Sensei Graham M. Smith (he/him/his), Head Instructor
Sensei Graham has been affiliated with Sun Dragon since 2000 and teaching here since 2007. He currently teaches primarily in our Youth and Adult karate programs. Sensei Graham earned his Seido shodan in 2009, nidan in 2011, sandan in 2013, and yondan in 2018. Sensei Graham was named Head Instructor in July of 2020, after holding the role of Youth Program Coordinator since 2018. He served on the Sun Dragon Board of Directors from 2005—2013. Sensei Graham achieved the rank of third degree black belt in Tang Soo Do and ran a school in North Carolina before he moved to Austin.
Senpai Laura Hayden (she/her/hers), Executive Director, Instructor
Senpai Laura has been a friend of Sun Dragon since 2006, training here since 2008 and teaching since 2010. She has worked as Executive Director since July 2020, after holding the role of Program Director for four years. Besides leading the Little Dragons program and teaching in all levels of the Seido Karate kids’ programs, Senpai Laura also teaches self defense. She earned her Seido shodan in 2013, her nidan in 2016, and her sandan in 2019. She is a member of NWMAF and AWMAI. Her wife KJ is a Seido yondan at Sun Dragon. In her spare time she enjoys building things out of LEGO bricks.
Sensei KJ Scheib (she/her/hers), Senior Instructor
Sensei KJ has been training at Sun Dragon since 1999 and teaching here since 2001. She currently teaches classes for new and advanced-rank adults. Sensei KJ earned her Kyokushin black belt in 2004, her Seido shodan in 2007, nidan in 2010, sandan in 2013, and yondan in 2018. She has held the role of Senior Instructor since July 2020. She is a member of the NWMAF and has also studied Judo, Kajukenbo, and Tai Chi. Her wife Laura is a Seido sandan, and Executive Director, at Sun Dragon.
Sensei Joy Williamson (she/her/hers), Instructor
Sensei Joy started training at Sun Dragon since 1995; she earned her Kyokushin black belt in 2000. She took over as Head Instructor at the request of Sun Dragon founder Sensei Suzanne Pinette when she retired in 2004. She teaches Seido karate and Empowerment Self Defense to adults, teens, and children. Sensei Joy currently trains with Sei Shihan Nancy Lanoue and Jun Shihan Sarah Ludden at Thousand Waves in Chicago. She earned her Seido shodan in 2007, nidan in 2009, sandan in 2012, and yondan in 2016. Sensei Joy led Sun Dragon as both Head Instructor and Executive Director from 2004 through June of 2020. She currently acts as our program consultant, as well as instructor. She is a member of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation (NWMAF) and the Association of Women Martial Artists (AWMAI). Sensei Joy holds national certification as a self-defense instructor through NWMAF.
Senpai Vanessa Martinez (she/her/hers), Instructor
Senpai Vanessa has been training at Sun Dragon since 2010 and teaching since 2011. She primarily assists in Little Dragons, Juniors, and Youth classes. Senpai Vanessa earned her Seido shodan in 2015 and her nidan in 2018. In her spare time, Senpai Vanessa is earning her certificate to become an Elementary School teacher.
Senpai Kitty McHone (she/her/hers), Instructor
Senpai Kitty has been involved with Sun Dragon since 2012, when her child joined the Little Dragons program. She began training in 2013, teaching in 2016, and earned her Seido shodan in 2018. She currently assists in kids’ and adult classes, and serves as a substitute instructor. She earned her black belt in Jung Sim Do in 1997, and took two semesters of Judo in college. When she is not in the dojo, Senpai Kitty loves to hike, make music with friends, and homeschool Quin, who is currently a Youth shodan.
Senpai William Mouradian (he/they), Director of Outreach, Instructor
Senpai Wil has been training at Sun Dragon since 2014 and earned the rank of Seido shodan in 2018. They have served on the Board of Directors since 2015 and has been teaching at Sun Dragon since 2016. Wil executes our marketing strategy and fundraising efforts, including managing our annual Kickathon Fundraiser and curating our social media content. Before training in Seido Karate, Wil trained for five years in Taekwondo, Jiu-Jitsu, and Aikido. When they’re not in the dojo, Wil can be found biking around Sunset Valley, reading a novel, or drawing.
Coty DeLacretaz (she/her/hers), Violence Prevention Program Coordinator, Yoga Instructor
Coty has been involved with Sun Dragon since her children started training here in 2009, and has been training in Seido karate herself since June 2019. Coty is our Violence Prevention Program Coordinator and lead self defense instructor. She served on the Sun Dragon Board of Directors from 2011–2015. She is also a Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) and teaches our Sunday yoga class.