I have trained in many martial arts for decades. I have a Black Belt in Kang Duk Won, certified by Leso Sensei. I also have a 5th Dan Black Belt from the Simonini School of Tae Kwon Do. I earned a 6th Dan in AAU style Tae Kwon Do from Master Bill Dewart of UCSF. I hold Instructor Certifications in Reactive Knife and Pressure Sensitive Nerve Areas. I have taught Corporate Self Defense programs for countless businesses, like Sun Microsystems, Adobe, and Xerox.
I was an Honors English & Humanities teacher at Live Oak High School for over 20 years. I graduated with a bachelors degree and a secondary teaching credential from the University of California at Berkeley. I also earned a Masters Degree in Education from the University of San Francisco. I have won San Jose State University’s highest educational field honor, the “Dorothy Wright Award for Teaching” several times.
Teaching has been my profession for nearly four decades. Teaching martial arts and leadership is my passion.
I have had a passion for both Martial Arts and Teaching nearly all of my life. I earned a master’s degree in special education from Santa Clara University and for the past 20 years, have been teaching Middle School Special Education with Santa Clara County Office of Education. I am transferring to elementary Special Education for the 20-21 school year. I am excited for this opportunity.
I have been training in the martial arts since the early 1980’s. I have trained in several different martial arts systems from Wushu, Kali, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kenpo, Karate and Tae Kwon Do. My highest rank in martial arts is a master’s rank of 7th degree black belt in a blended system of Tae Kwon/Kenpo with USA Martial Arts and currently training with Mike Clampitt at United Academy of Martial Arts.
During the mid-1990s, I started competing in sport karate and became a 4-time World Sport Karate Champion and Overall World Sport Karate Champion. My goal and purpose as an instructor, is to inspire my students to become the best version of themselves and help guide them to reach their highest potential and beyond. In my efforts to do so, I have networked and collaborated with other top martial artist throughout the nation to help create a self-defense and life skills curriculum which will be shared with United Academy of Martial Arts. I look forward to continuing with in my training and teaching at United Academy.
My own journey to Black Belt started in 1992 when we opened the United Academy of Martial Arts. Prior to that, I was a preschool teacher at the Morgan Hill Children’s Center. Teaching the Super Juniors (ages 4 – 6) has allowed me to combine my enthusiasm for the martial arts with the joy of teaching preschoolers. Teaching young students is very rewarding and I enjoy each and every minute of it. My goal is to help my students develop a love of learning and to appreciate the satisfaction of achieving a goal.
I’ve been a martial artist with UAMA for nearly two decades. In that time I’ve tested for black belt on seven different occasions: three separate tests in the WTF style and four tests in the ITF style, the most recent being in July of 2018.
I was approached to join the leadership program when I was about 14 years old. Through a mix of determination, patience, and support from my peers, I became an official instructor shortly after my 16th birthday. It’s been a humbling experience teaching alongside my own instructors from when I began my journey at the studio. Now as a SBN, it’s very possible I’ll be teaching alongside students who were in my classes for their first day. Whether I’m teaching brand new white belts or candidates amidst their black belt training, I still approach the situation with enthusiasm. Along with that I bring a black belt attitude fitting of someone who has stood where my students have stood and wishes them the best not only in martial arts, but wherever they may find themselves in life.
Outside of UAMA, I’ve found many other interests. I constantly drive to Berkeley and San Francisco to see my favorite bands play shows, I run road races of most conventional distances with my friends, I watch superhero movies, and I most recently took up rock climbing. I enjoy everything that I do: teaching martial arts and all my recreational hobbies are what make me who I am. I think there’s no one more convincing or inspiring as an instructor who truly has a passion for whatever they teach and is genuine in his or her interactions with those they teach.
While working towards my 1st degree black belt I began to realize the passion I had for all that UAMA has to offer. I was drawn to a culture that challenged you, in all aspects of your life, to be a better person and was particularly impressed with the respect everyone has for one another regardless of age or rank. During my own training I had the opportunity to learn from a variety of martial artists whether they were 12, 20, or well, lets just say older than 20. As an experienced business professional by day I realized the value in UAMA and knew I wanted to be a part of their leadership team. Upon completion of my 1st degree black belt I started training under their Leadership program. Today I have my 2nd degree black belt in International Tae Kwon Do under KJN Mike Clampitt and my 1st degree black belt in AAU Tae Kwon Do under SBN Rick Conrey.
Outside of United Academy I am a financial planning manager for a multinational technology and consulting corporation. In my tenure I have received multiple awards, recognition and certifications for business leadership, Women in Business, and project management. After years of leadership training in hi-tech it is enriching to be able to apply the leadership philosophies of UAMA in a corporate environment. Martial Arts have become a way of life and a family affair. We are a family of UAMA black belts! My husband, Anthony is a 2nd degree black belt, my son, Michael is a 1st degree black belt, and my daughter Maria has her 2nd degree black belt, 1st degree AAU black belt and is also completing the UAMA Leadership program. What I enjoy most about teaching is watching the personal growth and accomplishments in each student. I love to see the smile on a students face as you tie the next belt around their waist and the tears of accomplishment when they achieve their black belt. There is nothing like watching someone you taught as a super junior grow and become a black belt knowing that you had a part in their success. Most of all as a teacher and as a parent I take great pride in knowing that their experience at UAMA has helped prepare them for the future.