Harold Mitchum Sensei was appointed the first President of the American Okinawan Karate Association by Soke Shimabuku. The official appointment letter from Master Tatsuo Shimabuku was dated June 10th, 1961, following an important meeting that was held on Okinawa to determine who would best be suited for promoting Isshin-Ryu karate in the United States. However, in a document drafted by Ralph Bove, who was serving as the Judo and Karate coordinator for the USMC, Sensei Harold Mitchum was listed as the President of the American Okinawan Karate Association on a document dated April 12th, 1961. At the time the letter was drafted, Sensei Mitchum had returned from Okinawa to the United States, and had not yet received the official letter of appointment from Master Shimabuku.
After the passing of Master Shimabuku, Ralph Bove visited Mitchum Sensei’s dojo and presented him a notarized letter stating Master Shimabuku’s desire to have Mitchum Sensei conduct all affairs for Isshin-Ryu Karate in the United States. Mitchum Sensei formed the United Isshin-Ryu Karate Association September of 1975. The list of bylaws explained his purpose and goals for Isshin-Ryu Karate. Mitchum Sensei's focus was to standardize kata performance, promotion criteria, and provide assistance to all Isshin-Ryu dojos through training clinics.
It is the goal of Master Mitchum’s senior students to preserve and pass down his teachings and lessons to future generations; as entrusted by Isshinryu’s founder, Master Tatsuo Shimabuku.