The Washington Karate Association's 45th Anniversary Celebration

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Congratulations and gratitude goes to the Washington Karate Association instructors, students, families and long friends who helped to make our 45th year a special moment in time. Last weekend at the Bellevue Athletic Club, WKA karate-ka were joined by local, national and international guests who gathered to celebrate excellence, enjoy camaraderie, receive accolades and pay tribute to our legacy of excellence.

A slide show and speeches from grateful teachers and students gave testament to the long road led by Hanshi Julius Thiry and acted as a reminder of Soke Hayashi's legacy. Brought to light was just a smattering of the significant influences of the WKA under the direction of Julius Thiry. Beyond producing countless outstanding international champion athletes, the list of production values of this singular organization has been more than impressive. At every level of karate, the WKA's contributions are world renowned. The National Governing Body for the sport of Karate (USA-NKF) under the auspices of the USOC, the inclusion of the sport for the WKF in the International Olympic Committee, obtaining Pan American Games status and promoting the art in ways that set international technical standards is only a fraction of the successes realized by the WKA. Yet, there was little or no mention of these successes at the banquet.  The thrust of the evening were testaments to the WKA's greatest accomplishments-the outstanding personal successes of WKA students. The WKA stands as a testament to good moral direction in a list of student accomplishments that is long as both of your arms. The Banquet honoring our own was not a specific call to boast about these accomplishments but rather a gracious gesture amongst dedicated students to formally acknowledge their leader for helping to realize their potential, goals, and dreams. As Hanshi remarked, "the scholastic, business and social citizenship we continue to produce from our organization makes me the proudest…"

Special thanks go to some of those who graciously stepped forward to ensure that our 45th hallmark was a warm and memorable event:

  • Sensei Junko Arai
  • Sensei Tom Burke
  • Sensei Matthew Day
  • Nina Cherian
  • Chelsy Harn
  • Adam Ballout
  • Jim Doyle
  • Roland Yamamoto
  • Andrea Orimoto
  • Zoltan Bone
  • Simon Guest
  • Dale Cowles
  • Brian Lynch

Click here to see our gallery of the banquet photos