By Shihan Roger A. Jarrett

Like a proud father, I am very excited to announce that our very own Jake Lease has been named the new CEO for USA Karate (USANKF).   At our recent USANKF Board of Directors meeting in January, Jake was promoted to this position by a unanimous vote.  Jake has been working extremely hard over the past few years as the USANKF Director of Events and Member Services at our Colorado Springs office.  Mr. Lease has done a fantastic job directing our two large events, the USA Open in Las Vegas each year, and our annual National Championships.  He has also been essential in coordinating US Team travel around the world.  He will continue that and more in his new position.

Jake is from Bancroft, WV and started his Martial Arts training with me at the age of ten.  As a teenager he became a junior assistant instructor at our Teays Valley location, and competed regularly in local, regional, and national karate championships.  He went to college at the WV Institute of Technology in Montgomery, WV, where he also trained and assisted at our USA Martial Arts Montgomery branch.  Jake eventually became a senior instructor at our USA Martial Arts Federation Headquarters Dojo in St. Albans, WV.  He worked tirelessly teaching at both the St. Albans and Kanawha City locations.  He soon served not only as a senior instructor, but as the Office Manager at the USAMAF national headquarters as well as my direct personal assistant.

Sensei Lease holds several Martial Arts ranks including 4th Dan in Tae Kwon Do, 4th Dan in Karate Do, 3rd Dan in Aikido, 3rd Dan in Judo, 3rd Dan in Jujitsu, and 3rd Dan in Iaido.  He also became one of our youngest ever Pan American Karate Referees.  His skill and knowledge I the Martial Arts is outstanding. 

During my tenure as both Secretary General and President of the USANKF, Jake was my right hand.  He honed his skills for his present position traveling with me to many events.  He assisted me as I negotiated, developed, and ran many national events.  Jake was part of the development of the USA Open as we held the very first one in West Virginia.  He helped tremendously as we salvaged the event after everything was dropped in out laps.
After I hired Luke St. Onge as our Executive Director we sent Jake out to assist him with our new USANKF office in Colorado Springs.  Luke was familiar with the workings of the USOC but really knew nothing about the sport and art of Karate.  Jake hit the ground running and was excited to serve the Olympic Karate movement.

I have full confidence that Jake will do a tremendous job as CEO.  All of the Instructors and student of the USA Martial Arts Federation wish him well in his new position.  He needs all our prayers and support.  His love of the Martial Arts and his great hope for the future of Olympic Karate is unbounded.
Congratulations Mr. Jake Lease!!