The American Isshinryu Association (AIKA) is made up of Isshinryu karate-ka that want to excel in their art without boundaries.
The A.I.K.A. was founded in 1999 with many goals in mind. One is to standardize testing while keeping an eye toward quality and ability. We believe that the time table for testing should be based on ability. If an infant is walking by seven months we do not wait until he or she is two years old to officially recognize it. The same is true in any martial art. If the karate-ka is proficient enough to hold a higher grade or Dan then that ability should be recognized.
O-Sensei Tatsuo Shimabuku promoted any karate-ka that was worth his weight in salt to Roku-Dan after training with him for 13 – 18 months with the understanding that the rank would not be worn until the karate-ka deserved it. Even though the A.I.K.A. would not attempt to do this we feel that some karate-ka are ready for Sho-Dan by the end of their first year based solely on ability and that the sensei, not the organizations, are capable of making that call.
The A.I.K.A. is a stable organization that proactively strives to empower its members and the Isshinryu community. We stand ready to assist A.I.K.A. affiliate dojos and karate-ka in many ways.
- We offer standardized rank testing (a standard that is held by a vast majority of the Isshinryu community) while leaving all testing quality in the hands of the individual Senseis.
- We provide low fees for membership and rank certificates (both Kyu grade and Dan certificates).
- We will help arrange seminars with some of the top names in Isshinryu.
- We offer (non-mandatory) training videos at extremely low prices.
- We provide free listing of the affiliate dojos on our web pages.
- We offer a home for those that have interrupted their training and need a place to test.
You will be directed to the closest A.I.K.A. dojo for testing and if you meet the standards then you will be granted a rank. If you provide proof of existing rank then it will be honored. If you do not provide proof of existing rank then the outcome will be based solely on ability as observed by the host Sensei.
- We will not penalize our members for joining other organizations or force you to abandon organizations as a prerequisite for membership.
We truly believe that it is Isshinryu and not the organization that is the ultimate objective.