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What’s in a name - The formal title of the system is the "Great Oak Style" or “Okina Kashi no Ryu”. The name comes from a nick-name that was given to Soke Palko by his contemporary and good friend Hanshi James DelGarbino. Whenever the Grand Masters would fight Hanshi would hit Sensei Palko and comment that it was like hitting a piece of wood, then it became a tree, then an Oak tree, finally Hanshi DelGarbino settled on calling Soke Palko the "Great Oak" and the name stuck. It is also convenient that Connecticut is known for the "Charter Oak" the Great Oak Tree that protected the "Connecticut Charter" before, during and after the Revolutionary War.

Soke Palko and Hanshi DelGarbino began their Martial Arts training at the F.H. Buhl Club Karate Club in Western Pennsylvania and Youngstown State University Karate Program in Eastern Ohio. After they reconnected from the late 1980's to present day they and their students have had many opportunities to train together. Both schools have benefitted from this mutual respect and friendship not only at the Gales Ferry Dojo, Worcester Polytechnic/Clark College Schools, but also the Naval Submarine Support Facility (N.S.S.F) and East Lyme Karate Dojos and we have added another school in Youngstown, Ohio under the guidance of Hanshi Joseph Gabriel and Gerry Funelli. All OKR Black Belts are my trusted agents and my direct representives in their respective areas.  

The decision to begin another style on the other hand was not so simple or easy and it was after many conversations with conversations with Senior Yudansha including Hanshi Ciscell before his passing that the decision was made to begin something new and unique.

Usually the process of naming a system is a direct reflection of a commonality with the main function of the system or some cultural reference. Or a group of like-minded individuals get together and come up with a name that focuses on what the organization is doing or person decides to take the initiative and uses an moment of inspiration to make the decision. It makes no difference what the process is one that usually that makes the most sense or conveys the idea behind the business or group. The decision to make the leap, so to speak, the name is relatively simple developing another style of martial arts is not as easy as one would think.