United States Karate Association

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United States Karate Association
Founded 1948
Founder Robert Trias
Defunct 1999
Headquarters Phoenix, Arizona
Area served
Key people
Roberta Trias-Kelley, John Pachivas, George Anderson
Owner Robert Trias
Divisions Organization of karate instructors, tournaments, demonstrations

The United States Karate Association (USKA) was the first karate organization on the mainland United States, founded by Robert Trias in 1948.[1]

The USKA became one of the largest associations of karate instructors in the nation, and through this organization Trias was also instrumental in setting up and promoting some of the first karate tournaments in the US in 1955, as well as national and worldwide competitions. The USKA rules for tournament competition are still used today in the United States with only slight variation.

At its height the USKA had more than a half-million members worldwide and conducted an annual national championship competition in the United States.[2] This competition was called the USKA National Championship in 1966 and became the USKA Grand National Championship in 1968.[1]

Trias died in 1989 of cancer, leaving the Shuri-ryu system to his daughter Roberta Trias-Kelley and precipitating a struggle for succession within the USKA.[3] Both John Pachivas, regional USKA director for the Southeastern US, and George E. Anderson (1931-2009), president of the United States Amateur Karate Federation, produced documents naming themselves as Trias' successor.[4] However, Trias-Kelley dissolved the organization in 1999, thus ending the strife.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Corcoran, John and Farkas, Emil. Martial Arts: Traditions, History, People. Gallery Books, New York (1983) p. 230.
  2. ^ a b Robert A. Trias: Father of Karate in America 1923 – 1989
  3. ^ Wallace, Bill (March 1990). Robert Trias and his USKA (Digitized by Google Books). Black Belt Magazine. p. 12. 
  4. ^ Vandehey, Tim. "Power Struggle in the USKA: Who Will Succeed Robert Trias?" Black Belt Magazine. December 1989, p. 34.