AJKA-I Executive Committee
Leslie Safar - 9th DAN
International Technical Director
AJKA-I Chief Instructor - Europe
Leslie Safar, AJKA-I co-founder, has practiced Shotokan karate since 1958. He is well known on both sides of the Atlantic for his mastery as an instructor, his intense focus on the core technical principles of Shotokan Karate, and the development of instructor training programs dedicated to building the total instructor. Sensei Safar tours the United States on a regular basis, but spends the majority of his time teaching, directing, and developing AJKA-I karate in Hungary, and throughout Europe.
Visit http://americanjka.org/ to find out more about the AJKA in Hungary and Europe, or write Sensei Safar directly at: sensei -dot- safar -at- ajka-i -dot- com.
Salvatore Lopresti - 8th Dan
Sensei Lopresti started training in Shotokan Karate in 1972 under Mr. Leslie Safar at the South Jersey Karate School. Mr. Lopresti received his Shodan in 1976 from ISKF and JKA Chief Instructor Teriyuki Okazaki Sensei and continued to train under Sensei Safar. In 1977 Mr. Lopresti attained the rank of Nidan and entered the ISKF and JKA instructors training program at the Philadelphia Karate Club of Okazaki Sensei. Mr. Lopresti received his Sandan in 1979 from Okazaki Sensei and continued his competition career which spanned from 1974 to 1986. He achieved his Yondan in 1982 from Okazaki Sensei and continued his training and study of the Arts and received his Godan in 1995 from Osamu Ozawa Sensei. In 1999, he received his Rokudan (6th Degree Black Belt.) Mr. Lopresti can be reached directly at lopresti -at- ajkai-usa -dot- com.
AJKA-I European President
In addition to being a devoted admirer of technical wonders, László Palkovics took up karate in 1982. Since then, he has been studying this sport with some interruptions, returning to intensive practice 3 years ago. He is a brown-belt, he trains at and heads the Alba Control Karate Club.
László Palkovics graduated from the Technical University of Budapest in 1989, as an automotive engineer. After achieving the degree of Candidate at technical sciences, he became a doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Science and a university lecturer. He was promoted to the leading position at the Automotive Engineering Department of the TUB in 1994. One year afterwards he was appointed the Electronic System Development Director of the R&D institute of Knorr-Bremse. His areas of research are: motor vehicle dynamics and stability, applied regulation theory, modeling vehicle systems. He is the Secretary General of the Hungarian Motor Vehicle Association, a position he fills as a volunteer. He speaks Russian, English, German and Italian, the first three fluently.
AJKA-I International President
I began studying traditional karate in 1971. I have studied several styles of karate, but most of my training years have been spent studying Shotokan Karate. (Shotokan has become my passion). I received my Instructor/Examiner Certification from Sensei Leslie B. Safar – 9thDAN, who trained under Sensei Masatoshi Nakayama. I am proud to say that my training under Sensei Safar has given me direct lineage to Sensei Funakoshi, the Founding Father of Shotokan Karate.
I have also trained under Sensei Edmond Otis – 8th DAN, and I have benefited greatly from his knowledge and expertise as well. They are two of the most knowledgeable and important Shotokan Karate instructors alive today. Also, I have benefited greatly from have trained with Sensei Rob DeAngelis – 7th DAN for over 20 years. My greatest reward comes from being able to share the knowledge gained from these influential instructors with the other members of our organization.
Contact Bob at sensei -dot- tomasulo -at- ajka-i -dot- com.
Sensei Avi Azoulay - 7th Dan
started training in 1972 in his native land of Israel and has trained under the guidance of top instructors such as Satoshi Miyazaki (JKA Belgium), Alex Sternberg, Ray Dalke, Milorad V. Sricevic MD., and currently draws from Sensei Safar and Sensei Otis vast knowledge and experience. In addition to practicing and studying Shotokan Karate, he studied Judo, Jiu Jitsu and Aikido that were offered in the same dojo in his hometown. Sensei Azoulay can be reached directly at azoulay -at- ajkai-usa -dot- com.
Rob DeAngelis - 7th Dan
Director AJKA-I International Instructor Training Program
Director AJKA-I USA National Training Center
Director East Coast AJKA-I Instructor Training Program
Rob DeAngelis' passion is to share his love of karate with his students through personalized, motivating and insightful instruction. His focus is on conveying the importance of details and how they come together to produce powerful techniques and confident students. A successful veteran of national and international competition, Sensei DeAngelis is Director of the AJKA-I East Coast Training Center - The Solbury Club, in Buckingham, PA - www.SoleburyClubKarate.com. You can contact Sensei DeAngelis directly at rdeangelis -at- thesoleburyclub -dot- com & AmericanJKA-PA.com & KarateThrows.com
Csakvari Laszlo - 8th Dan
Sensei Csakvari started studying karate in 1980 at one of the first karate club in Hungary with one of the founding members of Hungarian karate. In 1985 he entered the Hungarian karate national team as one of the youngest members and competed until 1995.
He has Master’s degree in Physical Education and Recreation, finished A.J.K.A. Shotokan Karate-do Federation Teaching School and Long Island University Karate Instructor Training Program as Karate Instructor, now, he holds 8th dan of AJKA-I.
He is an Educational Expert and member of the coach’s committee of the Hungarian Karate Federation and full-time teacher of the Faculty of Combat Sports at the University of Physical Education in Hungary.
As a University professor and karate expert, he is the author of program of "Self Defense and Martial Arts" at University of ELTE, author of karate program in University of P.E, author of Karate Framework national curriculum by the request of the Hungarian Karate Federation, author of the “National Combat Sport Strategy” by Inviting the Ministry of Education, State Secretariat for Higher Education.
He is working together with Sensei Safar since 1997, now they are working of implementation of karate into the physical education system of Hungary and organising official post graduating training program for PE teachers in karate for the hungarian school system.
Gyuri Torma - 7th Dan
Gyorgy Torma started his Karate training in 1983. He joined the AJKA-I in 2000. Since then he formed his own organization, produced over 20 Black Belts and several instructors. He received special awards from the city of Gyula for his work.
Sensei Torma currently holds a 7th Dan and is a member of a distinguished group of AJKA-I Technical Directors. Sensei Torma is Senior Instructor in Hungary.
Andras Farkas 6th-Dan
Started his Karate training in 1982, Andras joined the AJKA-I in 1999 has his own organization he organizes the most successful national training camp in Bekescsaba Hungary.
Member of the AJKA-I technical committee and presently holds 6th Dan.
Ridhish Thakor - 5th Dan
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR & GENERAL SECRETARY AJKA-I INDIA
An AJKA International Instructor & Examiner, practicing Shotokan since 1983 under Sensei Anil Garodia, Being a All India National Individual & Team Champion in AIKF & JKA and being trained by international legends of Karate, I have had a successful and satisfying career as a competitor; With the same intensity and intention I have dedicated myself in the upliftment of Karate-Do in India, By training individuals at the right age to bring them on the global map of Karate.
Amy Hung – 5th DAN
USA Membership Director.
AJKA-I Chief Referee
A national and international competitor, she has competed in numerous competitions at the local, national and international level. Senpai Hung graduated from UC Riverside with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2007 to help with the organization and dojos day to day operations.Titles include multi-time female kata champion at the Riverside Shotokan Karate Championships and the AJKA-I America’s Cup.Amy Hung can be reached at hung -at- ajkai-usa -dot- com.
Christine Münnich - 5th.Dan
Christine Münnich started practicing Shotokan Karate in 1992. From the beginning she followed the way of traditional Shotokan karate under various instructors.In 2001, she became acquainted with Sensei Safar andwith him the AJKA International, which has since become a permanent part on her way.She took part in the first instructor class of the AJKA-I conducted in Germany under the direction of Sensei Safar and has the instructor's diploma recognized by the European Sports Academy of the country Brandenburg (ESAB) as well as the instructor's license in recreational sports.She also competed in numerous competitions and achieved national and international success.