Dean Pickard is the founder and former head instructor of the USKL (United States Karate League).* Shihan Pickard began his training in the martial arts in 1965. He trained for a short time in a Japanese-Okinawan style under a visiting mathematics professor whose dojo was based in the city of Shonan, Japan. Thus, the name Shonan-Ryu.
From 1966 to 1970 Shihan Pickard trained in Riverside California under R. T. Nakano of the Statewide Karate League which was founded in Hawaii in 1958 by W. K. Nishioka. Beginning in 1972, Shihan Pickard broadened his studies to include such styles as: Shito-ryu; Shotokan; Korean Tae Kwan Do; and Tai Chi Ch'uan with Prof. Wen Shan Huang an eminent scholar from China. Shihan Pickard has also studied kickboxing and the Filipino arts under Dan Inosanto at the Kali Academy in Torrence, California.
In addition to teaching at the United States Karate League, Shihan Pickard has taught martial arts in the physical education departments at Pomona College (serving the Claremont Colleges), L. A. Mission College, and Moorpark College. He sponsored the Pierce College Karate Club from 1984 to 1992 and taught karate in the Pierce College Physical Education Dept from 1999 to 2004.
Shihan Pickard's publications on the martial arts include:
- "Philosophy, Spirit, and the Martial Arts," USKL,1993;
- "United Stated Karate League Training Manual", Vols. 1-3, with Ty Aponte, 1992;
- "Martial Arts and Meditative Disciplines," Black Belt Magazine, June, 1979.
Shihan Pickard graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a BA, cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa; recieved an M.A. from C.S.U. Long Beach where he was nominated to the Graduate Dean's list; and received his Ph.D. from the Claremont Graduate University where he received two fellowships. He was professor of philosophy and humanities at Pierce College for 25 years and adjunct professor at California State University, Northridge for 11 years. He retired from teaching in 2004 but taught classes near his home in Venice CA at Santa Monica College from 2006 to 2011. He currently travels and continues his philanthropic pursuits.
His most recent published works include:
- "Nietzsche, Emancipation, & Truth" in New Nietzsche Studies, eds. B. Babich (Fordham/Georgetown) & D. Allison (SUNY) ,Winter, 1997;
- "Logic, Truth, and Reasoning: A Textbook in Critical Thinking", 1997; 2nd ed., 2009.
- "The Problem of Reflexivity in Habermasian Universalism," Auslegung, Vol. 19, #1, Winter, 1993, pp 1-20.
In addition to his articles, he has written two textbooks on philosophy and has had several book reviews published. He received a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant in 1995, was selected for a Liberty Fund Grant & colloquium in 1998; and was selected for Who's Who Among America's Teachers (by the top 5% of America's students) in 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2004.
*Precursor to the USKL (Upland Shotokan Karate League) created by Sensei Ty Aponte.