Senior Instructors

The WTKO has some very senior, experienced instructors spread across the globe. Here is a list of just some of those residing in the U.S.:

John MullinSensei Mullin began his karate training in 1960. He was a member of the JKA/ITKF US National Team for 5 years, from 1980 through 1984, and a former US Open National Champion. In 1985, while living and training in Japan, he won the All Styles Karate Championship in Yokohama. In 1994 he was recognized as “Instructor of The Year” by The Karate Voice a national karate publication.   In 2002 he won the JSKA World Championship, in Germany, veterans kata division. 

He is a member of the faculty of the Karate Instructor Certificate Program at Long Island University, New York.  He is also a contributing author in Karate Martial Art and Sport along with  Milorad V. Stricevic, M.D. Associate Dean, School of Health Professions

Sensei Mullin is the Chief Instructor of the JKA Karate Staten Island and was awarded “A” class Certified Instructor in the JKA Shotokan Karate-do America, the governing body for JKA karate in the United States. After a 42 year career in the JKA, Sensei Mullin decided on a new direction; along with a number of senior instructors founded the World Traditional Karate Organization (WTKO). The WTKO successfully held their 1st World Championship in 2001. Sensei Mullin is teacher with the NYC Board of Education, teaching computer technology in a middle school in Brooklyn NY.

Richard AmosBorn in England in 1963, Richard Amos began karate at age 10. Occasionally teaching from as young as 15 he was invited onto the KUGB Junior Karate Team at 18. By the age of 23 he had competed in England and Europe gaining many Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in numerous championships.

After a two-year sojourn in New York, he went to Japan to train at the headquarters of the Japan Karate Association and stayed 10 years. During that time he completed the 3-year instructor’s program of the JKA (only the 2nd Westerner ever to do so in its 50-year history), placed second or third in the All-Japan Championships several times (no non-Japanese had ever reached the semi-finals before), taught many classes each week over a 6-year period in the headquarters of the JKA (another first) and opened his own school in the heart of Tokyo.

In 2000 Amos moved to New York again, this time as an established professional karate instructor with an international reputation. He is currently the chief instructor of the World Traditional Karate Organization heading its instructor program and teaches everyday at the headquarters dojo on 63rd Street and 3rd Avenue in Manhattan.

Steve UblSensei Steve Ubl began training in Minnesota in the1967 in the art of Tang Soo Do. In 1969 he began training in the JKA style of karate with Donald G. P. Oelrich. When living in Japan in 1972 he was fortunate to have been recognized by Nakayama sensei of the JKA for his character and talent. Taken under Nakayama sensei’s wing, Ubl sensei experienced many, many hours of private tuition with this great teacher and made copious notes from these periods of intense learning. He received his 1st dan directly from Nakayama sensei while residing at the Hoitsugan. He also received instruction from Nakayama sensei in1974 and returned to Japan several more times between 1976 and 1977. Returning to the US, Ubl sensei entered the Japan Karate Association Instructor Training Institute under Nishiyama sensei at the JKA-US Headquarters in 1973, where, as a full-time trainee, became an instructor with the AAKF-ITKF, working daily with Nishiyama sensei.

By the late 70’s Ubl sensei’s ideas began to transcend regular training in any dojo and his development continued more from his own intelligent application of ideas influenced by Japan than from the various classes and training camps he also attended.

Throughout the ‘80’s and ‘90’s Ubl sensei, an intensely private individual, trained mostly alone and free from restriction. In 2004 he was persuaded to recognize the importance of sharing his knowledge by groups of dedicated karate-ka from California to Florida to Canada and in 2006 accepted the position of Technical Director and 8th dan from the WTKO.

Jon Keeling – Sensei Jon Keeling has been doing karate since 1982 and teaching it since 1984. He spent a total of 8 years in Tokyo honing his skills, mostly at the Hoitsugan and JKA Honbu dojo. He holds the rank of rokudan (6th degree) from the WTKO and is Director of the National Technical Committee in the U.S.

Sensei Keeling is the author of over 100 articles on various aspects of karate, is the moderator of several online karate forums and also teaches specialized self-defense workshops. He is a certified personal trainer and holds a Masters degree in Kinesiology. He is Chief Instructor for the WTKO USA’s largest dojo, Silicon Valley Karate.

John Turnbull – Involved in a variety of martial arts starting approximately 60 years ago, Sensei Turnbull brings a wealth of experience. He is Chief Instructor at his Aikenkai dojo.

Fred Borda – Fred Sensei began doing Shotokan in the mid-1980s and was teaching by the late 1980s. He spent a total of over three years living in Japan in the 1990s, where he trained at the Hoitsugan and JKA Honbu dojo. He is a senior instructor at Silicon Valley Karate.

Zack Stewart – Zack Sensei began his study of Shotokan Karate under Sensei Allen Renfrow and eventually moved to Los Angeles to study under the late Master Hidetaka Nishiyama. After Nishiyama’s passing Zack began studying under Sensei Steve Ubl and continues so to this day. In 2015 he completed the WTKO Kenshusei Program at the WTKO Honbu Dojo in NYC directly under the WTKO Chief Instructor, Richard Amos Sensei. Since 2009 Zack has been teaching Shotokan Karate in Nashville, TN at his dojo. He is the WTKO’s National Director for the USA.

Other senior instructors are spread across the country and throughout the world.

Other senior WTKO instructors actively teaching in the USA include:
Joe Vetrano (Aikenkai – NY)
Pete Rabbitt (De Anza Shotokan – CA)
Alex Reed (Honbu Dojo – NY)
Rachel Pham (Silicon Valley Karate – CA)
Yanti Amos (Aikenkai – NY)
Andreas Stavropoulos (Silicon Valley Karate – CA)
Rob Grossheim (Japanese Karatedo – OH)
Andrew Wu (Silicon Valley Karate – CA)
Jan Smearsoll (Nintai Dojo – OH)
John Panzer (Silicon Valley Karate – CA)
Ken Nakamura (Silicon Valley Karate – CA)
Jean Nakamura (Silicon Valley Karate – CA)
Anthony Sammons (Shotokan Karate of Lexington – KY)
Nezar Falluji (Shotokan Karate of Lexington – KY)