POPUP Foundation


The Karate CAN-DO!

The Karate CAN-DO! Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization dedicated to helping children and adults with learning differences and physical challenges reach their full potential through the teachings and techniques of karate, a martial arts discipline which improves physical, cognitive and emotional health.


Karate Can Do! Foundation has been instrumental in contributing to the development of our ASPIRE Special Needs Program and Champions Foundation of Arizona. They have contributed both knowledge and funds.
We thank them very much for their help.

Mission and Goals

  • Support, encourage and to share our expertise with other dojos to promote the addition of karate to therapeutic programs for children and adults with special needs.
  • To offer scholarships to special needs students requiring financial assistance to support their karate training.
  • To support the recruitment and training of a US National Disabled Karate Team that will compete in the 2012 World Karate Federation Championships, and beyond, bi-yearly.
  • To cover tournament costs for special needs national team competitions, as deemed appropriate for US Team participation and awareness.
  • To establish and operate programs to teach instructors and other young black belts methods for training special needs students.
  • To assist with the purchase of specialized training equipment for special needs students.
  • To facilitate or promote medical research regarding the advancement of medical treatments and adaptive equipment for children with special needs.

Board Members

The Karate CAN-DO! Foundation Team

Jeff Fink – President

Jeff spent over twenty-five years in investment banking including his last position as Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences Investment Banking for Robert W. Baird & Co, Incorporated. Jeff retired from banking in 2007, and now acts as a strategic and financial advisor for life science companies. Jeff sits on the Board of Navigen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held pharmaceutical company in Salt Lake City, UT and serves as the Special Assistant to the Vice President of Research at the University of Utah, advising on issues surrounding the licensing and commercialization of technologies from the University. Jeff and his wife live in Park City, Utah. He has two sons, is a mediocre skier, and is a black belt in Shotokan.

Rick Hiton – Treasurer

Rick Hiton has trained at North Shore Dojo since 1982. He is a Nidan Black Belt. Rick owns a Chicagoland real estate appraisal practice since 1981. He has two children, Lisa and Merrick. Rick is also a Deerfield Police Commissioner.

David Rowland – Secretary

David is the managing partner of the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, a full service law firm with 9 domestic offices and more than 750 lawyers. David has been a practicing labor and employment lawyer for more than twenty years.
He has previously served a Member of the Board of Education for School District 28 in Northbrook, IL and as President of the Parish Council at St. Norbert’s Church in Northbrook. David has four children, three of whom have black belts in karate.

Robert Middleton – Board Member

Bob is a partner in the Chicago law firm of Nisen & Elliott LLC and represents private clients in matters of federal tax law, estates, trusts and family business enterprise. Bob sits on the board of Watt Publishing Company, a fourth generation family owned international publishing company. He received his Shodan black belt in 1999 and continues to train regularly in Shotokan karate at the North Shore Dojo with Sensei Kohn.

Foundation Founder & Athlete Ambassador

Sensei Jeff Kohn / Founder and Technical Advisor to the Board

Sensei Kohn has been the director and head instructor of North Shore Dojo since its inception in 1979. In February 2010, he was officially appointed USA Karate Chairman of the USA Karate Disabled Program by the United States Olympic Committee. In addition, Sensei Kohn has been invited by the WKF to bring a US National Team to compete in the 2012 World Championships in Paris, France. Sensei Kohn is a graduate with a degree in Physical Education from Illinois State University, as well as a 7th Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor. In addition to his work with elite athletes, throughout his career, Sensei has coached children with challenges such as ADD/ADHD, sensory integration disorder, autism, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, Down syndrome, developmental delays, behavioral disorders, Tourette’s syndrome and physical disabilities. In 2008 Sensei’s dream to begin a program specifically dedicated to helping these specially challenged children and adults became a reality when the Foundation was officially launched in 2008.