Jody Sasaki, an Oxnard native, is the founder of Sasaki’s Kenpo Karate. Sasaki is an eight-time NBL (National BlackBelt League) world champion. In 1990, 1991 and 1992 he won consecutive titles in self-defense and Kenpo forms. In 2000 and 2001 he returned to competition and captured both NBL world titles in self-defense. He is also a four-time champion at the Ed Parker International Karate Championships, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the United States. Sasaki is also a two-time world champion at the US Open Championships shown on ESPN 2. Additionally, Sasaki has trained five world champion and seven national champion students.
Michael Sharma owns and operates Sasaki’s Kenpo Karate. Sifu Michael is a 4-time world champion including winning the ISKA US Open Championships (the most prestigious tournament in the world) and a national championship in self-defense. In 2001, 2002 and 2003 he won consecutive championships and was the top-rated competitor in his divisions. He has also trained several national and world champions. Sifu Michael has over 30 years of martial arts training experience.
He started training at age 11 and has been teaching since he was 13.
Currently a 6th degree black belt, he has owned Sasaki Kenpo Karate since 2010.
He graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Cal State Northridge.
and has lived in Ventura County since he was 6 years old.
Destiny Sharma is the Program Director at Sasaki Kenpo. Destiny is a 2nd degree black belt with over 25 years of martial arts experience. As a competitor she won a national championship in Forms and was a finalist three times at the world championships. Destiny is also the head instructor of the Beginner XMA program and an assistant trainer for the Making It Happen Demo Team.
Sifu Paul is a 6th degree black belt and is one of our lead instructors for the Adult/Teen program. He’s an Oxnard native, having graduated from Rio Mesa (another Spartan!).
He started his martial arts journey at age 31 and earned his black belt when he was 35. His favorite martial arts memories are winning an amateur self defense championship as a brown belt and being part of Sifu Jody’s championship self defense team.
He believes the best thing about doing martial arts as an adult is challenging yourself and gaining the self confidence that you can protect yourself and your family.
Sifu Rick started training in martial arts in 1980 (Shotokan) and at Sasaki Kenpo in 2005. He earned his Black Belt in 2008. His proudest martial arts achievement is making a positive impact on the lives of his many young students. His proudest non martial arts achievement is completing TWO Iron Man triathlons and winning a 5K race at the age of 53. Sifu Rick was in the Armed Forces for 6 years, active duty and reserve. He was a Military Intelligence Officer and jumped out of airplanes/helicopters on his last assignment.
Sifu Nena has been an educator for much of her life. She is a retired Elementary School teacher and an instructor at SK, teaching kids, teens & adults. She started her martial arts journey in 2001 and earned her black belt in 2004. As she puts it, when she started she was “hooked”. As an instructor she loves seeing students get excited about martial arts and loves the amazing growth she experiences teaching both kids and adults. Her advice for all new students, “Take time to enjoy the journey. The experience lasts a lifetime.”
Sifu Arturo was 12 years old when he started training at Sasaki Kenpo. He earned his black belt when he was 18. His favorite martial arts memories are all the brown and black belt pre tests that he did throughout his training.
“Each had unique situations and people that made it incredible.”
He loves to teach because he likes seeing the students he taught grow and become better at what they do. Also, he loves listening to the kids talk, because well, sometimes they say some funny stuff.
Sifu Steve started his martial arts journey in 2011 at the age of 45. He earned his black belt in 2014. Sifu Steve is unique in that not only is he a black belt and instructor, but his two kids also earned their black belts in XMA and his youngest, Brooke was a Sifu before him! Sifu Steve enjoys teaching because he likes to see students grow. He enjoys seeing them improve the little things, like improving their technique/basics and more importantly, watching them grow into awesome people because they have learned the black belt principles.
Sifu Jorge started training at SK when he was 9. He earned his black belt at the age of 14 and started assisting with classes when he was just 10 years old. Sifu Jorge is a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Legal Studies. Sifu Jorge is an Oxnard High School Alum. His favorite martial arts memory was performing in his first demo in 2009 at the Obon Festival in Oxnard.
Sifu Rezel is the youngest Sifu at SK. She started training when she was 7 years old and earned her black belt at 13. She believes martial arts has helped her excel at school because it has made her more social, confident and given her a growth mindset.
“Even though they aren’t at school with me, I think about my classmates and instructors, to help push me to do better and step out of my comfort zone.”
Her favorite part about teaching is watching students transition from under belts to higher ranks and watching them improve and become better martial artists and individuals.
Sifu Rezel is unique in that her older sister, Genre, is also a Sifu at SK. So, what’s it like to have a “Sifu Sister”?
“Having a Sifu Sister is definitely a blessing because we can help each other improve our teaching skills and combine our similar ideas to bring out our best selves.”
Sifu Genre started at Sasaki Kenpo when she was 10 years old. She was 15 when she earned her black belt and has been teaching classes for 8 years now. Her favorite part about teaching is that it challenges her to become a better martial artist.
Sifu Gen has 1 younger sister (also a black belt and Sifu-Sifu Rezel-“Sifu Sisters”).