Mr. Ichikawa is the Chief Instructor and owner of Thousand Oaks/Westlake Karate Studios. He began his martial arts study in 1970 in the Chuck Norris system of Tang Soo Do. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Service from U.C.L.A. in 1969. In the early years, he trained under such martial arts greats as Chuck Norris and Pat Johnson.
In November of 1971, at the rank of 4th gup (level) green belt, he became manager and daytime instructor at the Norris studio in Sherman Oaks, California. After earning his first dan (degree) in November of 1973, he opened his own studio, the Tarzana Karate Studio, with partner, Harold Gross in 1974.
Mr. Ichikawa moved his residence to Thousand Oaks in 1981, and started a Tang Soo Do program at the Thousand Oaks Community Center under the Department of Parks and Recreation in June of 1983. By 1986, the program grew to over 170 students. The Thousand Oaks Karate Studio was opened in 1987.
Then, in 1987, Mr. Ichikawa created the “AMERICAN TANG SOO DO ALLIANCE” to join together all the studios of his Black Belt students as a formal organization. The Alliance currently consists of the Thousand Oaks, Acton, Eagle Rock, Chatsworth Karate, Statesboro Karate and The Way Studios. Many of his students have gone on to form their own studios throughout the state of California, and enjoy the close attention and leadership that Mr. Ichikawa provides to all his students, from first-time members all the way to black belt studio owners.