A letter from a former student of Mr. Tork

Mr. Tork, I was a student of yours a few years back at Auburn. I just want to say thank you for what you taught me, because it saved me from getting into a fight today.

I live in Seattle, I was walking towards Broadway & Pine and this transient standing at the corner immediately made eye contact with me, glared, made a fist with his hands and starting walking towards me. I felt threatened. I put a hand up and told the guy to “back up and let’s not do this”, he just put on a meaner face, starting mumbling crazy talk to himself (he seemed mentally unstable) and kept coming towards me.

At that point I remembered what you taught me in de-escalating. I had both my hands up, open palm so people could see I was not the aggressor and at the same time be ready to defend myself. I started shouting “No” “Stop” “Call 911”. I had to walk backwards for maybe a minute with my arms out and shouting. But someone from across the street yelled out that they called 911. At that point because of making a scene and someone calling the police, this guy saw this I was starting to be too much trouble and he walked away.

I just want to say thank you. I’ve had several martial art instructors over the years. All of them have taught me self –defenses and discipline. But you were the one who taught me how to try and de-escalate the situation; to avoid the fight from happening. That training helped me get out of a bad situation today without any harm done.

Thank you for your teachings.
Steven Palmer

Mrs. Tecklenburg regrets she will be missing the A.K.E.A. Christmas Party this year, and would like to share this with her fellow warriors:

I will be at that game in the freezing Toronto stadium, and thinking of all of you: My Warrior Partner Ms White, and our core group.  As Mr Tork has said, you know who that core group is.  (Mr Hansen, Mr Tipton, Mr Allen): I feel you are a part of my family (And I have HIGH standards of men in my family because of my great relatives).  I have grown because of these men in my AKEA journey.  Not withstanding, I have learned & love to train with Mr Lercher, Mr Franklin, & Mr Preston: you guys are invaluable & so insightful too. I love you Ms Barnette for being SO picky w/ Ms White & I.  I love that Mr Tork has this passion for making Women empowered & strong.  Thank you Mr Moore for allowing me into your group & being patient with me, (that is amazingly huge to me). I love AKEA in that they train in so many different forms of Martial Arts: Mr Remillard in ground fighting, Mr Bailey in AKKW, Mr Moore in Escrima/empy hand, etc.  Thank you Mr Harmaning for have the most original Dojo that has become a 2nd family to me.  But most of all, I am so honored to have the best Warrior Partner EVER in MS WHITE!!!!

I began my career as a firefighter with Maple Valley Fire Department in 1992 after serving 8 years in the U.S. Army as a transportation officer. It is exciting work with medical, fire, car accident, and service calls. In 2002, I was promoted to Lieutenant.  That has the added responsibilities of training, supervising. and directing of fire crews, as well as overseeing their safety and security.  Training at the A.K.E.A. has been a valuable tool in developing my eyes for awareness and the skills to give me confidence to protect my crew from the unruly or violent people we occasionally encounter.

On April 1st, I was promoted to Captain. This position adds some logistical and administrative responsibilities to my current duties. 

I am honored to work with outstanding individuals in the fire service. I am equally honored to work with the outstanding students and instructors at the A.K.E.A. – Mr. Phil Lercher

Come in and train!

“I want to thank you for having this Dojo open for personal student training throughout the day. I do not know if any other Dojo does so. I think they do not. A.K.E.A., in my mind, is the BEST choice when searching for a self defense school.” – Mrs. T.

We at the A.K.E.A. encourage our students to come in to train on their own or find a training partner.  Your training is not limited to your private lessons and groups.  See the calendar for Open Training times.  


This is what the ladies of the A.K.E.A. had to say about Women’s Group

To Mr. Tork:

Thank you for helping me find my voice!

Thank you so much for helping me find the warrior in me.

Thank you for a very valuable group!

Thank you Mr. Tork!!  This was a great class.  Lots of great valuable info for life.

Thank you for your time, enthusiasm, and coaching.  Best of luck.

Thank you, Sir, for a GREAT group and all the extra effort I know you put into it!


Mr. Moore’s Fun Time Group

I enjoyed Mr. Moore’s Fun Time group.  It was really informative, and I learned new skills.  Of course, I need to keep practicing to make both my hands work together and make things happen a little smoother, but the class sure gave me quite a bit of information to chew on.  I am becoming more and more interested in the “open hand” skills Mr. Moore explains every time I take a new class.

Group attendance from a student’s perspective:

Thank you for strongly encouraging me to attend groups.  I attend both groups on Wednesday and the one on Monday.  I admit, it was intimidating at first, especially when I was just a white belt.  But without these groups, I don’t think that I would be doing as well as I am today.  Groups help to make our techniques understandable.  What I appreciate, is that the other students are helpful and encouraging, which in itself has made attending much easier.  Even better, sometimes, I feel I am “ahead” in our private lessons.