U.S. HISTORY (1995 - 1997)

The United States organization had doubled in the total number of karate schools in its membership from August 1994 to January 1995. Miwa Oshiro left in January to return to Okinawa.

Since August 13, 1994 the U. S. Chito-ryu Karate Federation has developed a new, more modern Constitution and by-laws. A new technical manual was also organized, along with training manuals for white belt through black belt. New charters, kyu certificates, and diplomas of dan were designed and printed. U. S. Chito-kai patches in red, white and blue were approved. The Karate-Do news bulletin was once again being printed. A fresh and new independent organization was making a turn around and was charting its own way. A United States Shihan-kai was organized and (much to his chagrin) it was decided to refer to Dometrich Sensei by his appropriate title of Kyoshi.

In April 1995 Kyoshi Masaru Inomoto visited from Japan. His trip was mainly for Kobudo purposes but he did take time to assist with some karate teaching at the Hombu.

The 2nd U.S. Chito-kai Mini-Summer Camp was held in August of 1995 . The second camp was more successful than the first, Sensei Masami Tsuruoka was the guest instructor. One hundred and eighteen karate students participated during the three day event. Shihan Lawrence Hawkins was promoted to the position of Vice Chairman and Terry Valentino was elected as the new President. An Assistant Chief Instructor position was created to assist Kyoshi in his duties, with Sensei James Davenport being the first appointee.

Kyoshi and Okusan traveled to Canada in September to visit various karate schools and to teach. This trip lasted four weeks and covered parts of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario.

During October 1995, Kyoshi, Okusan, and several students traveled to Chicago, Illinois for the "Windy City Open Karate Tournament," which was supported by Sensei Joe Gonzalez, an old friend. While at the tournament Kyoshi had the opportunity to renew many friendships from years past. Among them were Sensei's Hidetaka Nishiyama, Richard Kim, Shojiro Sugiyama, Robert Fusaro and James Morrone.

The 3rd U.S. Summer camp was held in August of 1996. The event continued to mature and was again a huge success. Sensei Tsuruoka was the guest instructor once again. At the closing dinner Kyoshi Dometrich officially resigned as Chairman of the United States Chito-ryu Karate Federation. He remains as Chief Instructor. Kyoshi had been assigned as Chairman for life by O-Sensei with the right to name his own successor. However, the decision was passed to the Shihan-kai who elected Shihan Lawrence C. Hawkins, Jr. to the post by unanimous vote. Shihan Hawkins subsequently appointed Sensei Terry Valentino as vice chairman.

Late in 1996 Kyoshi Dometrich received word that Sensei David Akutagawa of Canada had officially resigned from the International and Canadian Chito-ryu, citing "personal and irreconcilable differences". Soon after his resignation, Akutagawa Sensei visited the U.S. hombu for a small black belt clinic. He subsequently formed the Renshikan Karate Association with a renewed promise to preserve the memories and teachings of O-Sensei and Chito-ryu. The hombu dojo also received copies of the official letters of resignation from the International Chito-kai from Shihan Ken Sakamoto dated March 30, 1997 and Kyoshi Masaru Inomoto and Takashiro Ikeda dated April, 1997.

A small contingency from the U.S. Hombu traveled to Las Vegas Nevada for a tournament in March, 1997. During the trip Kyoshi Dometrich asked if he would consider becoming certified as an international official later that year, Kyoshi agreed. He traveled to Chicago in April for preliminary training and to Italy in May for certification.

During April,1997 Kyoshi Dometrich served as a referee and kata judge at the AAU 6th Regional Karate Tournament in Chicago, Illinois. On Friday evening the referees and judges participated in refresher training. The eliminations were held on Saturday with the finals being completed on Sunday.

May 1997 Shihan Joseph Hedderman sponsored and open jiu-jitsu clinic in conjunction with the U.S. Chito-kai and the U.S. Koseido. The clinic had over 60 participants including representatives from 12 U.S. Chito-ryu schools as well as local representatives from other styles. It was decided that the techniques covered at the clinic were to be integrated into the USCKF curriculum.

On May 20, 1997, Kyoshi Dometrich traveled to Italy to participate in the World Karate Tournament. He participatedas a referee and chief kata judge. Kyoshi traveled with the United States team, which was headed by Sensei Joe Mirza, chairman of the AAU Karate movement in the United States and Chuzo Kotaka of Hawaii, the Chief Instructor of the U.S. team. While at the World Tournament, he met Shihan Ilya L. Guliev, chairman of the Russian Karate Federation who invited Kyoshi to visit Moscow.

The June black belt class at the U.S. Hombu featured special guest Shihan Kazanori Kawakita (five time All Southern Japan Kumite champion) and his two sons. His eldest son, Masukazu, the All Japan Full Contact Champion-all weight divisions, stayed at the hombu dojo for training for 3 months.

On June 22nd 1997 Kyoshi Patrick McCarthy, well known karate historian, author, lecturer, and Karate Sensei visited the Cincinnati are as a guest of Sensei Mike Awad. A clinic was held at Sensei Awad's Dojo with a party afterward at his home. After the party Kyoshi McCarthy visited the U.S. Chito-ryu Hombu where he continued to amaze the students with his in depth knowledge of karate and it's history. Training continued until 5:30 in the morning. We hope to see Kyoshi McCarthy at the Hombu again next year as a guest of the U.S. Chito-kai. Sensei McCarthy is Canadian by birth and resides in Australia. He is the founder of the International Ryukyu Karate Research Society and a member of the prestigious Dai Nippon Butokukai.

July 1 thru 5, 1997 Kyoshi William Dometrich assisted as a referee and kata judge for the AAU National Karate Championships held at Disney World’s new three hundred million dollar sports complex in Florida. The Amateur Athletic Union karate movement, under the able direction of Sensei Joe Mirza, has done much to enhance the image of traditional amateur karate within the United States. To qualify for the tournament participants were required to first win their state tournament, then their regional tournament. Even with that requirement, over five thousand participants attended the 1997 AAU Championships.

August 21, 1997, saw four ranking black belts of the United States Chito-ryu Karate Federation attend the Memorial State Championships in Naha, Okinawa. Kyoshi Dometrich, Shihans VanHorne and Herbst, and Sensei Jim Davenport represented the U. S. Organization. Shihan Devorah Herbst, assisted as an instructor in Ryukyu Kobudo at the many Clinics held at the new Okinawan Budokan. While in Okinawa the U. S. members saw many old friends, they visited many dojo and renewed old acquaintances. After leaving Okinawa they flew to Japan. While in Kumamoto they visited Masaru Inomoto, Tatsunori Ikeda, Ken Sakamoto, and Minoru Nagata, all former officials of the International Chito-kai. They then traveled to Nogata, Japan where they visited with Kazunori Kawakita.

After visiting Okinawa and Japan, Kyoshi and Sensei Davenport flew to in Hawaii, and visited with Shihan Lee Dohohue, Asst. Chief of Police of Honolulu and a 6th dan in Karate-do and Shihan Chuzo Kotaka one of the top karate instructors in the United States at his dojo. A visit was also made to the dojo of Shihan James Miyagi, who at one time practiced Chito-ryu under the direction of Sensei Tommy Morita.

During September, 1997, Kyoshi was invited by Sensei Fumio Demura and Demura Sensei's representative, Sensei Angelo Ross, to participate in a clinic which was held in Connelleville, Pennsylvania. Demura Sensei taught classes in tonfa and sai; Between Sensei Demura's clinics Kyoshi Dometrich taught a sparring strategy class. After the clinics, the participants helped Sensei Demura celebrate his birthday with a picnic and cake.

On October 18, 1997 the United States Chito-ryu Karate Federation was pleased to have Sensei John Sells as the guest instructor of a clinic at the Yoseikan Hombu in Covington, Kentucky. A National test for Ik-kyu and higher ranks was held in the morning with the clinic following the test. The clinic and testing by the U. S. Chito-kai National Test Board is an annual event honoring Doctor Tsuyoshi Chitose on his birthday. During the clinic the students were introduced to Hakusho kata of the White Crane system of China. Sensei Sells is a noted karate historian and author. His book ''Unante'' is a best seller and sold out during his visit with us. Visiting the hombu and the clinic was Sensei David Akutagawa and his son Andy of Vancouver, Canada, Sensei Michael Colling of Sidney, Nova Scotia, Canada, and David Griffin of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Several members of the United States Chito-kai were invited to the J.K.A. Windy City Karate Tournament in Chicago, Illinois during November, 1997. Kyoshi was guest of honor at the tournament and of the local J.K.A. organization. He served as the tournament arbitrator. After the tournament party was held at a local Chinese restaurant. Sensei Joe Gonzalez, the tournament sponsor and Kyoshi had a good time reminiscing about the old tournaments they participated in over twenty years ago.

The U. S. Hombu was honored to have Sensei Mike Huggins of Alberta, Canada visit and train with us on November 8, 1997. Sensei Huggins is a student of Sensei David Akutagawa in Alberta, B.C., Canada.

On November 29, 1997 the United States Chito-kai hombu dojo hosted a clinic with noted author and karate researcher, Kyoshi Patrick McCarthy, as the guest instructor. The kata Ryushan Dai was introduced to the Chito-kai students. The Dai version is approximately four times as long as the Sho version currently taught by most Chito-ryu schools. Many of Sensei McCarthy's books on karate, Okinawan Kata and the Bubishi were purchased by the students. Senior instructors were also given the opportunity to purchase special research material compiled by Kyoshi McCarthy over the past two decades. Kyoshi McCarthy is the director of the International Ryukyu Karate and Kobudo Research Society, and had been recognized by the Japanese Government for his work. He is also a member of the famous Dai Nippon Butoku Kai, of Kyoto, Japan.

December , 1997, found Kyoshi Dometrich, assisting the new Kentucky AAU Karate Director, Sensei John Harris, in holding the FIRST official AAU refereeing clinic ever held in the state of Kentucky. The clinic was held in Radcliff, Kentucky at Ft. Knox. Sensei Ronald Brashear participated and assisted with the clinic. Several students from the Yoseikan Hombu also participated. Kyoshi Dometrich, a world class referee and AAU Class A referee, chaired the AAU organizational committee and the AAU officials certification committee when the officials certification program was established in May 1973.