John Worley

John Worley

10th Degree Grand Master
Co-Founder of National Karate

The founder of National Karate Schools is John Worley. A native of Ft. Worth, Texas, Mr. Worley began his martial arts training in 1967 under the tutelage of Charles Loven and Texas karate legend, Master Instructor J. Pat Burleson. Mr. Worley was promoted to first degree black belt in 1969 after he completed a testing conducted by a panel of several of America's top martial arts instructors, including film star Chuck Norris. 

In May, 2014, in a ceremony attended by hundreds of students, black belt holders and friends, John Worley and Larry Carnahan were promoted to the rank of tenth degree, Grand Master by American martial arts pioneer J. Pat Burleson. Tenth degree is the highest rank attainable and marks the final milestone in lives dedicated to the practice, teaching and promotion of the martial arts in Minnesota.

Mr. Worley started his teaching career in 1970 when he and his family left Texas to join the Jhoon Rhee Institute in Washington DC. Mr. Worley furthered his training under Grand Master Jhoon Rhee, who in 1958 introduced the Korean Tae Kwon Do to America. Mr. Worley spent three years under Mr. Rhee's tutelage and in 1973, Mr. Worley was selected "Instructor of the Year" among all black belts in the Jhoon Rhee Institute system.

In 1973, Mr. Worley relocated to the Twin Cities opened his first martial arts school in Minnesota. From 1967 until his retirement from competition in 1976, Mr. Worley was an outstanding martial arts tournament participant. At the completion of his competitive career, Mr. Worley turned his full energy to training students and black belts and the National Karate organization has produced many nationally recognized martial arts athletes.

In 1980, Mr. Worley was honored by Official Karate magazine by being named to the "Legion of Honor" as one of North America's leading martial arts instructors. From 1983 until 1989, Mr. Worley appeared on ESPN as the expert commentator on Karate and Kickboxing telecasts. Mr. Worley is in demand to conduct self-defense seminars and rank promotions for Mid-west martial arts school owners.

Mr. Worley and Master Instructor Larry Carnahan conduct the National Karate School black belt promotions and, along with other NK directors, develop curriculum and determine rank standards for National Karate.

In addition, John Worley and partners, Larry Carnahan and Bill Dunkley, own and operate JLB Productions, a promotion company which produces National Karate events and the Diamond National Karate Championships, America's premier martial arts tournament.

Mr. Worley and his wife, Patty, make their home in downtown Minneapolis, MN.


Larry Carnahan

Larry Carnahan

10th Degree Grand Master
Co-Founder of National Karate

Larry Carnahan began training in Korean Tae Kwon Do in 1967 in Ft. Worth, Texas. He was promoted to black belt in the Grand Master Jhoon Rhee's style of Tae Kwon Do in July of 1970 and began his teaching career that same year.

After teaching for two years at Fort Worth, Texas, he moved to the headquarters of the Jhoon Rhee Institutes located in Washington D.C. During his five years in Washington D. C., he earned the Jhoon Rhee "Top Instructor Award" and the "School of Champions Award."

In 1977, Mr. Carnahan joined with Mr. John Worley in Minnesota to help continue the work Mr. Worley had already started in forming the current National Karate School organization.

An active sport karate competitor, Mr. Carnahan was voted "Black Belt Rookie of the Year" by the Southwest Karate Association and chosen as a member of the Texas Black Belt Competition Team in 1970.

After capturing top lightweight honors in such highly rated national tournaments as the Battle of Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia; the United States Karate Championships in Dallas, Texas; and the U.S. Open in Maryland, Mr. Carnahan was honored as one of the "Top Ten" black belts in the nation by Karate Illustrated Magazine in 1975.

Mr. Carnahan become involved in kickboxing in 1975 where he was rated in the top ten lightweights in the world by the "Professional Karate Association" from 1976 to 1982. In 1990 Mr. Carnahan was elected President of the North American Sport Karate Association (NASKA) and still holds the office today. NASKA is the world's largest sport karate sanctioning body.

As a director of JLB Productions, Inc., Mr. Carnahan has helped build the Diamond National Karate Championships into the number one tournament in North America.

Mr. Carnahan, his wife Elaine and their three children make their home in Shoreview, Minnesota.

Jim Albertson

Jim Albertson

8th Degree Master Instructor

Jim Albertson was eighteen years old when he began his karate training in January of 1979. He was promoted to first degree black belt by John Worley and Larry Carnahan in July 1981. He began teaching that same year and in 1984 opened his first National Karate School in Burnsville. His dedication to excellence earned Mr. Albertson the position of National Karate Director, along with NK Master Instructors Mr. Worley and Mr. Carnahan. Mr. Albertson was promoted to seventh degree black belt in 2007. He currently owns four NK schools in the metro area.

Mr. Albertson has the distinction of winning National Karate's overall top male competitor title three times, and has won many Grand Championships both in form and in sparring. In 1991, Mr. Albertson represented the United States in team kickboxing in London, England. He has competed in every Diamond Nationals since 1979, the tournament's second year.

Mr. Albertson's dedication and self-discipline have benefited other areas of his life. He has been a swimmer since high school and began running in 1981 to get into shape for his black belt test. He expanded his training to bicycling, and competed in his first triathlon in 1985. Since then, he has competed in approximately 60 triathlons. In addition, Mr. Albertson has also run three marathons and is an avid snowmobile racer.

Many of National Karate's top black belt holders and competitors were trained under Mr. Albertson's direction, including 1994 Diamond Nationals Black Belt Form Team Grand Champions, James Quinn and Nathan Gallup.

Mr. Albertson is responsible for conducting advanced testing and black belt screenings and plays in integral part in maintaining the National Karate standards for advanced and black belt students.

He and his wife Kim, who holds a fourth degree black belt, and their four children make their home in Apple Valley, Minnesota.