Students, instructor earn new rankings

Posted: Friday, July 10, 2009

JUNEAU - Karate instructor Diana Stevens has earned the rank of Godan, or fifth degree black belt, reflecting a level of proficiency sought by many and obtained by an elite few in martial arts.

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The International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF) conferred the advanced rank following a rigorous examination that required Stevens to demonstrate her proficiency in the art of self-defense. Stevens also wrote papers on the technical aspects of karate to fulfill her requirements.

Teruyuki Okazaki, the president of the ISKF, and Yutaka Yaguchi, the organization's technical director, administered the examination. Both are karate masters who have devoted their lives to instructing others in traditional Japanese self-defense training as a means of promoting world peace and positive personal character development.

Stevens is the chief instructor at the Juneau Shotokan Karate Club, a role she took on 20 years ago, volunteering about 10 hours a week at the not-for-profit club. She has volunteered her time, skill and expert knowledge to the community in this way for 26 years, touching the lives of an estimated 1,000 Juneau youths and adults through karate and self-defense instruction.

Karate students earn rank

Six Students from the Juneau Shotokan Karate club earned black belt rankings followingexaminations with Master Yaguchi.

Scott Davis and Stacey Poulson were awarded the rank of Shodan (first degree black belt).

Birger Baastrup, Faith Rogers, Ira Rosen, and Jody Vick were awarded the rank of Nidan (second degree black belt).

Shotokan Karate is a traditional Japanese martial art, founded by Master Gichin Funakoshi. Shotokan's guiding principles are character, sincerity, etiquette, effort, and self-control. visit or call Diana Stevens at 790-4199.

The Juneau Shotokan Karate Club is a non-profit organization affiliated with the 4-H Clubs of America through the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. All people age seven and older are welcome. For more information, please call Diana Stevens at 790-4199 or visit

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