More about Thomas Kern and Juko Kai Martial Arts Center
I grew up in Minnesota and have lived in Iowa and Michigan. I now reside in Fort Collins, Colorado with my family. As a kid, I enjoyed watching martial arts movies and felt drawn to the confidence and power I saw portrayed in them. At 17 I bought my first martial arts book called, The Modern Book of Karate. It was the closest I could get to learning about any martial art at that time. In college, I was finally able to sign up for Taekwondo and Capoeira courses in college. Both of which opened up my ability to move. In 2005 I began to study Gung Fu and earned a black belt in this art. For the last 10 years I have studied with Soke Rod Sacharnowski founder of Juko Kai International. I continue to study with him in Tai Ki, KiJutsu and Toho.
More about Juko-Kai International
Soke Rod Sacharnoski is the Founder/Head Of Family of Juko-Kai International which is one of the oldest, traditional martial arts unions in the United States. In the Orient he is considered to be one of the West’s highest graded, non-Asian martial arts masters. This remarkable, traditional martial artist has more than 50 years of training to his credit (1950-present), and has earned his dan rankings under traditional Asian masters and/or their official representatives. Rod Sacharnoski is one of the few non-Asians to have documented Japanese recognition and sponsorship as a Soke Head-Founder. He is the recognized Soke Shodai (1st Generation Head Founder) of the Juko-ryu and Juko-Kai Nihon-ryu style of martial arts. In addition, he developed and founded Combat-Ki™ and Tai-Ki© which are world renown systems. On September 01, 2001, Soke Sacharnoski was one of the very few non-Asians to be promoted to the rank of 9th dan on Okinawa. He was graded to 9th dan Hanshi in Seidokan Karate, Kobudo and Toide by Shian Toma, Soke/Headmaster of the All Okinawa Seidokan Karate And Kobudo Renmei, Okinawa/Japan. In April of 2002, Professor Sacharnoski also received a high dan grading under Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, 34th Generation Soke of Togakure-ryu Ninjutsu, Japan. So really, who is he? Rod Sacharnoski is a world class demonstrator who has given major exhibitions in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Puerto Rico, Japan, etc. There is a waiting list to have him visit foreign countries to teach and demonstrate the traditional systems that he represents. During his law enforcement career (1961-present), he trained police personnel throughout the United States and is still active in this respect. Rod has taught Police Defensive Tactics (PDT) and Police Impact Weaponry (PIW) to personnel from Federal, State, County, and Municipal law enforcement agencies, which includes members of the Ross Perot Security group in Texas. He is also recognized as being one of the original United States pioneers in PDT-PIW, organizing and teaching programs in the early 1960s when few departments had this type of training. In 1988, Soke Sacharnoski trained the Dallas Cowboys Football Team in Juko-ryu Internal Energy at their Irving headquarters in Texas. He also co-starred in a motion picture and, over the years, has been featured in numerous national and international martial arts magazines and publications. Rod was the first known person, according to the late Don Red Barry, (who appeared in a great many films) to accept a real full-power blow to a vital area of the human body in a motion picture. In Buckstone County Prison, Jim Bacon, a well known Hollywood columnist who made a guest star appearance and who wrote for more than 500 syndicated newspapers, was the person who struck Rod full-power in the Adam's apple with a knife-hand strike. Buckstone County Prison had a unique cast of actors to include Rod Sacharnoski and his longtime friend, associate and business partner, the late Ed Parker. In the film, both Rod and Ed portrayed sadistic prison guards. Filming took place in 1978 at EO Motion Picture Studios, Shelby, North Carolina. While in the US Marines, Soke Sacharnoski served as the Chief Instructor for the 3rd Marine Division Judo and Jujutsu Club, Camp Courtney, Okinawa (1960-61). In the US Army he served as the Chief Instructor for the Ft. Polk Judo and Jujutsu Club in Louisiana (1963), and later as the Chief Instructor for the Turley Barracks Judo and Jujutsu Club in Mannheim, Germany (1964). He performed his first Hollywood Combat-Ki™ exhibition at Inside Kung-Fu Headquarters in California (1974) at which time Soke Sacharnoski was featured on the front cover of Inside Kung-Fu magazine, which has long been a collectors item. His Combat-Ki demonstrations have appeared on ABC’s Wide World Of Sports, CNN Take Two, You Asked For It, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Seeing Is Believing, Univision, The Learning Channel’s Ultimate 10 Martial Arts, The Discovery Channel’s Way Of The Warrior, The Fit Channel, The Discovery Channel’s More Than Human, the Steve Harvey Big Time show in Hollywood, CA. and Fox Sports Science. On the highly viewed Fox Sports Science show, a new world record was established by the Juko-Kai Combat-Ki Team. The record was electronically and photographically recorded by the Fox Sports Science research team. The demo consisted of the taking of a 1,100 pounds per square inch testicle kick delivered by a 6'8", 290 lb. martial artist who kicked with the shin instead of the foot---a very dangerous kick. It also consisted of the taking of a full-power Adam's apple strike to the "relaxed" Adam's apple which was measured at more than 600 lb. per square inch. Soke Sacharnoski and his demo team, have appeared on various Japanese television specials which were aired throughout Japan. Massaki Sataki, retired Japanese Super Heavyweight K-1 champion, and Genki Sudo, another well known K-1 Champion, did the actual striking and kicking on the Juko-Kai Combat-Ki™ members. Both were amazed that their strongest punches, kicks, and strikes to the vital areas of the Juko-Kai Combat-Ki™ team members had no effect on them at all. You can view actual Combat-Ki™ demonstrations in the 'media' section of this site.