Joseph Stifter

Joseph Stifter is a Technical Director for UKAI Midwest, a Chief Instructor with Shotokan Karate of Lakeville, and currently holds the rank of Yondan. He began his training in the Fall of 1994 at the age of 6. Through the next few years he advanced through the kyu ranks, and at the age of 10 enlisted into the Black Belt Academy, successfully graduating a year later. In February of 2000, meeting the minimum age requirement of 12, he tested for and achieved the rank of Shodan. A year later, Joseph was diagnosed with an illness in which he experienced severe migraines and dizziness, but he always kept up his karate training. While struggling to overcome the illness, he tested for and passed his Nidan exam, at the minimum age of 14. That same year, due to his perseverance to achieve his next rank, even while dealing with the illness, Joseph received the Gold Tiger Award for Leadership in Karate-do from the American Shotokan Karate Federation (ASKF). In 2006, due to a dispute over the maturity of an 18 year old testing for their Sandan, the ASKF Board of Directors voted and passed an amendment named the “Joseph Stifter Clause” into the organization’s constitution, allowing him and any other karateka to take the exam under special circumstances. He passed the exam, achieving the rank of Sandan. That same year, Joseph entered college and became the Chief Instructor of the University of St. Thomas Shotokan Karate Club as well as the Club’s Vice President. A year later, he was promoted to the role of President. The club was unfortunately disbanded in 2008. For the next few years, he decided to focus on his college career and practiced on his own in St. Paul when time permitted. In 2011 he moved back to Lakeville, and resumed teaching and training with the Lakeville Shotokan Karate Club. During his karate career, he has competed in multiple Regional, National, and International Tournaments including locations such as Des Moines, Riverside, Las Vegas, and New York City. In 2005 he held the International Title in his division for Kata at the Funakoshi Shotokan International Championships. In 2006 he was accepted into the United States Karate Team and competed in the 2006 Japan Karate Association (JKA) International Championships. He has won countless Outstanding Junior and Senior Male competitor awards, and on multiple occasions, taken first place in Kata, Team Kata, Mandatory Kata, and Kumite.