World Renowned AJKA-I Instructor Training Program

Our AJKA-International Instructor Training Program, as designed by Sensei Safar,
is under his direction, with assistance by Rob DeAngelis, 8th Dan.

Please contact him Sensei DeAngelis at RobDeangelis -at- yahoo -dot- com

Sensei Leslie Safar, 10th Dan (right)
International Technical Director
Sensei Safar & Sensei DeAngelis
Why is this Program Important?

Why is the Instructor Training Program important?


Any culture or society that wishes to succeed time (or survive) needs to pass on wisdom from generation to generation. It is good to be knowledgeable, to have knowledge of the facts and data through studying and experiences. But to have Wisdom is the understanding of the facts, principals and data studied and applied through your experiences and those of others. Wisdom can improve your life in all aspects: physical, emotional, mental and financial.

The Beginning of the Instructor Training Program

In 1955 Teruyuki Okazaki was appointed head of the Instructor Training Program for the JKA. This program produced Shotokan’s most integral leaders. In 1956 Okazaki under the JKA set up the first-ever IT program and accepted its first round of trainees. The JKA IT Program was one of a kind; no other karate organization ever matched or even came close to this distinguished program. In 1961 Okazaki later came to United States with the help of Leslie Safar and two other students. Here in the states, Okazaki started again the first IT program with Leslie Safar being one of his first trainees to be accepted into the program. Sensei Safar graduated from the distinguished IT program and repeated the course multiple times. In 1983 LIU, under the direction of Dr. Milorad V. Stricevic, created the LIU karate research program. This is where and when the science of what was being taught in the IT program was validated and translated. This was the evolution of modern karate through science. This scientific approach to karate is the foundation of Leslie Safar and AJKA-I Instructor Training Program.

What does this distinguished IT program consists of?

It is a two-year commitment, a course consisting of 27 physical classes, theory and 44 written reports. It is designed to bring a Nidan level student to a Sandan level student by the time they graduate from the IT course. A student enrolled in this intensive two-year course forges devotion to the instructor and to the AJKA-I. Regular class will not have the same impact on a student as this program will. The program is designed to produce well-educated instructors able to present karate in an intelligent and professional manner. By creating a society of high-level instructors, this IT program is able to pass on wisdom to the students of the next generation and survival of the AJKA-I organization.

Here are two quotes that are learned in the first module as a trainee studying the theory part of the Instructor Training course. Two quotes made by two different Greek philosophers about physical activity from fourth century B.C.

Socrates: (479-339) "So long as the young generation is and continues to be well brought up, our ship of state will have a fair voyage: otherwise, the consequences better left unspoken”

Plato: (427-347) “No citizen has the right to be amateur in the matter of physical training…what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which the body is capable”

Plato, who lived in the fourth century B.C., identified four virtues that have become influential concepts in Western civilization. Now known as the four cardinal virtues, they are:

  • Wisdom
  • Courage
  • Moderation
  • Justice.
Purpose of Program / Instructor Directive

Our Mission

The mission of the AJKA-I Karate Association is two-fold:

First, the perfection of traditional Japanese Shotokan technique through attention to detail. For only by perfecting the details can we realize the full potential of our art and ourselves.

Second, to instruct practitioners in a way that makes Karate relevant to the real world. For Karate is more than just one of the most complete systems of self-defense. It is a way of transforming everything we do – inside and outside of the Dojo.

These goals are directed by our Guiding Principles: Character, Sincerity, Effort, Self-control, and Courtesy.

-Bob Tomasulo AJKA-I USA President