Four members of the Juneau Shotokan Karate-Do Club have attained the rank of Sho Dan - first-degree black belt.
Head instructor Diana Stevens said that Sheela McLean, David Mende, Doug Ward and Steve Weaver were honored after undergoing examinations administered by Master Terayuki Okazaki, the president of the International Shotokan Karate Federation. The ISKF has more than 50,000 members in 28 countries. The four Juneau black belts took their tests last fall.
"We are very fortunate as members of the ISKF to have true karate masters visiting us in Juneau several times each year," Stevens wrote in a press release. "Master Okazaki is recognized around the world for his contributions to spreading traditional Japanese karate."
The Juneau Shotokan Karate-Do Club is a non-profit group that has been in town for 19 years. It has about 100 active members, including adults and children as young as 7 years old. The club is affiliated with the ISKF's Alaska Region, which is headed by Anthony Nakazawa of Fairbanks. It is also affiliated with the 4-H Clubs of America through the University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service. For more information, call the Juneau club at 790-4199.