Robert Jon Remington
Bob Remington started training in Shotokan karate at Temple University in Philadelphia in 1971. At that time, Teruyuki Okazaki was teaching the Physical Education classes at Temple as well as at the 45th Street dojo where Bob also took classes.
After graduation, he found his way to the Baltimore area where he continued his training with Najib Amin who was under Okazaki Sensei, eventually earning the rank of ikkyu. Four years later, he began training with F.V. Romano, who was the previously the chief instructor of the Armed Services Karate Association and a former student of Hidetaka Nishiyama. Bob received his Nidan from Sensei Romano in 1978.
A move to Baltimore City precipitated yet another change in training venues. Geography and scheduling eventually dictated that he should train with Sensei Igor Miletic at the Baltimore Karate Club, who was then under Shojiro Sugiyama of Chicago. For a variety of reasons, the Baltimore Karate Club's affiliation kept getting transferred to different jursidictions. Sugiyama Sensei transferred the club to Masataka Mori, who transferred it to Katsuya Kisaka. Sensei Miletic then took the initiative to transfer the club to the ISKF and Okazaki Sensei. As a result, Bob also has Dan ranks from Sugiyama Sensei, Kisaka Sensei, and Okazaki Sensei. In the meantime, Bob had started teaching karate to other people. Armed with a background in Special Education, teaching karate seemed a logical thing to do. He started as an assistant instructor with Sensei Amin in 1974, and he continues to instruct to this day.
Between 1983 and 1986, he completed the classwork in the ISKF Instructor Program, but after receiving no feedback from his research papers, he decided not to pursue official recognition for what he was already doing. In 1991, he decided to affilate with Robert Lent, a former senior student of Okazaki Sensei, the "father of Shotokan Karate in Maryland," and chief instructor of the Maryland Shotokan Karate Association. In 2003, Sensei Lent awarded Bob the rank of 7th Dan. By 2005, Mr. Lent was in failing health, and Bob believed it would be helpful to be exposed to other people in the karate world. After meeting Dr. Elmar Schmeisser, Bob joined the International Society of Okinawan/Japanese Karate and was awarded the rank of 7th Dan from Sensei Vince Morris. He was also awarded 7th Dan by the World Union of Karatedo Federations, the International Shotokan Ryu Karatedo Shihankai, and the World JKA Association. In 2018, Bob was awarded 8th Dan by the World JKA Association and appointed WJKA-USA director by the the WJKA Shihankai.
Outside of karate, he continued his education, receiving two Masters degrees from Johns Hopkins University. He was involved in Special Education and Mental Health, holding positions in teaching, administration, and behavioral therapy for 40 years before retiring in 2012.
Ray Toy began his training as a young child, then put it away for other interests, particularly competitive swimming. As a teenage swimmer, he read about the concept of cross training, and decided he wanted to cross train in karate. Thus, he began training with Sensei Patrick Byrnes, a former senior student of Teruyuki Okazaki, at the Bushi Dojo in Pennsylvania. Although he trained friends in college at the University of Virginia, he did not return to dojo training until he started graduate study at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, where he resumed training with Sensei Byrnes.
Taking the opportunity to travel for additional professional training during that time, he found himself doing clinical chaplaincy work in Phoenix, Arizona during the day, while training with Shojiro Koyama in the evenings. That fall, he moved to Rochester, NY for his parish internship where he trained with Dr. Marty Vaughan in his spare time. He was an active competitor in the AAU, and was known to come to tournaments straight from church, still wearing his clerical collar. The summer of the second half of his internship year, Ray competed in kata, kumite, and team kumite at the AAU National Championships. He enjoyed explaining the bruises on his arms to puzzled parishioners.
After graduation, he declined to enter parish ministry, and instead pursued an interest in American Sign Language, an interest he found while in the final year of Seminary. Upon graduation, he relocated to Baltimore where he trained with Najib Amin and Ed Davis, both students of Okazaki Sensei. Although he was living in Baltimore, he maintained ties to Pennsylvania and Sensei Byrnes.
Eventually, he earned the rank of 1st Dan from both Sensei Byrnes and the ISKF. Soon thereafter, he affiliated with Bob Remington. Throughout that time, he continued to compete in kata at both the local level and National level within the AAU, USAKF, and USA-NKF.
Ray is currently Sensei Remington's Senior student, holding the rank of 4th Dan. Ray is also known as an official in the traditional karate competition world, holding a USA-NKF Kumite Referee A license and a USA-NKF Kata Judge A license. He also holds a 2nd Dan from the USA-NKF. Outside of karate, Ray is a Sign Language Interpreter. He holds a Level 3 interpreter certification from the National Association of the Deaf and a Certificate of Interpretation (CI) from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and a Certificate of Interpretation (CI) from the Registry of Interpretaters for the Deaf.
Bruce Flanagan began his martial arts career in high school in 1978 practicing a variety of martial arts. including Small Circle Jiu Jitsu, and Kajukenbo Karate. In 1983 while studying at the American University in Paris he was introduced to Shotokan, and by the time he graduated in 1986 and returned to the US, he had earned his first kyu. In 1992 Bruce began practicing with Sensei Ricardo Llewelyn at the Benicia Shotokan Academy, in the San Francisco Bay Area and earned his Shodan in 1995 with the late Sensei Vincent Cruz presiding.
Later that year, after moving to the east coast, Bruce began practicing with Sensei Mahmoud Tabassi at JSKA in Virginia where he trained for the next 12 years. Under Sensei Tabassi, Bruce earned his Nidan and Sandan, testing with Sensei Hidetaka Nishiyama and his Yondan with Sensei Remington of the WJKA. Bruce also taught an affiliated Shotokan class at the Herndon Recreation Center in Herndon VA from 1996 to 2004.
Bruce competed at the AAKF national tournament every year from 2000 to 2006, winning six Men’s Synchronized Kata championships, national championships for Man - Woman Enbu in 2005 and 2006, as well as several second and third place medals for team kumite.
Bruce also qualified for, and competed on the ITKF US National team in 2001, 2003, and 2004 winning silver medals for Synchronized kata at the Pan Am Championships in 2001, and 2003.
Bruce is also an accomplished endurance athlete having completed over 35 marathon or longer races, including nine 50 mile races and two 100 mile races. He is an RRCA certified running coach, and the Director of a local trail running program.
Robert Jon Remington