My journey as a Martial Artist began 27 years ago with an unusual twist. I was at that time in 1980 looking for a great workout and a good exercise class that would keep me in shape, so I asked Sensei Dayton Guinee, (my brother) if I could attend his classes. I promised to stay in the back of the room and not disturb his class and he agreed. So there I was – jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, punching, kicking, blocking….thinking”exercise” the whole time. A great workout to keep me in shape, never once thinking about “learning karate”. Before long I was asked to put on a gi so I would look “like like I belonged there” and eventually Sensei asked me to spar just so I could “feel what it was like” – after all, I had been punching and kicking in the air for several months.Then on April 25, 1981, I was called to the front of the dojo and was given my first stripe on my white belt. Standing there, amazed at what just happened, I realized that what I had been doing all of those months was yes,”exercising” to keep in shape, but I was also learning the art of “Goju Karate” and it was all uphill from there.
I continued my studies, going to classes 3 times a week, and began training for competition and competing in sparring and kata in many tri-state area tournaments, winning many trophies. I was listed in the March 1983 issue of Inside Kung Fu for taking 1st place in sparring in the women’s division at the 11th U.S. Invitational Karate Championships in Norwalk, Connecticut.
All of my hard work and commitment paid off. I was promoted to 1st Dan on August 4, 1984. After receiving my 1st Dan, I began teaching Co-Ed and Women’s Self-Defense classes for Adult Education Curriculums in Westchester County. It became my goal to pass on the knowledge that I had learned to help others. I was promoted to 2nd Dan in 1986, 3rd Dan in 1998, 4th Dan in 2000 and 5th Dan in 2005. As a result of my karate way of life, I became a personal trainer and work in the health and fitness industry to help people live a healthy life in mind, body and spirit.
Please feel free to contact me through this website at www.americanheritagegoju.com , or at email@example.com for any questions you may have.
Yours truly in Karate-Do,
Left, Renshi Raiskums from an magazine article in the 80’s. Picture on the right is from a competition. She was a good competitor. In this shot she was competing in a division where they would put purple,brown and black belts in one division. She often wore the hachimaki on her head as a sign of seriousness.