This page will serve as a repository of most recent information and pictures. Most of what is contained here eventually will be incorporated into future U.S. Chito-kai history pages.

Jason's Very First Tournament

by Shihan Dr. Jesse Brown, Jr.
On Sunday, February 2, 2020, the Samurai Karate Dojo sponsored a karate tournament at Gate-Chili High School in Rochester, New York. The Samurai Karate Dojo is affiliated with the Isshinryu Karate Organization of New York State.
When I entered the gymnasium, my eyes were fastened on all the Isshinryu emblems worn by members warming-up and exercising in preparation for their events. This tournament was an Isshinryu invitational tournament for Isshinryu stylists. However, one student, Jason Hollander, from the Rochester Chito Ryu Dojo, was invited by his nephew from the Samurai Karate Dojo to participate in the tournament. This was Jason's first karate tournament to witness and participate. While Jason was waiting for his event, he began to introduce himself to other competitors, which was a great way to meet other students from another school and style, while his wife, Shanti, and I were sitting in the bleachers waiting for Jason's event.
Jason began his training with the Rochester Chito Ryu Dojo on July 25, 2019, along with his wife, Shanti. Their training has been persistent hard work and they both now carry the rank of 8th Kyu.
When the announcement was made for adult novices to report for kata, it was Jason's time to demonstrate his kata. Before Jason performed his kata, I shared with him not to be nervous and to focus on his kata. When Jason took the floor to perform his kata, Taikyoky-Ni, he was excellent. His techniques were sharp, crisp, and flowed smoothly. The judges scored Jason's performance with a unanimous 4 judges out of 4.
When Jason had to compete a second time for the finals, he again performed Taikyoky-Ni and his performance was great. The judges scored Jason's second round 3 judges out of 4, which put him in 2nd place. This was a great experience for Jason to win his very first karate tournament performing kata, which he will remember for a long time. Jason's parents were present at the tournament and his parents, nephew and wife were very proud of his performance and achievement. Now we must get his wife, Shanti, to match the achievement of her husband.
As a celebration of success and achievement, it was my privilege to take Jason and Shanti for lunch and, of course, you know that the conversation was all about ?the next tournament.?

February Black Belt Class

The February Black Belt Class was held on Saturday, February 1 at the honbu dojo. Many participants in the 40th Kangeiko training stayed on to train. Kyoshi Kembre led the first hour of basics and kata then the class was split so that the group heading to Japan in April would have a chance to practice together. The second group was led by Kyoshi Beshears who worked on Kusanku and kaisetz.

40th Kangeiko

The 40th Kangeiko was held at the honbu dojo on Friday, January 31 and Saturday, February 2, 2020. The event started with a hearty dinner at 6p on Friday night. Lights out at 10p. Around 3a, the group lead by Renshi Don Schmidt and Renshi Eric Ford stashed away their sleeping gear and began the 6 hour training completed with warm tea and a hearty breakfast provided by Kathy Webster, Shihan Michael Messinger, Shihan Kevin Drummond and Renshi Gerald Meade. Many participants stayed on and participated in the 10a class in addition to the afternoon Black Belt Class.

Yoseikan Anderson's Kagami Biraki

Yoseikan Anderson held a Kagami Biraki training session at their dojo on Sunday, January 12, 2020. As a special treat, Renshi Eric Ford joined in on the training. Afterward, family and friends gathered to share a pot luck meal and good conversation.

Kagami Biraki

Kagami Biraki was held on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at the Yoseikan Honbu dojo in Covington, Kentucky. 36 students attended the training session to start the new year. Training started with Kyoshi Kembre reading a message from Hanshi Hamada (Kyoto, Japan) followed by her leading the first of three training sessions. Kyoshi Jerry Beshears led the group through the second session followed by Sensei Moises de la Cruz (Florida) leading the last session. Training ended with spirit circle training. Kyoshi Kembre held a meeting with all those in attendance that will be going to Kyoto, Japan in April for the DNBK World Butoku Sai. She handed out a suggested packing list and went over some do's and don'ts while in Japan. After the training, food was served in the newly remodeled Honbu kitchen with the help of Kathy and Paul Webster. Missing from the group photo: Shihan Lawrence Hawkins III.

Gold Coast Chito-ryu Visit

by Dr. Montiel Rosenthal, Honbu Dojo
If I get a chance to meet other Chito Ryu Karateka when I travel, I try to make a point of visiting. In October of 2019, I had the opportunity to travel to Queensland, Australia and spend a little time with the folks from the Gold Coast Chito Ryu Karate Dojo in Ashmore on the west side of the city of Gold Coast. This is just south of Brisbane and not too far from the awful fires they are experiencing in eastern Australia.
There Sensei Adam Higgins (San Dan) has started up a fine dojo since 2005, now with over one hundred thirty active students of all ages. Six days a week there are classes for a range of age and skill levels, some focused on families of students, others aimed at teaching the small fry, aged four to seven. Weekly Kobudo classes are open to students from ages eight on up. Karate is emphasized as a way of building confidence, character, poise, and physical conditioning for girls and boys. Photos of students from recent classes, and competitions are proudly played on a wide screen TV aimed at the bleachers where parents and visitors may view ongoing classes. While the dojo is in a modern metal building, and the dojo floor is matted, more traditional touches include the Kamiza, photos of Dr. Chitose, and the racks of weapons along the wall. Larger doors are left open during class and fans in the ceiling keep the tropical air moving.
Here as in our US Chito Kai, basics are emphasized. The senior students went thru their respective Kihon katas, and then on to Seisan, Bassai, Chinto, and their kaisetz. Karateka from this young dojo have fared quite well in karate competition locally as well as the Soke Cup in Canada. I wish them all good success. If you get a chance to go "down under" to Australia, do stop by and enjoy their hospitality.

CPR Training

On Saturday, December 7, 2019, thirteen Chito-kai members certified in CPR at the Yoseikan Honbu. Bryson Reiskamp, a student of the Honbu and an Independence, KY Fireman, presented the class the 2-1/2 hour informative class. Bryson also demonstrated the use of an AED which we plan to purchase in the very near future for use at the Honbu and at seminars. We are taking donations for the AED as the device is quite costly. If you would like to donate for the purchase of the AED, please talk with Okusan.

November Black Belt Class

Not pictured: Shihan Lawrence Hawkins, III
The November Black Belt Class was held on Saturday, November 2nd, 2019. All of the Chito-ryu kata were reviewed from kyu ranks through black belt. In addition, sanbon kumite, ippon kumite, ippon jiyu kumite and seisan kaisetz were covered.
Next month, the December black belt class will be a CPR-AED training session for $10 per person and will include certification. All yudansha should inform Meiyo-hanshi Dometrich of their intention to attend or not attend the training.

Chito-ryu at NKU

Chito-ryu is still being taught at Northern Kentucky University as originally started by Hanshi William Dometrich in 1973. The students pictured above took the course during the 2019 Fall semester under the tutelage of Renshi Don Schmidt and his assistant Shihan Shawna Lingo. The students will be able to continue their study of Chito-ryu at the Hombu dojo or Yoseikan Anderson.

September Black Belt Class

Welcome back! After a break for the summer, the monthly Black Belt classes kicked off (pun intended) the 2019-2020 year in grand style. Many members came from far and wide to train. Places represented were: West Virginia; Rochester, NY; Bardstown, KY; Anderson, OH; and of course many members from the Hombu dojo in Covington, KY. The class was geared towards the upcoming National testing and after warm-ups began with Renshi Ford leading the group through work on mawashi-geri and ushiro-geri. After a brief break, Renshi Schmidt took over and ran deck drills similar to what a test candidate may see during testing. Next up was Kyoshi Kembre who ran the group through several katas. It was during this session that each test candidate was given individualized attention and provided constructive feedback. The day wrapped up with Renshi Schmidt leading the group through the first few Henshuho's.

Audra Summer Camp

The Audra Park Summer Camp happened on Saturday, August 10, 2019 in West Virginia. There was a great turn out for the event and the weather was fantastic. Hanshi would have been proud and pleased that the camp is still active nearly 40 years after it's inception. Thanks go out to Shihan Kevin Drummond and Shihan Michael Messinger for carrying on the tradition. Hanshi and Okusan grew up not far away from Audra State Park and it has always been one of their favorite spots in West Virginia.


Thanks to all those brave members who attended Shochugeiko on Saturday, July 20th. It was the hottest day of the year! Everyone hung in there despite the intense heat. It was a great day of friendship and working out with other members from different dojo's. The Hombu Dojo, Yoseikan Anderson, Yoseikan II, West Virginia and Florida were all represented. Reggie Ward came from Tennessee, Shihan Barb Tarczynski came from Maryland and the Northern Kentucky Karate Club was represented by Cliff Hart. In addition, our Shotokan cousins from Louisville, under the leadership of Melvin Lewis were in attendance.
Thanks to all of the instructors that gave their time to make Shochugeiko a success: Kyoshi Kembre, Renshi Schmidt, Renshi Ford, Shihan Hawkins III and Shihan Lingo. Thanks to Kathy and Paul Webster for manning a hot grill on a scorching hot day. Finally, thanks to Meiyo Hanshi Dometrich who once again did everything necessary to make sure Shochugeiko was the hottest (pun intended) event of the year.

Steady Strides

The USCK team of Hanshi's Heroes participated in the Parkinson's Steady Strides 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, June 1, 2019. The weather was beautiful and it was a great turnout for the event. All together, the team raised $2,023 to help provide programs, services and research for those living with Parkinson's.

Shelbyville Shotokan Invitational

On Saturday, May 18, 2019, a group of instructors and students attended the Shelbyville Shotokan Invitational in Shelbyville, Kentucky sponsored by Kyoshi Melvin Lewis and Kelly Cable. Renshi Schmidt and Renshi Wellbrock assisted in event by refereeing and judging. Kyoshi Kembre coached five competitors from the Honbu dojo who excelled in all of their individual and team events.


Name Event Result
Caige Spicer
Bailey Spicer
Dylan Arthur
Team Kata 2nd Place
Caige Spicer Kata 1st Place
Bailey Spicer Kata
Adult Kumite
1st Place
1st Place
1st Place
Micah Arthur Kata 1st Place
Max Dieso Kata
3rd Place
3rd Place
Dylan Arthur Kata
1st Place
1st Place

May Black Belt Class

The last Black Belt Class before the summer break was well attended on Saturday, May 4, 2019. To start the class, the group was split into two. One group headed to the upper deck to discuss, plan and practice for the DNBK World Butokosai that will be held in Kyoto, Japan in 2020. The other group stayed on the main deck and were led through an excellent and thought-filled workout by Kyoshi Jerry Beshears. The class wrapped up with a briefing on tournament procedures and rules and how they may be different than what we've experienced in the past.

Windy City Tournament in Snow

by Don Schmidt, Renshi
Once again on April 27, 2019, the USCK supported Sensei Joe Gonzalez's Windy City Tournament in Chicago. Sensei Gonzalez has been a friend of the late Hanshi Dometrich and Meiyo Hanshi Dometrich for years and he has taught at our seminar in recent years. It was heart-warming to see Sensei Gonzalez and Okusan get together and share stories from the past. The tournament is a great way to get to meet other competitors and test your skills in the ring. The hombu had two competitors who attended the tournament; Dylan, age 12, and his father Micah Arthur. Kyoshi Kembre and I went to the tournament with Okusan.
Dylan and Micah competed in the beginner division because they hold the rank of 8th kyu and have been training for about 6 months. Saturday morning was dismal only because it started snowing about 10 a.m. I was not happy. It is the end of April and I am in a snow storm. GRRR! It snowed hard all day and predictions ranged from 6 to 8 inches. As the accumulation of snow continued outside, Dylan was busy inside accumulating competition medals. He competed in five events: basic drill, one step sparring, kata and free sparring winning silver medals in three of these events. He was asked to join a team for team kumite and he won his fourth silver medal. Pretty good for his first Windy City tournament.
As the day got later and the snow continued to pile up, Micah's adult division finally took the floor. Micah competed in kata and kumite. Thus, he had no chance of winning as many medals as Dylan, but Micah did win a gold medal for kata competition. They had a great time even though they competed against novices. There were only three beginners or yellow belts in the competition.
Afterwards, Okusan, Sensei Kembre and I walked gingerly to my truck dodging slush puddles and trying to avoid getting snow in our low-cut shoes or busting our butts. I was not prepared for snow removal so by hand I hand to remove buckets of snow off the truck as snow flakes the size of quarters kept coming down.

April Black Belt Class

Thanks to all of the Black Belts who attended class on Saturday, April 6th. It was a great day and a nice group. Reggie Ward once again drove up from Nashville in the morning. It's always great to have him join us. The emphasis for the class was on posture and kata for the first hour. The second hour covered the Henshuho's with the idea of expanding the outcome to other possibilities. On April 27, several students will be heading up to Chicago to participate in the Windy City Tournament hosted by Joe Gonzales. Hope to see everyone at the next Black Belt class on May 4th.

7th Memorial Seminar

On Saturday, March 16th, the USCK with the help of some of our Shotokan friends got together to mark the 7th anniversary of the passing of our beloved Hanshi Dometrich. There was a good crowd in attendance for the 4 hour seminar with excellent instruction. Afterward, many gathered at the hombu dojo to share a potluck meal and comaraderie.

February Black Belt Class

The February Black Belt Class had a good turnout at the hombu on Saturday, February 2nd. Kyoshi Sherry Kembre led the warm-ups and kept the class moving as they performed katas in sequence from Taikyoku Ichi to Tenshin in addition to Shi Ho Wari and Hanshi's kata, Chokusen. The second hour was handed over to the capable leadership of Renshi John Wellbrock who focused on the Hen Shu Ho's. As the class worked through the Hen Shu Ho's, Renshi Wellbrock discussed the role of hikite and gave examples of where the movements could be found in various kata.


Not pictured: Dr. Montiel Rosenthal
Kangeiko was held at the hombu dojo over the evening of Friday, January 28th and the early morning hours of Saturday, January 29th. Eight members attended the excellent training led by Renshi Don Schmidt who was assisted by Sensei Matt Cowherd. Although there wasn't any snow this year, the temperatures dipped into the low 20's. Great events like these don't happen without a lot of planning and support. Thanks go out to Meiyo Hanshi Barbara Dometrich for her leadership and tireless efforts in ensuring the ongoing success of the USCK. Thanks also go out to Kathy and Paul Webster for their help in the kitchen, Shihan Shawna Lingo for help with the shopping, Sensei Theresa Brandenburger and Kyoshi Sherry Kembre for overall support, Kyoshi Sherry Kembre and Renshi John Wellbrock for taking photos. Once again, the event participants and supporters benefited from the recent kitchen remodel thanks to Renshi Don Schmidt.

Kagami Biraki at Yoseikan Anderson

On Sunday, January 6th, Shihan Shawna Lingo hosted a Kagami Biraki workout at Yoseikan Anderson. Sections of the training were led by Sensei Zach Bowling, Sensei Chris Brueckner and Shihan Shawna Lingo. Afterward, participants, friends and family joined in on a potluck dinner including LaRosa's pizza.

Kagami Biraki

Thank you to all that attended the Kagami Biraki event at the USCK Hombu Dojo on Saturday, January 5th. It was a great day of training and camaraderie. Teaching for the event was led by Hanshi Holly, Kyoshi Kembre, Renshi Wellbrock and Shihan Jansak. There will be more photos and an article posted in the Event Articles page soon.

December Black Belt Class

December's black belt class occurred three days prior to Okusan's birthday. Kyoshi Sherry Kembre decided that the Ju Shi Ko would be taught. These techniques are misnamed "Ju Ni Ko" in our manuals because there are 14 of them; not 12. Renshi Don Schmidt taught the Ju Shi Ko and followed with five Ka Ke Te Ho which you will not find in our manuals. Sensei Kato from Kumamoto City visited the hombu years ago and taught the Ka Ke Te Ho and described them as O-Sensei's favorites. In the third segment of the training, Renshi Schmidt directed the students to engage in spontaneous reactions to their partner's grabbing or shoving assaults using Ni Se Shi Kai Setz in an attempt to allow the karateka to develop their flexor reflex; i.e. to react without thinking. The training concluded with a review of wrist escapes and other escape techniques.
After the training, we escaped to the newly remodeled kitchen area of the hombu and celebrated Okusan's birthday.

November Black Belt Class

On Saturday, November 3rd, karateka from the hombu, Yoseikan II and Yoseikan Anderson gathered at the hombu for the November black belt class. Kyoshi Kembre started off the class with warm-ups and kihon followed by Renshi Ford who focused on kicks. During Renshi Ford's segment, we practiced performing ushiro geri in it's most basic form in addition to two other variations that take into account the distance to the target. Renshi Ford also had us work with on yoko geri kekomi. For the last segment, Renshi Schmidt had us work on tsuki kaeshi and rinten drills as well as the application of each in defense of a lunging attack.

National Events

The weekend of October 12th was a busy one. The first event was Friday night starting at 6p as the National Test Board convened to review 9 candidates testing for Sho Dan through Yon Dan. The test lasted well into the evening, but the candidates were prepared and the Test Board was pleased with everyone's progress. On Saturday morning, there was a Board Meeting for the Shihans and Dojo head instructors. Afterward the National Seminar ran from 11a until 3p containing something for everyone. The weekend was topped off with the National Banquet Saturday evening where an excellent buffet dinner was served followed by a year-in-review video put together by Shihan DiTerlizzi, speeches, awards and a few songs performed by Sensei Cowherd and assisted by Renshi Schmidt. As always, the weekend was great and went off flawlessly thanks to the efforts of Meiyo Hanshi Barbara Dometrich.

Older entries can be found in the U.S. Chito-kai history pages.