It is with mixed emotions that we say farewell to Sensei Ken Tork, Sandan here at the A.K.E.A.

Mr. Tork will  be investing his time with work and family preparing for a new chapter of his life.

Sensei Tork’s time at the A.K.E.A. has been invaluable as a student, instructor, and contributor to the high standards that we set for our school and instruction. I have known Mr. Tork since the 90s when the first school opened in Auburn, as one of the first students to begin training.  Throughout this journey, he has shown the dedication and commitment to making his skill and that of his students exceptional. He has brought many students to black belt over the years; Mr. Tork challenged and guided them with what each needed to be successful. Mr. Tork’s fighting group has been legendary drawing consistent high attendance. 

Mr. Tork has seen changes in school management, locations, instructors, and students, all the while remaining stalwart and steady to give us a sense of stability.  Professionally, his desire for excellence will be long remembered.

We make bonds here as instructors. Personally, Sensei Tork is my friend. I have traveled roads of tragedy and triumph with him.  I’ve seen him create hope for others all over the country out of his own personal loss. I’ve prayed with him and tried to encourage him through rough times, but in actuality he ended up encouraging me more. All instructors over the years have been touched positively in many ways by Mr. Tork.

Sensei Tork, you will be sorely missed. I know that you will stay in touch as much as possible. This lame attempt to honor you is very inadequate. What I’ve shared with you over the years is beyond words. I’m not going to say “goodbye”. I will offer you the famous farewell of a great warrior – “live long and prosper”. 

Mr. Harmaning, Shihan
Founder and Head Instructor

 Photo credit:  Silent Knight Productions LLC

It is with great sadness that the A.K.E.A. announces the resignation of Mr. Tork

I have the known Mr. Tork since he joined the A.K.E.A. somewhere around late 1994/early 1995.  At that time the school was located out in North Auburn in a small storefront.  He was part of a group of die-hard gung-ho advanced students that came to my advanced group every Wednesday.  There were about a dozen students and groups were intense with bruises and bloody noses being fairly common.  Mr. Tork was always there, and I knew even then he was a special student.

A couple years later, I had the immense privilege of becoming his private instructor.  Later on, he become one of the instructors teaching for me at the school.  It was during this time that my respect for his dedication and commitment really grew.  We would often drive down to Oregon together to complete in tournaments. and Mr. Tork almost always finished in the top 3 for sparring in his divisions.

As instructor he is second to none.  Students have always appreciated his commitment to teach real life self-defense.  As students are getting ready for their black belt test, there is no one I would trust more to get them ready.  I have always had complete confidence in him, and I know that there is nothing more important to him than the development of his students.  He has always given 100% to them.

We have been there for each other, at both our high points and our low points in life.  At one point I had to step away from the school for a couple years, and it was Mr. Tork that sought me out and convinced me to come back to the school.  Over the 20+ years we have training and taught together, Mr. Tork has become more than just a student to me, he is someone I count as a friend.  I understand that sometimes life has a ways of interfering with your plans, but I have every confidence that Mr. Tork will continue his journey in the martial arts.

His presence will be greatly missed, and the school will seem a lot quieter without his energy. Take care Mr. Tork! – Sensei Craig Moore, Yondan