Hanshi Dometrich 3 Year Memorial Clinic

On Saturday, March 14th, the Hanshi Dometrich 3 Year Memorial Clinic was held at the Radisson Riverfront Hotel in Covington, KY. The event was well attended and included a few "cousins" from other styles. Many travelled in from out of state to attend the event. After the clinic, a pot-luck celebration feast was held at the U.S. Chito-kai Honbu. Great food and great camaraderie was had by all.

Dojo Visits 2015

By: Don Schmidt, Renshi

The year 2015 began milder than the previous year, but nevertheless I transformed into a snowbird and headed south to sunny Florida. I look forward to returning for various reasons; one reason is that I get the opportunity to visit friends and dojo as I slowly return.
My first dojo visit on March 4, was at Sensei Gordon Levinís dojo in Orlando where he continues to teach at the youth center. We also had a few minutes at the end of class to review advanced kata before the janitor started giving us hints that it was time for her (us) to leave. As you can see by the picture, his students are fighting machines.

I also spoke to Shihan James Acampora about training, but his youngest daughter was getting married on that Saturday. Shihan Jamie Brinkley was also busy with her own schedule.

My second stop was at Ft. Bragg to visit Shihan Pochinskiís dojo. His dojo is now located in the militaryís hand-to-hand combat facility on the base which enables his students to utilize some of the amenities the facility offers, i.e. padded flooring, kicking apparatuses of all shapes, and other useful tools. Thus, his students are doing well with break falls and can punch and kick a bag whenever they get the urge. His students continue to impress me with their overall execution of Chito-Ryu karate.

Honbu Visit

L to R: Kiyoshi Nishime, Kyoshi Barbara Dometrich, Hanshi Rony Kluger,
Kyoshi Sherry (Dometrich) Kembre
Rony Kluger, Hanshi from Israel DNBK and Kiyoshi Nishime from Cincinnati visited the U.S. Chito-Kai Headquarters on February 10, 2015.

February Black Belt Class

The February Black Belt Class was held at the U.S. Chito-kai Honbu dojo on February 7th, 2015. Paul Knecht from Yoseikan II focused on bunkai based on the movements of Ju-Ni-Waza. He explained that the term "basics" referring to the movements we were all taught as beginners should more properly be thought of as "foundational". Kyoshi Sherry (Dometrich) Kembre took over the second half of the class as we worked on Kusanku Dai in addition to Seisan and Chinto.


L to R: Shihan Kevin Drummond,
Renshi Eric Ford
On January 30th and 31st, the 35th annual Kangeiko was held at the Honbu dojo. This year, Renshi Eric Ford directed the training with the help of Shihan Kevin Drummond. It was a good turnout of students from the Honbu, Ft. Bragg Yoseikan, Yoseikan Anderson and West Viriginia for the overnight training designed to challenge body, mind and spirit.

Kagami Biraki

Kagami Baraki was held at the Honbu dojo on Saturday, January 10th. In celebration of the new year, 28 members were in attendance representing several traditional karate styles. Hanshi Dwight Holly, Kyoshi Sherry Kembre, Kyoshi Jerry Beshears and Renshi Melvin Lewis were the teaching staff. Everyone walked away learning something from this great staff, made some new dojo friends and had some good laughs while partaking of the great food provided afterward.

Mrs. Chitose (O'Sensei's wife)

On January 8th, 2015, Mrs. Chitose (O'Sensei's wife) passed away peacefully in Kumamoto City, Japan. She was 96 years old. The U.S. Chito-kai wishes to express our sincere condolences and sympathy to her family.

December Black Belt Class

The December Black Belt Class was held at the U.S. Chito-kai Honbu dojo on December 6, 2014. Renshi Schmidt led the class with Black Belt kata and Kyoshi Beshears continued on with Bunkai for the kata. Many stayed afterwards to celebrate Okusan's birthday (12/4).

Public Memorial Service for Masami Tsuruoka

A public memorial service has been arranged for Masami Tsuruoka in Toronto, Canada. Donations will be accepted.

Date: Sunday, November 23, 2014
Time: Doors will open at 11 a.m. Celebration start time TBD.
RSVP: Please indicate you plan to attend by email (RSVP@tsuruokakarate.com)
Location: Eaton Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard Street W, Toronto, ON, Canada
Online Reservations: In Memory of Sensei Masami Tsuruoka (Discounted Rate)
Reservations by Phone: 1-800-CHELSEA. Specify that you are a part of the "In Memory of Sensei Masami Tsuruoka" group to receive the discounted rate.

November Black Belt Class

The November Black Belt Class was held at the U.S. Chito-kai Honbu dojo on November 1, 2014. For those who didnít attend, you missed a great once in a lifetime opportunity. Sensei Oka was a delightful person and taught the entire two hour session. Many techniques he showed and taught are much like things we do in Chito-ryu. Walter Oka is a very interesting and unique man.

Masami Tsuruoka Obituary

Published in the Toronto Star on Oct. 14, 2014

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Masami Tsuruoka, O'Sensei, on October 10, 2014 at the age of 85. He leaves behind his loving wife Kay of 65 years, sons David (Cathy) and Kazumi, grandchildren Lucas, Christopher and Stephanie. Predeceased by his sister Hideko and brother Masaaki. Survived by his sister Ayame. Masami lived his life with dedication, loyalty, and passion which impacted the lives of so many. Loved and respected by many families, friends and martial arts students worldwide. He will be remembered in the hearts of many and for the legacy he leaves behind. He will be memorialized as the Father of Canadian Karate-Do. Many have benefited so much from this great man and we will treasure many memories created by and shared with O'Sensei. He will be missed and we mourn his passing very deeply. Masami Tsuruoka Foundation is being formed and donations can be made through the Tsuruoka Karate Organization. A private funeral will be held by the family. A memorial will be held at a later date in Celebration of O'Sensei's life.

October Testing, Seminar & Banquet

The annual U.S. Chito-kai Fall Event took place over the weekend of October 10th in celebration of O-Sensei Chitose's birthday. The National testing on Friday evening went well along with the Board meeting Saturday morning. The afternoon Seminar was well attended as was the evening Banquet.

September Black Belt Class

The September Black Belt Class was held at the U.S. Chito-kai Honbu dojo on September 6, 2014. The class was led by Kyoshi Hawkins and was the first black belt class held after the summer break. Time was spent on basic kata, Chinto, Shochin, Tenshin & Ryusan. We additionally worked in pairs on basic kumite drills. At the end of class several of the people planning to appear in front of the National Test Board in October were given a chance to perform their test kata alone in front of the group.

Audra State Park

On the weekend of August 9th, the West Virginia summer camp was held at Audra State Park; a beautiful location along the river in the mountains. It was a wonderful weekend for those who camped or elected to stay in a local hotel. Members attended from Ft. Bragg, NC., West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. The seminar was 5 hours of non-stop training, starting off with Shihan Drummond leading the group in Basics. Next, Shihan Collis and Kyoshi Beshears led the participants in Kumite concepts and drills. Sensei Messinger lead the class on sport as well as real-life street Kumite theory. Renshi Schmidt led the class with the Bo Kata Sakagawa no kon sho. The last hour was Kata led by Kyoshi Sherry Dometrich Kembre. It was a very fast 5 hours of training and afterward, some of the die-hards swam in the 58°F river. A cookout was held at Billy Messinger's cabin on the river that evening and everyone got to visit and tell war story's about past trainings and experiences with Hanshi at these camps. Hanshi was looking after us and the rain that was expected held off. Spirits were very high throughout the weekend.


Shochugeiko was a great success! Despite the early rain shower in the morning, it did not hinder or stop the training in any way. Thanks to all those who participated and for all of the people behind the scenes who kept things running smoothly. There were a few visitors who came to visit and lend their support. All-in-all it was a great experience and a fun day. Thank you all for once again making Hanshi proud.

Hanshi's Heroes

L to R: Renshi Eric Ford, Nikki Corbett, Sensei Reggie Corbet,
Sensei Shawna Lingo, Samantha Lingo, Catherine Grebert, Renshi Don Schmidt,
Kyoshi Sherry (Dometrich) Kembre, Guy Kaiser, Sensie Bill DiGrezio,
Shihan Joe Petty
The 2014 Steady Strides Parkinson's 5-K Walk was a huge success for the Hanshi's Heroes team. The team raised a total of $2098. Wearing the new team shirt, the following participated in the walk: Kyoshi Kembre, Renshi Schmidt, Renshi Ford, Shihan Petty, Sensei Shawna Lingo, Samantha Lingo, Sensei Bill DiGrezio, Sensei Reggie Corbet, Nikki Corbett, Guy Kaiser and Catherine Grebert.
L to R: Samantha Lingo, Catherine Grebert
Samantha Lingo won her age group in the run. It was a perfect day for a walk/run. We would like to thank the many businesses and Chito-ryu schools that had the collection jar out for the past 8 months collecting for the team. Several people donated online to our team and we hope that we can raise more next year to help end Parkinson's disease.

Shihan Wes Ernest Orlando Dojo Visits

On a recent vacation to Orlando Florida, Shihan Wes Ernest visited James Acampora and trained with a few of his students. He also visited Gordon Levin at the Boys and Girls club.

May Black Belt Class

The May Black Belt Class was held at the U.S. Chito-kai Honbu dojo on May 3, 2014. The class was taught by Renshi Terry Collis. He worked the yudansha on San Sai Dai, a kata which was taught at the March seminar by Hanshi Dwight Holly and one of Hanshi Dometrich's older kata's taught back in the late 60's, early 70's. The second half of the class was lead by Renshi Eric Ford who taught the remainder of the class on kicking techniques. Time went swiftly so there was not time to round out the class with knife defence techniques as was originally planned. This was the last Black Belt Class prior to the summer break. Classes will resume again in September.

Missing from the photograph above are Laura Deck (left early) and Linda Clement Holmes (kind enough to take photo).

April Black Belt Class

The April Black Belt Class was held at the U.S. Chito-kai Honbu dojo on April, 5, 2014. The class consisted of basic warm up's, Sanchin kata paying particular importance to foot work, then moving on to Chokusen kata and finishing off with Knife defence. Those who will be testing at the National test board in October were given some one-on-one instruction.

Hanshi Dometrich Birthday Seminar

There was a great turnout for the Hanshi Dometrich Birthday Seminar at the Radisson Hotel on Saturday, March 15th. It was gratifying to see so many members coming together for such a celebration, not only Chito-ryu but Shotokan and Futatsu-no-ryu members as well. The theme of the Seminar was Old School and all that was taught at the seminar was reflected back on Hanshi's teachings. After the seminar, a party was held at the U.S. Chito-kai Honbu dojo. It was a full house of families and friends. New friendships were formed and old friendships renewed. All-in-all it was a great day and we can be sure that Hanshi was there and proud of us all.

February Black Belt Class

The February Black Belt Class was held at the U.S. Chito-kai Honbu dojo on February, 1, 2014. Class was lead by Gerald Meade, Terry Collis and Kyoshi Sherry Kembre. In attendance was a young lady who is a student of Yutaka Yaguchi Sensei's from Denver Colorado. She demonstrated several Kata and was very impressive.

35th U.S. Chito-kai Kangeiko

Kangeiko 2014 was attended by 14 die-hards in the sub 0 weather and 4 inches of fresh snow. Now it's time to bring on the warm weather!! Renshi Gerald Meade did a great job of putting the training material together for all levels appropriate to all that attended. He lead by example by running barefooted in the snow. Assisting him was Renshi Wellbrock and Shihan Jansak. Everyone said the six hours flew by. On friday evening a pasta dinner was served to all before orientation and lights out, Spaghetti was made and contributed by Paul Webster. After the training at 9am a breakfast was served. Kitchen help was Michael Messinger, Kevin Drummond, Kathy Webster, Sherry Kembre and of course Okusan. All went smooth with good food, friendships renewed, and new ones made. Hanshi would have been very proud. He left us in good hands. You can be proud of these leaders. The U.S. Chito-kai is doing well! In 2015, we hope that more members will participate in this unique experience.

Kagami Biraki

Kagami Baraki was held at the Honbu dojo on Saturday, January 11th. In celebration of the new year, 35 members were in attendance representing the United States Chito-kai, Cincinnati Shotokan and the Northern Kentucky Karate Club.

Yasushi Yamada Visit

Sensei Yasushi Yamada of the Japan Chito-kai traveled from Tokyo, Japan over the weekend of November 2nd. It was good to visit and catch up with him as he has been a long time friend of the U.S. Chito-kai and Hanshi and Okusan's. Although Yamada Sensei's stay was brief, his primary purpose of visiting Hanshi's grave and paying his respects to Okusan were achieved to which he was very happy and thankful.

November Black Belt Class

Black Belt class was held on November 2, 2013 at the Honbu dojo. Kyoshi Kembre ran a great first half of class and guided us through katas from beginner to advanced. Key points and details were discussed and practiced along the way. The second half of class was run by Renshi Schmidt and focused on reviewing the taisabake shown to us by Kugimiya Sensei during the National Seminar in October. The class finished up by practicing a few weapon disarming techniques.

National Testing, Seminar & Banquet

The National Testing, Board Meeting, Seminar and Banquet were held on October 11th & 12th, 2013. Kugimiya Sensei visited us from California and was very impressed with everything that went on the whole weekend. The seminar was geared for everyone and the banquet turned out great...full house! The program went well and the food was the best we have had at any banquet. Thank you for your support of the United States Chito-kai by attending these events.

October Black Belt Class

Black Belt class was held on October 5, 2013 at the Honbu dojo. Remember, Black Belt Classes are held the first Saturday of each month for the months of September through May.

September Black Belt Class

Black Belt class was held on September 7, 2013 at the Honbu dojo. It was good to see everyone after the summer break.

Training in West Virginia

The West Virginia seminar and camp out went off very well on August 24. The weather was ideal, training was nothing new, just a different spin on how things were presented. Many commented on how they learned some new ways to teach techniques to take back to their Dojo's. Instruction was shared by Kyoshi Hawkins, Kyoshi Dometrich Kembre, Shihan Schmidt, Shihan Drummond, and Sensei Messinger. Sensei Carol Hays helped with the youth class and Sensei Bill DiGrezio assisted with warm ups.

Ft. Bragg Yoseikan Visit

On August 12th and 13th, 2013, Kyoshi Sherry Kembre and Shihan Don Schmidt traveled to Fayetteville, NC to train with the students of Sensei Pochinski at Ft. Bragg Yoseikan.

Charlottesville, Virgina Visit

On August 10th and 11th, 2013, Kyoshi Sherry Kembre and Shihan Don Schmidt traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia to visit and train with Jack Little and his wife Debbie.


Sochugeiko was held on at Big Bone Lick State Park on Saturday, July 20, 2013. The event was well attended by many familiar and some new faces. Several came from far and wide to attend. Afterward, a picnic was held at the park shelter. Good food, good conversation, new friendships were formed and old friendships renewed.

Steady Strides Parkinson's Walk

Our 2013 Steady Strides Parkinson's Walk-a-thon team, Punch Out Parkinson's, in honor of Hanshi Dometrich. Louise Egan and Ed Miska members of Kyoshi Richard Mark's dojo in Victoria British Columbia were present. They are members of the D.N.B.K. and became our friends while in Japan last year at the World Butoku Sai. It was great getting to share stories and walk for a great cause with members from the U.S.Chito-kai, while raising money to find a cure for Parkinson's Disease. Our team raised over $1600. Thank you to all that donated to our team. A great big shout out to our D.N.B.K. friends from England, Kyoshi Payne and his crew for donating to this cause.

A great week of training at the Honbu Dojo - May 4th thru May 7th

Saturday May 4th regular class Kyoshi Kembre taught a great class of kata up to Niseishi sho/dai. Continuing on in Blackbelt class at 1 PM with all kata up to Tenshin. The men finished with the first 15 Henshuho, led by Shihan Schmidt and the women finished with Kata's Kusanku and Sanshiryu. A very nice crowd of 21 Blackbelts not counting those whom were injured that came to watch and collaborate with everyone . Sunday May 5th began at 9:30 AM with Shihan Ford and I working Ryusan, Kusanku and Sanshiryu, with Kyoshi Beshears arriving at 11:00 AM to continue on with Sanshiryu , Sanshiryu Bunkai and various Bunkai from various Kata finishing around 2 PM. At 4PM Shihan Petty arrived and we worked on Kusanku, kumite ideas and free kumite. Finishing around 6PM. Tuesday May 7th evening class began with basic punches, blocks and kicks. Last hour consisted of Taikyoku Ichi, Ni, Juniku and sanbon kumite. Shihan Wellbrock did a great job. Assisted by Shihan Ernest.

Thanks to all of those whom offered their time and great skill to make this a great week of training.

Shihan Kevin Drummond
Bridgeport Yoseikan
Bridgeport , WV

May Black Belt Class

The final Black Belt Class of the Spring was held on Saturday, May 4th, 2013 at the honbu dojo. It was good to see Terry Collis who is recovering from a shoulder operation, Michael Shaefer left knee operation , Gerald Meade right knee operation and Jerry Beshears recovering from esophagus cancer. It was great to feel the camaraderie before during and after the class. Class consisted of first hour: all kata up to Tenshin. Second hour: 1 through 15 Henshuho for the men and Kata's Kusanku and Sanshi-ryu for the women. Upcoming events include Shochugeiko in July and the West Virgina clinic in August. Black Belt classes will resume in September.

DNBK Kensho Kai

Representatives and supporters of the Midwest DNBK attended the Kensho Kai event to celebrate the spirit of Hanshi Dometrich on March 23, 2013 in Norfolk, Virginia.

Loss of a Good Friend

On March 19, 2013 Mr. Morita passed away at his apartment above the Honbu dojo. He was a generous person and true friend. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Hanshi Dometrich Memorial Seminar

The Hanshi Dometrich Memorial Seminar was held on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at the NKU Albright Health Center. The event was very well attended and highlighted by personal remembrances of Hanshi as well as demonstrations from the dojos in attendance.

March Black Belt Class

Black Belt class was held on March 9, 2013 at the Honbu dojo. Class consisted of Ryusan & Kusanku led by Kyoshi Hawkins and Henshuho's led by William Jansak. A meeting was held with Kyoshi Kembre, Kyoshi Hawkins and Kyoshi Dometrich (Okusan) to establish an agenda for the upcoming Hanshi Memorial seminar.

Yoseikan Orlando Visits

On March 6th and 7th, 2013, Shihan Don Schmidt of the Honbu Dojo visited Shihan James Acampora at Yoseikan Orlando II and Shihan Jamie Binkley at Yoseikan Orlando III. In addition, Yoseikan Orlando III held kyu testing during Shihan Schmidt's visit. Next stop Fort Bragg Yoseikan.

Northern Kentucky University Karate Class

March 7, 2013 - The NKU PE 114 class just wrapped up...too soon according to many of the students who enjoyed the instruction provided by Shihan Terry Collis of the Honbu Dojo assisted by Sensei Shawna Lingo of Yoseikan Anderson.

Kangeiko at the Honbu

The annual winter training was held at the Honbu dojo on Saturday, January 26, 2013 and led by Shihan John Wellbrock.

Kagami Biraki at the Honbu

30 members got together on January 5, 2013 to celebrate Kagami Biraki; a rededication of one's spirit, effort and discipline toward the goals of the New Year


On December 24, 2012, Shihan Don Schmidt proposed to Kyoshi Sherry Kembre and presented her with an engagement ring.