Grandmaster Jack Erickson was laid to rest on October 1st, 2020. He was one of Allen Steen’s original black belts as well as being an original board member of the AKBBA. Mr. E, as he was known, was a Bronze Star recipient earned by his bravery in World War II. He and his wife Marian founded the Dragon School of Taekwondo. AKBBA Chairman Keith D. Yates performed the memorial service. Mr. E was 94.
Above: Keith D. Yates, High Dan Board Chairman, Rudy Smedley (promoted to 10th dan), Dan Anderson (to 10th dan), board member Roy D. Kurban, Steve Selby (to 9th dan), and Raymond McCallum (to 10th dan) at the AKBBA High Dan promotions held on May 13, 2017. AKBBA founder Allen Steen presided over the ceremony held at Lone Star Taekwondo Academy in Pantego, Texas. Congratulations to these well-deserving martial arts icons and pioneers.
May 13, 2017: Raymond McCallum, Dan Anderson and Rudy Smedley are to be promoted to 10th dan, along with Steve Selby to 9th degree black belt at this rare ceremony. Allen Steen will head up the promotions board. Open to the public but space is limited. Come join in this celebration of four of the most accomplished martial artists in the nation.
Tim Vought, High-Dan Board member emeritus, passed away on March 18, 2017. Mr. Vought was a Dallas Police Officer for 20 years as well as a respected martial arts practitioner and instructor. He was an original black belt of Ed Daniel and fought successfully on the Texas Blood and Guts tournament circuit for years. He was also an accomplished Aikido instructor and self-defense tactics teacher in recent years a special interest in instructing senior citizens. His service to the AKBBACSHK and to the entire martial arts world will be missed.
Rudy Smedley promoted a get together of several martial arts pioneers in Ft. Worth, Texas in December. “Texas black belt” awards were presented to several folks who weren’t born here but can be considered honorary Lone Star Karateka. They included Bruce Brutschy, Michael Goldman, Sonny Onoo, and Keith Vitali. Thanks to master Smedley for putting this great event. Below: Richard Jenkins, Rudy Smedley, Bill Watson, J. Pat Burleson, and Richard Morris. Left: Keith Vitali receives his “native Texan” black belt award.
James B. Toney, 1933–2015
We are saddened to report the passing of Mr. James Toney who served with distinction as our Chairman from 1997 to 2011. He was an original board members of the old Southwest Karate Black Belt Association (the precursor to the AKBBA). He began his karate training in the early 1960s at the Texas Instruments Karate Club (TEXINS), which was one of the flagships for the development of the Allen Steen Texas Karate Institute Empire. He earned his 1st Degree Black Belt in 1968.
He was one of the most respected and admired teachers in Texas karate. Many champion fighters of the “blood and guts” era called Mr. Toney their sensei. Many of his students went on to become instructors or school owners, carrying with them Grandmaster Toney’s lessons and insights passing them down to new generations.
Mr. Toney was forever willing to learn from anyone, at any time. He achieved black belt rankings in Tae Kwon Do Moo Duk Kwan, Tae Kwon Do Chung Do Kwan, Okinawan Dai Ni Gojuryu, and Jujitsu. He was named Shihan for North America by the Kokusai Dai Ni Gojuryu Karate Kyokai. Additionally was inducted into the Texas Martial Arts Hall of Fame and was in the Karate Masters Hall of Fame.
His skills, wisdom, and friendship will be missed by not only AKBBA members but by all who knew and loved him.
220 martial artists and supporters turned out at the AKBBA 50th-year celebration banquet at the Hotel Intercontinental in Dallas on September 19. They witnessed karate demonstrations, high-dan rank promotions (Angela Bastiste to 5th, Rodney Greene and Rick Faulkner to 7th), and the Texas Blood and Guts Hall of Fame awards. Our founder, Allen Steen, seemed moved by the heart-felt accolades from some of his original black belts. Earlier in the day, almost a hundred students benefited from seminars by world-renown masters and grandmasters including Dan Anderson, Rick Moneymaker, Roy Kurban, Keith Yates, Roger Greene, John Liles, Steve Doss, Steve Selby and George Clarke. Go to www.roark-photography.com to see and order photos from this special event.
There are a very limited number of “Photo History Books” covering the first fifty years of not just the AKBBA but of Texas Karate. You may find yourself in these pages. Just ten dollars plus shipping and handling. Go to the catalog page to order yours before we run out.
Chairman Keith D. Yates and several other board members promoted five high black belt ranks to candidates testing on December 13, 2014. Aaron Barnett, Ceaser Johnson and Tim Looney received their fifth dan rankings. Caroline Goodspeed was promoted to seventh dan and Kelly Cox received his eighth dan black belt. A very special promotion was made as Mr. Duane Ethington received his tenth degree black belt certificate. Grandmaster Ethington has been in the martial arts for almost five decades and he still teaches weekly at the age of 77. He has demonstrated true warrior spirit over his career and his many students will carry on his legacy. Congratulations to all these outstanding martial artists.
The Masters Hall of Fame was held in Ft. Worth, Texas on June 6th and many AKBBA/CSHK board members and instructor members were inducted. No other martial arts organization had so many members represented. Jamie Cashion (an AKBBA/CSHK member himself) organized and hosted the record setting event. See if you can pick out the AKBBA/CSHK folks above (photo caption in the New Photos Gallery).