After a number of years as a member of a large karate organization, Karate-Do Kenwakan has emerged as a unique combination of traditional Japanese karate and modern western somatic movement science. We have done away with the traditional one-size-fits-all training methods many other schools rely upon and, instead, offer a comprehensive program that is personalized, professional and rewarding at every level.
Shihan Michelle Gay, is a martial artist, Laban Certified Movement Analyst, Registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist. Along with her regular SFMAI schedule of classes and special workshops, she teaches Anatomy and Kinesiology at the Manhattan Center for Alexander Technique and guest teaches for the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, Dalton High School, and Broadway Dance Center. Her first book Brain Breaks, Movements for the Classroom published by Scholastic Teaching Resources was released in October 2009. She is a 5th degree Black Belt, 5-time World Oyama Knockdown Champion and holds many North American Open Tournament Championship titles in kata and kumite. She won the Canadian Kyokushin Knockdown Division in 2001 and took 2nd place,
plus the Fighting Spirit Award at the Seidokaikan “Knockdown Kings” tournament in NYC 2002. On October 9, 2004 she completed a 50-woman kumite at the historic “A Woman’s Right To Fight” held at the Manhattan Ballroom in NYC. The event was created to showcase the fighting spirit of the extraordinary women who practice full-contact karate and the event drew participants from the United States, Japan
and Canada. As a Laban Certified Movement Analyst and Somatic Educator and Therapist she is a uniquely qualified instructor devoted to uncovering the natural athlete in everyone while developing martial artists of intelligence, strength and compassion.
Her other studies have included AUSKF Iaido (Nidan), Yang Style Tai Chi with the late Grandmaster Cheng Hsiang Yu, BJJ with Equipe Jucao, Embodied Anatomy and Kinesiology with Amy Mathews, Anatomy and Kinesiology with Irene Dowd, Integral Anatomy (cadaver dissection) with Gil Headley, PHD, Experiential Anatomy, Embryology, with Bonnie Bainbridge-Cohen.