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.

May Black Belt Class

Last black belt class of this season. We worked on testing material for the October national test.

Funeral Arrangements for Devorah Wear Dometrich Herbst

Link to Obituary
Funeral Schedule - Tuesday, April 30th, 2024
11:00a - 1:00p - Visitation
Stanley Funeral Home
530 N Main Street
Williamstown, Kentucky 41097
1:00p - 1:30p - Military Funeral Ceremony
1:30p - 2:30p - Cemetery Visitation Procession
Kentucky Veterans Cemetery North
200 Eibeck Lane
Williamstown, Kentucky 41097
3:00p Celebration of Life
My Old Kentucky Barn
314 S Main Street
Williamstown, Kentucky 41097

Please RSVP number attending to 813-318-1916
Donations In Lieu of Flowers
In Lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in memory of Devorah to Cancer Research of the donor's choice.
U.S. Chito-kai Members
If you are planning to attend the funeral, please wear your U.S. Chito-kai dress suit.
(Women are no longer required to wear their tie)
If you are unable to wear your U.S. Chito-kai dress suit, please wear grey slacks with a blue polo shirt or attire appropriate for the occasion.

Devorah Wear Dometrich Herbst

May 2, 1951 to April 17, 2024
It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of our daughter, our sister, our friend, Sensei Devorah Wear Dometrich Herbst (1951-2024).
"Little Debbie" became her nickname soon after meeting Hanshi and Okusan Dometrich because of her 4 feet 11 inches of height. However, she was really a giant because of her endeavors, tenacity, and her "firsts".
She first met the late William Dometrich on August 3, 1965, when he was working his police shift and she was a passenger in a vehicular accident that he responded to the scene. She inquired about his karate school and was invited to come to the dojo located on Madison Avenue in Covington, Kentucky to begin her career in martial arts. Hanshi Dometrich soon learned that she was a natural in karate. In 1966, as a young yellow belt, she won the National Championship in Washington D.C. and became the first U.S.C.K. women's kumite and kata champion. During the late sixties Debbie was staying at the Dometrich's house and going on family vacations. Around 1971, Hanshi and Okusan adopted Debbie who chose to be known as Debbie Dometrich. She extensively helped in getting the current dojo on Martin Street remodeled.
Around 1972, Debbie joined the U.S. Air Force. Her duty tour brought her to Okinawa where she was able to train in karate as a black belt in the U.S.C.K. She met several renowned martial artists; one included the late Sensei Inomoto who was a student of Dr. Tsuyoshi Chitose. Sensei Inomoto introduced her to kobudo. She became a student of Sensei Eisuke Akamine where she likely was the first female kobudo student under his tutelage. Like her other endeavors, Debbie flourished in kobudo and that art became her "first love" according to Hanshi Dometrich. Debbie founded Ryu Kyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai, Beikoku So Honbu.
In 1977, Debbie graduated from the Kentucky Police Academy at Eastern Kentucky University and started her journey into law enforcement. She became the first female police officer of Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. She flourished in police work as well and held positions with several law enforcement agencies across the country. Her law enforcement career introduced her to her greatest love, Paul Herbst, who she wedded in 1979 and enjoyed her remaining years with him on their farm in Dry Ridge, Kentucky. He, too, had a successful career in law enforcement. She continued to teach kobudo from her home, at seminars and other dojo throughout North America up until her sickness.

Kagami Biraki

Kagami Biraki 2024!! Our first DNBK training of the year!! Fantastic attendance with karateka from multiple schools and styles!! Fun had by all!! Train hard in '24!!

CPR Class

On Saturday, December 2, 2023, several Chito-kai members certified in CPR at the Yoseikan Honbu. Bryson Reiskamp, a student of the Honbu and an Independence, KY Fireman, was the instructor.

Be.Well Program

On Saturday, November 18th, Shihan Shawna Lingo led a one-hour basic training class for the Be.Well Program. The event, offered by the Cincinnati Parks Foundation with support from Cincinnati Children's Hospital, took place at the TM Berry Friendship Park Pavilion near downtown Cincinnati. Members from several U.S. Chito-kai dojos assisted Shihan Lingo during the event and the feedback from the participants afterward was overwhelmingly positive.

November Black Belt Class

Black belt class was held at the hombu dojo on Saturday, November 4th.

National Seminar Weekend

The best weekend of the Fall, the National Seminar weekend happened on Friday, October 13th and Saturday, October 14th. Undaunted by the ominous date (Friday the 13th), several karateka travelled from near and far to test in front of the National Test Board on Friday evening. On Saturday, a four-hour seminar was held and was well attended. Finally, a banquet was held Saturday evening complete with good food, good conversation and recognition of rank and service to the United States Chito-Kai.

Black Belt Classes Resume

Black Belt classes resumed on the second Saturday of September. It was a good turnout of karateka and a few upcoming National Test candidates. Renshi Don Schmidt led the class through warm-ups and deck drills using stances like zenkutsu-dachi and seisan-dachi. The emphasis of the training was on ways in which to generate power. After a brief water break, Renshi John Wellbrock continued the theme, honing in on the hips (koshi) by working on relaxation, yoko-geri in addition to running through Potsai, Chokusen & Shumino katas

Shochugeiko

Shochgeiko 2023 returned the USCK to DeVou Park for the second straight year. Karateka from Chito-ryu and Shotokan dojos from far and wide came together to workout (even in the rain) and enjoy the camaraderie afterward in the picnic shelter.

Masaru Inomoto Sensei

It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Inomoto Masaru (1938-2023). A Chito-ryu student of Chitose Tsuyoshi and a dear friend of the Dometrich family, Inomoto Sensei taught several clinics and classes during his visits to Kentucky, and was a karate brother to the late Hanshi Dometrich.
According to Sensei Devorah Dometrich Herbst, Inomoto Sensei was born in Miyazaki Ken and raised by his grandparents. Inomoto Sensei joined the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force at 17 and was stationed in Kumamoto, where he met Dr. Chitose and later became his uchi deshi of Chito Ryu. Inomoto Sensei held many ranks, and formed his own organization Rengokai Sekai and original styles Jikki Shin Ryu. Inomoto Sensei retired as a Major in the JGSDF. He is survived by his wife, Daughter Mami and Granddaughter Risa. RIP.

Audra State Park

Audra State Park, West Virginia Karate Camp out was a huge success. The nights were a cool 40 degrees but the days were nice with no humidity. We had a beautiful day for the workout. Next year's camp is on June 22nd. We hope to see you there.

May Black Belt Class

Black Belt Class was held on May 6, 2023.

Fumio Demura Sensei


Photo courtesy of Sensei Bill George: Okinawan Shorin Ryu Karate - Midwest Honbu Dojo
It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of martial arts icon, Sensei Fumio Demura. On a few occasions, a handful of our karateka were lucky enough to have trained with Sensei Demura and Hanshi Dometrich was privileged enough to have an even more personal connection with him. Sensei Demura wrote a Foreword in Hanshi's book "The Endless Quest'. (Autographed group photo: Courtesy of Sensei Bill George: Okinawan Shorin Ryu Karate - Midwest Honbu Dojo)

April Black Belt Class

Black Belt Class was held on April 1, 2023.

Hanshi Dometrich Memorial Seminar

The annual Hanshi Memorial Clinic was held on March 18, 2023 in the Gloria Dei activity room which is proving to be a fine training facility. The USCK holds several clinics every year and on March 18, participants came from West Virginia, Virginia, Florida, and local dojo in Ohio and Kentucky. I probably could push the envelope and add France. Some reasons for coming include: training, learning, camaraderie, celebrating a USCK founder's birthday, or supporting Okusan and the USCK. There is a plethora of reasons to attend these events. Maybe our chant "we like it, we love it, we want more of it" says it all. Some could not make it because of family, work, or health, but their spirit was with us. Following the clinic we gathered at the hombu to continue the celebration.

March Black Belt Class

Black Belt Class was held on March 4, 2023.

February Black Belt Class

Black Belt Class was held on February 4, 2023.

Kangeiko

Kangeiko 2023: This year, inspired by the rising Phoenix and led by Renshi Ford, Shihan Lingo, and Sensei Cowherd, we examined and refined our Kihon, Kata, and Kumite starting from the beginning. The evening kicked off as always with a Spaghetti dinner at 6pm. The meal was followed by attendees talking about their individual karate histories. By 10pm, everyone had retired to their "beds" on the deck to get a few winks before training started at 3am. After the 6 hours of training flew by, we finished off with a traditional run around Covington, calling cadence all the way, followed by that warm cup of Ocha, signaling the bittersweet end of Kangeiko. Finally, we all enjoyed a delicious breakfast, prepared by Kyoshi & Renshi Schmidt and Kathy Webster, and lots of much needed conversation! Already looking forward to next year! Join us!

Kagami Biraki

Kagami Biraki 2023!! Our first DNBK training of the year!! Renshi Wellbrock started everyone out working Te Hodoki, followed by Kyoshi Beshears discussing deciphering kata and the embusen line. Sensei Dwight Holley of Cincinnati Shotokan then led everyone in Junro Shodan, an Asai Ha Shotokan kata. Kyoshi Schmidt closed out the event by completing the Te Hodoki followed by our traditional spirit circle! Fantastic attendance with karateka from multiple schools and styles!! Fun had by all!! Train hard in '23!!

December Black Belt Class

Black Belt Class was held on December 3, 2022. After class, everyone gathered in the kitchen to celebrate Okusan's birthday. Happy Birthday Okusan!

November Black Belt Class

Black Belt Class was held on November 5, 2022.

2022 National Event Weekend

On Friday, October 14th the National Test Board convened at the honbu to review candidates for Ik-kyu and above. On Saturday, many karateka got together at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church to participate in a 4 hour seminar that covered many topics such as basics, kicking and Henshuho's while the children continued to work on basics and kata. Instruction was led by Shihan William Jansak, Renshi Lawrence Hawkins III, Renshi Eric Ford, Renshi Don Schmidt and Kyoshi Sherry Dometrich Schmidt. After training, karateka, friends and family gathered at the Fort Wright Civic Club for a banquet, speeches, recognition and certificate presentations.

October Black Belt Class

Black Belt Class was held on October 1, 2022. Several candidates for the National Test were in attendance so focus was placed on helping them prepare.

MUSEUM UNVIELING HAS OCCURRED

by Don Schmidt, Renshi
We have received notice and a picture that the museum in Clarksburg, West Virginia has completed the display of hometown karate legends William J. Dometrich and Barbara E. Dometrich, nee Webster. This unveiling came sooner than expected which is great because it is open to the public for viewing. Okusan has already seen messages posted on Facebook from cousins and other relations in around Clarksburg.
There still may be a formal unveiling next summer when USCK will likely be involved in another demonstration to promote the museum as well as our legendary founders of the USCK. Okusan and others may make a preliminary trip this fall. If a date becomes available all will be invited and made aware of travel dates. The museum is at 445 West Main Street.

September Black Belt Class

Black Belt Classes resumed after the summer break on Saturday, September 10, 2022.

May Black Belt Class

Black Belt Class was held on Saturday, May 7, 2022. After warm-ups, Renshi Schmidt instructed the class on taikyoku kumite waza which is a two-person partner drill utilizing sen no sen, go no sen, distancing and moves from our three taikyoku kata. The second half of class was led by Kyoshi Schmidt and focused on kata.

April Black Belt Class

Black Belt Class was held on Saturday, April 9, 2022. After warm-ups, Renshi Schmidt worked the class through partner drills including the application of ju-ni-waza, ippon jyu kumite, te hodoki and Kake Te Ho. Kake Te Ho was taught at the hombu in the 1970's when Kato Sensei visited from Kumamoto City. He described them as a favorite of O-Sensei's. The second half of class was led by Kyoshi Kembre and focused on kata.

Passing Of Russell Banks, San-Dan, USCK


Obituary
Russell Banks passed away on March 12, 2022 after a lengthy illness. He was a veteran of the Air Force and one of the pioneers in establishing the USCK and Honbu dojo. Russell will be greatly missed, especially by those who trained with him during the weekday morning sessions at the Honbu.
Our condolences go out to Russell's wife Beverly and the rest of his family.

Kangeiko 2022

by Chris Brueckner
Did you know the 40th Kangeiko was held at the hombu in 2020. Unfortunately due to COVID-19 we've been forced to cancel the event, in its traditional sense, in both 2021 and 2022. But don't worry, where there's a strong will and a strong heart, there's a way. For the second year, Kangeiko took place virtually over Zoom and though we look forward to the day when we can resume the in-person event, Zoom has had the benefit of allowing us to include and train with people from far and wide. We had 24 participants from Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Florida and England.
Training started at 6a on Saturday, January 29th. Renshi Eric Ford greeted a full gallery of karateka and Shihan Shawna Lingo introduced the theme for this year's training: "Kokoro". Kokoro means heart in Japanese and refers to all activities that affect the outside world through intention, emotion and intellect. After bowing in, the event kicked off with warm-ups and stretching followed by a quick review and a lot of practice in zenkutsu and kokutsu dachi. Basics, basics and more basics. As with any good USCK event, Hanshi's words echoed from the past "make them sweat".
The next section of training focused on kata with Shihan Lingo instructing the group on Chokusen (created by Hanshi), Niseishi and finally Seisan. We extended the work on Niseishi by running through bunkai for the kata followed by approximately the first third of the Henshuho's. While the group worked individually, Renshi Ford demonstrated the techniques live with a partner. The morning training finished up with instruction and practice led by Renshi Ford on the mae gerri, yoko gerri, mawashi gerri and ushiro gerri.
The training wrapped up at 9a with a welcomed cup of hot tea for the small contingent of participants that were local. Thanks to Renshi Eric Ford and Shihan Shawna Lingo for organizing and running a great event and thanks to Yoseikan Anderson for hosting.

Condolences

The USCK family wishes to express our sincere condolences to Shihan Terry Collis and his family on the passing of his wife Sandy on January 30th.
A memorial service will be held at the Linnemann Funeral Home, 30 Commonwealth, Erlanger, Ky on Friday, February 11th from 5-8p with a service at 6:30p.

The Passing of Shihan Warren Pochinski

by Barbara Dometrich, Meiyo Hanshi
I regret to announce the passing of Shihan Warren Pochinski, known as Po, from Fayetteville, NC. He had been suffering from COPD and was recently diagnosed with untreatable stomach cancer.
I met Shihan Po in 2002 through some research performed by Renshi Don Schmidt. I learned that Po had studied martial arts throughout his illustrious Army career, was a Green Beret and retired from the Army as a Sergeant Major. I learned that Po was in Japan at Camp Chickamauga at the same time as Hanshi, but they never met until 2002. I also learned that Po trained in Chito-ryu and corresponded directly with O-Sensei. When I met Po, I had no idea that he would become a valuable asset to the USCK.
Po began attending our karate events and the next thing I know is he wanted to open a USCK dojo at Ft. Bragg to give military families the opportunity to train in Chito-ryu at no charge. Hanshi gave the okay and Po was remarkable in his quest. Po was able to quickly learn the curriculum of the USCK by studying our manuals and attending karate events. His students certainly reflected Po's teaching ability when observed by visiting sensei to Ft. Bragg. Hanshi was impressed with his teaching ability so much that he bestowed the title of Shihan on Po and promoted him to godan.
Shihan Po produced several black belts: Reggie Ward, Steven Smith, AJ Ordillas, Zach Locklear and his sister Brianna. I will always cherish meeting his wife Tu as well as all of his karate students and their family members. Shihan Po will be missed.

CPR Class

On Saturday, December 4, 2021, several Chito-kai members certified in CPR at the Yoseikan Honbu. Bryson Reiskamp, a student of the Honbu and an Independence, KY Fireman, was the instructor.

Wedding!

On Sunday, November 21, Kyoshi Sherry Kembre and Renshi Don Schmidt finally made it to the altar and are man and wife. It was a small gathering of family. Next year if the pandemic allows, they will have a renewal ceremony and invite our extended Karate family and friends.

Black Belt Classes Resume

After a 21-month hiatus due to the pandemic, black belt classes resumed at the U.S. Chito-kai hombu dojo on Saturday, November 6, 2021.

2021 National Event Weekend

On Saturday, October 23, many karateka attended the National seminar at the Raddison hotel. This was the first time we were able to get together in almost two years and it was nice to see everyone and catch up with those who attended. It was good to see members from New York, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio. Kyoshi Sherry Kembre did an excellent job of scheduling the training for all involved. The feedback was very positive that not only did many get the opportunity to learn a new kata but they also got the experience of learning the Sai from Hanshi Devorah Herbst.
After the seminar, many stopped by the Honbu dojo to visit. It was a nice gathering and we are looking forward to future seminars as this pandemic goes away.
On Friday evening before the seminar, the National Test Board convened and conducted testing for several members who were promoted to the following ranks:
Name Rank Dojo
Bill Kopp Ik-kyu Yoseikan Honbu
Travis Pugh Sho-dan Bridgeport Yoseikan
John Kowalzik Sho-dan Crozet Yoseikan
David Hickenlooper Ni-dan Yoseikan Anderson
Ron Howard Ni-dan Yoseikan II
Matt Cowherd San-dan Yoseikan Honbu
Sandra Pacak Yon-Dan Yoseikan II
Alexandra Pacak Yon-Dan Yoseikan II
At the conclusion of the seminar on Saturday, additional promotions and titles were awarded by Meiyo-Hanshi Barbara Dometrich:
Name Rank/Title Dojo
Lawrence Hawkins III Renshi Yoseikan II
Bill DiGrezio Shihan Yoseikan Honbu
Shawna Lingo Godan Yoseikan Anderson
Wes Ernest Rokudan Yoseikan Honbu
Don Schmidt Shichidan Yoseikan Honbu
Eric Ford Shichidan Yoseikan Honbu
John Wellbrock Shichidan Yoseikan Honbu
As Meiyo-Hanshi Barbara Dometrich instructed at the end of the seminar on Saturday, let's continue to build the U.S. Chito-kai Federation with peace and love.

Shochugeiko 2021

On Saturday, July 17th, 2021 the USCK was able to hold it's first national event since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It wasn't exactly back to normal (no partner drills & no pot-luck picnic), but it sure was great to finally get back together with our extended karate family and have a great workout.

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