Make your own free website on
Black Belts
Home Yakusoku Kumite Kata Requirements Vocabulary
Black Belts Affiliation News Web Sites Contact Us

The Ambler Area YMCA Goju-Ryu Karate dojo studies the Japanese style of Goju-Ryu Karate.


Mr. William "Bill" Kane

Mr. Kane has been practicing Goju for over 20 years and is now a 5th degree black belt in the GKK (Goju -Ryu Karate-Do Kyokai). He was also awarded Renshi status and has help in the training and development of over two dozen blackbelts at Ambler YMCA.

Sensei Kane began his early Martial Arts training in Tai kwon do in 1976. He did not get seriously involved in the martial arts until he began training in Goju Ryu in 1981 under Sensei James Hagan. Together they began the karate program at Ambler Area YMCA in 1984 and he received his Shodan (1st degree) in 1985 in New City, NY under S. Hagan.

In 1993, when S. Hagan accepted an overseas assignment, Sensei Kane took over the Ambler program. It became affiliated with the GKK in October of 1994. In October of that year he received his Nidan (2nd degree) along with the "Chief Instructor " certificate from S. Rich Stamper, president GKK .

In May 1995, Sensei Kane traveled to Freemont and Toledo, Ohio and trained at two dojos and then tested Sandan (3rd degree) under a testing board led by Renshi Brad Smith at Freemont.

In April 1998, Sensei Kane was invited and tested Yondan (4th degree) under S. Motoo Yamakura at the GKK National Blackbelt promotional in Findlay, Ohio.

After a week of training in Tulsa, OK under Yamakura Shihan, Mr. Kane was promoted to Godan (5th degree) on June 30, 2001

On June 1, 2002, after completing both oral and written exams, Sensei Kane was awarded Renshi status by the chairman of the GKK, Yamakura Shihan.


Mr. Allen "Zak" Zaklad, Senior Instructor

Zak is a 3nd degree black belt in Goju Ryu Karate.

He joined the program at the Ambler Area YMCA in 1984 and has been karateka since then. In 1995, he received the "most improved student" award from GKK. In August 1996, he received his shodan rank from Sensei Kane, supervised by Renshi Brad Smith. In the Fall of 1996, Zak accepted the post of Assistant Instructor. In April 1998, he attended the GKK National Blackbelt promotional in Findlay, Ohio, and participated in the black belt seminar under Shihan Yamakura in 2001. Zak was promoted to Nidan rank in August 1999, and to Sandan in February 2004 by Sensei Kane. He regularly travels with and assists Renshi Brad Smith. Zak also studies tai chi chuan.


Mr. John Henderson



Mr. Jon Rook

Mr. Rook is a 3rd degree black belt in GoJu Ryu Karate.

Mr. Rook first began studying martial arts when he joined his college's Tai Kwon Do club. That affiliation only lasted one year and it was more than 13 years before he was able to resume his study of the martial arts.

In 1992 Mr. Rook joined the Ambler dojo. In August of 1998 Mr. Rook achieved one of his lifelong dreams by being promoted to black belt. Recognizing that he still has much to learn, he has continued his training as both a student and an instructor at the dojo. In October of 2000 he was promoted to 2nd degree black belt (nidan), and in March of 2004 he was awarded his 3rd degree black belt (sandan). Mr. Rook looks forward to continuing his study of GoJu Ryu at the Ambler dojo.


Mr. Victor "Vic" Lim

Mr. Lim is a 3rd degree black belt in Goju-Ryu Karate

Mr. Lim began his martial arts training in 1980 at the Shorei Kan Okinawan GoJu Ryu dojo in Peekskill, NY. In 1984 he received his Shodan and became assistant instructor at the Shorei Kan dojo. In 1985 Mr. Lim moved to Philadelphia and stopped formal training until January 1998 when he joined the Ambler GKK dojo as a white belt. He tested for a GKK Shodan in August 1998 under Sensei Bill Kane and Renshi Brad Smith.  In October 2000 Mr. Lim received his Nidan from Sensei Kane. Mr. Lim has attended the annual black belt seminars taught by Master Motoo Yamakura in 2000, 2001 and 2002 (in Ambler, PA). Mr Lim received his Sandan in October 2002.


Mr. George Connaghan

Mr. Connaghan is a 2nd degree black belt in Goju-Ryu Karate.


Ms. Helen Muth

Ms. Muth is a 1st degree black belt in Goju-Ryu Karate.

Ms Muth joined the Ambler program in 1996 due to the encouragement of Chuck Fischer.  Over the next five years under the tutelage and guidance of Sensei Bill Kane, Zak , George, John and Victor she progressed steadily through the Kyu ranks.  She received her Shodan rank in May of 2001.  Ms. Muth enjoys reading about Goju-Ryu, Karate and the bubishi.


Mr. Paul Stetsko

Mr. Stetsko is a 1st degree black belt (Shodan) in Goju Ryu Karate.

Paul began his martial arts training in GoJu-Ryu in 1984 under Sensei Don Warrener. In 1990 Sensei Warrener's dojo closed, and Paul decided to take a few years off. Six years later and after some prompting from his oldest son, studied Wado-Kai for two years. He then moved to the Philadelphia area in 1998 where he studied American Kenpo and received a 1st degree black belt. In 2002 he joined the Ambler GKK dojo and was awarded Shodan rank in October 2004 by Sensei Kane..


Mr. Tom Berthoff, Shodan

Mr. Berthoff is a 1st degree black belt (Shodan) in Goju Ryu Karate.

Tom has been practicing with the Ambler GKK since 2001 when he started coming to the Saturday classes with his kids Thea and Ryan. Tom has been involved with martial arts on and off since he was 12 years old, but only began studying seriously after joining the Ambler GKK. His main teachers before starting Goju-ryu under Sensei Kane were: Sifu Rodney Hard, Okinawan Kempo; Sifu Chet Zajac, Tang Soo Do; Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei, Aikido; and Kanjuro Shibata Sensei, Kyudo. Tom is also a long-time student and practitioner of the Shambhala Buddhist warrorship teachings under Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham, Rinpoche.


Mr Howard Blum

Mr. Blum is a 1st degree black belt (Shodan) in Goju Ryu Karate.

Howard began his training in the martial arts when still in grade-school at a YMCA sponsored judo program in New York. He later went on to study a variety of art forms including Shodokan, Tai Kwon Do, Akido, Kung Fu and Hapkido (1st degree black belt). After joining the Ambler Y in 1997, he began to study GoJu-Ryu through GKK and received his 1st degree black belt in October 2004 from Sensei Kane.

Visiting Black Belts

Copyright 2006 Amber Area YMCA Goju-Ryu Karate