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 1200 Plymouth Avenue North Minneapolis, MN 55411. For more information call 612-870-1795 or visit their website.

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 since the mid-1970s.

Midwest Karate Association of St Paul is affiliated with the former Midwest Karate Association of Minneapolis, now called Shotokan Karate of Minnesota. The Minneapolis school was founded by Sensei Robert Fusaro, 10th Dan, who passed away in 2019. 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

The YMCA of Northfield offers a traditional dojo that promotes the tenets of the founder of Shotokan Karate, Master Gichin Funakoshi:

  • Seek perfection of character;
  • Endeavor to excel;
  • Be honest and forthright;
  • Respect others
  • Develop self control and refrain from violent behavior

As a non-contact style, Shotokan is a perfect martial art for individuals interested in traditional karate training without risk of suffering significant injury.  The YMCA Northfield dojo is an affiliate dojo of the American Amateur Karate Federation and World Traditional Karate Federation. We welcome all to come train with us regardless of skill level, previous martial arts background, or affiliation! For more information.

Northfield YMCA 1501 Honeylocust Dr, Northfield, MN 55057  (507) 645-0088. Instructor Tom Meagher, PhD

Jamestown Karate Association

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).

Back in 1973, training was difficult for Sensei Scherbenske as he had to travel 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 in January 1974. In 1977 Dean began teaching class once a week and gradually took over as Chief instructor in the late 1980s.  Currently, Dean teaches almost all adult classes and youth classes.  The Jamestown Karate Association has been a member of the AAKF for over 40 years.

Classes are held at: 116 1st Ave S, Jamestown, ND 58401 Phone: 701-269-3008 or visit jamestownkarateassociation/home

Traditional Karate-Do Academy at UMN

Traditional Karate-Do Academy at UMN is the only sports club on the campus of University of Minnesota teaching the traditional karate taught by Master Hidetaka Nishiyama and Sensei Robert Fusaro who started the karate club teaching on campus since 1967. The club was created to provide students at the University of Minnesota a resource to learn and train in traditional karate-do. The club is dedicated to provide a safe and nurturing environment for students to develop self confidence and self discipline, learn to manage uncertainty and fear, improve mind and body connection, and continue the study of traditional karate-do based on scientific principles developed by Master Hidetaka Nishiyama. The club sensei and advisor is Trung Le.

Club website

Club Facebook page:

subscribe to our newsletter