1st Half, 2002 (Winter / Spring)

In this section we include information from the organizations official newsletter - the IKKF Bulletin, plus additional news items. Hope you enjoy it.


On 9/11/01 we bowed our heads in grief and pain as we stared at the TV in disbelief and read news papers that showed in detail the events that changed our lives forever.

Our Nation had been attacked, and many lives lost forever. But even at the peak of pain and terror, a new group of heroes rose from the ashes - the police, fire and rescue people and the passengers on the Somerset, Pa. flight who fought the hijackers.

Like all survivors we joined hands and hearts with so many of you that day via email, phone and letter. The terrorists assumed that the attacks would humble our nation, but it only served to stiffen our resolve. Together as a united people, our country rose like the phoenix from the ashes of the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Somerset County, Pa. to seek justice.

We are so grateful and thankful to be part of a nation that stands straight and tall in the world as a model and defender of freedom and liberty. We have never been as proud to call ourselves Americans.

Please remember all students past and present who are serving our country in this conflict. We are so proud of all of them.



The year started out with the 2001 IKKF Winter Camp held in January. The event will most likely go down in history as an exception to just about everything. One week before the event was scheduled we found out that our facility was not available as scheduled. After some panic, the day was saved with the help of another local dojo - Moyer's Isshinryu Dojo who offered the use of their school for our camp. The Camp went off without a hitch - except for the big snow storm that hit Saturday night - but even that did not dampen the fun.

The Instructors for the event included the Heilmans, Kyoshi Jody Paul, Renshi Jose Cruz and Renshi Rick Zondlo. Participants came from IKKF Dojos in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico. Louisiana, Virginia and Georgia.

A Party was also held at the Coast Guard Reserve Club - a lot of good food combined with more snow. A formal Yudansha Testing was also held with three individuals receiving promotions.


A highlight of the year had to be the Memorial Tourney sponsored by Tom & Michele Apsokardu (IKKF 4th & 3rd Dans). The event was held in memorial to the Marasco children (Vince and Julia) who were students of the Apsokardu Dojo in Bernville, Pa. until their untimely tragic death. The tournament was well attended by local and IKKF Dojos and it raised funds for a good cause.


HKA Yudansha Rick Zondlo, 5th Dan, participated in a weekend Celebration of Japanese Culture sponsored by the Reading Public Museum. Zondlo gave a demonstration of the Iaido Sword Ceremony and sword basics and katas. He also was one of the models for a kimono fashion show.


During the year, IKKF Seminars were sponsored by Hanshi Nick Adler, New York; Renshi Brian DeGori, New Jersey; Senseis Joe Dupaquier and Danny Gilliland, Louisiana; Renshi Jose Cruz, Puerto Rico; Kyoshi Frank Caliguri, Pennsylvania; Hanshi James Hawkes, New Mexico; Sensei Keith Macy, Texas; Kyoshi Eberhard Welsch, DC; and Kyoshi Jody Paul, Ga.


Two IKKF Dojos participated in fund Raisers during the year. The HKA Dojo, Reading, Pa. ran a Kick-A-Thon to raise funds for St. Judes Children's Hospital and the McCloskey Dojo, Claysville, Pa. raised funds for the American Cancer Society.


In July of 2001, Bruce and Ann-Marie Heilman celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.


The 17th IKKF Annual Training was held this year the last weekend of June. Seminar Instructors included: Hanshis Nick Adler & C. Bruce Heilman, and Kyoshis Chuck Merriman, Jody Paul, Bill Hayes, Ann-Marie Heilman, Bobbi Snyder and Marilyn Fierro. The three day training was the last one to be held at The cloisters in Reading, due to pending closure of the facility - it will be missed. The training was excellent, but typical of this years events it was marred this time by a very heavy rain storm which resulted in a lot of localized flash flooding and road closings - but we all survived it. Formal Yudansha Testing saw the promotion of 20 individuals to ranks ranging from 1st Dan to 8th Dan. Also of note was the awarding of Renshi (Teachers License) to Walt Moyer of the HKA Dojo.


2001 saW the promotion of two longtime Okinawa Kenpo practitioners, Ann-Marie Heilman and Al Louis to the ranks of 8th Dan in Karate & Kobudo. Mrs. H's promotion was made at this years Annual Training. Of particular highlight was the appearance of Pennsylvania Senator Michael O'pake who came in from Harrisburg specifically to make a formal presentation from the PA Senate on her promotion. Both promotions were announced by Hanshi Heilman as President of both the IKKF and the Okinawan Kenpo Karate Kobudo Union (OKKKU).


The USKA Nationals & Annual Seminars were held in April in New Mexico. As usual, the Heilmans taught Weapons Seminars on the Bo, Tunfa, and Sai. Shihan Fumio Demura also taught an excellent session on Karate. Mr. H's retirement from competition did not last long as he returned to defend his National Weapons Grand Championship and again came away with the "gold". The USKA World Championships were held in August in New Orleans. A highlight was IKKF member Kyoshi Frank Caliguri who came out of retirement to win the Senior Masters Kata competition. Another IKKF member Nancy Caliguri was promoted to 6th Dan. Also IKKF Renshi Dan Rupert was inducted into the UAKA All-American Society.


This year saw the introduction of two new traditional focused martial arts magazines: the Maishin Shorinji and the Fighting Spirit of Martial Arts. The Maishin Shorinji is published by Kyoshi Ronald Lindsey, a noted Shorin-ryu stylist. The second magazine, the Fighting Spirit of Martial Arts is published by Hanshi George Alexander, a Shorin-ryu stylist and member of the IKKF Executive Board.


In Spring of this year, Mr. & Mrs. Heilman were honored to receive the Kumite International Lifetime Achievement Award. The presentation was made by Kumite International's Director Bill Viola, Jr.


IKKF member, Renshi Jose Cruz, 6th Dan Shotokan, 4th Dan Kobudo, hoisted the 17th North American IMAF Congress. Mr. Cruz is a Regional Director for the IMAF-USA. The event was held in Bethlehem, Pa. and the 3 day event consisted of seminars covering Karate, Judo, Jiu-jitsu, Aikido and Iaido.


Dan Smith, 7th Dan Shorin-ryu under Shimabukuro Zenpo Hanshi, sponsored a visit by a group of Okinawan Masters to the Atlanta, GA area. The visit was marked by a multi-day series of Seminars. Members of the Okinawan Masters Group includes: Shugoro Nakazato, Hanshi; Ryuko Tomoyose, Hanshi; Meitatsu Yagi, Hanshi; Zenpo Shimabukuro, Hanshi; Tsutomu Nakahodo, Hanshi; Massaru Yonamine, Hanshi; Kotaro Iha, Hanshi; Morio Higaonna, Hanshi. Tsuyoshi Uechi, Hanshi; and Hidemi Tamayose, Hanshi.


This year marked the first for the discontinuance of the previous nnual Spring Yudansha Training and its replacement by an Renshi (Instructors) Training.


At the 2001 Annual Training two individuals were issued their Womens Self-Defense Instructor Certifications having successfully completed required training. Those individuals were: Rachael Thompson & Ron McCloskey.


During this last year, minimum active membership times were established as a requirement before one could be recommended for any consideration for Yudansha Testing. Also published was the revised IKKF Guidelines for Yudansha ranking structure and associated time requirements.

All in all it was a pretty active year for IKKF Members and practitioners of the traditional arts.


ALBUQUERQUE, NM - The Heilmans traveled to the HAWKES DOJO for their Annual IKKF Kobudo Seminar. The two-day training event covered both long and short weapons and also included a Kobudo Testing.


Hanshi Heilman traveled to Dallas, Texas to the MACY DOJO to conduct an IKKF Kobudo Seminar there. Mr. Macy holds a 6th Dan in TKD and a 2nd Dan in Okinawan Kobudo. Renshi Sam Shaw came in from New Mexico to assist with the teaching. The training was part of Mr. Macy's Myund Moon Moodo Ryu Association's Annual Training event.


Kyoshi Jody Paul, 8th Dan Shornji-ryu Kempo / Seidokan conducted his Annual Seidokan Tournament & Seminars in August in Woodbine, Ga. The multi-day event had Hanshi & Kyoshi Heilman as Guest Kobudo Instructors.


Renshi Brian DeGori sponsored his Annual OKKA Holiday Seminar & tournament at Pitman, NJ. Seminars were taught by Hanshi Heilman and Renshi Ron Dargan, 6th Dan.


Kyoshi Wilfredo Briceno, 7th Dan Shotokan, has extended an invite to Mr. & Mrs. Heilman to visit Peru in June of 2002. The visit is to be sponsored by Kyoshi Briceno's National Karate Peruvian Institute (NKPI). This will be the Heilmans first visit to South America, and an opportunity to introduce the IKKF Program to this part of the world.


October 27-28 were the dates for this years IKKF Fall Kobudo Camp. The event was held at a new location in Reading due to the closure of The Cloisters. This annual event has become a favorite of our weapons members. The training focused strongly on applications of various weapons in addition to regular kobudo katas.

A highlight of the IKKF Weapons Seminars has come to be our "weapons fighting" sessions. The sessions this year involved both men and women enjoying the opportunity to "best the heck" out of each other - just a great time for all!


The 2002 IKKF Winter Camp was held January 26-27. It was held at the same location as last years event - the Moyer Isshinryu Dojo in Shillington, Pa. (suburb of Reading). The two day training focused on both Karate and Kobudo. Instructors for the Winter Camp included Hanshi & Kyoshi Heilman, and Kyoshi Jody Paul. Renshi Rick Zondlo also taught a Sword Session as well. A Formal Yudansha Testing was held on Saturday evening at the IKKF Honbu, and the testing was of excellent quality. Four individuals successfully tested for Shodan in Kobudo. The individuals included: Joe Dupaquier, Dan Gilliland, Kristin Gilliland and Travis Bush, all from Louisiana.



A very big Happy Birthday wish goes out to Hanshi George Anderson who recently celebrated his 70th birthday. Hanshi Anderson has been a leading figure in the national and international scene and has made major contributions to furthering international karate competition.

Another birthday wish goes out to Taika Seiyu Oyata who celebrated his 73rd birthday this fall. Taika Oyata is one of the leading teachers of Toide and his karate lineage comes from Shigeru Nakamura.

Congratulations to both these major figures in the arts and best wishes for many, many more birthdays.


Special congratulations go out to Renshi Jose Cruz, 6th Dan Shotokan, 4th Dan Kobudo on his being recognized by Karate Voice (a martial arts newspaper) Hall Of Fame as Shihan Of The Year. While in Florida for the event, Sensei Cruz competed and won 1st Place in Masters Kata Division and 1st Place in the Kobudo Division. Great job Mr. Curz.


We are sad to announce the passing of Hanshi Richard Kim. Mr. Kim had been ill since April, and his condition gradually deteriorated until his passing on November 8 at 84 years of age. Sensei Kim was a noted author, teacher, lecturer and the recipient of Black Belt Magazine's Sensei Of The Year (in 19767), and inducted into their Hall Of Fame in 1973. IKKF Executive Board member Kyoshi Patrick McCarthy was a past student of Sensei Kim.


Just received word that Seidkan 6th Dan and IKKF Kobudo 3rd Dan, Kurt Seiber recently suffered a shoulder injury during Akijijitsu practice. It looks like he may not have to have surgery, but will be held up for some time for recovery. Our best wishes for a full recovery.


Not to put any pressure on her, but we are proud to announce that Mrs. Heilman has been accepted to start her Doctorate Program at Weidner University, Pennsylvania. She will be strating classes in the Spring. good luck Mrs. Heilman.


Pittsburgh,PA. - Kumite International's Executive director, William Viola, III announced that KI would be hoisting its first Charity fund-raiser Seminars to be given February 2, 2002. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the scholarship foundation supporting children and their education. Mr. & Mrs. Heilman have consented to conduct seminars in support of this worthy event. For more information contact Mr. Viola at (724) 861-5162.


President of the OKKKU, Mr. Heilman announced that Kyoshi JOSEPH BUNCH, Director of the Hawaii Okinawa Karate-do Shudokan, has accepted an invitation to become a member of the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudo Union (OKKKU). Kyoshi Bunch, a 7th Dan in Okinawa Kenpo Karate and a 7th Dan in Okinawa Kenpo Kobudo, is a past student of both Seikichi Odo and Seijiro Maehara. He heads a large multi-dojo organization in Hawaii and the US mainland and is very strong part of the Hawaii Karate Kodansha-Kai and the USA-NKF Program. He serves as Hawaii Representative for the USA-NKF. He is a highly respected traditional practitioner and we welcome him as part of the OKKKU family.

The OKKKU was formed in February of 1999 by four independent Okinawa Kenpo organizations. The purpose of the OKKKU is to preserve the traditional art of Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudo through networking and mutual support of the member groups. The Founding Directors of the OKKKU include: Hanshi C. Bruce Heilman, 9th Dan (IKKF), Hanshi Larry Isaac, 9th Dan (Tode Kan), Kyoshi Vic Coffin, 8th Dan (Kesshin Kan), and Kyoshi Al Louis, 8th Dan (Okinawa Shudokan Karate Kobudo Federation). Assistant Directors include: Kyoshi Ann-Marie Heilman, 8th Dan (IKKF), Renshi Chris Coffin, 6th Dan (KK), and Renshi Renee Louis, 5th Dan (OSKKF).


Seattle, WA. - According to a recent article appearing in the Reading Eagle / Times - requiring Judo constestants to bow before a picture of the founder of the Japanese martial art does not violate freedom of religion, a federal judge recently ruled.

In a 13-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said three Seattle-area residents could be required to observe the ritual while participating in Judo competitions.

James and Leilani Akiyama, 17 and 14, and Jay Drangeild, 40 all of Bellevue had fought the rule, saying it amounted to a religions ritual being imposed on them. A 1997 injunction has allowed the three to compete in U.S. Judo matches without performing the ritual.

Competitors in Judo, which has it roots in Shintoism, bow several times during competitions, usually to a portrait of Jigoro Kano, the Japanese founder of the sport. Bowing is mandatory in international competitions.


Kyoshi Frank Caliguri, 8th Dan Shorin-ryu, President of the Pennsylvania Karate Rating Association (PKRA), announced the induction of Mr. & Mrs Heilman into the PKRA Hall Of Fame at the 29th Annual Pennsylvania Karate Championships held in New Kensington, Pa. in November.


As a result of trying to balance full time jobs and maintain a strong seminar travel schedule, trying to maintain a quarterly update schdeule for the IKKF BULLETIN and IKKF WEB PAGE has not proved possible for Mr. & Mrs. Heilman. Thus, this latest Newsletter / Web Page Update will be for the first half of 2002 (Winter/Spring). The next scheduled update will be for Summer / Fall.


By: IKKF President C. Bruce Heilman

As we start the new year, it seems to be an appropriate time to step back and to look at what got each of us into the arts, what keeps us active, and for the Teachers, what you expect from your students.

Maybe I'm just getting too old in my thinking, but it seems that the only topic one reads in the various martial arts publications these days deals with how to increase ones student base or revenues. I's sorry, but this is not what got me into the arts and it is not an issue that keeps me personally active in my practice.

In the last issue of this newsletter, I discussed the value of Yudansha rank, quoting a recent article that appeared in BLACK BELT Magazine.

In this discussion I wish to visit the issue of how the IKKF Yudansha standards were established and how testing and certification is accomplished. The underlying principle upon which the ranking requirements were established was the concept of "quality over quantity". Unlike some other organizations, all of the curriculum is not packed into the Renshi (Teacher) Level, but rather extends up through the 7th and 8th Dan levels. The point here is the recognition that the IKKF Program has a large amount of material to digest and that takes time - like a good wine.

Next is the concept of our Junior Black Belt Program which is based on the premise that it is not a "rewards based certification" but rather one that is "earned by the exceptional child student".

One of the hallmarks of the IKKF Program is that all Yudansha Testing is done before an IKKF Renshi-Kai Review Board and that each of the candidates is personally viewed by myself as head of the Federation. This requirement offers a number of positive advantages to the Federation, and they all focus around the issue of quality.

First, it is important that candidates for Yudansha testing are viewed by other Seniors outside of the dojo that they train in, and it puts every candidate on the same plane.

Secondly, the individuals who receive IKKF Yudansha Certification represent ALL of the members of the Federation. It is another one of our hallmarks that once an individual achieves Yudansha Ranking, that they wear the system kanji on their chest in place of their individual dojo patches.

And finally, for the individuals who successfully fulfill the requirements, the level of recognition is raised as their testing and promotion is done at a public gathering in front of the Seniors in the program.

Thus, while the overall structure is designed to promote quality, it is up to the various Dojo Heads to also require quality from their students. We all must raise the expectations of our students not to be satisfied with just meeting the minimum requirements, but rather to be unwilling to settle for anything but the best.

In closing maintaining a high quality standard for the IKKF is not an easy task, but it is well worth the effort. Our program is not for everyone, but again it has never been my personal desire that it should be.

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