Ilene J. Smoger Sensei, the director of training for the Club, who has been training since 1975, holds the rank of Nanadan (7th dan) given to her directly by Eizo Shimabukuro O'Sensei in the Shorin Ryu Karate system. O'Sensei also awarded her the rank of Sandan (3rd dan) in Toei Jujutsu. Smoger Sensei also holds the rank of Nanadan (7th dan) in Shudokan Karate, under the late Shibucho Walter Todd.
Smoger Sensei began her martial arts training in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1975 under Garrick Hu Sensei, the Director of Training at the Asian Martial Arts Studio. She was also instructed there by Karl Scott III Sensei, who is currently Co-Shibucho in the U.S. Shudokan Karatedo system. Smoger Sensei continued her training with Barbara Christensen Sensei from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Smoger Sensei was Christensen Sensei's first student. Barbara Christensen Sensei, who holds the rank of Nanadan (7th dan) by Shimabukuro O'Sensei, Yondan (4th dan) by Todd Sensei and the rank of Shodan (1st dan) in Aikido, continues to be Smoger Sensei's primary instructor.
Smoger Sensei teaches martial arts all over the country. She has instructed at Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists (PAWMA), National Women's Martial Arts Federation (NWMAF), Association of Women Martial Arts Instructor's (AWMAI) conferences (in 2007, she was co-coordinator of the AWMAI conference) and all of the Okinawan Karate Club national seminars. She has been honored by the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame as "The Woman of the Year in the Martial Arts." Additionally, she received the Sensei of Merit award at the International Martial Arts Symposium in South Carolina.
Under Smoger Sensei's leadership, OKCD is one of Dallas' oldest traditional dojos, and the Club has promoted over 61 black belts throughout the years. Additionally, there are four active affiliated dojos with OKCD in the cities of Atlanta, Lantana, Sacramento and San Francisco.
Donna Mullett Sensei graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst with B.A.'s in Japanese and Art. Following graduation, Mullett Sensei moved to Japan to improve her language skills. From 1986-1989 she lived in Sapporo, Japan teaching English. She began her karate training in 1986 by joining a Wado-kai dojo. At the same time she also trained in a style that was similar to Goju Ryu. The school was called Ryukookan. Just as she left Japan she achieved the rank of Shodan (1st dan) in both styles. After receiving her M.A. from Yale in East Asian Studies, Mullett Sensei moved to Dallas to teach at St. Mark's School of Texas, where she teaches Humanities and Japanese. This brought her to the Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas where she has trained and taught since 1991. After starting over as a white belt she is now a Rokudan, (6th dan) in both Shorin Ryu and Shudokan and a Sandan (3rd dan) in Toei Jujutsu. Mullett Sensei teaches the Monday night open class, youth beginner classes and coordinates youth and adult mudansha testing.
Donna can be reached at donna - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
Sean Deuby Sensei has practiced and taught Okinawan Shorin Ryu karate for over 30 years. He holds the rank of Rokudan (6th degree black belt) in Shobayashi Shorin Ryu. The late Walter Todd personally conferred the rank of Yondan (4th dan) in his Shudokan style to Deuby Sensei in 1998. He also studies under Hanshi (10th dan) Seikichi Iha, Director, North American Beikoku Shido-kan Association (Shorin Ryu), whenever possible. Hanshi Iha was Deuby Sensei's original instructor in 1979 until the rank of Nidan (2nd dan), which he granted in 1984. He is co-founder of the Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas, where he has taught since its inception. Sean currently teaches the Tuesday night adult class.
Sean is Technical Director for Windows IT Pro Magazine, the largest paid-subscription magazine for information technology professionals. He is a MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for directory services, a distinction awarded by Microsoft to only 70 professionals in the world. He writes and speaks at conferences both nationally and internationally on the topic. He is also the primary webmaster of this site.
Sean can be reached at sean - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
Brian McCauley Sensei, Sempai of the dojo, joined the Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas in 1986, where he began his training in the martial arts. McCauley Sensei was awarded the rank of Shodan (1st dan) in Shorin Ryu and Shudokan karate in 1989. Since then, he has taught the adult classes at Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas and currently teaches an intermediate class. He also gives special seminars at the club with a particular interest in teaching bunkai. McCauley Sensei currently holds the rank of Rokudan (6th dan) in Shobayashi Shorin Ryu and Shudokan karatedo.
Outside the dojo, Brian is The National Accounts Manager for Grand Bonanza International.
Brian can be reached at brian - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
John Mascio Sensei began studying martial arts while an undergraduate at Kent State University in 1982. He joined the Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas when he relocated to Dallas in 1990.
John was awarded his Shodan (1st dan) in Shudokan by Shibucho Walter Todd and his Shodan in Shorin Ryu from Smoger Sensei in 1994. He currently holds the rank of Sandan (3rd dan) in Toei Jujutsu, and Yondan in Shorin Ryu Karate and Shudokan Karate. He teaches the Saturday Jujutsu class, along with Chesley Sensei, as well as assists in many of the adult classes.
John has also studied other martial arts styles, including Isshin Ryu, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, Jujitsu, Aikido, Aiki-jujitsu, Tai Chi, Judo, Jeet Kune Doe, and Wing Chun. John teaches the 9AM Saturday morning adult class.
John is an IT professional and a college professor. He attributes much of his success in life to the discipline and training he has received in the martial arts, as well as the support of his wife and family, who encourage his studies.
He lives with his wife, Charrie, another Yudansha at OKCD, and their five cats.
John can be reached at john - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
Todd Sherry Sensei joined the Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas, along with his son Cale in 1995. Todd was exposed to karate in his teens, when he trained in Shito-Ryu Karate under Sensei Fred Givens.
He earned his Shodan (1st dan) in 1999 in both Shorin Ryu Karatedo and Shudokan Karatedo and currently holds the rank of Yondan (4th dan). He was given one of the last Shodan certificates under the late Shibucho Walter Todd. Todd's son Cale is a Shodan at OKCD.
Todd enjoys karate as a source of personal energy and balance in his life. Todd instructs the advanced youth karate classes where he enjoys seeing the growth of body, mind, and spirit within his students.
Todd is an aircraft maintenance technician and crew chief. He and his wife Christine live in Richardson, Texas.
Todd can be reached at todd - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
Al Izaddoust Sensei originally studied Shorin Ryu Kobayashi under Jerry Wroblewski Sensei, a student of Yamashita Sensei. After moving to Dallas, he joined our dojo. He currently holds the rank of of Yondan (4th dan) in Shorin Ryu and Sandan (3rd dan) in Shudokan.
He instructs the Sunday class which emphasizes sparring. Izaddoust Sensei is usually referred to as "Fast Al."
Al graduated from Baylor University Dental School and now is President of All Dental where he is a practicing dentist.
Al can be reached at al - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
Wayne Murphy Sensei was first introduced to the martial arts as a child by his father John Murphy, Sensei who was a student of Ezio Shimabukuro and holds the rank of Nanadan (7th dan) in Shorin Ryu Okinawa Karate Do.
In 1989 Wayne became involved with an organization known as Ampgard which utilized padded mêlée style weapons in full contact one on one and multiple opponent combat. It was within this organization Wayne became very interested in the basic combative principals and applications found within the martial arts. He spent the following ten years actively participating in this organization using many different types of weapons and weapon combinations learning how to effectively apply these principals.
In January of 1999 Wayne joined the Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas and began studying under the direction of Sensei Ilene Smoger in Okinawan Karate Do. He studied in both Shorin Ryu as taught by Grand Master Eizo Shimabukuro and Shudokan Karate Do as passed down by the late Walter Todd. Wayne was awarded his Shodan (1st dan) in June 2001 and currently holds the rank of Yondan (4th dan) in both the Shorin Ryu and the Shudokan systems.
Wayne continues to train at the OKCD and has been teaching the Wednesday youth and adult classes since 2002. Additionally, Wayne founded the Okinawan Karate Club of Lantana in 2009 and actively teaches there, offering several classes a week.
Wayne considers him self very fortunate to have trained under Sensei Smoger and the many senior Yudansha of the Okinawan Karate Club and believes the study of martial arts is not solely for self defense but also develops and promotes confidence, discipline and physical fitness and should be shared with those truly interested in learning.
While not training or teaching martial arts, Wayne is the senior Associate at JAN RHEA, LLC, Commercial Real Estate Services providing representation to business owners, landlords and investors in the areas of retail, office, industrial, land and investment real estate.
Wayne can be reached at wayne - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
G reg Chesley Sensei began his training with OKCD in January of 1999. His first induction into the martial arts began in the late 1980’s studying Goshin Jitsu in Erie, PA. Greg received his Shodan (1st dan) in 2003 and in 2004 received his Nidan (2nd dan) in Shorin Ryu and Toei Jujutsu directly from Grand Master Ezio Shimabukuro in Okinawa. Currently, He holds the rank of Yondan (4th dan) in Shorin Ryu Karate and Shudokan Karate and a Sandan (3rd dan) in Toei Jujutsu.
He attributes much of his success to his valued Sensei at OKCD and gives special thanks to:
Deuby Sensei: For being there in the beginning and showing me a path to walk.
Mullett Sensei: For the support and encouragement to never give up.
Smoger Sensei: For letting me know that the word “family" can mean much more.
Greg-San has organized with Mullett Sensei the production of the new OKCD rank certificates. Greg is one of the Intermediate Youth class teachers and teaches the adult Jujutsu class with John Mascio Sensei. In addition Greg-san assists and covers when needed in the adult classes at OKCD.
Greg graduated from Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA with a B.A. double major of Finance and Marketing and a minor in Business Administration. In 1996 he relocated to Dallas and began his career in the healthcare field as a staff accountant. He currently works for Texas Cardiac Associates as the Chief Executive Officer. Greg also is the Owner/Operator of Tonbo Martial Arts Supply. He supplies much of the dojo with equipment and weapons.Greg can be reached at greg - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
J ude Barcenas Sensei started karate with Ilene Smoger Sensei in 1993. In 1999, he earned his Shodan (1st dan) in Shorin Ryu from Grandmaster Eizo Shimabukuro of Okinawa Shorin Ryu Karate-do International League and a Shodan in Shudokan from the late Grandmaster Walter Todd of American Shodukan Karatedo Association.
Jude is currently a Sandan (3rd dan) in both karatedo systems. Jude assists teaching the adult classes. He taught the youth classes for many years.
Paul Klotz Sensei began his training with OKCD in July of 1999. His initiation into martial arts began with training in Judo as a young teen, where he achieved the rank of brown belt. He had various brushes with informal training in karate over the years but did not become fully hooked until joining OKCD. Paul attributes getting hooked to the enormous wealth of knowledge accumulated and generously shared by the members of OKCD along with a supportive environment that allowed him to follow his own path. Paul earned his Shodan (1st dan) in Shorin Ryu and Shudokan Karatedo in January 2003, Nidan (2nd dan) in March 2005 and Sandan (3rd dan) in January of 2010.
Paul teaches the Thursday night adult class along with Al Alexander Sensei. Paul’s focus in class is on learning and improving basic techniques, form, awareness and practical application.
Outside the dojo Paul works for a technology solutions integrator.
Paul can be reached at paul - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
Ryan Stone Sensei started his karate training in August of 1996 at the age of five. He attended St. Mark Catholic School of Plano and Jesuit College Preparatory. Ryan received his Shodan (1st dan) in July of 2003, his Nidan (2nd dan) in 2009 and his Sandan (3rd dan) in 2013. Ryan assists in teaching the Saturday and Tuesday youth classes.
Ryan attended Austin College in Sherman focusing on pre-med studies. Ryan was doing research at Medical City as a Medical Assistant. He is attending medical school at Texas A&M.
Ryan has an older sister, Ashley, a medical student at UT Southwestern Medical Center and younger brother, Dylan, a student at St. Louis Univerisity. Dylan is currently a nidan at OKCD.
Ryan has learned self-discipline, steady work habits, and the value of hard work as a direct result of his participation in karate. He is teaching at the dojo to help others learn these traits.
Ryan can be reached at ryan - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
Constance An Sensei joined OKCD in January 2001. Prior to joining, she worked part time for 5 years as a Personal Trainer and Spin Instructor for the YMCA and a private gym. She had always wanted to do martial arts since elementary school but was not allowed. Throughout her youth, any martial arts was forbidden so she secretly checked out karate books at her school library. As a New Years resolution she enrolled at OKCD and learned that no karate book can compare to having actual OKCD instructors show you the way. Satisfying a long yearning for martial arts, she has found her home here at the OKCD. Constance received her Shodan (1st dan) in Shorin Ryu and Shudokan Karatedo in March, 2005, her Nidan (2nd dan) in 2009 and her Sandan (3rd dan) in 2013. Having a mechanical engineering and fitness background, Constance enjoys breaking down karate into basic physics for powerfully efficient movements. Constance assists with the youth classes.
Constance works at a global telecommunications company. When she is not practicing karate, she enjoys spending time with her family, weight lifting and running.
Constance can be reached constance - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
C harrie Mascio Sensei, after taking a Karate Aerobics class for a couple of months, finally decided to join OKCD in May 2001. Growing up in a Philippine community with a large number of Chinese, she became fascinated with the martial arts. During her anesthesiology residency, she was recruited to move to the U.S. as a physical therapist, and eventually met her husband, John, who exposed her to Judo and Okinawan Karate. In 2006, Charrie earned her Shodan (1st dan), 2010 she earned her Nidan (2nd dan) and her Sandan (3rd dan) in 2013 in both Shorin Ryu and Shudokan Karatedo.
Since becoming a brown belt, she had developed an interest in weapons, with the bo being her favorite, especially bo kumite. She wanted to expand on her knowledge of the bo, as well as some other weapons not currently practiced at OKCD. Charrie also has some background in Judo. Charrie teaches the 9AM Saturday morning adult class and the Sunday Yoga class.
Her other interests include exercising, especially Pilates and yoga, languages, old TV series, and reading. She attributes much of her power to the core strength that Pilates develops.
Charrie is a physical therapist and works in various facilities around the D/FW metroplex. She is also a registered massage therapist.
Charrie is married to John, who is also a black belt at OKCD; and lives with him and their five cats in a north Dallas suburb.
Charrie can be reached at charrie - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
F rank Gannon Sensei first studied martial arts in college, at the Vanderbilt University Tae Kwan Do Club in Nashville, Tennessee. Over the next several years, he "dabbled" in various martial arts, but did not take things seriously until coming to the Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas. As Frank puts it, "Before coming to OKCD, I had a very nice collection of yellow belts."
Frank first visited OKCD during a Tuesday night class in August 2002 and was sold immediately. The combination of serious martial arts training under skilled and experienced instructors in a fun and friendly environment was exactly what he was looking for. Frank has been training at OKCD ever since.
In addition to Karate, Frank also studies Toei Jujutsu with Greg Chesley Sensei and John Mascio Sensei. He also studies Arnis with Guru Bruce Jenkins. In addition, Frank assists with the kids’ classes.
Frank received his Nidan (2nd dan) in Shobayashi Shorin Ryu and Shudokan Karate as well as his Shodan (1st dan) in Toei Jujutsu. He also obtained the rank of Technical Advisor in Arnis.
Frank’s favorite aspect of the study of martial arts is the way that it blends athletics, self defense, philosophy, and the arts all into one. Frank believes that the emphasis martial arts places on courtesy, hard work and persistence in the face of adversity is a lesson of value to anyone that is willing to listen.
Outside of the dojo, Frank enjoys golfing, weight lifting, and playing guitar.
Frank is a licensed attorney practicing law in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Frank can be reached at frank - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
Sean Robinson Sensei, with his interest in karate peaking in late December of 2002, sought out a karate school teaching the Shorin Ryu system--based on his father’s advice. Prior to his first class at OKCD (January 2, 2003), his exposure to karate consisted primarily of sporadic discussions with his father, who holds the rank of Yondan (4th dan) in Goju Ryu Shoreikan, and is the direct student of Seikichi Toguchi (himself a direct student of Goju Ryu founder, Chojun Miyagi). Currently holding the rank of Nidan (2nd dan) in both Shorin Ryu and Shudokan, Sean was promoted to the rank of Shodan (1st dan) in 2008 (January) in both styles. Prior to OKCD, Sean’s athletic interests were primarily expressed through two other passions: football (where he was voted to the All-Central Texas 1st Team as a high school senior) and track; having competed in the Texas High School State Track & Field Championships prior to training as a member of the University of Texas Track & Field squad as a freshman. He considers the overflowing and selfless generosity of OKCD (in and out of the dojo) to be a rare and true treasure. Sean earned his undergraduate and masters degrees in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business.
Sean Robinson Sensei, with his interest in karate peaking in late December of 2002, sought out a karate school teaching the Shorin Ryu system--based on his father’s advice.
Prior to his first class at OKCD (January 2, 2003), his exposure to karate consisted primarily of sporadic discussions with his father, who holds the rank of Yondan (4th dan) in Goju Ryu Shoreikan, and is the direct student of Seikichi Toguchi (himself a direct student of Goju Ryu founder, Chojun Miyagi).
Currently holding the rank of Nidan (2nd dan) in both Shorin Ryu and Shudokan, Sean was promoted to the rank of Shodan (1st dan) in 2008 (January) in both styles.
Prior to OKCD, Sean’s athletic interests were primarily expressed through two other passions: football (where he was voted to the All-Central Texas 1st Team as a high school senior) and track; having competed in the Texas High School State Track & Field Championships prior to training as a member of the University of Texas Track & Field squad as a freshman.
He considers the overflowing and selfless generosity of OKCD (in and out of the dojo) to be a rare and true treasure.
Sean earned his undergraduate and masters degrees in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business.
Sean can be reached at seanr - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
Al Alexander Sensei had his first exposure to martial arts at the age of eight when his parents enrolled him in Kodokan Judo classes on Randolph Air Force base in San Antonio, TX. Shortly after his first promotion, Al’s father received transfer orders which ended his training in Judo, but the interest in martial arts had been seeded. Some years later, while in high school, he was first exposed to Okinawan Karate in the study of Uechi Ryu. Al's high school graduation and move to college cut short his training at the rank of Gokyu. It took some twenty plus years to find his way to OKCD. He has enjoyed his training at OKCD, learning a great many things. Among those was the day he realized that karate training is not truly an individual endeavor, and would like to thank all of his fellow karateka for their selfless contributions to his training.
Al has always enjoyed teaching, and believes that the best way to really learn something is to teach it. Because of that belief, he has gravitated toward teaching the things he really enjoys. For some years he was a skydiving instructor and is currently a certified Motorcycle Safety Foundation certified instructor and teaches novice riders to ride on weekends. In September of 2006 Paul Klotz Sensei invited Al to be his assistant teacher in the 7:00 Thursday class. Al has found it very rewarding to work with the class in that capacity, and considers it an honor to be there. In January 2010 he was awarded his Shodan (1st dan) in Shorin Ryu and Shudokan Karate. He earned his Nidan (2nd dan) in 2013.
Al has worked in purchasing, supply chain management, and project planning for most of his adult life, and when he’s not at work or the dojo, he has a wide array of interests. He loves riding motorcycles of any sort, is a big movie buff, enjoys archery, photography, and just about anything that involves being outdoors.
Al can be reached at aru - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
コディ －・ ロジャーズ
Cody Rogers Sensei came to the Okinawan Karate Club in the summer of 2004 with no martial arts background. He wanted to exercise and thought studying a "martial art" would be interesting. He wanted to learn good budo, so he spent a few months reading as much as he could about different styles and schools before leaning towards Shorin Ryu Karate and the Okinwan Karate Club of Dallas.
Over the last few years, Cody has traveled out of town with OKCD multiple times and been exposed to highly skilled martial artists from all over the world. Most importantly, he values the friendships he's gained.
Cody received his Shodan (1st dan) in Shorin Ryu Karate and Shudokan Karate as well as Toei Jujutsu in June of 2010. He earned his Nidan (2nd dan) in 2013 in both Shorin Ryu Karate and Shudokan Karate. He assists in many of the youth and adult classes and now is the sole instructor for the older beginner youth classes. Cody really enjoys assisting with the senior youth karateka (a few of whom are much older now and skilled karateka themselves).
Cody is currently employed with Gaylord Entertainment, working with the Gaylord Texan.
Cody can be reached at cody - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
Dylan Stone Sensei started his karate training at OKCD in 2001 at the age of seven and earned his Shodan (1st dan) in 2009 and his Nidan (2nd dan) in 2013..
For elementary and middle school, he attended St. Mark Catholic School of Plano. He is currently a student at St. Louis University. Dylan was a wide receiver on the JV Football Team and wrestled for the Jesuit Wrestling Team. Dylan was also a member of the Jesuit Lone Rangers school spirit club, active in debate and for the year 2009-2010, was a member of the 24/7 leadership group. He is currently attending college at St. Louis University on the Presidential Scholarship.
Dylan has an older sister, Ashley, who is a medical student at UT Southwestern Medical Center and an older brother, Ryan, who attended Austin College and is currently a student at Texas A&M medical school. Ryan is an instructor at the dojo, having received his Sandan (3rd dan) in 2013.
Dylan has learned the value of hard work while developing self discipline and steady work habits throughout his years at OKCD.
Dylan can be reached at dylan - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
Stern Smoger McGee Sensei has been around the dojo all of his life. He began his formal training at age five in Shorin-Ryu Karate and Shodokan Karate at the Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas and earned his Shodan (1st dan) in 2009.
Stern especially enjoys the study of Toei Jujutsu with Greg Chesley Sensei. He earned his Shodan in Jujutsu in 2009 and Stern assists in the youth and jujitsu classes.
Stern attends Greenhill School in Addison where he is an honor roll student. Stern is currently playing baseball. Stern also volunteers for Miniature Schnauzer Rescue of North Texas (MSRNT).
Stern expresses his appreciation and gratitude to all the instructors at OKCD who have been instrumental to his martial arts training.
Rajesh Chathapuram Sensei grew up watching martial arts movies, especially South Indian movies involving “Kalaripayattu,” which is considered the mother of all martial arts and can be traced back 3000 years. Due to stringent educational requirements in school and college, there
Finally Rajesh’s dream came true when he and his wife Veena discovered OKCD in Farmers Branch, TX back in 2003. He’s thankful to his wife for being instrumental in providing constant motivation, support and being extremely patient til today. After his first week at OKCD trying to get to know all the teachers, he started seriously training under the leadership of Ilene Smoger Sensei . Rajesh attributes the skills and techniques he has learned to each and every Sensei at OKCD. The unfathomable amount of commitment from all the teachers at OKCD has kindled a profound interest in him to continue this tradition. He credits his disciplined and organized life to both his parents.
In 2011, Rajesh earned his Shodan (1st dan) in Shorin Ryu Karate and Shudokan Karate.
Rajesh holds Bachelor’s degree in Electronics & Communications Engineering, and Master’s degree in Computer Science, Business Administration, and Accounting. Rajesh holds several
Outside the dojo, Rajesh works for Oil & Gas Corporation in Plano, TX.
His other interests include swimming, playing cricket, volleyball, tennis, traditional archery and most importantly “lego blocks time” with his kids. Rajesh was born in India and moved to the US in 1995. He enjoys the company of his wife Veena, his two children – Shashvat and Shashank, and his parents.
Rajesh can be reached at rajesh - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
Giselle Martinez Sensei has been studying and practicing karate at Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas (OKCD) since she was seven years old. She attained the rank of Shodan (1st dan) in May 2011. She is the eldest of two girls. Her sister Stacy is also a student at OKCD; she currently holds the rank of Ikkyu, 3rd level brown belt.
Giselle and Stacy enjoy working hard alongside each other both in karate and at home too. Giselle’s favorite thing to do in karate is work with weapons, particularly the Sai (three-pronged metal) and the Bo (a six-foot staff). She also enjoys two-person work.
Taking on a leadership role as a Junior Instructor, Giselle works with the youngest members at OKCD, teaching them karate.
Giselle is in the eighth grade at Vivian Field Middle School and will soon go to the ninth grade at R.L Turner High School. Upon entering high school, she plans to attend the Biomedical Academy to prepare for medical school and a future career as a doctor.
Lia Wilson Sensei joined the Okinawan Karate Club in January of 2006 with no previous martial arts training or knowledge about the subject. Intrigued at first by the self defense aspects and the physical benefits of training, she soon found that there was much more. The dojo provided an encouraging, challenging atmosphere where she could grow mentally as well as physically. It soon became apparent that she had not only joined a dojo, but also a family. The valuable friendships she has made transcend the training hall, and she cannot imagine life without the OKCD.
In 2011, Lia earned her Shodan (1st dan) in Shorin Ryu Karate and Shudokan Karate.
Lia has a background in marketing communications and technical writing. After graduating from the University of North Texas with a degree in English, she worked as a communications professional at IBM for 19 years. She now manages her martial arts gifts and accessories web site, Three Tears Karate, and works as a realtor for Smoger Realty.
When not in the dojo, Lia enjoys spending time with her two grown sons, Brandon and Clayton, and the love of her life, Mark (a.k.a. “Schnookums”).
Lia can be reached at lia - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
Christine Sopithakul Sensei grew up watching Saturday morning kung fu shows and one martial-arts movie after another, desiring to practice martial arts.
When her friend and OKCD instructor, Constance, suggested she try a karate class, Christine finally joined the Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas in September 2007. Although she had no previous martial-arts experience, Christine began training multiple times a week and has continued this consistent regimen ever since. She earned her Shodan (1st dan) in Shorin Ryu and Shudokan and Toei Jujutsu in 2013.
Karate gives Christine a level of physical challenge and tools to defend herself, as well as balance, awareness, and confidence much greater than she had before her karate journey began; however, it is the members and instructors of the Okinawan Karate Club that really keep her going back. She loves the healthy, supportive atmosphere and the wealth of knowledge and experience that the club offers. Christine also enjoys helping with the kids program at the club because it allows her to practice becoming a better instructor and also helps keep all the material fresh in her mind.
Christine works as an IT professional. She is a business analyst/application support administrator and has been with the same company for the past 19 years.
Outside the dojo and work, Christine enjoys running, softball, biking, weightlifting, and generally being active.
Chris can be reached at chris - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
Flora Ohara Sensei began her martial arts training in June 2003 when she first came to the Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas. Upon completing her graduate studies at the George Washington University, Flora wanted something new to study. Together with her friend Sachiko (a Shodan in Shotokan), they went on a search for a new activity and they decided to study karate together and discovered OKCD. What she discovered was more than karate and self-defense training. With the continuous guidance and mentorship from Smoger Sensei and all the other Yudansha, she gained a new understanding and sense of direction. The most valuable lesson she was taught, was with commitment, determination and friendship, nothing is impossible as long as you never give up. She earned her Shodan (1st dan) in 2013.
OKCD has offered Flora multiple opportunities to train with some of the world's finest martial artists. She has presented seminars at both the National Women's Martial Arts Federation (NWMAF) and the Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists (PAWMA).
Outside the dojo, Flora enjoys designing websites for her company Savvy Web Services, reading, traveling and spending time with her partner. Flora extends her sincerest gratitude to the yudansha of OKCD for all the many lessons, spirit challenges and for believing in her over the past decade.
Flora can be reached at flora - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
Stacy Martinez Sensei began karate when she was six years old, joining the club's youth program. Now, much older, she feels that training is a favorite part of the day. She believes that even after a rough day at school, she always seems to feel better after karate. Stacy feels that Karatedo is something to be taken seriously, and credits it for helping to instill her with a sense of respect, discipline, and many other positive attributes. She enjoys practicing kata, sparring with bo, and many of the other techniques she has learned. She is known in the dojo as a dedicated helper and role model, assisting with youth classes and always ready to help younger students improve.
She works very hard in school to be one of the top students in her class. Stacy is particularly interested in artificial intelligence, and would like to continue her studies to pursue a career in science.
Stacy earned her Shodan in July, 2013. She is also the younger sister of Giselle Martinez Sensei who also instructs at the dojo.
Alexis Delgadillo Sensei began karate classes at the Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas when he was only five years old. When the dojo was forced to move from Farmers Branch, Alexis was one of the young students who chose to move with it and continue his training. After seven continuous years with the dojo, he earned his shodan in July 2013 as one of the youngest black belts in the club's history.
The youngest in his family, Alexis is athletic, and especially enjoys swimming and soccer. When he is a bit older, he plans to play soccer while attending college and spend his time as a lifeguard in the summer. He keeps his grades up in school, is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, and a member of the Robotics Club which participates in robotics competitions.
Alexis is especially proud of his Mexican heritage, and is very thankful to his mom and dad. "I have no siblings, but I have great parents who take great care of me!"
Alexis is first cousins with Uri Mora who also is a Shodan at the dojo.
Gerardo Uriel Mora Sensei, or "Uri" as he is known by his dojo mates, was born in Mexico City, and moved to the U.S. with his parents and sister, Carolina, when he was still a baby. Ever since he was young, Uri has been interested in wrestling and soccer, and began taking karate when he was seven years old. Uri is also interested in music. He learned to play viola at Ted Polk Middle School and received an award in orchestra. He also excels in math, social studies, and athletics. This fall, He will be attending Newman Smith High School.
Over the last several years, several of Uri's karate instructors have commented on how great his progress has been in the dojo. He is developing into an excellent young karateka. Uri is proud of the hard work he has put in to earning his shodan in July 2013, and especially wants to thank his parents, his Grandma, and his teachers for helping him get here today.
Uri is also first cousins with Alexis Delgadillo who is also an instructor at the dojo.
Guru Bruce Jenkins is the founder of Moroland Martial Arts (U.S.A.) and co-founder Moroland Martial Arts (Manila Philippines). The Moroland Martial Arts system is a modern system that was developed from a combination of multiple styles including, Arnis, Escrima/Kali, Dumog, Sabot, Wu Ying Tao, Jujitsu, Cane, Silat, Kubaton, etc.
Guru Jenkins is a Senior Technical Advisor in the Moroland Martial Arts training system for both Oregon and Texas. He is a Senior Combat Weapons Instructor with over twenty years martial arts training and teaching experience. He has attained advanced level ranking in multiple styles.
His first martial arts training was brief and started in the Marine Corps Recruit Training Center learning close quarter combat techniques. A few years later he started his serious training in Oregon under Master Rick Johnson and Grand Master Bruce Terell. He has trained with some of the top martial arts instructors in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington).
He is a dedicated life-long martial artist who is married to a Filipino woman and has traveled to the Philippines many times to see family. He incorporates his martial arts knowledge into his teaching to reflect the many different types of styles and weapons and how they were originally used by the native Filipino and people of surrounding countries to defend themselves.
He teaches beginner through advanced ARNIS sessions. He has plans to start an OKCD Basic/Advanced ARNIS instructor training program in the future.
Bruce can reached atbruce - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
A C Dumaual Sensei was born and raised in the Midwest. He is a recent arrival to Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas. He was always interested in taking karate as a kid and started taking classes in the Summer of 1988. He passionately trained in the style of Shorei-Goju ryu karate for over 20 years, where he actively competed in both state tournaments and national tournaments in the categories of kata (forms), sparring and weapons.
During his competitive years, he was at one time ranked 3rd in his division in the state. He finally achieved the black belt rank of Yondan (4th dan) before moving to Texas in 2011. With his competition days over, AC focuses his karate as a way of life--focusing on community life and personal growth. He is a firm believer in the Zen aspects of karate in finding harmony in one's life, and he does what he can to to aid others in getting there. AC helps with the kid's classes as a sparring instructor on Saturday mornings.
Outside of the dojo, AC enjoys a variety of activities including running, sporting events, computer games and spending time with friends and family. He attended the University of Notre Dame for his undergraduate studies, received his Master's in Biology from Purdue University and his Ph.D. in Biophysics and Biochemistry from Indiana University in 1999. He currently works at the US Environmental Protection Agency as an Environmental Scientist, a job which he loves and enjoys immensely. On occasion, he will teach a Biochemistry class at one of the local universities as an adjunct college professor. His students have given him the nickname of "Dr. D." and somehow that name has stuck.
AC can be reached at ac - at - okinawankarateclub.com.
David McAhren Sensei has been active in martial arts for over 30 years. After graduating from Purdue University, he moved to Florida and began Tae Kwon Do training in 1980. He received his first Shodan (1st dan) in 1981 and trained with Master Pok S. Yun for 11 years.
Changing to Shindo Ryu in 1991, David began working with Master Barris Sweeney and worked as a primary instructor for the dojo from 1992 through 1995. He received a second Shodan in 1994.
Continuing his martial arts journey, David worked with Sensei Jonathan Lowell studying Go Ju Ryu in 1996. He tested with and was awarded his third Shodan by Master Mario Higona in 2000. In 2003, the McAhren family moved to Flower Mound and David and his daughter, Rachel, continued their training – eventually joining the Okinawan Karate Club of Dallas.
Dave is an Information Technology Executive with Atmos Energy, which is headquartered in Dallas.
David can be reached at david - at - okinawankarateclub.com.