The Art of Karate w/ Sensei Jann Aki

Updated: Jul 1

Protecting Women & Children through Martial Arts

According to the 2022 U.S. Statistics, 1 in every 4 women experience domestic violence every day, and 1 in every 6 women are raped everyday. One Master Sensei hopes to make a difference for the female victims, or potential victims, of such crimes.

Sensei Jann Aki was born and raised in Kaneohe Hawaii to incredible parents who loved and supported him.

“Mom was sweet and always supportive [and my] father was the strict one who taught me the hard way with nothing coming easy so don’t expect it.’ Boxing was his thing and soon became my thing. Lots of training but loved it. I miss him so much.”

The once skinny kid with black wavy hair was no stranger to altercations growing up due to his name being “Jann”; a name he now embraces with pride.

Sensei Aki had his first lesson in October of 1968 at the tender age of 11 years old.

“One night dad and I were coming back from the store and stopped at a traffic light. We both looked to the right and saw this karate school with kids training. Dad goes… you like go see? And I said yah we go. Dad made a turn around and parked. We walked in and I saw 4 of my friends training. They said, come join. After my dad spoke with the teacher. Dad says, go try. So, with big smiles, cuz I stay with friends, I jumped in. Man… what a mistake that was. Dad said you can’t quit. Keep going. So, with tears and encouragement I hung in there even after my 4 friends stopped training.”

“After studying with many Sensei’s around the world and learning many different styles of martial arts, I became a sensei and am now using my skills to teach men, women and children to protect themselves.”

Sensei Aki says that doing what he loves to do is his greatest accomplishment, and now his passion, to date. He even opened his first dojo in 1979, which was in his backyard.

“My dad said if no work out then we make into extra house to rent. This never did happen as we just grew. 1100 sf full mirrors on one wall. Wooden floors with lots of toys (bags, mats, training equipment). A sweat box as they say. Our dojo was admired by many who came to train and visit.”

In the 90’s, Sensei Aki was asked to teach martial arts awareness training to women at the company he worked for. He has since worked with women and children who have experienced domestic abuse and toxic environments. He hopes to provide “moral support with a sense of awareness and confidence. A few basic drills that could change the course of direction. Exercises cardio with a whole lot of energy and love.”

“Martial arts is great for everyone. No matter what age or gender. It is good for the mind, body & soul. Give it a try!”

If you would like to join Sensei Aki’s dojo, sign up at, or you can give them a call at (808) 741-3420.

Follow them on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube @gojukanhawaii.

Watanabe Floral.png