Jan Stockton, a 3rd degree black belt, has been a leader in the martial arts for over 35 years. She is the founder of Great Start Karate and co-founder of Karate West in Washington state, one of the largest martial arts schools in the country.
Jan has seen a positive impact in thousands of kids who discover the physical benefits of martial arts training, but more importantly, the character development they experience by learning valuable life skills.
简知道孩子学习时最好的having fun! Her online karate program incorporates all the best of martial arts training, designed exclusively for kids. Jan and her dedicated team are passionate about helping kids grow in mind, body, and character.
When the pandemic shut down karate schools, Jan was one of the first to launch martial arts classes online. Jan realized that parents enjoyed the convenience of having their kids train at home with no commutes, lower tuitions costs and Covid safety.
Great Start Karate’s online program is ideally suited for homeschoolers!
Jenny Johnson-Blanchard, a 4th degree black belt, began her journey in martial arts nearly 30 years ago at the age of 9. She earned her first degree black belt in 1997, and quickly discovered her love for helping others learn martial arts. Since then, she has worked with countless students, eventually serving as their head instructor and school director.
Martial arts has been a lifelong passion for Jenny, as she believes that the many valuable lessons and virtues she has learned in her training have helped her in other facets of her life growing up, and continue to do so today. She is honored to have spent much of her martial arts career teaching children, as she knows that while the physical aspect of martial arts is both fun and an important skill, the mental and emotional benefits in martial arts are incomparable. She has seen children learn discipline, compassion, perseverance, and otherwise learn to know themselves, all through their martial arts training. Jenny believes being an instructor is a great privilege and is honored by the opportunity to teach and connect with families across the country in a fun and engaging virtual format with Great Start Karate.
Jenny also holds a teaching license and master’s degree in education and has worked as a teacher at the middle school and elementary levels. She is currently a stay-at-home parent who enjoys home educating her children and camping and hiking with her family.
Katie Randol currently holds the rank of red belt, and will earn her black belt this year. Katie first discovered the martial arts 30 years ago, where she excelled in both technique and competition. Katie has won multiple awards competing in tournaments, and is versed in a number of martial arts weapons. Martial arts not only fostered discipline and physical fitness in Katie’s life, but it also reflects her unwavering commitment to personal growth, perseverance, and mastering the mind-body connection
Katie’s holds a degree in applied sciences, with a major in Veterinary Technology. Her deep affection for animals has led to a lifelong career in veterinary medicine. As a veterinary triage professional, Katie finds fulfillment in learning and caring about various species of animals while actively supporting pets and their owners.
A mom of two children, ages 10 and 13, Katie has embraced her role as their homeschool educator for 11 years. This decision stems from her firm belief in the importance of personalized education, while nurturing the unique strengths and interests of the individual child. Outside of her dedication to her family and career, Katie finds artistic expression through night sky and Aurora Borealis photography.
Katie aspires to make a positive impact on the lives of others. She aims to inspire, motivate, and empower kids to unlock their full potential. With her passion for the martial arts, and love of children, Katie was the ideal choice as our newest Lead Instructor for Great Start Karate.
Tina Gitlin, a 2nd degree black belt, started on her karate journey 26 years ago with her family. From running her own daycare to working as a children’s program director, Tina has always loved working with children and spent much of her karate career training the smallest of martial artists in a way that matches their energy and gives them a space to not only have fun but to learn and grow.
Having learned so much from her time as a student and teacher of karate, Tina loves sharing the confidence, discipline, inner strength, and self-esteem that karate brought out in her, with everyone she meets. She knows that there is so much more to learn and gain from martial arts than just how to punch and how to kick, and one of her strengths is knowing how to make these life skills come alive for children.
Often called “the Pied Piper” of kids, wherever Tina goes, the children are sure to follow and have a blast every step of the way. She can’t wait to meet, train, laugh, and grow with the students of Great Start Karate.
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