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.


Kagami Biraki at Yoseikan Anderson

On Sunday, January 7th, 2018, Renshi Eric Ford joined Shihan Shawna Lingo in putting on a Kagami Biraki workout at Yoseikan Anderson. Afterward, participants, friends and family joined in on a potluck dinner including LaRosa's pizza.

Kagami Biraki

Kagami Biraki was held at the honbu dojo on Saturday, January 6, 2018. Despite the cold temperatures, there were 28 participants. Training started with stretching exercises and partner work on the Tehodoki's led by Kyoshi Kembre. Kyoshi Lewis from Louisville, KY did partner drills and combinations. Hanshi Holly from Cincinnati had the class work on kicking and punching exercises.
The class ended with various students leading the spirit circle. Food and stories were shared after class. It was a wonderful day of camaraderie.

December Black Belt Class

Black Belt class was held at the Honbu dojo on Saturday, December 2nd. Time was dedicated to the Hen Shu Ho's, continuing the work started at the National Seminar in October and the Black Belt Class in November. Afterward, the group worked on kaisetz for the Seisan kata as prescribed by O-Sensei in addition to individually exploring alternatives.

November Black Belt Class

Black Belt class was held on Saturday, November 4th. Thanks to those that participated. The class was a continuation of the Hen Shu Ho's that were taught at the National Seminar in October. Renshi Schmidt did an excellent job working everyone through all 28.

Golden Anniversary Weekend

In 1967, O-Sensei asked Hanshi William J. Dometrich and Meiyo-Hanshi Barbara E. Dometrich (Okusan) to form the United States Chito-kai. The pictures above show the group in attendance during O-Sensei's visit in 1967 along with the group in attendance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the USCK. On Friday night, October 21st, the event kicked off with the convening of the National Test Board where several members were evaluated for the ranks of Ik-kyu through Go-dan. The following morning, the Shihans and dojo heads gathered for the National Board Meeting prior to the Seminar that was well attended by all ranks from the USCK including welcome guests from other styles. After the training, many attended the formal banquet in which rank certificates and various awards and recognitions were given. To wrap up the evening and weekend, Meiyo-Hanshi introduced a 50th anniversary commemorative plate and presented the first plate to Kyoshi Lawrence C. Hawkins, Jr. for his many years of service, support and dedication to the United States Chito-kai.

Chito-ryu at Northern Kentucky University

As most of you know, in 1973 Hanshi started teaching a credited class at Northern Kentucky University (NKU). Some of our current ranking black belts are deciples from karate courses that were taught at NKU through the years. Renshi Don Schmidt is the instructor for the fall semester karate course at NKU and Shihan Shawna Lingo assists in the instruction. The photo is a group picture of the students currently taking the course at NKU. The underlying theme is to give them an introduction to self defense techniques inherent in Chito-ryu and to encourage them to continue their training.

September Black Belt Class

Black Belt class was held on Saturday, September 16th and was the first of this season. It was well attended, especially by those that are planning to test in front of the National Test Board in October. Kyoshi Kembre worked everyone on kihon and kata that may be requested during the test. Each individual planning on testing also had the change to perform their test kata one-on-one with Kyoshi Beshears. The class ended with Ippon Jiyu Kumite, emphasizing the basics and keeping it simple. Shihan Jessie Brown drove down from Rochester, New York to attend the class and since it was his birthday, a few of us joined him afterward for dinner.

Chito-ryu Camp at Audra State Park

Now that the West Virginia camp is over and each of us is recovering from one of the nicest weekends with members of Chito-ryu from: Ft. Bragg, North Carolina; Crozet, Virginia; Bridgeport Yoseikan, West Virginia; Yoseikan Anderson ,Ohio; the Honbu; and Herve Stephanus from France. This was not the largest group that we have had, but it was the most family orientated one. It was a great bonding experience for all involved. All went well until the last half hour when the training was finished up in a blinding rain storm. All was good though as everyone was planning on spending some time in the river afterward, so water was of no concern. If you missed it this year, start planning for next year. You will not regret it.

Thanks go out to Shihan Drummond and Shihan Messinger for hosting the group once again. They are excellent hosts.

Thanks go out to Kyoshi Kembre for scheduling the teaching groups as well as here assistants: Shihan Drummond, Shihan Ernest and Renshi Schmidt.

The cook out had excellent food and we were treated to a concert by our own Matthew Cowherd from the Honbu.


The National Chito-kai annual Shochugeiko and picnic occurred on Saturday, July 15th. The weather was beautiful and the event was well attended by members of the USCK from near and far in addition to some of our karate "cousins" from other styles. The clinic was broken down into four sections (kihon, kata, bunkai & kobudo) and when it was all over, everyone relaxed under the picnic shelter to enjoy a bountiful meal and lively conversation.

Youth Tournament

On Saturday, June 10th, Sensei David Edwards held a Youth Tournament in Louisville, Ky. Meiyo Hanshi Dometrich, Kyoshi Kembre and Renshi Schmidt travelled with Cage and Bailey Spicer to participate. Cage and Bailey were coached by Kyoshi Kembre while Renshi Schmidt served as one of the referee's and judge's for the tournament. The United States Chito-kai and the Honbu dojo was well represented by Cage and Bailey. Many senior referees and judges noticed and commented that they did a great job with humility and respect. Awards received:

Event Participant Award
Team Kata Cage and Bailey Gold Medal
Individual Kata Cage Gold Medal
Bailey Silver Medal
Kumite Cage Gold Medal
Bailey Silver Medal
Bo Kata Cage Bronze Medal
Bailey Silver Medal

Parkinson's Steady Strides 5K

Above: Jet & Reagan, Yoseikan Anderson Dojo       Above: Sammy & Lindsey Cowherd, Honbu Dojo

Thanks to everyone who participated or donated money to make this year's Parkinson's Steady Strides 5K a success! As many of you know, Hanshi Dometrich suffered from Parkinson's disease, so it's important to all of us to continue to support this event that helps fund programs, services and research to help those living with Parkinson's live well. This year our team, Hanshi's Heroes, raised a total of $3,750 (exceeding our goal by $750)! Kyoshi Kembre did a great job organizing our involvement in the event.

May Black Belt Class

On Saturday, May 6th, the last Black Belt class of the season was held at the Honbu dojo. 16 members attended. Kyoshi Hawkins also stopped by to pay his respects. The class started off with Chito-ryu basics, Kihon no empi and Shihowari. All Chito-ryu kata, from Shi ho Hai to Kusanku. Kyoshi Kembre once again had the pedal to the metal. It was a cool 59 degree May day but the energy created by her instruction soon had the training area a sweaty, humid, balmy paradise. She kept reminding everyone how to improve their technique and near the end of the training had everyone partner up to explore bunkai of their next test kata. Just before bowing out, Kyoshi Kembre shared some ideas her father, Hanshi Dometrich, had written regarding training and teaching which can also be found in the Founders Forum. The Black Belt class season has come full circle so mark your calendars for September 9th, 2017. Training with your fellow Yudansha is all about sweating together, striving to improve each individual's technique, exploring applications, motivating each other to be our very best and sharing camaraderie when the sweat is gone.

April Black Belt Class

No fooling around, class began with Kyoshi Beshears repeating from the last black belt class his important lesson about posture. As karateka, good posture and proper breathing will improve one's technique. Kyoshi Beshears explained the importance of the position of the pelvis, tightening of the abdomen, position of the shoulders and chin and used that familiar imaginary string at the top of one's head to align the spine. Keeping this alignment in mind, we progressed to Seisan kata and then worked some applications from this kata as the first hour of class concluded. He emphasized not to make power, but to unleash your power. Renshi Schmidt taught the second hour and continued the theme of good posture and proper breathing by starting with Sanchin kata. He explained that Sanchin breathing sets proper pelvis alignment and we should stride to utilize this breathing in conjunction with shoulder and chin alignment to improve posture and technique in everything we do. Renshi Schmidt said that because of its pace, Sanchin kata is an easy kata to practice posture, yet it is our hardest kata to correctly perform because of the "three battles" inherent to the kata. We then performed faster paced kata, Tenshin and Sochin, utilizing proper breathing and maintaining posture. The last few minutes of this session concluded with wrist escapes emphasizing using one's core as the source of strength. May 6, will be the last Black Belt class of this season. It would be nice to see a big turn out for this one, These classes are held 9 time of the year, we like to have as many Black Belts attend as possible, If you have your own dojo, you should attend at least two times or more if it fits into your schedule a season. Our plans at the Honbu is to continue with these classes that Hanshi Dometrich started many years ago, to give the Instructors a place to meet and exchange ideas at least once a month, something out of the ordinary, from regular dojo practice. Take advantage when your schedule allows.


The members, family and friends of the U.S. Chito-kai wish to express our sincere condolences to the Hawkins family for the loss of Mrs. Earline Thompson Hawkins, mother of Kyoshi Hawkins and grandmother to Shihan Hawkins and Lauren Hawkins.

Hanshi Dometrich 5th Memorial Clinic

The Hanshi Dometrich 5th Memorial Clinic was held at the Radisson in Covington, KY on Saturday, March 18th. The teaching staff of Kyoshi Sherry (Dometrich) Kembre, Renshi Eric Ford, Shihan Lawrence Hawkins III, Shihan Paul Knecht and Sensei Bill DiGrezio did an excellent job. Devorah Dometrich put together a beautiful flower arrangement for the memorial table and Kathy and Paul Webster handled the setup at the Honbu for the gathering afterward. Many travelled from far and wide to be in attendance.

March Black Belt Class

A nice size group of karateka fought through the gridlocked traffic caused by the early morning snow and ice to participate in the March Black Belt Class held at the honbu dojo on Saturday, March 4th. The class started off with Shihan Collis doing three step sparring and speed drills. Kyoshi Beshears then went into explaining the importance of posture and relating it to the Niseishi kata and bunkai. Renshi Meade ended the class with Potsai kata and bunkai. After class, many participants stayed to continue training and exchange thoughts and ideas.

The Passing of Yamamoto Sensei

The greater Chito-ryu community lost a great man and teacher when Mamoru Yamamoto passed away on February 12, 2017. Yamamoto Sensei began training in Chito-ryu at the age of fifteen and quickly became one of O'Sensei's top students. Later he opened his own school and in the early 1970's left the Chito-kai federation to found his own style of karate known as Yoshukai. Our condolences go out to Yamamoto Sensei's family, his students and the Yoshukai organization.

February Black Belt Class

A black belt class was held at the Honbu dojo on Saturday, February 4th. To start things off, Renshi Eric Ford led the group in warm-ups followed by deck drills and partner work on mae-geri, yoko-gerri, mawashi-gerri and ushiro-gerri. Kyoshi Sherry Kembre took the next segment and worked the group through several kata. Finally, to finish things up, Renshi John Wellbrock instructed and then led the group through Sanchin kata. It was a nice size group that attended with students from several local dojos. Remember, black belt classes are held on the first Saturday of the month from September through May (consult the events calendar for exact dates).



Kangeiko was held at the Honbu Dojo on Friday, January 27th through Saturday, January, 28th. The group may have been small this year but the camaraderie was high starting at the spaghetti dinner on Friday night all the way through to the breakfast on Saturday morning. The training and instruction were outstanding. Thanks to the instructors: Renshi John Wellbrock, Shihan Michael Messinger and assistant instructor Sensei Bill DiGrezio. Also, thanks to the kitchen staff supervised by Kathy Webster and assisted by Renshi Gerald Mead, Shihan Kevin Drummond and Shihan Shawna Lingo.

New "Titles" for Meiyo Hanshi (Okusan) and Kyoshi Kembre

Emma Rowan Hartledge was born on January 22nd, 2017 and at the same time bestowed the new title of "Great Grandmother" to Meiyo Hanshi Barbara Dometrich and "Grandmother" to Kyoshi Sherry (Dometrich) Kembre. The members of the USCK are happy to welcome this new addition to the Dometrich family and are glad that baby, mother, father, grandmother and great-grandmother are all doing well.

Kagami Biraki at Crozet Yoseikan

Crozet Yoseikan hosted it's first Kagami Baraki on Saturday January 14th, 2017. Approximately 15 karateka of varying rank took part in this training to welcome the New Year. Students focused on kihon, bag training, sparring drills, and kumite awareness. A great time was had by all as Sensei Erin Hagedorn and Sensei Richard Rike led the training at their Greenwood, Va. dojo Location.

Kagami Biraki at Yoseikan Anderson

On Sunday, January 8th, 2017, Renshi Eric Ford joined Shihan Shawna Lingo in putting on a Kagami Biraki workout at Yoseikan Anderson. Afterward, participants, friends and family joined in on a potluck dinner including LaRosa's pizza.

Kagami Biraki

On Saturday, January 7th, 2017 at the Chito-ryu Honbu, 43 participants came out in the cold 4 degree weather to train and celebrate the New Year. It was gratifying to see so much camaraderie and enthusiasm. The class was taught in four segments by Kyoshi Sherry (Dometrich) Kembre of Chito-ryu, Kyoshi Melvin Lewis of Louisville Shotokan, Hanshi Dwight Holly of Cincinnati Shotokan and Kyoshi Jerry Beshears of Chito-ryu. Members from the Chito-ryu Honbu, Yoseikan of Cincinnati, Yoseikan Anderson, Cincinnati Shotokan, Louisville Shotokan and Northern Kentucky Karate Club all participated. Afterward, there was plenty of food and stories shared of Hanshi Dometrich and the times that he made a memorable impact on our lives.