Julius Thiry was born in Budapest, Hungary and escaped to Austria as an anti-communist Freedom Fighter in 1956 post the failed revolution of that time. From Austria, he then moved to Germany to continue his higher education. Since his early childhood, Thiry was always very involved in sports ranging from tennis to ice hockey. But, he excelled the most in boxing and at 16, was recruited as a junior member of the Hungarian Army Team. He pursued his interest in martial arts in Germany at University via a fellow student.
His training began with Shotokan Karate and continued for several years. After immigrating to the United States, Thiry decided to pursue his interest in Japanese Karate by commuting to and living in Japan and Okinawa. Once settled in Seattle, Washington, Thiry established the Washington Karate Association in 1966.
Thousands of students have gleaned important life lessons under his tutelage. The sport at large has benefited from his largesse and energy as he founded and promoted the first IOC recognized National Governing Body for the sport of Karate in the USA. Under Thiry's political and technical guidance, the USA grew into a formidable presence in the world of Karate. Within his own organization, the WKA produced countless international champions garnering awards, accolades and medals from the World Karate Federation, World Championships, The World Games, Pan American Championships and United States National Championships.
"One of my greatest joys" states Thiry, "is to witness these amazing young men and women become pro-active and contributing citizens of their respective communities."
- 1966 - Present: Founder, Washington Karate Association
- 1970 - 2008: Professor, Edmonds Community College
- 1970 - Present: Established J.T. Investments - Real Estate Development, Management Company
- 1970 - Present: Hayashi-Ha Shito-Ryu Federation USA
- 1970 - 2007: Professor, Shoreline Community College
- 1970 - 2005: Professor, Everett Community College
- 1980 - present: Has served on numerous non-profit Boards
- 1983 - 1994: USA Karate Federation Referee Council Chair
- 1984 - 2000: Member World Karate Federation Referee Council
- 1984 - 2002: Pan American Karate Federation Referee Council Chair
- 1988: World Union of Karate Organization - 8th Dan Black Belt
- 1993: State of Washington Distinguished Citizen Award
- 1993: Euro Technical Research University Ph.D
- 1994 - Present: Founder USA National Karate-do Federation
- 1994 - 2002: President, USA National Karate-do Federation
- 1996: Hayashi-Ha Shito-Ryu - 8th Dan Black Belt
- 1996 - 2004: Board Member of the United States Olympic Committee
- 1998: USA National Karate-do Federation - 8th Dan Black Belt
- 2002 - 2004: Pan American Karate Federation, Vice President
- 2002 - 2006: Executive Director, USA National Karate-do Federation
- 2003: Special recognition from President Bush for exceptional work in the field of Karate and Sport in the United States.
- 2006: Federation Francaise de Karate et Arts Martiaux Affinitaires - 8th. Dan Black Belt
- 2007: President, International Hayashi-Ha Shito-Ryu Karate-Do Federation
- 2014: International Hayashi-Ha Shito-Ryu - 9th Dan Black Belt
- 2014: Masters Hall of Fame 2014, Platinum Life Time Achievement Award in Traditional Martial Arts