Karl Hovey started his martial arts training on Okinawa in 1958 at the age of 7. For the next nine years he trained in Okinawa Kempo, Gojo-Ryu, and Judo. In 1967, he relocated to Northern Virginia where he became a lifelong student of Master Donald Bohan.
In 1973 at East Cost Armed Forces Karate Tournament in Dover, Delaware, he took home every honor awarded and also won the coveted “Best Spirited Karate-Ka Award.” In 1975 he again won “Best Spirited Karate-Ka Award” in Knoxville, Tennessee at a tournament sponsored by Master Harold Long.
With Master Bohan’s blessings, he began training with Grandmaster Angi Uezu. In 1998 he continued supporting Grandmaster Uezu through Master Tsuyoshi Uechi, when Grandmaster Uezu passed his linage to Uechi Sensei. He produced the first Isshin-Ryu Interactive Guide in 1998, which provides computer users with an interactive multimedia product to enhance their studies.
In 2002, Grand Master Angi Uezu awarded him 8th Dan in Isshin-Ryu Karate. In 2007, he and Master Tsuyoshi Uechi co-founded the Isshin Ryu Okinawa Traditional Karate-Do Association (www.IOTKA.com). Through his efforts, IOTKA now has representatives in the USA, the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Kosovo, Romania, Australia, and Puerto Rico. Grand Master Harold Mitchum accepted the position as IOTKA US Special Advisor. Master Tom Lewis has accepted positions as IOTKA Advisor and State Representative, and Master John Bartusevics has accepted a position as IOTKA Advisor.
IOTKA’s goals are to have Master Shimabuku and Isshin-Ryu recognized by the Okinawan Prefecture Karate Rengokai (association) as being a traditional Ryu (style, to ensure the preservation and unity of traditional Isshin-Ryu Karate-Do for future generations, and to teach and encourage all members to be an honest person with a strong spirit and body through the teachings of those who have gone before.