Sensei Ke Sneller

IKU Oceanside, California

Sensei Ké Sneller is a sandan in Kyokushinkai under Kaicho David Farzinzad.

Sensei Ké began his martial arts training in 1986 at the age of 16. He studied Renbukai at a school owned by 1970’s tournament star Ron Marchini under Senseis Lim Sison and Peter Duarte. Ke moved to Philadelphia in 1990 for college. While there he discovered a Kyokushin class taught by Sensei James Benson. The class was held at the local YMHA nearby the University. Ke trained 17 hours a week in Kyokushin, as well as maintained a full time student status and held a part time job. He was awarded an ikkyu (1st kyu brown belt) in only a year, after much hard training.

In 1991 Ke returned to California and tested for his shodan in Renbukai. He was awarded his shodan summer of 1991 and decided that he wanted to further his knowledge of knockdown karate. Ke had participated in many kata tournaments and point karate tournaments up until this point, and after that year of Kyokushin, felt a calling to pursue full contact further.

Sensei Ke Sneller - IKU CaliforniaThrough a friend Ke had seen several videos of The Sabaki Challenge, a full contact karate event held in Denver, CO. That was exactly the kind of tournaments he wanted to compete in!

In the fall of 1991 Sensei Ke enrolled at SFSU. As luck would have it, his lab partner was studying Enshin karate, which is an offshoot of Kyokushin, and the style which promoted the Sabaki Challenge.
Ke began traning in Enshin at the San Rafael dojo under Sensei Ralph Rhoads, and was awarded his shodan in Enshin in 1994. That year he competed in the 1994 World Sabaki Challenge in Denver, his first full contact tournament. He made it to the semi-finals. Six months later Ke competed in – and won – the 1994 Great Northwest Sabaki Satellite. This was a world level full contact tournament that was sponsored by Sensei Vernon Owens in Seattle, WA.

Six months after that Ke competed in the World Sabaki Challenge again, but had peaked in his training too soon and did not have as good a performance as he would have liked. After a few months off from hard dojo training, Ke returned to the mat to win the Great Northwest tournament again in 1995.
A year later he fought again and was a semi finalist.

It was in Christmas of 1996 that Ke was awarded his nidan in Enshin, and then enlisted in the US Navy for seven years. Ke trained on his own in karate but took about 4 years off to pursue other physical endeavors. Sensei Ke got out of the military in February of 2004 and jumped back into hard training, dusting off the skills. It was in 2007 that Ke met Shihan Adam Seyedin and they became fast friends, sharing knowledge and information.

In 2009, after a 12 year lay off from competition, Sensei Ke competed in the Eastside Kyokushin Challenge sponsored by IKO 3 Matsushima. The only competitor in the tournament to compete in TWO different weight divisions at the same time, Sensei Ke placed 3rd in middleweight and 2nd in over 35 open weight (which really ended up being heavyweight). Later that year Ke formally left Enshin and joined the IKU, and was awarded his sandan.

Sensei Ke teaches out of Oceanside, CA. His philosophy is "I don’t have my students do anything I haven’t already done myself." 

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