​​INSTRUCTORS

Sensei Jamie Lynne Kennedy


     Sensei Kennedy began her karate career with her father in 1983 in Flint at the University of Michigan.  Soon after, she moved to the Swartz Creek Karate Club where she has been training since the age of 10.  Her son began training officially in 2004.  A three generation karate family is very unusual and exciting!  

     Currently she is a Yondan (4th degree black belt).  She graduated from the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF) Instructor Training Program.  Sensei Kennedy is an ISKF Certified Instructor, Examiner, Judge, and Competitor.  

      In 2006 she began teaching karate at the Swartz Creek Karate Club.  She then went on to teach in various Flint Community Elementary after school programs.  Her Sensei, James Nelson encouraged her to begin teaching on her own.  Lightning Strikes Shotokan Karate opened for the first time in 2008 in Owosso, MI.

     Sensei has been on Regional, National, and International teams winning gold, silver and bronze medals in kata (forms), kumite (sparring), and team kata/kumite.  She has been fortunate enough to travel all over the United States for karate events.  Every year  the Mid-America Regional Tournament is held in Ohio in May.   Each year ISKF Nationals is located in a different state, and Sensei Kennedy  has competed in California,  Colorado, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, South Dakota, and Arizona.   The ISKF International Goodwill Tournament is held every June in Pennsylvania during Master Camp, where  she he has won silver and bronze medals in team kata.  Additionally, Sensei competed for several years in the Flint Olympian Games and CANUSA Games with her family.  Most recently, she was  selected in 2018 to compete in the Senior Team Kata event in the ISKF National Tournament in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and brought home a bronze medal!  There are several trainings and camps that she attends on a monthly basis, either in Michigan, Ohio, or Indiana.   

​       Sensei, her son, and her dad  all competed as a family for the first time at Nationals in San Francisco in 2007.  They  have also performed mixed team kata at Regionals together.

     She has taught a wide variety of karate students, including individuals who are deaf, blind, ASD, ADHD, arthritic, elderly, children, and those with other physical/mental limitations.  

     Fun Facts:  
  •  She got struck by lightning on June 21, 2006.  That is how she came up with her karate club name.  
  • She is a kindergarten teacher at DTM in Flint.
  • Her son is a 1st Kyu (3rd degree brown belt).
  • Her dad is a Nidan (2nd degree black belt).
  • ​​Her Lightning Strikes Shotokan Karate Logo is actually a picture of the tattoo she has on her leg.  She is in the center, her son is on the left, and her dad is on the right.  


 

 

 
 
      
​SEMPAI  JAMES STEWART  

     Sempai Jim's daughter had wanted to do karate and kept asking for a couple years. Finally after doing research he found Shotokan. He wanted a type of karate that didn't promise a black belt in a year, he wanted his daughter to work hard and earn it. He also didn't want his daughter to use weapons, he was afraid she would knock herself out with nunchucks! He finally decided that Shotokan was the best fit and they joined together.

     Jim began his karate training in 1983 with his daughter at the University of Michigan-Flint. Shortly after joining that club, it dissolved and he found the Swartz Creek Karate Club where he still trains. He tested for Shodan on 7-11-09 and Nidan on 12-8-12.


     He has competed in the Flint Olympian Games with his daughter. He has also competed in Regional and National Tournaments and attends regional events when work permits.

     Jim was a long distance runner in high school and college, even qualifying for the Boston Marathon a few times.  He carried the CANUSA Torch  and was a square dancer.  From February 1968 to April 1969 Jim fought in the Vietnam War.  He has been married to Lynne for 47 years and lives in Flint, Michigan. He is retired from the Flint Community Schools where he drove a school bus, was a custodian, and did boiler repairs. Currently he works at Blue Lakes Charters And Tours as a bus driver. He loves to travel, fish, kayak, play pool, and of course spend time with his family.  



 ​SEMPAI NOAH KENNEDY


     Sempai Noah had karate in his blood before he was born!  ​Currently Noah is a 1st Kyu (3rd degree brown belt).  
 
     Noah began officially training at age 4. Prior to that, he came to the dojo in his playpen from the time he was a newborn. If he got fussy, his mom would hold him when she was sparring or doing kata. 

     Noah knew Bassai Dai before he began his formal dojo training just from watching his mom practice. His first Regional Tournament was in May of 2005 when he was 4 years old. He won a medal in both kata and Kumite. His mouth piece was way too big, his mom hadn't cut the edges and Noah kept choking on it and accidently spit it at the center judge. Noah did the same thing at the 2007 Nationals in San Francisco, spitting his mouth guard at Sensei Cathy Cline who actually caught it!  That was his first national Tournament and he won a bronze medal.   Noah has been in open tournaments against Canadian teams in the CANUSA Games and Flint Olympian Games,  winning medals in kata and team kata with his mom. CANUSA stands for CANada & USA; Flint, Michigan, USA and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Noah has many regional medals,  nationals medals, International Goodwill Tournament, and CANUSA medals.

     He has previously assisted his mom teaching at her dojo and at her elementary schools.  He has attended every Mid-America summer camp since 2004 and most other camps and trainings.  

     Noah turned 18 in May and graduated from Atherton High School in 2018. He is attending Mott Community College. He also recently earned his Boy Scout Eagle Award. His hobbies are karate, Boy Scouts, biking, swimming, camping, reading, running, Legos, Geocaching, Pokémon Go, gaming, and traveling.  When Noah was a freshman he earned his varsity letter in track and runs a 10 mile race yearly with his mom.

      In 2006 at age 6 Noah saved his mom's life when she got struck by lightning. He also helped her drive back to the USA since she lost her eye sight and the use of her right  arm.   He's a true hero!

His long term goal is to become a karate instructor and have his own dojo in the future.  Who knows...he will probably inherit Lightning Strikes Shotokan Karate!
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