About Us

Mission Statement

Sun Dragon supports the physical, emotional, and spiritual empowerment of all. In our safe and affirming learning environment, we train in conflict resolution, self-defense, and nonviolent martial arts. We have the power to end violence in our community, and every person has the right to defend themselves.

2019 Year In Review

Our Community and Lineage

Sun Dragon is a member of the World Seido Karate Organization, which means we have a lineage of teachers and leaders. Our head instructor, Joy Williamson, is a direct student of Sei Shihan Nancy Lanoue and Jun Shihan Sarah Ludden, of Thousand Waves in Chicago. Sensei Joy also trains with Seido Founder and Chairman Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura at the World Seido Headquarters in New York.

Sun Dragon has strong community relationships with other martial arts schools around the world through conferences, training, and special seminars. We are a member school of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation, which is a network of women and nonbinary people who promote martial arts as a path of self-discovery and transformation. Our female and nonbinary students are encouraged to participate in the NWMAF’s annual Special Training camp.

We also host seminars for students to learn from teachers who are nationally recognized experts in their field. Past seminars have included subjects such as sparring, rolling and falling, board breaking, Tai Chi applications, board breaking, child development in a martial arts context, and more.


Sensei Suzanne Pinette founded Sun Dragon in 1989 as a Kyokushin Karate school for women and children. In 2004, Sensei Suzanne retired from teaching, and asked Sensei Joy Williamson to lead the school as Executive Director. Sensei Joy met with the Sun Dragon community soon after that, and as a group, they decided to transition from Kyokushin Karate to Seido Karate.

Sensei Joy began training with Shihan Nancy Lanoue and Shihan Sarah Ludden, and in 2007 earned her Shodan (first degree black belt) in Seido Karate. She now holds a 4th degree black belt, and continues to train regularly at Thousand Waves in Chicago, and at Seido World Headquarters in New York.

Sun Dragon still offers classes and workshops for women, but now has many co-ed classes as well. We believe that karate has much to offer all people, and we welcome everyone to our community.

Sun Dragon Policies

Vaccination Policy

Code of Conduct Complaint Form

Conduct Complaint to the Board of Directors

Conduct Complaint to the Executive Director

Nonprofit Status

Sun Dragon’s tax ID number (EIN) is 74-2671794.

Board Members:

  • Board President – Shilpa Kerkar
  • Board Secretary – Emily Russell
  • Board Member – Senpai Summer Cacciotti
  • Board Member – Kim Suvia
  • Board Member – Josh Kimmell

(c) 2002-2020 All materials copyright Sun Dragon Martial Arts and Self Defense
4534 West Gate Blvd #101 Austin, TX 78745 (512) 416-9735