I’ve been involved with martial arts since 1981 for 40 years now. I began studying Kyokushinkai under the direction of Master Paul McAllister from Lawton, Oklahoma and my Grand Master is Denny Holzbauer from Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Marriage and military moved me to Clovis, NM where I met Sensei Rodrigo Reyes, son of Grand Master Augustine Reyes. In 1995, Sensei Rodrigo and I opened a dojo where we taught both Shotokan and Kyokushinkai. Although these styles are the same (since Funakoshi was the lead), the major difference between the two styles are their katas.
After studying together, ranking silently I finally received my 2nd Dan in 1998 and my 3rd Dan in June 2000. The following year Grand Master Augustine Reyes died of kidney failure, which left me alone for many years unable to rank until I was introduced to the International Martial Arts Council of America (IMAC).
My parents divorced when I was eight years old leaving behind five children and a Japanese mother who was illiterate to our language. Although sad, this hick up in life made us all stronger. This was the beginning of the making of a self-made, independent woman. Being raised with all brothers taught me to be physically strong but more importantly being raised by a Japanese mother made me mentally strong. This asset has proven to be very valuable in all areas of my life as a martial artist and business owner.
I tested for my 6th Dan through IMAC to help me catch up on the years of testing that I missed due to the passing of my instructor but now I am hoping to reach my final level from year to date, but certainly not my last as I know another amazing journey is awaiting around the corner. I have just celebrated my 40th year in martial arts and I feel I have reached a level of leadership and maturity and deserve this opportunity.
I have ranked nine people to 1st Dan, one person to 3rd Dan and have recently ranked three to brown belt and one person to 4th Dan. This promotion would solidify that I could test my students for higher ranks.
In June 2017, I was inducted into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame and have actively been involved every year since. The IMAC has become my power pack. It reminds me that I am far from the end of my journey. I can say that I am not alone. Grand Master Johnny Thompson and Grand Master Donny Meadows have challenged me with new materials and a new insight at where I can go with hard work and dedication and add value to my craft and students.
In 2019 I received TKA Master Female Black Belt Instructor of the year, and School of the year.
I hosted my very first invitational tournament in May 2021. There was a total of eight different schools and a grand total of 89 competitors. I was honored to have had the support of these schools. I am already preparing for my next tournament but this time it will be an open tournament.
I teach full time and run an after school program along with a full time summer program and have students filled to capacity. I am an avid supporter of the Arts and push my students to excel on their confidence, discipline and respect. Believing that God is in control and leading by example is my primary goal.
I have been in martial arts for over 40 years and tested and earned my 7th Deg/GrandMaster status in July of 2021 in Springdale, Arkansas under the watchful eyes of the International Martial Arts Council of America with 29 prestigious GrandMasters overseeing my test.