The Korean Karate Academy of Alaska is a traditional martial arts club teaching Tang Soo Do in Juneau, Alaska.

About the Korean Karate Academy

The establishment of the Korean Karate Academy began by chance. In 1962, Mr. Edward Ormanian was training in Judo at the Downriver YMCA in Wyandotte, Michigan, where he met a student who said, “he was in karate.” The karate class was on alternate nights, so Mr. Ormanian went the next night to watch a class.

Mr. Drouillard, the first American to receive a blue belt in Tang Soo Do, was instructing the class at the time. He was with the US Army in Korea when he earned a 1st degree blue belt under the instruction of Grand Master Hwang Kee. He returned to Michigan and opened the first karate club in the state. As previously stated, the midnight blue belt in Tang Soo Do is the equivalent of a black belt in other styles. The term “Dan” is used in reference to those wearing this belt.

After a few months, Mr. Drouillard became ill and Mr. Russ Hanke, who was a 1st Dan at that time, took over as instructor. In 1962, they sent to Korea for an instructor. When Mr. Sang Kyu Shim arrived, they had about 120 students. Three months later, the club was down to about 25 students.

Mr. Shim stayed with the club for about nine months. During that time, Mr. Ormanian attained the rank of 1st Gup. At the age of 39, Mr. Ormanian received his 1st Dan (1st degree blue belt) in October 1966. Mr. Shim left to form his own organization, “United Tae Kwan Do.”

In July 1964, Mr. Ormanian’s son, Aaron, at the age of 12, began his training in Tang Soo Do. Aaron received his 1st Dan on August 20, 1967. At that time, the age limit to even start training was 14. Some clubs took students only at the age of 18. When Aaron made 1st Dan at the age of 15, it was a first in the Detroit area. At the age of 17, he won the Grand Championship for Michigan at the Michigan State University. He received his 4th Degree Master’s Certificate in April 1983.

In March 1968, Mr. Ormanian and his son, Aaron, located a building in Allen Park, Michigan, and opened the Korean Karate Academy, which is now one of the oldest continuing Karate clubs in Michigan. In June of that year, Michael Ban and Bruce Massey began their training. They were 13 years old.

In the year 1969, Mr. Jae Jun Kim, 8th Dan, Chung Ill Kim, and the future Mrs. Dale Drouillard, arrived in Michigan to form The “American Tang Soo Do Federation,” under the direction of Grand Master Hwang Kee. Mr. Ormanian trained with Mr. Kim and tested for his 2nd Dan in November 1969. His 3rd Dan came in October 1973, and his Masters in September 1976. He has attended seminars taught by Grand Master Hwang Kee and his son, Hyung Chul.

Mr. Ormanian’s students have entered and won many tournaments. He now has students teaching in many states, from Alaska to Florida. In April 1983, he formed his own organization, thereby being able to certify his own Dans.