Meet Our Instructors
Training at FKU since 1981, Sensei Aleeta is a fifth-degree black belt (fifth dan, pronounced “dahn”) in Sensei Chuzo Kotaka’s open-hand style of Shito-ryu, and third dan in his traditional weapons system (kobudo).
“Of course I truly enjoy watching a physically gifted woman develop as a skilled martial artist under my coaching. But for me the most excitement and reward is in helping average women who come to my dojo. What I hope they find at my school, what I try to give them, is a place of acceptance.”
A recently retired physician, Sensei Aleeta brings knowledge of the human body and its capabilities.
“Whether they are a middle-aged middle-class housewife, an exotic dancer, a radical lesbian, a chador-clad Muslim, or a college or high school student, I try to accept my students as they come; whether they cannot possibly do one push-up or if they can do one hundred, if they don’t know right from left, whether they’re self-confident, over-confident or fearful. My job as I define it as martial arts instructor is to train each woman as she is, help her to set and reset her goal(s), and work with her toward those goals and beyond.
Training at FKU since 1992, Sensei Joanne earned her second dan black belt in open-hand, and a second dan in kobudo in 2009.
“My focus is toward an intense awareness of the here and now: taking the unique gifts that each student brings to class today and helping them hone their talents to a more fulfilling, more aware, tomorrow.”
A small-business owner by day, Sensei Joanne brings an entrepreneurial spirit and years of experience empowering women. Today she owns Strategic Living LLC, a separate business focused on providing empowerment self-defense training outside a martial arts environment. She began teaching workshops and seminars for women and teen girls in 1995 by assisting Sensei Aleeta in community classes, expanding offerings to the University of Washington’s Women’s Center and beyond.
Training at FKU since 1993, Sensei Tracey started teaching classes in 1997. She is a second dan black belt in empty hand and a second dan in kobudo.
“I have been teaching classes at FKU for over twenty years and consider myself a student with so much more to learn.“
A school teacher by day, Sensei Tracey brings a passion for teaching and years of practical experience teaching to various audiences.
Training at FKU since 1995, Sensei Kim is a first dan black belt in empty hand and a first dan in kobudo.
“At FKU, I enjoy being part of the community and watching our kids grow up to be young adults.”
A Logistics and Inventory Controller by day, Sensei Kim brings a passion for encouraging our youngest students to do their best.
Sensei Jennifer began training in August 1998, and earned her sho-dan, first degree, black belt in 2013. A former French teacher and current criminal appeals attorney, she generally teaches the Thursday night class focused on beginners and basics. Jennifer particularly enjoys introducing new students to the benefits of martial arts training.
“At FKU, I have found an environment of determined discipline and supportive camaraderie that encouraged me to reach my potential and push beyond my comfort zone.” Sensei Jennifer is dedicated to continuing to help create that environment for others.
Sensei Judy has been training in various martial arts since 1995, first earning her second dan in the Korean martial art Tang Soo Do, then teaching kickboxing for more than 12 years, and finally finding Shito-Ryu in 2014. She is currently a second dan in empty-hand and in kobudo. She actively competes in tournaments, and encourages other students to join her.
“I consider myself a life-long learner. And the best way to learn is to teach something to someone else. It’s also deeply gratifying to teach both children and adults, and watch them grow in the art.”
A neuro-physiologist and a certified fitness instructor, Judy brings an understanding of body movement and best practices in physical fitness.
Sensei Henry has been training at FKU since 2013 and earned his shodan-ho, or provisional black belt, in 2022. He’s actively preparing for his shodan black belt test, is a tournament competitor, and assists other students during adult and kid classes.
“I’ve watched myself improve over the years at FKU, and I know I still have so much more to learn, which is what makes karate exciting for me. The best part is that I get to teach younger kids, and watch them get better too.
Sensei Phoebe started training as a second grader in the kid’s program with Sensei Joanne and earned her shodan-ho, or provisional black belt, in 2022. They assist with Saturday morning kid’s classes and also help other students during adult classes.
Linet began training at FKU in 2017 and earned her brown belt in 2022. She is honored to be able to assist Sensei Judy with the children’s tournament prep class and Sensei Joanne with FKU’s community work teaching self-defense in local women’s shelters.
“I enjoy the intense challenges presented by martial arts training and the heartfelt support from the teachers and students at FKU.”
Joanna began training at FKU in 2018 and earned her brown belt in 2022. She helps Sensei Jen with the Thursday beginning adult classes.