Robert H. Mason, Chief Instructor
ROBERT HEALE MASON, Chief Instructor
Chairman of the Board of the International Sport Karate Association (ISKA)
International Commissioner for the ISKA
Founder, American International Karate Institute in 1980
Founder, University Karate Center in 1982
Shihan Robert Mason has been involved with martial arts and martial sports since 1962. Additionally, he has a strong academic background having graduated with honors in Developmental Psychology and worked in both the clinical and academic fields on a post graduate level. During the 1970's while training in karate in England he became associated with the Professional Karate Association through his instructor George Sfetas, who at that time was the President of the European Branch of the PKA (Professional Karate Association). Following his move to the United States in 1979, Mr. Mason immediately began to work with professional karate athletes in the USA. He did return to England in 1981 as a judge for the London Superfights, a major British event involving many British and European titles. In 1982, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Mr. Mason promoted his first televised event for ESPN, featuring a European team against a US team. Later that same year Mr. Mason promoted a second major event, also in Fort Lauderdale, with four state title fights as a quadruple main event. Once again ESPN televised the show nationally.
Mr. Mason is the President of the American International Karate Institute, and has taught classes in Plantation since 1980 for AIKI. Shihan Mason is President of the University Karate Center, a Martial Arts facility he founded in 1982 in Plantation, Florida. The school has a current enrollment of over three hundred students. Mr. Mason is the Chief instructor in the USA for the Mugendo™ kickboxing system and has graduated over one hundred Black Belt students. His expertise has extended to include all aspects of Martial Arts and Martial Sports, from teaching and administration, to promotion of events, training officials, writing rules and compiling ratings. Mr. Mason was the Director of Ratings for the Florida Affiliation of Martial Arts Events (FAME) from 1986 until 1998. He also served five terms as the FAME President. FAME sanctioned up to twenty sport karate events a year in Florida, and was considered to be one of the best run open martial arts associations in the USA. FAME stopped sanctioning events in 1999.
Educated at Holbrook School in Suffolk, England, Mr. Mason graduated in 1966. Following completion of advanced level studies in English Literature and History at Medway College in Kent, he moved to London in 1968, where he worked as the Assistant Production Manager for a major textiles company. Seeking a change of career, he moved on to attain an Honors Degree in Developmental Psychology from the University of Sussex. He trained as a Post Graduate in Clinical Psychology at St. Francis Hospital and Collwood School in Haywards Heath. Prior to moving to Florida, Mr. Mason lectured in General, Social and Developmental Psychology, Statistics and Experimental Design at Eastbourne College in Sussex, England. Upon first moving to the USA in 1979, Mr. Mason worked as a therapist and deputy team leader for the South County Mental Health Center in Delray Beach, Florida. In 1981 he decided to focus his attention on Martial Arts and has worked in psychology only on a limited consulting basis since that time.
At present, Mr. Mason remains involved in martial sports as Chairman of the Board of the International Sport Karate Association (ISKA), and International Commissioner for the ISKA, the foremost worldwide sanctioning body for Sport Karate, Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts. He continues to evolve programs to develop martial arts as a personal growth medium for both adults and children. This interest motivated him to found the American International Karate Institute in 1980 and the University Karate Center in 1982, and remains the primary reason for his involvement in martial arts as an instructor.