2013 Recipient: Award of Excellence
Barbara Christensen is a pioneer In the women’s martial arts community. After attending several conferences In the early 1980’s to establish the NWMAF, she served four years as its first Treasurer.
Shortly after achieving her black belt, Sensei Christensen met with sexism and hostility from the male leadership at her Karate dub. Following a heartbreaking separation from them, she started teaching women on her own. Then, after a few more years, Barbara reached out to senior Shorin·Ryu instructors from Okinawa. They appreciated her dedication and skill in the art and adopted her club, grounding it in the system. Her school has survived to this day and now includes men and children along with women practitioners.
Barbara had been a top athlete her entire life. She made the decision to leave team sports and concentrate completely on the personal achievements possible through training In the arts. Along with Karate, she is ranked In Aikido. Her natural smoothness and balance, power, and coordination create in her an inaeclible ability as a practitioner. She applies her keen intellect to these innate and developed physical skills. Now in her sixties, her performance is positively stunning to watch. Her path is persistent teaching, practical and perfection every time she executes a technique in the Dojo. Whether handling a bo or tonfa, kama or Jo, her expertise is impeccable.