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American Karate Academies National Association (AKANA) is a national karate organization founded by GM Jerry Piddington, first known as American Karate Academies (AKA), which was conceived at Mr. Piddington's karate school in Anaheim, California in 1969 (a Tracy Karate Studio). AKA continued in 1974 during the era of Hanshi Piddington's Maryland and Virginia Schools. Shortly afterward, in 1976, the Carolina era began with Mr. Piddington's Black Belt Academies in Charlotte, NC, where he formed the National Karate Association (NKA) which birthed the undefeated kickboxing team, The Charlotte Warhawks. AKA and NKA evolved into AKANA in 1991 with schools on the East Coast in Virginia, NC, and SC, and on the West Coast in Medford, Oregon, and has continued to this day. AKANA now has chartered schools, individual black belt members, and individual kyu-rank members across the nation. AKANA is a gathering place for everyone who is a part of the history and lineage of O'Shihan Jerry Piddington from the beginning to the present. AKANA is committed to honoring and preserving its history. AKANA is a family of like-minded people who are bonded together for the purpose of supporting and encouraging each other.
These are the AKANA memberships available:
AKANA provides its school-chartered members and individual members (any style) access to promotions, teaching credentials, honored titles, and proclamation of styles endorsed and signed by Grandmaster Jerry C. Piddington with an AKANA verification number authenticating the certificate. All promotions must go through the Head Instructor of the Chartered School unless they are Individual Yudansha (Black Belt) or Mudansha (Kyu-rank) Members.
These are the promotions available:
Here are some of the benefits of joining AKANA:
School Charter Members:
This membership is for all dojo owners, no matter the style they teach, who want to include and document their art in the annals of AKANA history with the opportunity to include their students as part of this prolific AKANA family lineage.
Yudansha (Black Belt) Members:
This membership is for Black Belts who belong to an AKANA Chartered School or Individual Black Belts that do not belong to an AKANA Chartered School but wish to be a part of the AKANA family. If an Individual Yudansha belongs to a school that is not an AKANA Chartered School, the blessing of the school owner is required.
Mudansha (Below Black Belt) Members:
This membership is for Kyu-ranked students who belong to an AKANA Chartered School or Individual Kyu-ranked students that do not belong to an AKANA Chartered School but wish to be a part of the AKANA family. If an Individual Mudansha belongs to a school that is not an AKANA Chartered School, the blessing of the school owner is required.
School Chartered Lifetime Members:
This membership is for elite high dan school owners who are committed to AKANA for life. This membership includes:
School Charter Members and Individual Black Belt Members may join AKANA at any time. These members are due annually from the date their membership dues are processed.
Individual Kyu-rank memberships are based on belt rank. Students are required to join AKANA or renew their AKANA memberships before they are promoted to certain belt ranks in their system of study. There will be membership drives during certain times of the year, especially before AKANA events, to help school owners generate revenue with the Mudansha memberships. Schools can adjust when their students are due according to their Kyu-rank system. Kyu members receive a membership certificate and patch based on a four-patch system as follows:
There are several ways to join or renew AKANA memberships. If you belong to an AKANA chartered school, you should apply through the head instructor unless instructed otherwise. The person applying must first fill out an application. The application can be completed with an online form located on this website, by visiting the JOIN page, or a hard copy form provided by the school-chartered dojo. Once the application is approved, AKANA will send the applicant an online payment form by email or messenger, or they can pay their membership dues from this website by visiting the SHOP page or sending a check made to AKANA by mail. Please call, text, or email us if there are any questions.
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