AKJU Team America

The A.K.J.U. TEAM AMERICA and A.K.J.U. ALL AMERICAN is a non discriminating Certified Federation recorded with the United States of America State of Ohio, Office of the Secretary of State, which is open to all styles, age and belt rank, giving them the opportunity to travel and compete internationally and still remain in their own Dojo system or Federation.

The team provides the opportunity to take advantage of what life has to offer and see the world as others who live there. We get to see and join in with the different customs, make friends with people from other countries and learn history as it really is and was. We see and do things you have only dreamed about or never thought possible. The A.K.J.U. TEAM AMERICA has all this to offer and more. With the love of God, family and friends, all things are possible.

AKJU Team America travels and competes overseas in a number of nations including, Ireland, England, Whales, Italy, France, Egypt, Holland and others. In1998 I competed on the team in the United States only, but in 1999 I traveled with them to Europe. Below you will find more information on my exploits with Coach and GrandMaster Don Madden during the time that I spent on the team.

Black Belt Kata CompetitionBlack Belt Kata CompetitionBlack Belt Weapons KataBlack Belt Weapons Kata
Men's Black Belt KumiteFirst Gold of the Day!American Gold Metal Fighting TeamAmerican Silver Medal Fighting Team

Irish Cup Competitions

Each year AKJU competes in the Annual Irish Cup Karate and Jiu Jitsu tournament. While we have had the Irish cross the pond to the United States in the past (1998), we normally travel to Europe to compete with them. When held in Europe, the tournament is held in Dublin, Ireland but the team flies in over a week in advance to travel and tour various other countries in Europe. The tournament is held on the last day before returning to the US.

3rd Irish Cup -1999I competed in both the 1998 Cup held here in America, as well as the 1999 Cup held in Dublin. During the 99 trip I toured with the team for a week in Ireland, England and Whales getting to see things I never dreamt I would experience.

I can't explain what it's like to go to a land where everything is so old and history goes so very far back. In America, 100-200 years is very old, but in Europe, that's a baby. I saw castles over 1000 years old and Stonehenge... over 4000 years old! I always tell everyone that my trip with Team America to Europe was the funnest 11 days of my life.

Men's 18-35 Black Belt KumiteThe Irish Cup competitions have hundreds of competitors made up of both American and Irish competitors. I believe that some competitors also come from other nearby lands in the UK. In addition to Karate, the competition has a rapidly growing portion dedicated to Jiu Jitsu competition.

In addition to adults, the Team also has children that have qualified as All Americans and compete in their respective divisions as well. AKJU Team America was founded by and is coached by GrandMaster Don Madden who is based out of Chillicothe, Ohio.

Awards from 1999 Irish Cup

1998 & 1999 Tournaments

My first Irish Cup was actually held at Ohio University here in the United States. The Irish Team traveled here to compete with us on this, the second in a long series of Irish Cups to follow. I did quite well at this tournament coming home with three gold medals.

The following year, 1999, the competition was to travel back overseas to the homeland of Ireland where I along with dozens of other competitors and their families traveled to answer the challenge. We flew out of New York into London and spent the next 9 days touring the sights and wonders of Ireland, England and Whales. On day 10 we competed in the tournament and day 11 put us back in London to board our plane home. Once again, I did quite well in the competition bringing home two gold medals and one silver.

1999 Team America & Family in Dublin, Ireland
1999 Team America & Family in Dublin, Ireland

This time I took my first shot at an event called "team fighting" where each team breaks up their Black Belt men into smaller 5-man teams. All 5-man teams enter into the fighting competition against one another, so Americans end up battling Americans at some point. The actual fighting is done one-on-one, then the scores of all 5 men are added up to total against the opposing 5 men's scores.

We did great against the Irish with my 5-man team taking second place to one of our other 5-man teams. So, America took both the Gold and Silver in that event. At the end of the tournament, all scores from all events are totaled to determine which country's combined team had the highest overall score. Both years I competed we won that honor awarding us the prized "Irish Cup" each year.

Gold & Silver winning 5-man fighting teams
Gold & Silver winning 5-man fighting teams


Touring with the Team

Traveling with the team is unbelievable fun. Your going to fantastic places with a great bunch of people... everyone's always pumped up and excited. We filled up two tour buses and had 4 of the best guides and drivers you could ask for. We toured England most of the time, primarily London. Then on to Whales for a day and spent the last few days touring around Ireland before the tournament. We went so many places and saw so many things, there's no way I can show it all to you here. No digital camera back then, so scanning in hundreds and hundreds of photos is just to much work. But, here are just a few shots from our trip to give you a taste of the wonderful things we experienced.

More on AKJU Team America

AKJU Team AmericaFor more information on AKJU Team America and what they are up to now, visit their official web site at the link provided below.