Criteria for the Shihan title within the USCKF include at least 40 years of age, rank of Yon Dan or higher, and 25 years of training and service to the organization. In addition, the title may be awarded to individuals below the rank of Yon Dan if the the other two requirements are met and the individual has exhibited extraordinary dedication and service to the organization. There is no fee or test involved, the title of Shihan is an honor to the organization as much as it is to the individual. An individual may not apply for the title.


William J. Dometrich, Hanshi
March 15, 1935 - March 22, 2012
Co-Founder USCKF
Chairman and Chief Instructor Emeritus USCKF
Ku Dan (Ninth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Ku Dan, Hanshi
Promoted to Ku Dan by the Dai Nippon Butokukai (DNBK) in Kyoto, Japan 2008
Promoted to Hachi Dan and title "Hanshi" by Hanshi Tesshin Hamada of the Dai Nippon Butokukai (DNBK) 1999
Promoted to Shichi Dan and title "Kyoshi" by O-Sensei 1971
Promoted to Sho Dan 1954
Began study of Chito-ryu 1952
Barbara E. Dometrich (Okusan), Meiyo Hanshi
Co-Founder USCKF
Chairman USCKF
Hachi Dan (Eighth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Roku Dan, Meiyo Hanshi
Awarded title "Meiyo Hanshi" by Hanshi Tesshin Hamada of the Dai Nippon Butokukai (DNBK) 2015
Began study of Chito-ryu 1962
Also holds rank in Kendo and Iaido
Lawrence C. Hawkins, Jr., Esq., Kyoshi
Chief Advisor/Chairman Emeritus USCKF
Technical Team Coordinator
Hachi Dan (Eighth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Hachi Dan, Kyoshi
Chief Instructor Yoseikan II Dojo, Cincinnati, OH
Began study of Chito-ryu 1962
Arthur Rott, Shihan
1918-November 2001
Shichi Dan (Seventh Degree Black Belt) awarded posthumously
Founder Yoseikan Apopka Dojo, Apopka, FL
Began study of Chito-ryu 1966
Sherry (Dometrich) Kembre, Kyoshi
USCKF Vice Chair and Assistant Administrator
Shichi Dan (Seventh Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Shichi Dan, Kyoshi, Shihan
Awarded title "Shihan" by Hanshi Tesshin Hamada of the Dai Nippon Butokukai (DNBK) 2015
Chief Instructor Yoseikan Hombu Dojo
Began study of Chito-ryu 1971
Jerry Beshears, Kyoshi
Shichi Dan (Seventh Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Roku Dan, Renshi
Instructor Yoseikan Hombu Dojo
Began study of Chito-ryu 1966
Terry Collis, Shihan
Roku Dan (Sixth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Member
Instructor Yoseikan Hombu Dojo
Instructor Northern Kentucky University Karate Club
Began study of Chito-ryu 1962
Stephen Wilhelm, Renshi
Roku Dan (Sixth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified (Inactive): Roku Dan, Renshi
Instructor Yoseikan Hombu Dojo
Began study of Chito-ryu 1967
Also holds rank in Aikido
Manuel Byers, Renshi
Roku Dan (Sixth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified (Inactive): Roku Dan, Renshi
Began study of Chito-ryu 1972
Instructor Yoseikan II Dojo, Cincinnati, OH
Don Schmidt, Renshi
USCKF Judicial Committee
Roku Dan (Sixth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Roku Dan, Renshi, Shihan Dai
Instructor Yoseikan Hombu Dojo
Chief Instructor Northern Kentucky University Karate Club
Began Study of Chito-ryu 1972
Gerald Meade, Renshi
Roku Dan (Sixth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Go Dan
Instructor Yoseikan Hombu Dojo
Began study of Chito-ryu 1972
John Wellbrock, Renshi
Roku Dan (Sixth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Roku Dan, Renshi, Shihan Dai
Instructor Yoseikan Hombu Dojo
Began study of Chito-ryu 1973
Eric Ford, Renshi
Roku Dan (Sixth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Go Dan
Instructor Yoseikan Hombu Dojo
Began study of Chito-ryu 1981
Warren Pochinski, Shihan
Go Dan (Fifth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Yon Dan
Instructor Fort Bragg Yoseikan Dojo, Fort Bragg, NC
Began study of Chito-ryu 1954
Dr. Willie Elliott, Shihan
Go Dan (Fifth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: San Dan
Instructor Yoseikan II Dojo, Cincinnati, OH
Began study of Martial Arts 1966 Kentucky State College, Frankfort, KY
Michael Colling, Renshi
Go Dan (Fifth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Go Dan
Chief Instructor Marion Bridge Yoseikan Dojo, Nova Scotia, Canada
Began study of Chito-ryu 1971, Joined USCKF 1996
Barbara Tarczynski, Shihan
USCKF Judicial Committee
Go Dan (Fifth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Yon Dan
Chief Instructor Maryland Yoseikan Dojo
Began study of Chito-ryu 1971
Brown Dr. Jesse Brown, Jr., Min.D, Shihan
Go Dan (Fifth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Yon Dan
Chief Instructor Rochester Chito-ryu Dojo, Rochester, NY
Began study of Chito-ryu 1971
J. Wesley Ernest, Renshi
Go Dan (Fifth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: San Dan
Instructor Yoseikan Hombu Dojo
Began study of Chito-ryu 1975 NKU
Kevin Drummond, Shihan
Go Dan (Fifth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: San Dan
Chief Instructor Bridgeport Yoseikan Dojo, Bridgeport, WV
Began study of Chito-ryu 1977
Lawrence Hawkins III, Esq., Shihan
USCKF Judicial Committee
Go Dan (Fifth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: San Dan
Instructor Yoseikan II Dojo, Cincinnati, OH
Began study of Chito-ryu 1980

James Acampora, Shihan
Go Dan (Fifth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified (Inactive): San Dan
Chief Instructor Yoseikan of Orlando II Dojo, Orlando, FL
Began study of Chito-ryu 1981 (Art Rott, Shihan)
William Jansak, RN, Shihan
Go Dan (Fifth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Go Dan
Began study of Chito-ryu 1982
Also holds rank in Ryukyu Hozon Shinkokai Kobudo
Matthew Scott, Shihan
Go Dan (Fifth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified (Inactive): Yon Dan
Instructor Yoseikan II Dojo, Cincinnati, OH
Began study of Chito-ryu 1982
Laura Stith Deck, PhD, Shihan
Go Dan (Fifth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: San Dan
Instructor Yoseikan II Dojo, Cincinnati, OH
Began study of Chito-ryu 1983
Joseph Petty, Shihan
Go Dan (Fifth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Yon Dan
Instructor Yoseikan Hombu Dojo
Began Study of Chito-ryu 1984

Tony DiTerlizzi, Shihan
Go Dan (Fifth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Go Dan
Began study of Chito-ryu 1985
Joseph J. Schertler, Shihan
12/2/17 - November 1987
Yon Dan (Forth Degree Black Belt)
Received Shihan title posthumously 10/18/98
Michael Messinger, Shihan
Yon Dan (Fourth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified (Inactive): San Dan
Instructor Bridgeport Yoseikan Dojo, Bridgeport, WV
Began study of Chito-ryu 1975
Greg Morris, Shihan
Yon Dan (Fourth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified (Inactive): San Dan
Instructor Yoseikan II Dojo, Cincinnati, OH
Began study of Chito-ryu 1979
Jamie Binkley, Shihan
Yon Dan (Fourth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Yon Dan
Began study of Chito-ryu 1980 (Art Rott, Shihan)
Shawna Lingo, Shihan
Yon Dan (Fourth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Yon Dan, Renshi
Chief Instructor Yoseikan Anderson Dojo, Cincinnati, OH
Assistant Instructor Northern Kentucky University Karate Club
Began study of Chito-ryu 1994
Paul Knecht, Shihan
Yon Dan (Fourth Degree Black Belt)
Began study of Chito-ryu 1996
Carol Hays, Shihan
Yon Dan (Fourth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: San Dan
Began study of Chito-ryu 1997
Kathleen Emery, MD, Shihan
Yon Dan (Fourth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Ni Dan
Began study of Chito-ryu 2000
Ronald Emery, Shihan
Yon Dan (Fourth Degree Black Belt)
DNBK Certified: Ni Dan
Began study of Chito-ryu 2000