Mitch Rose, shodan (1st degree black belt)
Mitch grew up in the Chicago area, and began practicing Karate with Dominick Pizoli in 1991. He has been practicing ever since. In 1998 – 1999, Mitch practiced with Israel Shotokan while on sabbatical in Jerusalem, and became a Shodan in 1998 while training there. Mitch currently resides in Chicago together with his wife and six children.
John Wood, sandan (3rd degree black belt)
John began practicing karate in 1999, when he was a student at Northern Illinois University. John was awarded the rank of Sandan (third degree black belt) in 2013. He is a regular at regional special trainings (rigorous training sessions lasting 3-4 days), which are held 3 times a year across the Midwest. John was also selected to represent the Midwest region of Shotokan Karate of America at 2007 Nisei Week karate tournament in Los Angeles, which is the oldest karate tournament in the country. He has been leading karate practices since 2003, while he was still a brown belt. John was selected as SKA’s Midwest Member of the Year for 2007 for his commitment to SKA and his students, for representing the Midwest region in the Nisei Week national tournament, and for organizing several exchange practices with other clubs and seniors in the area. John leads the Southwest Chicago Shotokan dojo, located in Lockport, Illinois.