The whole AWA family would like to congratulate the following directors on their appointment and thank them for their support of this fine association. We are blessed to have them and are honored to add them to our board membership.




NEW MEXICO: Ray St. Clair

ILLINOIS: Prof. John "Bosco" Waldrop

PENNSYLVANIA: Renshi Larr Etzler (Menkyo Kaiden)

KANSAS: Sensei Lansford G. Holness

WASHINGTON: Master Steven Jimerfield




THE ARNOLD IS BACK! (March 2007)

The level of competition plus the myriad of Olympic and non-Olympic sports helped to make the Arnold Sports Festival the largest international sporting event second only to the Olympics. Thanks to the leadership of Tokey Hill (who shares his birth date with our chairman) this wonderful weekend of competition ran like a fine watch.

The three day festival included Olympic Boxing, Sumo, Ice Skating, Archery and more great events in addition to the world class bodybuilding, weightlifting competitions and all of the many martial arts disciplines offered.

AWA was represented once again by the SANRYUDO, NAGA volunteers & the USBA/WBA and their great support staff led by GM Ralph Bergamo and Master Drew Serrano. As always, the sharing spirit of AWA was evident as AWA directors and USBA board members Sokes Cullen and Braff helped run/Judge all of the breaking competition. In bringing in outside qualified judges the USBA assured the competitors that mature, balanced and unbiased eyes make the competition fare and fun!

Dr Braff showed a great spirit of unity and sportsmanship by working with Dr. Hufford and the rest of the volunteers to run smooth and exciting padded weapon divisions. Dr. Braff's students went the extra yard and claimed most of the top awards in both traditional sword as well as padded weapons. Congrats to all of their hard work and achievement.

Master Benny Smweb

Master Chris Benavides' troups were everywhere they needed to be helping out at the NAGA tournament and booth (John Saylor and co.), security and wherever else they were needed. The black shirt brigade made a big impression and were a real tour de force.

Soke Cullen, AWA chairman, opened each days ceremonies with his stirring rendition of our National Anthem. Here he is pictured with an honor guard representing all of our armed forces.


Dr. Fumiko Harada, Soke Huunjin's Japanese Language instructor from the University of Findlay paid a surprise visit to the Hombu in April. Dr. Harada is one of the most sought after and revered Japanese language instructors in the country and, as Soke Cullen refers to her," truly as tough an instructor as I have encountered in my 34 years of training in the art of Goju. She is hugely responsible for my success in life and I am grateful to have had her beat on me for the 4 years I studied with her."

Dr. Harada was implemental in the huge growth of Japanese companies moving into Findlay Ohio's free trade zone- at the time it was brought in it was one of only two in the country. The two master teachers shared a nice visit together then took the above picture to commemorate the occasion. Soke Cullen competed in and was picked out of many Japanese speaking college students from across the state to represent Ohio in a company based internship that lasted a few month in beautiful Saitama - Ohio's sister state in Japan! If you visit the AWA HQ in Findlay you will see maps of Saitama as well as a variety of memorabilia placed about the facility.

Everyone at AWA HQ would like to thank Dr. Harada for her kind visit and wish her a very happy birthday (the day of her visit was also her tanjobi-bday. Harada Sensei, Tanjobi ni Omedeto Gosaimasu!


awa karate camp
AWA Camp 2007

"This was the best camp ever!", "Phenomenal", "Premier!"
These direct quotes are indicative of the unprovoked reactions to the WORLD CLASS training that occurred at the AWA Summer Gasshuku this year.

Although our membership may be seen as partial to AWA events, the mere fact that our membership is so diverse and not beholding to AWA in any way brings home the reality of those comments. Instead of spending tons of money to train with one big name pompous traditionalist who runs the same sophomoric beginner katas or endless Kihons that teach you nothing, you were introduced to bona fide unsung masters of traditional arts who enabled you to learn more than just superficial tactics or training tools. And for that opportunity you were grateful. WELL... we are grateful for the many traditional practitioners who traveled far to train so diligently. We know that we will see you next year.


Saturday's training started with the traditional "Run to the Rez". Different variations of training have occurred over the past half decade with this years run focusing on speed to the hill and back. Participants included representatives from the Green Springs Center for Martial Arts, The Academy of Martial Arts Studies and the Davis School of Martial Arts, which won the award for the camps most supportive school. The run is optional, early and grueling ergo the segmented participation. Congrats to those who ran especially 6th Dan Mark Robinson and Sho Dan Mike Martin who actually ran the thing TWICE in a row!

Regular class teaching began at 8 am with Marcus Rollie teaching Goju kata bunkai that was well received by all. Then he instructed the group on two-man bunkai katas that pit two kararteka versus each other in kata based Yakusoku (pre-arranged) Kumite.

10 till Noon: Master Jim Thompson Uechi Ryu. This seminar was a Knock Out! Sensei Thompson's quiet delivery was not representative of his impact. All who trained learnt much and the depth of his presentation was truly appreciated. His first time at the AWA Region 1 Gasshuku will hopefully not be his last. We are so honored to have had him share his wisdom with us all.

Noon till One Lunch

1pm- 2pm Master Nikya Yamashita Shotokan. Sensei Yamashita gave a high energy presentation that fired up the participants. One would think that after lunch people would be sluggish.. Not so.. he instead supercharged them and their knowledge of striking force, hip rotation and winning kumite techniques that all of our campers took home with them.

2pm-3 pm Next on tap was Master Chris Benavides. Mr. Benavides worked on in close trapping (he is well known for this) and striking combinations. This is always one of the best attended seminars we offer.

3pm-5pm Master Carl Davis Aiki Jujutsu This segment had a packed house who were led through a variety of combat scenarios. His adaptations were an eye opener for many of the excited campers.

5pm-6 pm was taught by Sensei Charles Shupman. He covered the Bo, its use and a well received Bo kata. This class was held in the a grove of shade trees and reminiscent of traditional outdoor training camps of old.

6pm -7 pm session was brought to life by Sensei Virgil Goodwine, Judo expert. Virgil's class was fun yet strongly presented with hard throws and mat work. It was a great way to end the days training.

FREE FOOD!!!! One of the traditions of our camp is to feed all campers for free on Saturday evening and this year was no different. Over a hundred dogs and burgers were grilled and served with mac salad and chips. Our chairman handed out the chairman's award to Mr. Thompson, Devorah Dometrich, Chris Benavides and Carl Davis for their contributions to AWA this year. He also awarded Directorships which are listed in the following article. The training was very fierce on Saturday so black belt tent city closed early to no ones surprise.


Sunday a non-denominational religious service was held and well attended in the morning. Afterwards most of the campers decided to take advantage of the one hour break before training to pull up their tent stakes and prepare vehicles for their return home.

Sensei Cullen then ran a revisit of his seminars on the 5 hand systems and his Suparuinpei seminar that lasted about an hour. After that, Renshi Mark Robinson taught an hour long Goju combat seminar. Both were appreciated and well attended.