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Traditional Karate-do
in AAU Sports

The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) of the United States is one of the world's largest sanctioning bodies for athletic competition, perhaps second only to the International Olympic Committee. The world headquarters of the AAU is now at the Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The historical importance of the AAU is perhaps best summarized by this quote from their web site:

"Established in 1888 by sports leaders who collectively became the first to define amateurism and create standards for amateur athletes in the country, the AAU has grown from its original 15 member clubs to 58 AAU Associations and approximately 8,000 clubs. The AAU continues to operate on the basic principles upon which the organization was founded: to maintain and to protect the mutual interests of its members while advancing and improving amateur sports. "

Among the hundreds of sports activities sanctioned and organized under the umbrella of AAU competition is traditional karate-do. The AAU has a stringent system for the certification of referees and judges for karate competition, which makes AAU karate competition one of the safest and most fairly and impartially judged sports activities. A key member of the technical committee for AAU Karate is Shimabukuro Masayuki Hanshi.

The Nippon Karate-do/Kobudo Seishin-Kan requires all of its active members to join the AAU, because the Seishin-Kan itself operates under the sanction of the AAU. AAU membership dues are extremely reasonable, considering the value received. Annual dues for adults are only $25.00, and for youth under the age of 18 dues are only $12.00. Basically, that's just $1.00 a month for youth and $2.00 a month for adults. The membership period is September through August, and there is no proration of the annual dues.

In addition to providing excellent insurance coverage in the event of a training accident, the AAU affords several excellent tournament opportunities each year. Usually there is a local qualifying tournament prior to the regional finals, then there are regional tournaments whose top competitors are eligible to compete in the annual national AAU championships, and from there possibly compete in the Junior Olympics.

Click on the AAU logo to visit the AAU Karate web site

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2003   Leonard J. Pellman

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