My martial arts training started when I was 9 years old in the Kaizen Shotokan Karate dojo under Sensei Bobby in Bonney Lake, Washington. I wanted to take karate because I was a half-Japanese girl raised primarily by my Caucasian mother, in an almost entirely Caucasian town, and I wanted to become more connected with my ancestry. I trained in Shotokan for about two years and competed in two tournaments placing 1st and 2nd in both the kata and point sparring divisions. After two years I left Shotokan, and stayed away from martial arts until the summer of 2010 when I first trained at the Ellensburg Kyokushin dojo. I loved it and thus began my training in Kyokushin Karate. I have trained with Shihan Quitadamo and Sensei Campbell at the Ellensburg and Eastside respectively. I tested for yellow belt (2011) and brown belt (2011), and received my shodan (2012) under Shihan Quitadamo at the Ellensburg dojo.
I have fought in the Kyokushin Challenge full contact and Kyokushin Regional semi-contact open tournaments, placing second in both. I have served as Historian and Acting-President of the CWU Karate Club and remained actively involved with the club even after I graduated from Central Washington University. I have discovered I love teaching just as much as I love learning, and when I have had the opportunity to substitute for Senpai Annika Neiber and Shihan Quitadamo in leading training sessions, it has been awesome. Sometimes I feel as if I am learning more when I am “teaching” than I do as a student.
In the fall of 2011 I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. After graduation I moved back to Bonney Lake and started training at the Eastside Kyokushin dojo under Sensei Campbell. It was an awesome three months, I felt as if I had grown a lot under his guidance, and I now have an even bigger Kyokushin family. Soon after I graduated I landed a job at Pace International, LLC as a research and development chemist. I know that participating in Kyokushin helped me a great deal in getting that job. I would never have taken a chance to apply for a position I had no prior knowledge of. When I was offered the job, I relied on the confidence gained in Kyokushin training to move to an unknown city. Having a family only 45 minutes away went a long way in making me feel comfortable in my move.
During training I have suffered a few new injuries to add to my old ones. Kyokushin has helped me realize that while my body may not be 100% every day, I can still give 110% percent and grow as a student, martial artist and person. I have been blessed with a wealth of teachers and enjoy learning from every one of them. I am so thankful for my new Kyokushin family, and for the time we share in blood, sweat, and tears in pursuit of the ultimate truth.