Executive Committee

“The AJKA I is an International Independent JKA Style Shotokan Karate Association”


THE AJKA-I Executive Committee



Leslie Safar – 9th DAN International Technical Director AJKA-I Chief Instructor – Europe Leslie Safar, AJKA-I co-founder, has practiced Shotokan karate since 1958. He is well known on both sides of the Atlantic for his mastery as an instructor, his intense focus on the core technical principles of Shotokan Karate, and the development of instructor training programs dedicated to building the total instructor. Sensei Safar tours the United States on a regular basis, but spends the majority of his time teaching, directing, and developing AJKA-I karate in Hungary, and throughout Europe. Visit http://americanjka.org/ to find out more about the AJKA in Hungary and Europe, or write Sensei Safar directly at: safar@americanjka.org to contact him.



Edmond Otis – 8th DAN International Chairman AJKA-I Chief Instructor – North America Edmond Otis has practiced Shotokan karate since 1967, and is internationally known as a competitor, instructor, coach, and judge. He is acclaimed for his innovative and dynamic teaching style, and is considered by many to be one of the premier karate instructors of his generation. Sensei Otis currently divides his time between the US and New Zealand, and travels extensively for the AJKA-I, conducting seminars that focus on all aspects of karate practice. He directs the West Coast AJKA-I Instructor Training Program. Visiting Southern California? Train at a Riverside Branch: UC Riverside or in Orange Crest, or at the Carlsbad Karate Club. New Zealand? Train at Shotokan Karate Hawke’s Bay. You can contact him directly by calling 760.612.7029, or write him at: otis@ajkai-usa.com




Bob Tomasulo – 6th DAN President, AJKA-I. My study of traditional karate began in 1971. While I have explored several styles, most of my training has centered on Shotokan Karate. Today, Shotokan is my passion. I have trained with some of the most respected and knowledgeable Shotokan Karate instructors practicing today, including Sensei Leslie B. Safar (9thDAN), from whom I received my Instructor/Examiner Certification. (Sensei Safar trained under Sensei Masatoshi Nakayama, and I am honored by my direct lineage to Sensei Funakoshi, the Founding Father of Shotokan Karate.) And Sensei Edmond Otis (8th DAN), whose knowledge and expertise have helped me immensely. In addition, I must thank my instructor and friend for over 20 years, Rob DeAngelis (7th DAN) for sharing his skill and insights. My greatest joy? Sharing the knowledge gleaned from these influential instructors with members of our organization.”




John Hanratty – 7th Dan Chairman of North American Technical Committee Chief Instructor and President – Canadian Shotokan Karate Association (CSKA/AJKA-I Canada) John Hanratty has been training and teaching Shotokan Karate for over 38 years. Originally from the KUGB and the Red Triangle Dojo in England, he has devoted his energies to developing Shotokan in Canada and throughout North America. Sensei Hanratty is renown for his motivational skills, communication and teaching methods, plus an in-depth knowledge of Karate history, application and technique. Sensei Hanratty can be contacted directly at cska@telus.net.





Sensei Avi Azoulay– 7th Dan Senior National Advisor/Treasurer, started training in 1972 in his native land of Israel and has trained under the guidance of top instructors such as Satoshi Miyazaki (JKA Belgium), Alex Sternberg, Ray Dalke, Milorad V. Sricevic MD., and currently draws from Sensei Safar and Sensei Otis vast knowledge and experience. In addition to practicing and studying Shotokan Karate, he studied Judo, Jiu Jitsu and Aikido that were offered in the same dojo in his hometown. Sensei Azoulay can be reached directly at azoulay@ajkai-usa.com




Salvatore Lopresti – 8th Dan Director of Club Recruitment & Development started training in Shotokan Karate in 1972 under Mr. Leslie Safar at the South Jersey Karate School. Mr. Lopresti received his Shodan in 1976 from ISKF and JKA Chief Instructor Teriyuki Okazaki Sensei and continued to train under Sensei Safar. In 1977 Mr. Lopresti attained the rank of Nidan and entered the ISKF and JKA instructors training program at the Philadelphia Karate Club of Okazaki Sensei. Mr. Lopresti received his Sandan in 1979 from Okazaki Sensei and continued his competition career which spanned from 1974 to 1986. He achieved his Yondan in 1982 from Okazaki Sensei and continued his training and study of the Arts and received his Godan in 1995 from Osamu Ozawa Sensei. In 1999, he received his Rokudan (6th Degree Black Belt.) Mr. Lopresti can be reached directly at lopresti@ajkai-usa.com




Rob DeAngelis – 7th Dan National Technical Committee Director, AJKA-I East Coast National Training Center, Director East Coast AJKA-I Instructor Training Program. Rob DeAngelis’ passion is to share his love of karate with his students through personalized, motivating and insightful instruction. His focus is on conveying the importance of details and how they come together to produce powerful techniques and confident students. A successful veteran of national and international competition, Sensei DeAngelis is Director of the AJKA-I East Coast Training Center – The Solebury Club, in Buckingham, PA – www.soleburyclubkarate.com, and also the AJKA-I of PA. www.americanjka-pa.com. You can contact Sensei DeAngelis directly at deangelis@ajkai-usa.com




Kevin Warner – 7th Dan National Technical Committee Director, AJKA-I West Coast National Training Center. Kevin Warner has practiced traditional karate since 1975. An international competitor, he has won numerous national sparring and kata championships. In 1997, he captured an individual bronze medal at World Shotokan Karate Championships, and in 2002, at the KWF World Championships. Sensei Warner is Director of the AJKA-I’s West Coast Training Center, at the University of California, Riverside. Contact Sensei Warner directly at warner@ajkai-usa.com




Robert Myles, M.D. – 6th DAN National Technical Committee Robert Myles, AJKA-I National Technical Committee, has over 25 years of traditional martial-arts experience. In addition to being known for his excellent technique and explosive kicking abilities, he is also a world renowned orthopedic spine surgeon. Sensei Myles combines his thorough understanding of classic shotokan principles with his in depth knowledge of body dynamics and mechanics to create a unique martial arts resource for the AJKA. Located in Texas, Sensei Myles can be reached at myles@AmericanJKA.com.




David Gomez – 5th DAN Media & Communications Advisor David Gomez, AJKA-I media and communications advisor, has studied Shotokan Karate since 1978, and is chief instructor of the Georgia Karate Academy. Well known for his quality of teaching, he is also an accomplished graphic artist, author, multimedia producer, and desktop publisher who primarily uses his talents to create karate-related educational books and multimedia. Located in Georgia, Sensei Gomez can be reached at gomez@ajkai-usa.com


Amy Hung – 4th DAN USA Membership Director. A national and international competitor, she has competed in numerous competitions at the local, national and international level. Senpai Hung graduated from UC Riverside with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2007 to help with the organization and dojos day to day operations.Titles include multi-time female kata champion at the Riverside Shotokan Karate Championships and the AJKA-I America’s Cup.Amy Hung can be reached at hung@ajkai-usa.com