About Us

Mission Statement

Sun Dragon Martial Arts and Self Defense supports the physical and spiritual empowerment of all through training in conflict resolution, self defense, and non-violent martial arts. We offer a safe and affirming learning environment for all. We believe that we can end violence in our community, and that self defense is every person’s right.

2018 Year In Review

Martial Arts Community

Sun Dragon is a member of the World Seido Karate Organization. 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 Seido Headquarters in New York.

Sun Dragon enjoys interacting with other schools cooperatively through training and special seminars. Sun Dragon is a member school of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation, which is a network of women who promote martial arts as a path of self-discovery and transformation. Our female students are encouraged to participate in the NWMAF’s annual Special Training camp. Sun Dragon regularly sponsors seminars for students to learn from teachers who are nationally recognized experts in their field. Past seminars have included subjects such as sparring, musical forms, rolling and falling, board breaking, and more.


Sensei Suzanne Pinette founded Sun Dragon in 1989 as a Kyokushin Karate school for women and children. Everywoman’s Self Defense was created as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 1998 to promote the violence prevention programs offered by Sun Dragon, and the two organizations merged in 2004. The new, larger non-profit offers traditional martial arts and practical violence prevention training to all, without regard to financial circumstance. Sun Dragon maintains a scholarship fund for anyone who needs financial assistance to train, and continues to offer free or low-cost classes to sister organizations, community groups, and the public.

In 2004, Sensei Suzanne retired from teaching, and she asked Sensei Joy Williamson to lead the school as Executive Director. Sensei Joy began training seriously with Shihan Nancy Lanoue and Shihan Sarah Ludden, and in 2007 earned her Shodan in Seido. She now holds a 4th degree black belt and continues to train regularly at Thousand Waves in Chicago, and at Seido Honbu in New York.

Sun Dragon still offers women’s classes but now has many co-ed classes as well. Like Kaicho Nakamura, we believe that karate has much to offer all men, women, and children, and we welcome everyone to our dojo.

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 Member – Emily Russell
  • Board Member – Maria Gomez

(c) 2002-2018 All materials copyright Sun Dragon Martial Arts and Self Defense
4534 West Gate Blvd #101 Austin, TX 78745 (512) 416-9735