonstrations at the Sunday Obon Festival on August 20, 2023.

Click here for more photos from the UofMn club Facebook site.  Click here for the Star Tribune article and photos.

Upcoming Calendar of Events and Registration

  • Upcoming events
    • 2024 March 23 – NCR Shiai. Noon. SKM dojo. Click here for more information. Click here for online registration link. Or, download the PDF Registration form.
  • NCR 2024 plans
    • May 18 noon-2pm Preparation for 2024 AAKF National Champioships – NCR judging seminar and competitor feedback. St. Paul dojo. More details to follow
    • May 3 Friday Black belt test – Shodan/nidan – MKA St. Paul
    • October 12 NCR SKM Shiai SKM. More details to follow
    • November 2nd Madison Tournament. More details to follow
    • November 16th U of M Tournament. More details to follow
  • AAKF upcoming events:
    • 2024 April 12-14 – AAKF Spring seminar – Madison, WI – Click here for more information
    • 2024 June 19-22 – (tentative). AAKF National Championships – Twin cities, MN – Hosted by Traditional Karate North Central Region. More details to follow.
  • WTKF Events
    • November – WORLD TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO CHAMPIONSHIP in Lima,Peru. More details to follow
    • 2025 – tbd – TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
    • WTKF calendar  – Click here for more upcoming WTKF events.

Click here to see past event videos and click here for past event photos from the NCR video and photo Library.  Click here for additional photos from the U of Mn club photo library.

Dan Examination Schedule

  • NCR and AAKF dan exam schedule
    • Spring 2024
  • Dan examination testing requirements shodan-sandan – click here
  • Dan rank registration required when you pass your dan exam – click here

Traditional Karate North Central Region Subscription

Art Wong – Traditional Karate North Central Region Director, Godan

2023 July Traditional Karate North Central Region



Traditional Karate North Central Region Newsletter

2023 60th Annual AAKF National Championships – Highlights

The 2023 60th Annual American Amateur Karate Federation (AAKF) National Championships was held in Washington, DC June 21-24, 2023. NCR athletes that attended the championships were: Jason Briscoe, Jethro Harding, Jasmine Beldin, Kara Winter, Eve Wandering, Joseph Harding, and Emil Perez-Lauterbach. NCR judges who attended were: Al Kotula, Art Wong, Trung Le, Laurie Elliott, Mark Abeln, and Michael Ching. NCR athletes were very successful. The NCR judges used their skills in assessing the athlete’s performance doing kata and kumite. The weather in DC was cooler than normal with an occasional rain. The karate seminar, conducted by the AAKF senior technical council members, was held prior to the championships. The seminar helped sharpen everyone’s skills and knowledge in kata, kumite and judging.

The NCR group had a good time in the evening eating at numerous local restaurants. Many of us did a lot of sightseeing around the Washington DC mall area, Air and space museum, International Spy museum, botanical garden, etc.

Congratulations to all the athletes who attended the championships and their placement in their group.

  • NCR athletes and judges attending the 2023 AAKF tournament
  • Seminar group pose in their favorite stance
  • SKM: Joseph Harding in 1st, Emil Perez-Lauterbach in 3rd
  • SKM: Eve Wandering in 2nd place
  • Downtime at a restaurant
  • Yum, Joseph Harding enjoying victory

Click here for additional NCR Facebook posting of the 2023 AAKF National Championships’ photos.

WTKF Dan Certificates Arrived

The World Traditional karate-do Federation (WTKF) dan rank certificates have arrived. The WTKF dan certificates were handed out at the recent 2023 June AAKF National Championships to the AAKF regional directors. If you registered your dan rank with WTKF in the last few years, contact your club’s sensei to see if your WTKF dan rank certificates arrived.

2023 Pan Am Tournament

The 2023 WTKF Pan Am tournment is scheduled for October 4-7, 2023 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Click here for more details. Contact Art Wong if you are interested in representing AAKF/NCR as a judge or as a competitor.

Upcoming Calendar of Events and Registration

  • Upcoming events
    • 2024 March 23 – NCR Shiai. Noon. SKM dojo. Click here for more information. Click here for online registration link. Or, download the PDF Registration form.
  • NCR 2024 plans
    • May 18 noon-2pm Preparation for 2024 AAKF National Champioships – NCR judging seminar and competitor feedback. St. Paul dojo. More details to follow
    • May 3 Friday Black belt test – Shodan/nidan – MKA St. Paul
    • October 12 NCR SKM Shiai SKM. More details to follow
    • November 2nd Madison Tournament. More details to follow
    • November 16th U of M Tournament. More details to follow
  • AAKF upcoming events:
    • 2024 April 12-14 – AAKF Spring seminar – Madison, WI – Click here for more information
    • 2024 June 19-22 – (tentative). AAKF National Championships – Twin cities, MN – Hosted by Traditional Karate North Central Region. More details to follow.
  • WTKF Events
    • November – WORLD TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO CHAMPIONSHIP in Lima,Peru. More details to follow
    • 2025 – tbd – TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
    • WTKF calendar  – Click here for more upcoming WTKF events.

Click here to see past event videos and click here for past event photos from the NCR video and photo Library.  Click here for additional photos from the U of Mn club photo library.

Dan Examination Schedule

  • NCR and AAKF dan exam schedule
    • Spring 2024
  • Dan examination testing requirements shodan-sandan – click here
  • Dan rank registration required when you pass your dan exam – click here

Traditional Karate North Central Region Subscription

Art Wong – Traditional Karate North Central Region Director, Godan

2023 May Traditional Karate North Central Region



Traditional Karate North Central Region Newsletter

2023 AAKF Spring Seminar – Highlights.

The AAKF organization held their 2023 Spring Seminar at the Van Cleve Recreation Center in Minneapolis, MN from April 21-23, 2023.  Over 60 participants attended this fantastic seminar conducted by Tabassi Sensei (Mid-Atlantic region) and Cheah Sensei (Western region). The students learned new concepts and training drills and how to apply kata basics with their kumite and self-defense situations. The seminar brought together a community interested in learning and elevating the art of Shotokan karate.  The student’s new found knowledge and drills they performed helped raise their karate skills. The local club instructors learned new information and training drills and developed a deeper understanding of karate.

The next seminar will be an International Training Camp as part of the 2023 AAKF Nationals (June 21-24) in Herndon, Virginia.

Click the following photo and video links from the seminar (more photos/videos are still coming in):

Thank you to Mark Abeln, Mike Ching, Trung Le for the photos and videos.

2023 AAKF Spring Seminar held at Van Cleve Recenter Center in Mpls, MN.

Successful Dan Examination April 22, 2023

On April 22, 2023, the AAKF Technical board members (Tabassi Sensei and Cheah Sensei) conducted a dan examinations during the 2023 AAKF Spring seminar at the Van Cleve Rec Center in Mpls.  The people testing all did very well during their dan examination. The Traditional Karate North Central Region now has two new elevated black belts:  Al Kotula SKM dojo – Rokudan (6th dan) and Trung Le UofMn club –  Godan (5th dan), and a new black belt Jason Briscoe – UofMn club – Shodan (1st dan).  Also, a Madison club student (Alex Ulate ) tested for 2nd kyu and passed as well.

Congratulations to everyone on a very successful test.

2023 April 22 Dan exam results: Alex Ulate-2nd kyu, Trung Le-Godan, Tabassi Sensei, Jason Briscoe-Shodan, Cheah Sensei, Al Kotula-Rokudan)

2023 AAKF National Championships

June 21-24 Washington, DC

The 2023 AAKF National Championships will be held in Washington, DC June 21-24, 2023. Whether you are a black belt or kyu level, you will be able to compete in either the adult or youth division. You must be an AAKF member to compete. Senior black belts wanting to judge at the National Championships must be an AAKF qualified judge. AAKF registration will be due May 30, 2023 with more details to follow.

  • Click here for detail information packet on travel, lodging, costs, schedule, youth rules
  • Click here for detail athletes registration form and seminar registration form

Upcoming Calendar of Events and Registration

  • Upcoming events
    • 2024 March 23 – NCR Shiai. Noon. SKM dojo. Click here for more information. Click here for online registration link. Or, download the PDF Registration form.
  • NCR 2024 plans
    • May 18 noon-2pm Preparation for 2024 AAKF National Champioships – NCR judging seminar and competitor feedback. St. Paul dojo. More details to follow
    • May 3 Friday Black belt test – Shodan/nidan – MKA St. Paul
    • October 12 NCR SKM Shiai SKM. More details to follow
    • November 2nd Madison Tournament. More details to follow
    • November 16th U of M Tournament. More details to follow
  • AAKF upcoming events:
    • 2024 April 12-14 – AAKF Spring seminar – Madison, WI – Click here for more information
    • 2024 June 19-22 – (tentative). AAKF National Championships – Twin cities, MN – Hosted by Traditional Karate North Central Region. More details to follow.
  • WTKF Events
    • November – WORLD TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO CHAMPIONSHIP in Lima,Peru. More details to follow
    • 2025 – tbd – TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
    • WTKF calendar  – Click here for more upcoming WTKF events.

Click here to see past event videos and click here for past event photos from the NCR video and photo Library.  Click here for additional photos from the U of Mn club photo library.

Dan Examination Schedule

  • NCR and AAKF dan exam schedule
    • Spring 2024
  • Dan examination testing requirements shodan-sandan – click here
  • Dan rank registration required when you pass your dan exam – click here

Traditional Karate North Central Region Subscription

Art Wong – Traditional Karate North Central Region Director, Godan

2023 April Traditional Karate North Central Region



Traditional Karate North Central Region Newsletter

NCR 2023 Winter Shiai Highlights

The Traditional Karate North Central Region (NCR) recently held a shiai on March 25, 2023 at the SKM dojo in Mpls, MN. There were 30 participants at the event. The athletes had a good time and received feedback from the judges. The judges were able to tune-up on their kata and kumite judging skills. For some of the athletes and judges, the shiai gave them the opportunity to prepare for the June 2023 AAKF Nationals in Washington, DC.

Click here to view the NCR Facebook photos from the shiai event. Click here for the UofMN Facebook photos.

Black belt Kata competition – award ceremony

AAKF 2023 Spring Seminar (reminder)

April 21-23, 2023 – Mpls, MN

The 2023 American Amateur Karate Federation (AAKF) seminar will be held at the Van Cleve Recreation Center in Minneapolis Friday April 21 to Sunday April 23. There will be a dan and certification examinations Saturday afternoon. Click here for the online seminar registration link, schedule information, and hotel recommendation. Early registration discount by midnight April 14, 2023. Click here for the flyer. QR code to the registration link:

2023 AAKF National Championships

June 21-24 Washington, DC

The 2023 AAKF National Championships will be held in Washington, DC June 21-24, 2023. Whether you are a black belt or kyu level, you will be able to compete in either the adult or youth division. You must be an AAKF member to compete. Senior black belts wanting to judge at the National Championships must be an AAKF qualified judge. AAKF registration will be due May 30, 2023 with more details to follow.

  • Click here for detail information packet on travel, lodging, costs, schedule, youth rules
  • Click here for detail athletes registration form and seminar registration form

Upcoming Calendar of Events and Registration

  • Upcoming events
    • 2024 March 23 – NCR Shiai. Noon. SKM dojo. Click here for more information. Click here for online registration link. Or, download the PDF Registration form.
  • NCR 2024 plans
    • May 18 noon-2pm Preparation for 2024 AAKF National Champioships – NCR judging seminar and competitor feedback. St. Paul dojo. More details to follow
    • May 3 Friday Black belt test – Shodan/nidan – MKA St. Paul
    • October 12 NCR SKM Shiai SKM. More details to follow
    • November 2nd Madison Tournament. More details to follow
    • November 16th U of M Tournament. More details to follow
  • AAKF upcoming events:
    • 2024 April 12-14 – AAKF Spring seminar – Madison, WI – Click here for more information
    • 2024 June 19-22 – (tentative). AAKF National Championships – Twin cities, MN – Hosted by Traditional Karate North Central Region. More details to follow.
  • WTKF Events
    • November – WORLD TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO CHAMPIONSHIP in Lima,Peru. More details to follow
    • 2025 – tbd – TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
    • WTKF calendar  – Click here for more upcoming WTKF events.

Click here to see past event videos and click here for past event photos from the NCR video and photo Library.  Click here for additional photos from the U of Mn club photo library.

Dan Examination Schedule

  • NCR and AAKF dan exam schedule
    • Spring 2024
  • Dan examination testing requirements shodan-sandan – click here
  • Dan rank registration required when you pass your dan exam – click here

Traditional Karate North Central Region Subscription

Art Wong – Traditional Karate North Central Region Director, Godan

2023 March Traditional Karate North Central Region



Traditional Karate North Central Region Newsletter

NCR Winter Shiai

March 25, 2023

The Traditional Karate North Central Region (NCR) is having a winter shiai on Saturday March 25, 2023 from noon-3:00pm hosted at the SKM dojo. This is your opportunity to test your kumite and kata skills with fellow katatekas and get feedback from the NCR judges.  Come to the winter shiai for fun and excitement, and support your fellow karatekas as they test their skills against their fellow athletes. Athletes and certified AAKF judges who are going to the 2023 AAKF National Championships in Washington, DC can use this shiai in preparation for the 2023 AAKF Nationals. Click here for more details on the shiai.

AAKF 2023 Seminar

April 21-23, 2023 – Mpls, MN

The 2023 American Amateur Karate Federation (AAKF) seminar will be held at the Van Cleve Recreation Center in Minneapolis Friday April 21 to Sunday April 23. There will be a dan and certifcation examinations Saturday afternoon. Click here for the online seminar registration link, schedule information, and hotel recommendation. Click here for the flyer. QR code to the registration link:

AAKF Annual Membership Renewal – March 31 Deadline

Final Reminder

The annual AAKF Membership Renewal deadline has been extended to March 31, 2023. Individual AAKF memberships expire March 31. If you renew your current membership before March 31, the cost is only $25. After March 31, your AAKF individual membership renewal is $35. For club renewal, the cost is $170.00. Check this out ->  Benefits of an AAKF membership.

Click here to access the AAKF registration form. Write a check following the instructions from your club’s sensei. Deliver your payment and registration form to your club’s sensei – he/she will then mail the documents to the AAKF organization. For club registration form, click here.

2023 AAKF National Championships

June 21-24 Washington, DC

The 2023 AAKF National Championships will be held in Washington, DC June 21-24, 2023. Whether you are a black belt or kyu level, you will be able to compete in either the adult or youth division. You must be an AAKF member to compete. Senior black belts wanting to judge at the National Championships must be an AAKF qualified judge. AAKF registration will be due May 30, 2023 with more details to follow. Click here for more details on the AAKF National Championships.

Upcoming Calendar of Events and Registration

  • Upcoming events
    • 2024 March 23 – NCR Shiai. Noon. SKM dojo. Click here for more information. Click here for online registration link. Or, download the PDF Registration form.
  • NCR 2024 plans
    • May 18 noon-2pm Preparation for 2024 AAKF National Champioships – NCR judging seminar and competitor feedback. St. Paul dojo. More details to follow
    • May 3 Friday Black belt test – Shodan/nidan – MKA St. Paul
    • October 12 NCR SKM Shiai SKM. More details to follow
    • November 2nd Madison Tournament. More details to follow
    • November 16th U of M Tournament. More details to follow
  • AAKF upcoming events:
    • 2024 April 12-14 – AAKF Spring seminar – Madison, WI – Click here for more information
    • 2024 June 19-22 – (tentative). AAKF National Championships – Twin cities, MN – Hosted by Traditional Karate North Central Region. More details to follow.
  • WTKF Events
    • November – WORLD TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO CHAMPIONSHIP in Lima,Peru. More details to follow
    • 2025 – tbd – TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
    • WTKF calendar  – Click here for more upcoming WTKF events.

Click here to see past event videos and click here for past event photos from the NCR video and photo Library.  Click here for additional photos from the U of Mn club photo library.

Dan Examination Schedule

  • NCR and AAKF dan exam schedule
    • Spring 2024
  • Dan examination testing requirements shodan-sandan – click here
  • Dan rank registration required when you pass your dan exam – click here

Traditional Karate North Central Region Subscription

Art Wong – Traditional Karate North Central Region Director, Godan

2023 February Traditional Karate North Central Region



Traditional Karate North Central Region Newsletter

NCR Dojos – Winter Storm Warning Feb 22-23, 2023 (new)

The Midwest Karate Association, St. Paul, will be closed Wednesday February 22, 2023 and Thursday February 23, 2023 due to the upcoming winter storm warning.

For Shotokan Karate of Mn- Mpls MN (SKM), and Traditional Karate-do Academy at UMN, contact the club Sensei for their updated training schedule plan for this week regarding the upcoming winter storm warning.

NCR Winter Shiai March 25, 2023 (new)

The Traditional Karate North Central Region (NCR) is having a winter shiai on Saturday March 25, 2023 from noon-3:00pm hosted at the SKM dojo. This is your opportunity to test your kumite and kata skills with fellow katatekas and get feedback from the NCR judges.  Come to the winter shiai for fun and excitement, and support your fellow karatekas as they test their skills against their fellow athletes. Click here for more details.

January 2023 Kata Seminar Highlights

The 2023 Traditional Karate North Central Region (NCR) kata seminar was held Saturday January 28, 2023. The 25 students who attended the seminar had a great time learning new katas such as unsu, gojushihosho, and kankusho as well as indepth instructions on heian katas and tekki. Thank you to SKM for hosting the event. Also, thank you to the instructors for sharing their indepth knowledge of the katas and demonstrating some of the kata’s bunkai: Al Kotula, Darren Marr, Jon Hodapp, Dave Pinske, Laurie Elliott, Mike Ching, Gerry Ramacher, and Art Wong. Advanced katas challenged students to apply new principles to the kata that would be part of their next exam.

Click here for NCR Facebook photo album on the NCR kata seminar and click here for additional posts.

Click here for photos from Mike Ching

AAKF 2023 Seminar – April 21-23, 2023 – Mpls (update)

The 2023 American Amateur Karate Federation (AAKF) seminar will be held at the Van Cleve Recreation Center in Minneapolis Friday April 21 to Sunday April 23. There will be a dan and certifcation examinations Saturday afternoon. Click here for the online seminar registration link, schedule information, and hotel recommendation. Click here for the flyer. QR code to the registration link:

AAKF Annual Membership Renewal – March 31 Deadline

The annual AAKF Membership Renewal deadline has been extended to March 31, 2023. Individual AAKF memberships expire March 31. If you renew your current membership before March 31, the cost is only $25. After March 31, your AAKF individual membership renewal is $35. For club renewal, the cost is $170.00. Check this out ->  Benefits of an AAKF membership.

Click here to access the AAKF registration form. Write a check following the instructions from your club’s sensei. Deliver your payment and registration form to your club’s sensei – he/she will then mail the documents to the AAKF organization. For club registration form, click here.

2023 AAKF National Championships – June 21-24 Washington, DC

The 2023 AAKF National Championships will be held in Washington, DC June 21-24, 2023. Whether you are a black belt or kyu level, you will be able to compete in either the adult or youth division. You must be an AAKF member to compete. Senior black belts wanting to judge at the National Championships must be an AAKF qualified judge. AAKF registration will be due May 30, 2023 with more details to follow. Click here for more details on the AAKF National Championships.

Upcoming Calendar of Events and Registration

  • Upcoming events
    • 2024 March 23 – NCR Shiai. Noon. SKM dojo. Click here for more information. Click here for online registration link. Or, download the PDF Registration form.
  • NCR 2024 plans
    • May 18 noon-2pm Preparation for 2024 AAKF National Champioships – NCR judging seminar and competitor feedback. St. Paul dojo. More details to follow
    • May 3 Friday Black belt test – Shodan/nidan – MKA St. Paul
    • October 12 NCR SKM Shiai SKM. More details to follow
    • November 2nd Madison Tournament. More details to follow
    • November 16th U of M Tournament. More details to follow
  • AAKF upcoming events:
    • 2024 April 12-14 – AAKF Spring seminar – Madison, WI – Click here for more information
    • 2024 June 19-22 – (tentative). AAKF National Championships – Twin cities, MN – Hosted by Traditional Karate North Central Region. More details to follow.
  • WTKF Events
    • November – WORLD TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO CHAMPIONSHIP in Lima,Peru. More details to follow
    • 2025 – tbd – TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
    • WTKF calendar  – Click here for more upcoming WTKF events.

Click here to see past event videos and click here for past event photos from the NCR video and photo Library.  Click here for additional photos from the U of Mn club photo library.

Dan Examination Schedule

  • NCR and AAKF dan exam schedule
    • Spring 2024
  • Dan examination testing requirements shodan-sandan – click here
  • Dan rank registration required when you pass your dan exam – click here

Traditional Karate North Central Region Subscription

Art Wong – Traditional Karate North Central Region Director, Godan

2023 January Traditional Karate North Central Region



Traditional Karate North Central Region Newsletter

CardioPulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Are you ready to give aid?

Karate is a fun and exciting activity. But, as in all sports, there are risks that may require emergency aid.  If a person is not breathing and there is no pulse detected, administering Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) may be required. It is important to know the CPR procedure.  There are many CPR classes an instructors and adult students can attend to get familiar with the CPR procedure.  Besides attending a CPR class, access to the CPR protocol information is available online.  Click on the following American Red Cross links:

If the person is in cardiac arrest and you have access to an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), use the AED as part of your CPR protocol. Click on the following American Red Cross links:

Consider laminating the 1-page CPR and AED documents back-to-back as a quick reference for the dojo and at home. Remember, always call 911 immediately to help save a life.

Kata Seminar January 28, 2023 Noon-2:00pm – SKM Dojo

Let’s get 2023 jumping with a kata seminar to help strengthen your foundation in karate. We will be conducting a kata seminar on January 28, 2023 from noon to 2:00 pm. at Shotokan Karate of MN in Mpls. The kata seminar will broaden your understanding and refine your knowledge of karate fundamentals while strengthening your skills in the art. The poster below provides the kata seminar details. Get in-depth instructions from different Senseis while having fun with your fellow karatekas.

Reminder: AAKF Annual Membership Renewal – March 1 Deadline

Individual AAKF membership expire March 1. If you renew your current membership before March 1, the cost is only $25. After March 1, your AAKF individual membership renewal is $35. For club renewal, the cost is $170.00. Check this out ->  Benefits of an AAKF membership.

Click here to access the AAKF registration form. Write a check following the instructions from your club’s sensei. Deliver your payment and registration form to your club’s sensei – he/she will then mail the documents to the AAKF organization. For club registration form, click here.

2023 AAKF National Championships – June 21-24 Washington, DC

The 2023 AAKF National Championships will be held in Washington, DC on June 21-24, 2023. Whether you are a black belt or kyu level, you will be able to compete in either the adult or youth division. You must be an AAKF member to compete. Senior black belts wanting to judge at the National Championships must be an AAKF qualified judge. AAKF registration will be due May 30, 2023 with more details to follow. NCR will hold a regional eliminations for athletes to qualify and represent our region at the 2023 AAKF National Championships. More details to follow on date and time of the regional eliminations.

Upcoming Calendar of Events and Registration

  • Upcoming events
    • 2024 March 23 – NCR Shiai. Noon. SKM dojo. Click here for more information. Click here for online registration link. Or, download the PDF Registration form.
  • NCR 2024 plans
    • May 18 noon-2pm Preparation for 2024 AAKF National Champioships – NCR judging seminar and competitor feedback. St. Paul dojo. More details to follow
    • May 3 Friday Black belt test – Shodan/nidan – MKA St. Paul
    • October 12 NCR SKM Shiai SKM. More details to follow
    • November 2nd Madison Tournament. More details to follow
    • November 16th U of M Tournament. More details to follow
  • AAKF upcoming events:
    • 2024 April 12-14 – AAKF Spring seminar – Madison, WI – Click here for more information
    • 2024 June 19-22 – (tentative). AAKF National Championships – Twin cities, MN – Hosted by Traditional Karate North Central Region. More details to follow.
  • WTKF Events
    • November – WORLD TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO CHAMPIONSHIP in Lima,Peru. More details to follow
    • 2025 – tbd – TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
    • WTKF calendar  – Click here for more upcoming WTKF events.

Click here to see past event videos and click here for past event photos from the NCR video and photo Library.  Click here for additional photos from the U of Mn club photo library.

Dan Examination Schedule

  • NCR and AAKF dan exam schedule
    • Spring 2024
  • Dan examination testing requirements shodan-sandan – click here
  • Dan rank registration required when you pass your dan exam – click here

Traditional Karate North Central Region Subscription

Art Wong – Traditional Karate North Central Region Director, Godan

2022 December Traditional Karate North Central Region



Traditional Karate North Central Region Newsletter

Madison Tournament Highlights

On Saturday November 19, 2022, the Madison Japanese Karate Club held a karate tournament at West High School in Madison WI.  With help from his club officers, chief instructor Sensei Vassil Peytchev, did a fantastic job in running the tournament.  The tournament was well attended, (see photo below).  The judges insured the proper tournament procedures and rules were followed to minimize injuries while maintaining a budo spirit (fightung techniques and intention) throughout the tournament.  The students were enthusiastic and developed strong comradery throughout the tournament.

Congratulations to Jethro Harding from the SKM dojo in Mpls, MN for taking first place in both Men’s kata and Team kata.  The North Central Region (NCR) provided six certified AAKF judges to help with the Madison tournament, see photo below.  Congratulations to all the participants that medaled in their event.  A special thank you to the hosting club, students, and judges for putting on a successful and well attended tournament.

Click here to see more photos and videos.

2022 Nov 19 Madison Japense Karate Club Tournament in Madison, WI
NCR judges – Art Wong, Mark Abeln, Al Kotula, Laurie Elliot, Trung Le, Mike Ching
Jethro Harding First Place in both Men’s kata and Team kata

AAKF Annual Membership Renewal – March 1 Deadline

Individual AAKF membership expire March 1. If you renew your current membership before March 1, the cost is only $25. After March 1, your AAKF individual membership renewal is $35. For club renewal, the cost is $170.00. Check this out ->  Benefits of an AAKF membership.

Click here to access the AAKF registration form. Write a check following the instructions from your club’s sensei. Deliver your payment and registration form to your club’s sensei – he/she will then mail the documents to the AAKF organization. For club registration form, click here.

Upcoming Calendar of Events and Registration

  • Upcoming events
    • 2024 March 23 – NCR Shiai. Noon. SKM dojo. Click here for more information. Click here for online registration link. Or, download the PDF Registration form.
  • NCR 2024 plans
    • May 18 noon-2pm Preparation for 2024 AAKF National Champioships – NCR judging seminar and competitor feedback. St. Paul dojo. More details to follow
    • May 3 Friday Black belt test – Shodan/nidan – MKA St. Paul
    • October 12 NCR SKM Shiai SKM. More details to follow
    • November 2nd Madison Tournament. More details to follow
    • November 16th U of M Tournament. More details to follow
  • AAKF upcoming events:
    • 2024 April 12-14 – AAKF Spring seminar – Madison, WI – Click here for more information
    • 2024 June 19-22 – (tentative). AAKF National Championships – Twin cities, MN – Hosted by Traditional Karate North Central Region. More details to follow.
  • WTKF Events
    • November – WORLD TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO CHAMPIONSHIP in Lima,Peru. More details to follow
    • 2025 – tbd – TRADITIONAL KARATE-DO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
    • WTKF calendar  – Click here for more upcoming WTKF events.

Click here to see past event videos and click here for past event photos from the NCR video and photo Library.  Click here for additional photos from the U of Mn club photo library.

Dan Examination Schedule

  • NCR and AAKF dan exam schedule
    • Spring 2024
  • Dan examination testing requirements shodan-sandan – click here
  • Dan rank registration required when you pass your dan exam – click here

Traditional Karate North Central Region Subscription

Art Wong – Traditional Karate North Central Region Director, Godan




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