Kumite Preparation

by Doug Jepperson

When I began karate competition, anyone that attended class three times a week and had a little innate athletic ability could always find a few local tournaments to win.  This is not the case today, the sport has evolved, tremendously in the last 25 years. Athletes today have at their disposal more knowledge about conditioning and training, than any previous generation. Today's athletes are bigger faster and stronger than they were 25 or 30 years ago. In nearly every sport training has evolved. The Denver Broncos, winner of the last two Superbowls are strong advocates of weight training, nutritional assistance and even psychological conditioning. They work in conjunction with EAS (Extreme Applied Science), for nutritional support, they use the absolute top sport physiologists for conditioning, and adhere to the mental visualization program first developed by the Russians.

The big question in my mind, is what would karate training be like using the same methodology?

The current methodology currently employed in many traditional dojo is for the instructor to rely on tales of how tough it used to be years ago. One often hears tales of training so horrible that 80% of the students would die every class.

This was so in my dojo. My instructor had little sympathy for those who found the training brutal. If you failed to block and someone broke your nose you were scorned. If you failed to retaliate you did not belong in our dojo.

We did thousands of duck walk exercises, we practised shiko-dachi with someone sitting on our shoulders. We worked out for hours on our makiwara, which we purposefully made with no padding. Then to completely destroy our knees we would sit in seiza for hours practising Mokuso. We did this because we were told this would make our bodies tough and able to withstand any punishment. The result of this training? You can readily spot these early practitioners, they all walk as though wearing diapers, they cannot sit in seiza for more than 30 seconds without seizing up. Their enlarged knuckles are arthritic and painful. If they have any toes, they are mangled and inoperable.

I am not saying that this is all wrong. I fully endorse tough training. Blood and sweat is truly the only way you remember a lesson. But I believe the instruction and training must be purposeful. Exercise should not be valued only for the pain they produce. No exercise including seiza should be destructive. You cannot toughen bone by breaking it. The skin on humans is not tougher when it is scarred.

With appropriate training you can increase bone density through appropriate weight training. You can strengthen tendons and ligaments with supervised plyometrics.

As to the fabulous techniques of the "Old Boys." All one has to do is watch tapes of the old famous fighters in the sport of competition karate. They spend a whole lot time standing and posturing. The movement is not the smooth speed and power one sees today.

In point of fact, I have carefully lost all the video records of my matches, so those stories of my past brilliance can be carefully constructed.

Today's karate athletes need current information on karate training, muscle development, speed training, and principles of mental visualization to compete even on a National basis. In order to move to the International arena American athletes must realise they are competing against semi- professional karate players. In Europe and Japan there are large company sponsored karate clubs, college scholarships and even individual sponsorships available for the outstanding athlete. The United States karate player must compete on his own dime.

Success will require focus and practice.   “If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.” Michelangelo

(Pic. Sensei Jepperson, World Championship  1984 Tokyo, Japan)



Today's Kumite competitor needs to understand what is practice and what is not practice. This sounds like a trivial statement but think about the culture in Martial Arts. This is a physical endeavour where simply hanging around often outweighs performance. We hear every day, “why I have trained for 10 years, 20 years, 30 years”, as though that, in and of itself, qualifies the speaker to have an opinion.  Did you every hear anyone say Michael Jordan was not as good a player as one of the older timers clinging to the end of the bench?

(Pic. John Wicks one of England's Outstanding fighters)

Right Practice is when every movement, your posture, and focus, in training occupies 100% of your attention. Right Practice is performing a known task in a known application with an understanding of the focus and goal. It is actually detrimental to repeat a technique incorrectly. My favourite analogy for correct practice, is the story of a drop of water falling on a mound of sand. At first the drop hits the mound and runs down in a random manner. After more and more drops hit they begin to carve out a ravine. Those drops that fall a little off the mark cause a new shallower ravine. Those on the mark deepen the ravine and reinforce the pattern for those following. Practice is like this.

You must see, hear, and feel each technique. Do this with volition, by choice. Then you are discovering correct practice. “The mind must be the pre-eminent focus of right practice. And just as the body is trained by a system of practice, so too must the mind be trained through practice. Right Practice that trains the processes of mind constitutes a discipline of mind.” (Michael Livingston; Mental Discipline).

Think of your mind and body as tape recorders of every single thing you do. And each deviation in training, recorded along with correct training. You need to sum all of the work you do, good and bad. So if takes 7,000 repetitions to create neural memory; you do not want to be subtracting from this number as you go. Which is why Master Otsuka said in his book, Karate-Do, “you must practice habitually without developing habit.”

(Pic. Andy Jepperson v. Chris Dewitt South Africa WIKF  World Championship )


Before we begin to talk about goals we need to establish what we are willing to do to accomplish our goals.  WE need to begin every goal setting session with the question,  "how much time am I willing to devote to my training?" After you answer that question it becomes easy to forecast your future success.

There is a nice story that another martial artist told me, which illustrates this point. The world's finest violinist was playing at the opera house in Vienna. After the concert a woman came up to the violinist and gushed about wonderful she thought he was, "what skill, what technique, you are clearly the best in the world." He smiled and listened, and when she said I would give my life to play that beautifully," he replied, "I did."

You can accomplish anything in life if it is important enough to you.

If you are unwilling to devote the time to achieve the goals you set for yourself, change your goals.

Can you dedicate two to three hours each day six days a week? Less than that? Be, honest only set goals you are likely to complete. How many hours are you willing to train each week. Based on this answer set you goals.

I.  Establish karate training regime for your students as individuals or teams that they can take home, to train in a group or alone.
II. Outline fitness program and diet program
III. Teach visualization skills and mental coping tools for competition
IV.  Suggest skill development drills and techniques
V.  Outline access to learning the rules of competition
VI. Competition Day

Buy yourself a notebook to record your goals and training skill development


The training regime is the most difficult schedule to establish and keep. Remember you need to keep a schedule for at least three weeks for it to seem natural. After three weeks, even without thinking about your body will be ready.

You need to attend all of your regularly scheduled training sessions at the dojo. Then, after class, work on the specific skill drills you have identified on your goal list. The goal list will develop as you read through this material. If you do not understand something make a note to ask.

Cardio training and weight training should be accomplished on alternate days if possible. If you do your Cardio and weight training on the same day, do the  Cardio first.



The first component of fitness is, and will always be endurance. As we all know, cardiovascular exercise is the "sine qua non" of fitness. But how many days per week do you really need?

Most experts say three, but since you should also be fitting two or three strength training days into your hectic schedule, and Karate class three times per week, two days per week is enough. This is providing that you also add a 10- to 20-minute warm-up before each weight lifting session and try to add one heart pumping outdoor activity on weekends. I looked at the literature for all types of sports and decided that the Ironman contests provided a good cross section of physical needs and training, that should satisfy even the most fanatic training goals. The competitors must swim, bicycle and run at tremendous exertion levels. The people who compete in these contests are at the cutting edge of information technology regarding physical conditioning and training. I found information on Mark Allen, six-time winner of the Hawaii Ironman contest, and his recommendations for training.

According to Mark Allen, "Strength and endurance are of equal importance." So if you only have a few hours a week to work out, you should do a little bit of both.

How long should each session take?  I recommend starting at about 20 to 30 minutes, but devote one day per week to pushing your endurance envelope, gradually working up to 45 minutes after six weeks and 90 minutes after 15 weeks. This gives your body a chance to adapt to the new levels of stress you're giving it while keeping you steadily progressing. Remember Karate is both aerobic and anaerobic. In a match you need the explosive movement that strength and anaerobic exercise develops but you need the endurance of the aerobic exercise.

How hard should I go?  Actually, there are two answers to this question. The first has to do with the intensity level of your endurance sessions, while the second covers how to know whether you're gauging the first correctly To zero in on the former, you'll need to use a formula to determine the heart rate at which you should be working. To handle the latter, Mark Allen recommends buying what he maintains is the only piece of exercise equipment you really need—a heart-rate monitor. Allen uses his constantly: He finds it difficult to guess his heart rate, especially since how he feels at any given moment depends on such factors as his current level of fitness or how much sleep he had the night before.

While Mark Allen tends to advocate a rather come-as-you-are approach to fitness, there's one area where he's decidedly less accommodating, the intensity at which you should conduct your endurance workouts. The key is to stay within your aerobic training range at all times, avoiding the temptation to go so hard that your body is forced to deplete its meagre carbohydrate stores for fuel, or so easy that you're not deriving maximum aerobic benefit. To make sure you're exercising within this range, most physiologists suggest this simple formula: Subtract your age from 220, then multiply by 0.6 and 0.8. The resulting figures, form the upper and lower heart rate limits of your preferred training range. Allen, however, insists that he has a more accurate equation: Subtract your age from 180, and then adjust that number to reflect your particular circumstances. If you're recovering from a major illness or taking medication, subtract ten; if you are just beginning a regular exercise routine, subtract five.

(Pic. Curt Olmstead v. Millerson, Curacao WIKF World Championships)

If you've been working out consistently for two years or less, stick with 180 minus your age; if you've been exercising without injury for more than two years, add five. Now, program the result into your heart rate monitor and stay anywhere from five to 25 ticks below it, depending on how you feel while jogging. It is also a good idea to know what your heart rate is during Karate Class to see if it is providing you with your necessary background Cardio development.

Ultimately, Allen says, he would set the aerobic training range of a 35-year-old who's been exercising regularly at somewhere between 120 and 140 beats per minute, versus the 111 to 148 derived through the traditional formula. "His approach isn't borne out by the studies," says Dr. Jody Wilkinson of the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research. But then again, the research in this area is very weak mostly short-term studies conducted in the '50s end '60s."

What sort of workout is best for fat burning? Once you begin the karate match, and you’re running  around for your life every extra pound of body weight slows you down, so we need to address weight loss even for fit young people.

There are two schools of thought. Since the average person is hoarding about 50 times more fat than carbohydrates at any given moment—and since even the trimmest athletes have enormous stores of fat in their bodies, most exercise physiologists suggests  keeping your heart rate at 60 to 70 percent of its maximum to ensure that your body's preferred fuel will be fat. When you work out at high heart rates, you do burn more calories but you're also turning off the body's natural fat-burning mechanism. So when you are weight training or fighting at high intensity levels you're going anaerobic, which is pre-carbohydrate burning."

Some recent research suggests, however, that mixing in anaerobic exercise may actually burn more fat than sticking strictly with aerobic. Which is exactly what we have recommended in combining weight training, Cardio workouts and karate training.  You expend more calories doing high-intensity work than you do in the aerobic 'fat burning zone." True , most of those calories are carbohydrates, but an intense workout that burns 200 calories-35 percent of which are fat  still burn 70 fat calories, the same as if you do a low-intensity work that burns 100, calories 70 percent of which are fat.

The upshot? If you choose more low intensity karate training, make sure the sessions are long enough to make up for the fact that you're burning fewer calories.

What is the best way to increase speed?  This is the  most important aspect of karate competition. Ask any competitor what attribute they would like more of   “SPEED.”

Benny “The Jet,” Urquidez, said, “speed is the most important overall development for karate competition. For both offensive and defensive techniques you must have speed. Your reaction time must be quick in order to get in and out. Speed requires quick reaction time and strength to push and pull your body and your weapons.”

When you first begin to run you should run a half-mile, walk a quarter mile, and sprint a quarter mile. Do this for two weeks. When adding  the second mile, run the first mile, then walk a quarter mile, sprint a quarter mile, walk a quarter mile and sprint the last quarter mile.

Suzuki Sensei used to run several miles everyday, but as he got older and observed his loss of speed, he focused more on sprints, which is precisely what the experts recommend.

For your upper body, you must practice speed punching on the bag along with your heavy punching. Only punch the air or shadow box for form and movement, not speed.  Find a trainer or call Sensei Jepperson to explain how to do the movements with your weight training.

You must work slow on the eccentric side and quick on the concentric side of movement.



You increase your speed by increasing strength on the contracting and relaxing the opposing muscle.  This is why flexibility and stretching are so important to your weight training. Remember  you need to make the muscle stronger to be faster.

To be fast,  move fast. Chuck Norris advised, “Practice your movements 70% of time slowly enough to do perfect body mechanics, but the other 30% you must blitz or “Redline” with the technique.”

It is extremely important that before you “Redline,” you do your karate skill drills slowly,  focusing on good body mechanics, straight spine, and fluidity of movement. Then increase the speed a little see if you still can do it with all the above components.

Do I really have to lift weights? Of  course not.  You could simply let your muscles deteriorate and create that unsightly effect of skin sagging from your bones. Every professional sports team, from football to basketball, has  a weight-training program because they understand the value of strength. You can go out there and compete in your kilo division thinking your safe because your opponent is the same size as you. But what if your opponent is 30% to 40% stronger than you are? You are going to get your butt kicked.

The good news is, you don't have to spend your whole life in the weight room. Allen and his longtime strength coach, Diane Buchta, disagree with those who insist upon separating upper-body training from lower-body and working different muscle subgroups on alternating days. That'll keep you in the weight room three or four times a week and could make you so frustrated that you'll just give up. Instead, they recommend doing a full circuit twice a week, starting with one set and working up to two, which ensures a full body workout that can be done in as little as 30 minutes.

Mark Allen and his strength coach have a good approach that can be used for karate also. Our goal is not to get bigger,  just stronger. "My goal is not to become huge," says Allen. "If that was my goal, I would do different muscle groups on different days. But you can always add that later, once you've developed a routine and proven you can keep to it.

Right now, your goal should be keeping your body strong and vital and not feeling pounded by life." Buchta, who has also worked extensively with eight-time Hawaii Ironman winner Paula Newby-Fraser, says that strength work is especially important after age 30, because that's when the average person starts losing half a pound of muscle mass per year. Lifting weights, she insists, actually reverses the ageing process by halting this deterioration. It also increases your bone mineral content, thus warding off osteoporosis, and helps to prevent injury.

Quickness in movement is the key factor in ath-letic performance. One of the best ways to improve speed is through plyometrics. These exercises are to used in conjunction with strength training. The focus of these exercise is to shorten the amount of time it takes to generate movement and to intensify the energy of the movement.

In most sports you receive an external stimuli indicating movement. This stimuli can yours or your opponents but the result is the same. After the stimuli the less time spent before movement is of paramount importance. Athletic trainers use a formula to assess ground reaction time. You begin jumping straight up attempting to leap as high as possible each time. The trainer measures how long you spend on the ground before you leap and how high you leap.

The efficiency is the relationship between the time spent on the ground and the vertical height achieved during jumping. The goal of plyometric training is the reduction of  the am-ortization time phase. This phase is the amount of time between undergoing a yielding eccentric phase and initiating an overcoming concentric contraction.

I will identify a few exercises that will be helpful with this area of training. Skipping exercises or any sort. Jumping up and then down stairs are a couple of examples of rudimentary plyometric drills.

This area alone requires an entire seminar for training and education in and of itself. If you have an interest in this area contact Sensei Jepperson for more information.


The key to achievement in sports lies just as much in your mind as in your body. Dr. Charles Garfield a former world class weight lifer himself reveals the Olympic tested secrets of how to attain your peak performance and develop mental toughness. In his book Peak Performance, Mental Training Techniques of the World’s Greatest Athletes by Charles A. Garfield, Ph.D.


You must know the rules. Get a copy of the appropriate rule book
Complete at least one Referee course
Referee at least one tournament, in which you do not compete

This is my advice for competitors so they understand what the referees see and don't see.

It is vitally important that a Karate competitor clearly understands that the purpose of the match is to win.

Not prove who is the toughest.

There is only one goal. To win.

If you come to find a fight you will.

If you come to win you will.


1. Not physically prepared, too many athletes wait until the last minute to begin training.
2. Uses one side of the body, fights only left or right handed
3. Technically weak. Sometimes it helps to be unorthodox. But the referees are used to seeing techniques according to the norm.
4. Uses the old method of straight ahead attack
5. Poor diet
6. Inability to use foot sweeps
7. Does not know rules
8. Does not know how to win when it is critical
9. Becomes emotionally invested in the match.  This is different from intensity
10. Blames errors on the referee or the opponent, does not learn


1. Understands fighting distance, Maai
2. Remains calm in the ring.
3. Use of both sides of the body can fight equally well left and right
4. Good lateral movement in offence and defines
5. Understands his/her own abilities
6. Can use either hand to block and either hand to strike
7. Knows the rules
8. Can change strategy in match depending on circumstances
9. Physically prepared for the match, endurance, strength, diet
10. Mentally prepared, focuses completing the strategy at hand.


1. Sen is the initiative
2. Sen no Sen when you take the initiative away from the Opponents
3. Go no Sen taking the Initiative after the Initiative
4. Sen Sen no Sen take the initiative as the opponent thinks about it.
5. Kyo the void Musashi spoke of, in kamae or mental


A match can be divided into three time intervals: the beginning, middle and the end. The beginning is the feeling out period, which can be a few seconds or most of the match. The second portion is when you feel like you know what you should do, attack counter, move, etc. The last period of the match is closure. When the outcome is in doubt can you protect your lead? When you are behind can you catch up? This last segment is very important because many matches are decided by who scores the last point.

The end of the match is when you continue to maintain your lead, or try to regain the lead. In order to do this:

1. If you are in the lead, you know they must come to you. What is your strategy as they come to you? Seiji Nishimura says even if you are committed to countering, move forward, create tension so they come to you when you desire them. When they break that invisible barrier (invisible to them), counter with commitment.

2. If you are behind, how do you run them down to score, since they know you are coming?
a.  Make a blitz attack
b. Knowing they know you are coming, fool them so they are thrown off balance
c. Illustrate a relaxed attitude, so you appear to have all the time in the world. Musashi called this passing on.


You must have competence in these areas.
In our training session Friday we will go over basic competency levels.

You must keep a notebook and note the areas in which you are strong and the areas you need work. Add these notes to your schedule and goals. Then evaluate your progress.

1. Maai your Maai and your opponents Maai Distance, learning how to dance with your partner without stepping on their toes

 Work with a partner in mirroring their movements. Use this for the cornering drill.
 Reverse Punch drill (right cross)
 Contact hitting every day, Pads, bag or makiwara
 Understand the bubble of tension as you close the gap.

2. Ashi Barai, the Europeans are way out in front in these techniques. If your legs are longer than your opponents, Ashibarai will be an easy weapon.

 Ohyo Gumite 1, 2, 6, and 8. If you are uncomfortable doing foot sweeps, these are a excellent drills for training..
 Sweep with the palm of your foot ankle and below
 Sweep with your shin to their thigh
 When to sweep, as they move, in the corner
 One-two punch use ridge hand instead of reverse step through ushiro ashibari
 Use the Judo drill as you step forward sweep then pull with the opposite hand.

3. Hand Techniques, using either hand equally well

 Good mechanics
Avoid punching fast or powerful when you are not making contact. When you are doing basics alone or shadow boxing avoid punching with power.
 Deep knee bends and one two punch
 Deep knee bend on surikomi with one two punch.
 Ju-no-Ri, drill
 Cardboard drill, 6X6 inch squares
 Reverse punch backhand reverse punch

4. Kicking techniques

 Do not kick air, kick with a target and or partner
 Mawashigeri drill for accuracy and strength
 Exchange lead leg round house kicks
 Shiko dachi side kicks
Race kick, Suzuki Sensei drill, front kick, step back cross step kick for the first competency then the more advanced alternating leg of this drill
Drill: one two punch surikomi mawashigeri jodan
Drill opposite leg opponent: one two punch ushiro-mawashigeri

5. Footwork or ring movement

Imagine the basketball key and place an object are each side of the key. Have the student stand in the centre. On "go," the student tries to touch each object moving laterally as many times as they can in 15 seconds.
Dot Drill
One leg sparring
Lateral line drill forcing the player to zig zag striking pads

6. Ring control how to understand who has the initiative Tai Sabaki-Stepping and dodging

 Movement drills
 Opposite stance opponent control by pressing in on lead hand
 Herding your opponent into the corner
 One student with their back to wall and the other students line drill attack

7. Posture, stance

Every time hidari or migi kamae, this is a fixed memory instigator, you must take a perfect stance.
Posture recognition why it is important

8. Relaxation and breathing

 Suzuki Sensei singing a song
 Murasai breathing drill


By watching thousands of matches (traditional and open sport) and analysing scoring opportunities, techniques scored, and skills displayed by the players, the following common attributes have been noted:

1. Reverse punch

2. Lead leg roundhouse kick

3. Backfist

4. Lead arm punch

5. Foot sweep and follow up

6.  Ridge hand

7. Straight front kick, Maegeri

Can you do all these scoring techniques competently? With either side forward?

Do you have a defines against these techniques?


Defence against the common techniques is easily developed.  One basic drill karate schools have been doing for decades is Ippon Shobu. The attacker announces a target and attacks with one vigorous technique to a specified target.

1. Against the reverse punch: it is most important to remember that the only way you get hit with a middle reverse punch is that your elbows are off your body and your hands are not up to cover. Do not provide your opponent with openings by improper arm positioning.

2. Against the high lead leg roundhouse kick again both players leading left leg, as opponent goes to kick, raise the right arm to protect the head and straight arm punch with lead left arm.

3. Backfist- Keep your lead hand up, this will discourage the opponent from throwing the backfist. If you make an invitation technique, in order to draw the opponent in, block with reverse hand and (kizami zuki) lead arm punch-

4. Lead arm punch defines, same as the backfist.

5. Sweep and follow up-defense against the sweep is to raise your leg straight up, as they miss your leg counter with your punch or kick.

Do as Miyomoto Musashi suggests, never look at an individual leaf, see the whole tree.


Using our drills and visual training techniques  will improve your ability to score at any position and time in the match.  When practising all partner drills ,whether it is Sanbon Gumite or Tanto Dori, line up as though you are at the starting mark in match. Explode forward or back with mental focus and strong kamae. This will build the habit of being alert at the Hajime.


At last you get to compete. But your checklist is not done.  If you are well prepared you will perform better. Sound too easy? If you investigate the book on Mental Training you have been visualizing the competition area for some time. You have your body and mind focused on the task at hand. So don't let some insignificant error break your concentration.

You must develop a routine that begins several days before the tournament.

The day before the tournament,  pack your clothing, there is nothing more undermining than discovering you have forgotten something. USE A CHECKLIST

1. 2 karate suits (in case of tears)
2. Undergarments, (compression shorts, cup or jock strap, women breast protector)
3. Set of pads, ( fist pads, shin pads etc.)
4. Mouth piece (why not have a spare?)
5. Warm up suit (no matter how hot it is, you want to elevate your core temperature to competitive levels before the match.
6. Light slippers or sandals to wear between matches and not get dirt on your feet, loss of traction
7. 2 towels one for sweat and one later to shower
8. first aid box, sports injuries and or taping
9. Snacks, but be careful.  Nutrition bars, balance bars etc. are a good choice
10. Drinks;  water, carb or energy drinks are ok if you have had them before and know how you react.
11. Book or walk man type stereo to deal with the endless waits and delays.

The day of the tournament
1. Do not arrive late
2. Go stand on the starting line, visualize the beginning of the match
3. Walk around, get a feel for the tournament, walk on to the mat or ring to get a feel for the surface, be  certain to look at the dimensions, notice outbound marks. Note the warning marks
4. Do not think about winning or losing, focus on your visualization techniques
1.  Use a familiar routine, you should have by now, do your favourite attack & defines left and right
2. Do not just stand there and watch the fight increase your mental focus
1. Whatever mental drills you have been practising, use them now
2. Some athletes like to be alone others like to visit, use your coach, or stay alone.
3. Do not break your routine
1.  Harden your vision.
2.  Put on a nice face no matter how you feel inside. The referees are involved in martial arts  and they advocate self control.  Display their value system for them, it is worth at least a point.
3. Don’t be distracted by things you cannot control, if a point goes bad , forget it immediately.
4. Don’t think about winning, only controlling the first portion of the match, then the second and the last portion. Focus on winning the next point, that is all.
5. Know the score, have more than one person at ringside keeping track for you. If they do have a score display have your coach  tell you at each break.
6. If you are up a full point, don’t attack unless a clear opening presents itself.
7. If you are down act like you have all the time in the world even if it is 10 seconds. It is easy to avoid someone that is rushing at you.
8. Be aware of your breathing patterns  The easiest way to relax is to control your breath.
9. After you think you scored, walk back to the line with confidence but don’t be too demonstrative it will put of some referees.
10. If the match gets wild, let the referee break you  off immediately.
11.  Know what you are to do when there is 30 seconds left and you are ahead, (close margin)
12. Know what you are to do when there is 30 seconds left and you are behind.
13. What to do in Encho-sen, what is your plan for sudden death?
14. Know how to win or lose .  These referees tend to see you again and label you.


Sensei Jepperson’s martial career began in 1967 when he met Ed Parker. Sensei Jepperson was fascinated with the mystical  powers of martial arts. When Sensei Jepperson went to college, Martial Arts took a back seat to wrestling, when he earned a place on the University of Utah Wrestling Team to compete in NCAA wrestling.

After a career-ending-knee injury, Sensei Jepperson returned to Karate under Sensei Toshio Osaka. Sensei Jepperson received his Shodan from Master Hironori Otsuka the founder of Wado Kai member of the All Japan Karate-Do Federation.
1981 Nidan, Tatsuo Suzuki, 8th Dan Hanshi
1988 Yondan, Hironori Otsuka II, Head of Wado Ryu
1993 Godan, Toshio Osaka, 8th Dan, JIKC, Wado Ryu
1994 Yondan, T. Mano, Head of Wado Kai
1995 Godan, T. Suzuki, 8th Dan Hanshi, Head of WIKF

Sensei Jepperson earned championships though out the western United States during his career.  But he says his toughest matches were always against members of his own dojo. He fought for the Western States AAU title, twice against his own dojo mates, Rick Hobusch and Joe Sheeron.  Sensei Jepperson competed on the USA Team at the World Championships in Tokyo Japan 1984.

Most recently, Sensei Jepperson competed in the Pan American Championships in Curacao, 1995, earning the bronze medal in Kata, at the age of 44.

Sensei Jepperson has Dan grading in all three of the current Wado Organizations and has participated in five World Championships, either as a competitor or an official.

True karate-do is this; that in daily life one's mind and body be trained and developed in a spirit of humility; and that in critical times, one be devoted utterly to the cause of justice."   Gichin Funakoshi's Karate-do Kyohan.



 by: Hironori Otsuka founder

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