Sensei Jimmie Sornito began his training in 1973 at Washington Karate Association (WKA) at age 14. He trained under Shihan Akio Minakami then the head instructor for WKA, as well as Shihan Shintaro Takahashi the assistant head instructor for WKA. To this day he still continues to train under Shihan Minakami. Over the many years of training he has explored different aspects of karate, and other martial arts. From the sports competition side as well as studying karate as a philosophical and cultural art form. He has had a long and successful run at competition karate. In 1984 and 1985 he was the only athlete on the USA National Team to represent in both kata as well as kumite in the WUKO World Championships in Amsterdam.
In 1985 together with Sensei Herman Setijono they founded Northwest Shito-Ryu. Under their tutelage they have produced a number of students who continued the proud and winning traditions of both instructors. Many of their students have had repeated success at the local as well as the national level competitions.
Sornito Sensei believes that in karate there is a lineage and culture that must be preserved. This should be passed on to his students the way it was passed to him by his senseis, and their senseis before them. “This has been our dojo’s goal from the very beginning, and will continue to be. Tradition is a very important part of who we are”.
Valorie Ah Yat Sensei began her Martial Arts training in Choy Li Fut Kung Fu in 1975. In 1980, she started Shito-Ryu Karate with Ferdi Orbino Sensei and Setijono Sensei at the University of Washington. In 1985, Val Sensei started practicing and instructing with Northwest Shito-Ryu with Setijono Sensei and Sornito Sensei. In 2010, Val Sensei and Northwest Shito-Ryu joined Minakami Karate Dojo.
Val Sensei has been teaching three times a week at Eastside MKD in Bellevue and at the International District MKD. She also practices twice a week at the Minakami Karate honbu dojo.
Val Sensei has competed and is still competing at all the tournaments in the northwest and Nationals tournaments. Throughout her competing career she has won in kata and kumite in every tournament that she has competed in.
She is also very active in competitive tennis, still competing regularly in USTA League and USTA Tournaments.
Sensei, 7th Dan
Setijono Sensei is the current President of the MKD Advisory Council and also serves as the Washington State Karate Federation Vice President. He began training in Goju-Kai karate in 1968 in Hong Kong. In 1970 at the age of 12, he received his shodan from Seoke Gogen Yamaguchi. In 1974, Setijono Sensei came to Seattle to attend college, and in 1975 while attending Highline Community College, he joined Japan Karate Federation karate club, a Shito-Ryu style headed by Junki Yoshida Sensei and Ferdi Orbino Sensei. While attending the University of Washington in 1978, Setijono Sensei and Orbino Sensei started the UW Asian Student Association Karate Club. In the early 1980’s Japan Karate Federation joined Ryobukai under Kyoshi Yamasaki Sensei. Setijono Sensei was able to train under Yamasaki Sensei at his Anaheim dojo.
In 1985, Setijono Sensei and Jimmie Sornito Sensei (a Hayashi-Ha Shito-Ryu stylist) started Northwest Shito-Ryu, a non-profit karate school and the school is currently still operating in Bellevue. In 2010, Setijono Sensei joined Hayashi-Ha Shito-Ryu Kai under Shihan Minakami. Setijono Sensei currently trains at the honbu dojo twice a week in addition to teaching at the Bellevue dojo twice a week and the International District dojo once a week.
Througout his karate career, Setijono Sensei was very active in karate tournaments, where he competed and won many local, regional and national tournaments in kumite and kata.
Setijono Sensei is a graduate of University of Washington in Architecture and Construction Management. He currently resides in Bellevue and is the managing member of a Seattle based Construction Company. He is also active in doing fund raising for non-profit organizations in the Seattle area.