The American Shorin-ryu Karate Association is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the growth and advancement of the Okinawan martial arts. Founded in 1969, the ASKA has grown from a single club at The Ohio State University to a nationwide network of schools dedicated to teaching the Okinawan arts of karate (unarmed self-defense) and kobudo (Okinawan weaponry). Its schools pledge to maintain the highest standards of professional, personal and business conduct; to encourage the physical, spiritual, and moral development of instructors and students; to serve their communities and country; and to honor those who have gone before and devoted their lives to the advancement of the Art of Karate.

In 1988, the ASKA was incorporated with a tax-exempt status under section 501 (c)(3) by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. This determination was based on its mission of public education in the Okinawan martial arts, including providing training and promotional standards, certifying rank, presenting educational clinics and camps, providing financial assistance to worthy students and instructors in accordance with its ability, standards, and procedures; and performing public service.

The leaders of the ASKA are called Papa to reflect the close feeling of family that being a part of the ASKA provides. Papa Joe, Papa Paul and Papa Jules serve as members of the Executive Promotional Board (EPB).

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