American Federation of Martial Arts

Founded in 1979

AFMA BIOS

ARDEN JEANTILUS, SENSEI

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I was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and immigrated to the US in 1988.  Throughout my early childhood years, I became so fascinated with martial arts that my cousins and I began creating prearranged form of fighting emulating the like of legendary martial artists. In 1990, I began training in Shotokan Karate under the tutelage of Hanshi Lonnie K. Jones while pursuing a career in mechanical engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology. I received a black belt (Shotokan) in 1994.
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Since then I have studied many martial arts forms, like Shorin-Goju-ryu, Okinawan Kempo, Kobudō and Ninjitsu etc. I competed and received awards in many international, national, and regional martial arts tournaments, like AFMA, AAU, Garden State Games, and NASKA.
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Martial Arts have been an integral part of my life for the past 28 years. I currently hold 4th Dan in Shotokan karate under American Federation of Martial Arts. Besides my passion for the martial arts, I also work as a principal mechanical engineer in radio frequency power amplifier for ground and airborne based radar telecommunication systems.  

HACHIDAN RAYOT DIFATE

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Completion of 100 tournaments between the age of 70 and 75, in both national and International Karate Tournaments.

Hachidan Rayot Difate was born in 1941 in Yonkers, New York. He entered the army in 1960 and volunteered for the 101st Airborne Division. Upon being sent to Korea for a period of 3 years, he began the study of Judo. Upon being honorable discharged in 1963, he returned to White Plains, New York to continue his studies in Kyokushin Karate. In 1965, he joined the Yonkers Police Department while continuing his martial arts training. After a year of intense training program, under Sensei Shigeru Oyama, Rayot became the 1st Black Belt student to be promoted in the US, in 1967, in the style of Kyokushin Karate Do.

In 1976, during an undercover operation with the Yonkers Police Department, Difate sustained life-threatening injuries, forcing his retirement from the Police Department, due to permanent disabilities followed by years of multiple surgeries. As part of his personal physicial and mental rehabilitation, he returned to the Dojo with a modified training program. In 1998, he was given the title of Shihan.

From 1998 to present, Difate has taught at the White Plains Dojo., under the direction of Shoshu Oyama. Shihan has spent the past 58 years in both the study and instruction of the martial arts. On September 10, 2014, after 55 years of training with World Oyama Karate, Difate was promoted to 8th Degree Black Belt. He has also been inducted into the American Federation Of 

Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Diamond Lifetime Achievements in 2013. Ambassador of Goodwill to the Martial Arts in 2014, International instructor of the Year in 2014, and the New Breed Life Arts Education Association in Harlem, in 2015.

Difate has participated and given seminars in the US, Canada, Panama, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Upon turning the age of 70, Difate decided that his “Bucket List “ would consist of competing in 100 tournaments, over the next 5 years. In July of 2017, upon turning 76 years old, he completed this goal. He continues to participate in tournaments in the Tri-State area, displaying his form and technique in  Kata, Weapons, and Self-Defense. He takes great pride in his trophies and medals surrounding his family room.

He enjoys membership with the Harrison, New York Veterans of Foreign War. He continues to be a source of inspiration to other martial artists wherever he goes, as the oldest competitor, doing what he truly finds both motivating and rewarding. In 2008, at the invitation Hanshi John Turnbull, he was accepted into the American Federation of Martial Arts. In 2014, he was conferred the rank of Black Belt 7th. Also, in 2014, he was awarded the rank of 8th Dan by both Shugeru Oyama and the American Federation Of Martial Arts. In 2015, he was conferred with the rank of 10th Dan by Grand Master Lamar Thornton of NBLA. In 2017, he was inducted into the Eastern USA International Martial Arts Association. Presently, Difate is a member of Bushikan Karate.

Major Achievements

Completion of 100 tournaments between the age of 70 and 75, in both national and International Karate Tournaments.

One, if not the oldest, competitor in the Tri-State Martial Arts Tournaments.

Rayot Difate

Matial Arts Title Hachidan

Place of Birth / Growing up: in Yonkers, NY

Currently Resides in West Harrison.

Started Studying the Martial Arts in 1960.

Instructing Martial Arts for 55 years.

Instructor: Shigeru Oyama ( Deceased)

Personal Achievements

As of the age 70 years old: Started and completed 100 Tournaments through age 75 years old, in both National and International Competitions. Continues to be one, if not the oldest Tri-State competitor in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Continues to both train and compete on a regular basis.

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