CELEBRATION OF KEITH D. YATES'S 50 YEARS AS A BLACK BELT
The 2018 AKATO seminars and banquet on March 17, was a great success. Sixty participants in the seminars started the day off with a bang. Mr. Yates, Mr. Kelly Cox, and Mr. Oliver Martinez all gave excellent classes and received rave reviews from students and black belts alike. The evening banquet was one of the best we have ever had with almost 200 guests which included Grandmasters Allen Steen (the founder of Texas Karate) and Roy Kurban (a past Black Belt Magazine Man of the Year). Almost sixty of Mr. Yates's own black belts (and black belts who have benefited from his teachings) came to honor him on this special night. Of course, the AKATO Student of the Year Awards were also presented (see the photo page).
BLACK BELT EXAM IN MAY—The next AKATO black belt examination will be held on May 19 at the Richardson YMCA. Candidates from three different AKATO schools will be testing. There will also be several advanced black belt promotions.
New Nam Seo Kwan black belts—The September 9, 2017, black belt promotion saw three candidates promoted to black belt. Mark Harris, Kevin and Liane Buckley all survived the forms, ones-steps, self-defense, board breaking and multiple sparring to earn their first dan black belts. Congratulations to these three outstanding martial artists. See the picture on the current photo page.
And don't forget the BLACK BELT WORKOUTS on the third Saturday of the month at the Richardson YMCA from 12:30 to 2 pm (after the regular Saturday morning class for lower belts). You'll pay a five dollar fee to the YMCA as a donation to their scholarship fund.
Keith Yates Inducted into Hall of Fame
Although Mr. Yates is in several Halls of Fame, this one is special. The Martial Arts History Museum in Los Angeles only inducts ten individuals every year (not 200 like some of those halls). This year was Pat Burleson: the first national karate champion (and an AKATO advisor), Gina Carano: MMA superstar turned Hollywood actor, George Chung: internationally known kata champion, Donn Draeger: author and historian, Pat Johnson: champion and one of Chuck Norris's first black belts, Pat Morita: Mister Miyagi from the Karate Kid movies, Steven Lopez: the first man to win an Olympic gold medal in taekwondo, Frank Shamrock: MMA legend, Gogen Yamaguchi (the "cat"): famous founder of the goji-kai in Japan, and our own Keith D. Yates, founder of the AKATO.
Mr. Yates traveled to Los Angeles in July to not only visit the MA History Museum but to attend the Dragonfest 2016. Here is who else was in this class of inductees. See more photos from Mr. Yates's California trip on the gallery page.
Check out the new AKATO BLACK BELT FAMILY TREE
Click here for a viewable PDF.