Ray Dalke Coach

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Mar 6, 2011 28 Comments ›› Riverside Sport Hall of Fame

Coach

Ray is the highest ranking American ever in the Martial Art of Shotokan Karate. He worked in the physical education department at the University of California, Riverside for 30 years, guiding the Shotokan Karate team to five National Championships.

Riverside Connection:
Instructor in the Physical Education Department at UC Riverside from 1967 – 1997
Coach of the UC Riverside Shotokan Karate team from 1967 – 1997
Owned numerous local and regional Shotokan Karate dojos

Accomplishments:
Highest ranking American in Shotokan Karate
His UC Riverside teams won five National Collegiate Karate Championships
Coached 8 individual National Collegiate Karate Champions
During his tenure as coach, UC Riverside hosted 20 National Karate Association tournaments and 2 International Karate Collegiate Association Tournaments
His 1997 squad finished 2nd in the International Collegiate Association Karate Tournament


Comments

  1. connie musgrove says:

    I took karate from Ray Dalke the first year he began teaching at UCR in 1967. My girlfriend and I thought it would be fun and something new to do. Little did we know how it would change our lives. We both stayed for 2 years. I still think of those classes and how his teachings influenced me in so many ways.
    I am overjoyed at this recognition!

    • Ray Dalke says:

      How well I remember! Both you and Barbara Ochota had perfect attendance along with Eric Jackson, BD Duffin, Ken Simmons, and Les Reed. Thank you for remembering me.

      • Gavino Teanio says:

        Hi, not sure you remember my dad (Gavino L Teanio)but I was glad to see you were in the Riverside Hall of fame! Mom and dad are doing fine. Some day I hope to get into Karate. Take care Gavino K Teanio

      • Jean Terry says:

        Ray, my husband, Paul Terry, and I took your classes in the sixties. You presented Paul with a signed book by Yamaguchi. Paul died in 2009 and I have now moved to Bend, OR. I’ve tried to call you but I’m not on your “accepted number list.” If you would like the book or know someone who would appreciate it, please contact me at Touchmark at Bachelor Village, Bend, OR.

        With fond memories,
        Jean Terry

    • Mohammad Razavi says:

      Oss Sensie Dalke, my dear sensie , this is Mohammad , the one came from Oklahome to your Dojo for training and test, I look for you for longest time even I went to AJKA tournament in Riverside two year ago ( I got third in kata) , ask everyone there where I can find you no one answered me , I moved to San Fransico area 10 years and train with SKI-US federation, I never forget your teaching and I am always great full , I would love to see you and train at least one more time under your instruction.

      GOD BLESS YOU

      with love always

      Mohammad

  2. Louanna and Leroy Razo says:

    Sensei Dalke was an inspiration in our lives and the lives of our students. Knowing sensei was transformative. We miss training with sensei and his warm, generous spirit. Not only was he our sensei, coach and mentor his friendship has been a bright light in our lives.

  3. dale coker says:

    Hi Sensei Dalke, You came to Charleston South Carolina for a seminar and we hosted you and later hosted Sensei Ed Otis. You also had my son Bradley on the Junior team for the International Shotokan tournament. You really helped us so very much. Bradley always thought fondly of you, and appreciated what you did for us. And of course I did too.
    However Bradley passed away totally unexpectedly on Feb 16, 2011, after playing a basketball game.
    He was 34. It was a devastating blow, but somehow, thanks to God, dojo and family, I am hanging in there.
    I hope all is well with you, and I will never forget you and your great teaching.
    Best Regards,
    Dale Coker, Japan Karate Institue

  4. Steve Goodyear says:

    I will be bold and presume that I am also speaking for others of my generation of students who were lucky enough to have fallen into Ray Dalke’s clutches in the 70s, 80s, and beyond. One entered into his tutelage and emerged some odd years later transformed. “Life-changing” is trite and overused, but apt. I know that we are now all different souls who have emerged from the splintery wood of Dalke’s dojo floor. We entered willowy and tentative or chunky and demure, but emerged self-confident, open-minded, inquisitive, competent–and fit. Changed. Different–richer–people than we would have been had we never been so lucky as to have fallen into our association with Sensei.

    It is not just that Dalke Sensei is technically amazingly precise and knowledgeable–which he is–but he is also one of the best natural-born teachers of any discipline–physical or academic–I have come across in my sixty years; most of his former students will remark about this same quality–his natural teaching expertise: interweaving yin and yang, hard and soft, intellectual inquiry with atomic power.

    I am a different person than I would have been without my association with Sensei Dalke. I cannot imagine having to be that other person. My fellow karateka all remark the same whenever we happen to meet and we remember back. A thousand students would be poorer had we not crossed the threshold of Dalke’s dojo. “Thanks” is not enough.

  5. Jason Freese says:

    I had the privilege to train with Sensei Dalke at the Riverside dojo and the training I had there with him was absolutely amazing. The amount of passion and inspiration that he imparted to his students, along with a thorough understanding of karate, is something that I have never seen anywhere else. The thing I am most proud of with regard to my karate training is that I was able to do so with Mr. Dalke.

  6. Jean Terry says:

    Ray, i can’t tell you how much you mean to me. My life and Paul’s centered around Karate for so many years. Thank you.

    Jean

  7. Juan Sanchez says:

    Sensei Dalke it is good to hear that you made the Hall of Fame. I also trained with you back and forth. You use to come to the Hawthorne dojo that sensei Dennis T. Loebs owned. Sensei Frank Smith as well as Sensei Yabe would come by to train us. Sensei I have one question see if you remember “What is the best defence with someone with a chain?”. If you could be so kind as to inform me the whereabouts of Sensei Loebs and Sensei Smith.
    Sincerely,
    Juan Sanchez

  8. Stuart Cracraft says:

    Hi,

    I am looking for a Ray-Dalke-approved
    uniform before I resume my practice
    interrupted 30 years ago.

    Thanks.

    Stuart
    smcracraft@me.com

  9. Stuart Cracraft says:

    My experience at the UCR campus was brief but profound.

    I went in for several days instruction in the early 1980′s.

    Sensei Dalke was there and impressed. Several fun encounters.
    A good man with a great sense-of-humor and command.

    One day I went to his office to ask a scheduling or other
    basic question. I saw him behind his desk with a huge
    briefcase filled to the brim with cash. I asked him if he was
    worried about its safety ever. He replied “Who would take it?”
    Satori then happened. :-)

    Then, on one Saturday I went in and Sensei Otis was leading the
    group. There was an odd number of students and Sensei Otis
    chose to spar with me to make the even number.

    Practice (for this pre-white-belt and still white-belt Stuart) was brief but interesting.
    Class was excused. I returned to my car and drove in Riverside.

    That’s when “it” hit. I can only describe the experience as a brief
    glimpse of samadhi/nirvana/kaivalya which I only read about years
    later. My best description of it was a removal of the separateness between
    self and non-self. I cannot place it into words. Did not experience
    it before or since (30 years later). It is greater than any music,
    food, social, work, or other personal experience I have had. It lasted
    for about 30 minutes. I simply drove around. Visited a donut shop.
    Found Sensei Dalke’s dojo downtown to report the experience in realtime
    to his assistants.

    I phone-called Sensei Otis 20 years later and described the experience and he
    indicated it was known in the literature but rare.

    The experience was strong enough (compared to all other experiences
    in my life which is over a half-century now) to completely scare me
    away from karate.

    I am tenderly dipping my toes back in later this year due to having exhausted
    all other forms of physical exercise interest in my life.

    Stuart

  10. Dear Ray, firstly, and albeit horribly belatedly, many congratulations! It has been many years i know, but i remember fondly, our many discussions of spirited intensity. The balance that we both sought in the right and correct balance in the essence of the art, and the expression of competition, is a challenge that still provides both frustration and hope for Karate and future generations. I hope this email of congratulations see’s you well, in good health as you continue to motivate and inspire present and future hearts and minds.

    With continued best wishes to you and your family.

    Geoff Thompson

  11. Anna Pitsaros says:

    Sensei,

    I truly hope you see this and read it. Of all the people that have stood out in my life, you have been the one that has influenced me in the most positive manner. I miss training with you, working for you at the dojo and the friendship we developed over those years, our talks. But mostly I miss YOU. I have often wondered how you are doing.

    Funny, I came across an old VHS video cassette you made, (no words). But, the demonstration of the science behind the correct technique and incorrect technique were brilliantly conveyed. I knew when I found the Riverside Karate Club, I had found my place.

    Hugs to you and Katie. I hope you’re doing well. And please, if you get this, e-mail me, I’d love to catch up.

    Xoxoxoxo,

    A

  12. Pamela (Hess) Ray says:

    Sensei Dalke…. I remember taking your ‘self defense’ class at UCR when I was in my early 20′s. I had just moved to CA from Buffalo, NY and thought it would be a great idea to learn how to defend myself. Before finishing the course, I remember you pulled me aside and said to me that you thought I should continue taking karate at your dojo downtown Riverside. I did – and loved the 4 years I trained there! I met a few friends (James Hawkins) that I still keep in touch with! I also remember being asked by you to join “team” – only purple belt at that time! It was such a great experience – and great people. I will never forget!

    Hope you’re doing well !!!!

  13. Milton Clark says:

    Sensei, congratulations on this honor. It is richly deserved. You have been on my mind a great deal lately, and I would love to see/talk to you again. I’m still at Cal State San Bernardino. I hope you’ll give me a call.

    Warm regards,
    Milton

  14. Jeff Mason says:

    Sensei,

    I started training at Cal Poly Pomona ext class in 79-85 and remember the training camps out in Palm Springs area, next to my Airborne Ranger training durring Vietnam era it was the most grueling. I moved out of the area to FL after that but have always remembered your training. Congratz Ray, I still tell people to this day how great it was to train with your team and I will never forget the times at Riverside DoJo and at your home on occasions.

    jeff mason

  15. Dennis Wilkins says:

    Sensei Dalke,

    I was in your class at UCR for a little over a year, from 1990 to 1991. I really wanted to become a black belt, but I didn’t have the money at the time to join your Riverside dojo. I never fully committed to going back to martial arts until about two years ago. Now I am 45 with a wife, 3 kids, a job, and plenty of distractions. And I train in Tang Soo Do at Arrowhead Tang Soo Do, in Highland, California. I am a brown belt, and I have committed to become a black belt, maybe two years, or so, away.

    I am so grateful for the wisdom and fighting skills you taught me. I can’t say that I am a great fighter, but I can say that Shotokan Karate, and your teaching, helped me to not have to worry about fights, because I knew how to defend myself. You also taught me to persevere, to overcome, and to keep focused. Thank you for what you do, and for what you did for me.

    Dennis Wilkins
    Orange Belt

  16. joe diehl says:

    My wife says 15 years is long enough to bury the hatchet. Best of luck in your new home in Oregon. If you get down to The Woodlands, Tx. then you can mess with Texas.

  17. GARY KERN says:

    Ray Dalke saved my life. One Saturday night, my car sitting overheated at a convenience store, I found myself walking through a dangerous neighborhood in Los Angeles in search of a public telephone that worked. Most phones were ripped out of their boxes. Suddenly a half dozen cars drove up, parked head in to my right and disgorged about twenty tough-looking customers carrying some guy who was all beat up. I walked by as nonchalantly as possible, but two of the twenty peeled off from the others and started following me, making ominous noises. I was a brown belt at the time, but knew in my heart that I couldn’t make a dent in these guys, who were big and very sturdy, made of steel. They were gaining ground on me. Running would get me killed, and so would walking faster. I thought maybe I could get in one back kick before they pounded me to a bloody pulp and left me dead or near death in the gutter. No one in that neighborhood would even report it.

    And then I remembered one of the first classes I took with Mr. Dalke. He told us how to walk so that we didn’t look like lightweights. Not bouncing up on our toes, but slow, steady, placing the foot firmly on the ground, allowing the weight to settle and then moving on with balance, with a straight back. We practiced it. I was scared s***less, but stuck my hands in my motorcycle jacket, straightened my back and forced myself to slow down. I heard the tone of the thugs behind me change; one of the guys seemed to be saying it’s not worth it. Then I heard no more. I didn’t look around until I got to my dead car. No one was behind me.

    Did the walk do it? I think so. And now, still walking at 75, I’m grateful for the years of strenuous training. I’m coasting on it. Strong heart, low pulse, the doctor asks if I’m an athlete. I owe it to Mr. Dalke and his amazing assistant Ed Otis. They both taught the value of demanding exercise, the search for perfection of form and the appreciation of the arts. Their fame is with all of the hundreds, maybe thousands, that they trained.

  18. Jaime Bernal says:

    Has been a Honor and privilege to be under the instruction of Sensei Ray Dalke
    I believe I was one of the last students joining the Riverside Dojo in the late
    90s. His training was Intense but the best I ever had .
    Yes ! Intense , real and to the extreme were you spirit was making your body moves and Not your muscles . , also at the same time the privilege to be training with the Elite of shotokan in USA ., martial artist and Senseis Edmon Otis , Bob Scorano , Nathan Scorano, john Rellias , Kevin Warner , Lucio Guzman and a endless list of fine Karatecas.
    Sensei Dalke he put a seal in each one of us , some keep practicing SHOTOKAN
    And expanding the horizon of the fiting skills , (more tools in the tool box as he said).

  19. hello ray; greetings from Georgia. I keep in contact with david blair and would love to be in contact with you also. I visited my old friend from 1959, mike foster. you and he have traveled alonf the same paths. he is in a nursing home in Lakeland, fl; not doing so good. I hope you are doing well. I remember seeing you the last time in Fontana after your hip replacement. I still have all my original parts except hair and teeth.. i’ll be headed out your way this summer on my next motorcycle adventure. 678-371-8654 call sometime. love texas tom

  20. Frank Sullivan says:

    There has never been a more influential person in my life than Sensei Dalke. I doubt he will ever know how appreciative I am for his guidance towards Manhood- yes, Manhood. If I could recycle Time I would go back to the Riverside downtown dojo and train the old fashion way. It is difficult to drive by the old dojo and see what it is today. I am honored to have known and trained by the Master, Sensei Ray Dalke…

  21. Charles D. Hisa Jr says:

    Master Dalke,

    Thank you for introducing me to Shotokan at an early age. My father was one of your students at UC Riverside. I am sorry if I was a problem in the late 70′s. Once I stopped and started to pay attention in your dojo, I started to see the benifits of the Martial Arts to help controle my temper as I got older and gave me a reasone to work harder in school to keep my grades up so I could keep training and feel good about my self. I’ve been looking for a Shotakan Dojo where I live so I can get my dad back a dojo with me and push him to get his black belt finly. I wish he could of got his black belt under your gidence. Some of my best child hood memorys are in your dojo on the UCR campus.

    Charles D. Hisa Jr.

  22. David Haviland says:

    Sensei Dalke… this is long overdue as is my congratulations on the honor awarded to you. I started way back in ’78 and then came back for grad school to UCR, ultimately leaving in 1988 where I ended up under Jim Clarke. I had the honor of teaching under Sensei Clarke for six years and felt that because of your individual work with me I was able to bring quite a bit to the Missouri Karate Association. You brought more than physical training to the table Ray, you also brought the mental aspect and that for me carried over into the work-place in the discipline of getting a job done well, and right. You changed a lot of lives Sir, mine included.

    David Haviland, Phd.

  23. Brent Sheffler says:

    I also congratulate and give many thanks to Ray Dalke. The comments others have made are very accurate. He is an amazing Sensei/coach/teacher. I first met Ray Dalke at the yearly karate camp in San Diego. I can remember driving him and Sensei Nishiyama from the gym to the beach for the A.M. run before the training session. I was driving a small square 1967 Datsun, a new driver and only hoped I wouldn’t get lost en-route with two VIP’s. I remember the excitement of training with the best teachers from around the country at the camp. There was a spirit and energy that one can’t put into words.

    Sensei Dalke had the ability to push his students to the edge of their limits and his spirit made us all want to work hard. One of best times I can remember was Sensei Dalke giving me a beer and showing me around his new downtown gym. This occurred after a hard training session and the combination of surviving the hard work out session, a beer and a private tour by the Sensei I will never forget. I was young and on top of the world!

    I trained at the downtown gym when Ed Otis was an up and coming student/teacher. I was proud of the perfect black eye Otis gave me during a sparring session.

    Being short in stature, my confidence and fighting spirit greatly increased as a student of Ray Dalke. I know this helped increase my confidence level in my 30 year career as a probation officer and in life in general.

    Ray, thanks again for all you have done for so many!

    Brent

    P.S. I recently saw a picture of UFC fighter Lyoto Machida at his gym. In the background, on the wall was a poster featuring Sensei Nishiyama. I sure see Machida’s Shotokan roots when he fights. Makes me feel good to see the connection!

  24. gchatterson says:

    Ray..I don’t know how to work this right. I do , want to wish you all my best. Gord.

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