Chuck Sweigart began his training in 1981 after college. It was a late start by today's standards, but I don't ever remember seeing a Dojo anywhere in the area back then. I wanted to learn Karate because of my heritage, mental focus, and self-defense. I had no idea what an impact it would have on my life, and eventually others. I earned black belt in shotokan Karate and then joined the WKA in 1987. I immediately fell in love with the are because of the explosive but efficient movements.
I became passionate about competing and trained hard enough to win the National Championship in 1995, 96, and 97. Parallel to my competition career, I was selected to become the Sensei at the WKA Lakewood Dojo in 1995. I began to concentrate on developing the school, judging, and refereeing. In 1997, I received National Kumite Referee from the USANKF. I served on the USANKF Board of Directors ad the Shito-Ryu representative from 1994-2007.
After attending my first Pan-American Championships in the Dominican Republic in 1998, I earned the level of Pan-American Referee. I was told that it was only the second time in the history of the Pan-American Karate Federation that anyone jumped to the top level on the first try. In 2001 I was placed on the USANKF Referee Committee. this has been a tremendous responsibility as this committee is in charge of the testing, educating, and guiding all referees and judges in the USA for both kata and kumite. It also is accountable for insuring that the rules are enforced based on traditional karate concepts.
In 2004 I received the highest kumite referee license from the World Karate Federation. Shortly after, I passed for Kata judge A and became one of only seven Americans to hold the WKF Karate Referee license. One of the highlights along this journey was being selected to referee in the gold medal match, in front of 12,000 spectators, at the world Championships in Mexico.
I recently attended the world championships in Tokyo, Japan at the famous Budokan. While there, I was able to spend time with my relatives and learned that my Grandmother was "Bushi" or Samurai. Karate has been such a vital part of my life so learning that I had direct lineage with a Samurai clan made so much sense as to why I had this strong passion and enthusiasm for it. I have always been fascinated with the way of the Samurai and now, with this connection, I feel that it is my destiny to continue and to educate students to be disciplined, respectful, and to be contributing citizens to society and always strive for excellence in every part of their life. this pursuit of excellence is a quality that champions of all walks of life embrace and remember that a black belt is just a white belt that never quit.