Our Instructors

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All classes at Seven Star are taught either by our Co-Chief Instructors, Sigung Michelle McVadon and Sifu Allyson Riley, or by students in advanced belt ranks (green, brown, and black) who have been mentored by Sigung Michelle.


Co-Chief Instructor Sigung Michelle McVadon

Rank: 7th degree Black Belt in Kajukenbo; Sandan in Aikido; Shodan in Seido Jujitsu

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Co-Chief Instructor Sigung Michelle McVadon has been training at Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu since 1983. She received her first-degree black belt in 1989 from Sifu Anne Moon, the school’s founder, and became co-head instructor the following year. Sigung McVadon became head instructor in 1995, when Sifu Moon retired from teaching. She continued her own Kajukenbo training under Professor Barbara Bones. Professor Bones is an 8th degree black belt promoted by Great Grand Master Charles Gaylord. She is a gifted instructor who still brings her inspiring teaching to Seven Star with annual workshops.

Sigung Michelle McVadon has been teaching for 29 years. She holds the rank of 7th degree black belt in Kajukenbo, a 3rd degree black belt in Aikido, and a black belt in Seido Jiujitsu. She creates a positive, encouraging atmosphere for learning. Sigung Michelle constantly strives to find the most effective methods to facilitate individual student growth and help them to learn material successfully and find joy in the martial arts. Sigung uses students as mentors and models for other students. She insists upon students respecting themselves, their teachers, their peers, and their training space.

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Sigung Michelle was inspired to begin teaching self defense early on in her training. She has built a strong self defense program at Seven Star and has made countless women, men, teens, and kids feel safer in their lives. She is working to train more self defense teachers at the school.Michelle’s personal accomplishments and many contributions to the martial arts have been recognized by the Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists (PAWMA), which named her their 2003 Martial Artist of the Year, and honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. She was inducted into the Association of Women Martial Artists Hall of Fame (AWMAI) in 2014 to acknowledge her 30 plus years of training.


Co-Chief Instructor Sifu Allyson Riley

5th degree Black Belt in Kajukenbo

SevenStar-BW-WebCo-Chief Instructor Sifu Allyson Riley has been training at Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu since 1992, and holds the rank of fifth degree black belt. She was named Assistant Head Instructor in 2009 by Sifu Michelle McVadon, and began taking on her own students in December 2013. She was promoted to 5th degree and named Co-Chief Instructor in Sept. 2015.

Sifu Allyson discovered Seven Star while looking for a self-defense class. She didn’t know she would also be learning kung fu, but quickly became hooked.

 

SevenStar-BW-Web-3Sifu Allyson finds great joy in empowering new generations of women to defend themselves, while also witnessing and facilitating their transformation into martial artists. She especially enjoys teaching fighting skills – sparring, street fighting, defense against multiple attackers – in an approach that emphasizes having fun, being safe and building confidence.

She has been an instructor at the annual PAWMA camp, and teaches self defense in middle school PE classes in Seattle.

Sifu Allyson lives in North Seattle with her husband John and daughter Charlotte. She’s especially looking forward to the day she teaches Charlotte’s Girl Scout troop how to break boards!


EsterHowardEsther Howard

3rd degree Black Belt in Kajukenbo

Esther Howard was promoted to third degree black belt in Jan 2013. She has been teaching at Seven Star since 1995 and is committed to the school for how it helps women to become physically fit, find and develop their power, and enjoy a sense of community. Esther’s involvement in the martial arts extends beyond the walls of Seven Star. She has served as board president of the Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists and is a member of the Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors.

 

 

 

 


Gin Yang

2nd Black Belt in Kajukenbo

Gin began training in the martial arts at Seven Star in 2003. She started teaching classes in 2008 and received her black belt in July of 2012. Growing up watching A LOT of Chinese Kung Fu movies, it’s a wonder she didn’t pursue martial arts earlier in life. Passionate about all things active, Gin likes her classes to be a combination of hard work and fun! She is constantly amazed by her fellow Kajukenbo badasses, and finds joy in seeing women become more strong and powerful.

 

 

 

 

 


Gina Mares Kurtz

2nd degree Black Belt in Kajukenbo

Gina has been training at Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu since 2004 and holds the rank of Black Belt. Gina’s goal in teaching is to share and impart the joy that training brings to her life. She finds that the most rewarding part of teaching is to witness the evolution of a student, to see her gain strength and confidence as she grows as a martial artist. Gina enjoys teaching high energy classes with a focus on basics, fighting skills, and sparring. Gina is one of Seven Star’s self defense instructors, teaching self defense in the community in schools and for nonprofit and corporate groups. Gina also serves as the school’s Executive Director.

 

 

 

 


Sunniva Zaratkiewicz

Black Belt in Kajukenbo

Sunniva has been training at Seven Star since 2005. Thriving on the cultivation of strength through kindness to self and others, she embraces how Seven Star promotes the physical and mental growth of its students in a supportive atmosphere. Sunniva sees martial arts as a way of life that doesn’t end when one leaves their training space and she enjoys integrating the lessons she learns through her training into her everyday life. Creating an environment that is inclusive of all, fun, and powerful is what she strives for in her classes. She is deeply grateful for her training partners and takes great pleasure in witnessing others gain confidence, strength, and happiness through their practice.


Dawn MonetDawn

Black Belt in Kajukenbo

Dawn Monet began studying Kajukenbo with Michelle Miller in 2001 at Velocity Dance Center as a way of developing physical self-defense skills. She transitioned to Seven Star in 2004, attaining her black belt in 2016. Dawn credits the study of Kajukenbo to building her outward confidence that catapulted her corporate career. She now integrates martial arts concepts in her private career coaching and consulting practice. Dawn holds a BFA in Dance from UCSB and is now earning her certification in movement-based expressive arts therapy.

 

 

 

 


Judith Pile

Black Belt in Kajukenbo

By great fortune, Judith Pile found martial arts and Seven Star in 2009 with her daughter, and once she started she was hooked. The combined emphasis on fighting and taking care of one’s partners and oneself resonated, and she found the practice helping her both physically and mentally. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing people move from being unsure and timid to developing skills, tools, and most importantly the knowledge that they are worth defending and able to do it. She teaches both Kajukenbo and self defense, and wants all women who come through Seven Star to use their training and the supportive community of Seven Star to realize their own incredible power.

 

 

 


Justine Simkins

Black Belt in Kajukenbo

Justine began training in Kajukenbo at Seven Star in 2006 but this was not her first introduction to the Martial Arts. Inspired by the Ninja Turtles, she started training in Kenpo at the age of 8 and has tried many other styles since, including Jeet Kune Do, Brazilian Jujitsu and Eskrima. At Seven Star she found her Martial Arts home. She loves sparring, weapons, rolling around on the floor and training with a community of women who are way cooler than Ninja Turtles.

 

 

 

 


Bonnie Loshbaugh

Green Belt in Kajukenbo

In 2008, Bonnie Loshbaugh bid on a place in a Seven Star beginners’ cycle during a nonprofit fundraising auction and won–a bit of luck which has paid off immensely. In 2015, she earned her green belt. Bonnie has also served as the school’s unofficial official photographer since 2009 and has been invited to photograph the Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists (PAWMA) camp several times. Bonnie loves the way that martial arts teaches you the limits of your body and the way that Seven Star provides a safe environment to test them! As a teacher, Bonnie aims to balance a serious workout with occasional bouts of laughter.


Shelly Smith

Green Belt in Kajukenbo

Shelly is currently a green belt rank in Kajukenbo. She has 7 years training experience in Kajukenbo and has also studied Chen Tai Chi, in particular weapon forms. She is drawn to Kajukenbo for its creativity, adaptability, and practicality. Weapons are of particular interest to her. Shelly enjoys teaching, being White Belt Mentor, serving on test boards, and sparring.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tyler LePard

Brown Belt in Kajukenbo

Tyler has been training at Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu since 2011. She started because of a curiosity about martial arts and stayed because of the wonderful community and the opportunities to kick and punch each other. Tyler was a dancer growing up, played ultimate frisbee in college, and dabbled a bit in American boxing, but Kajukenbo is her favorite combination of fun, fitness, friendship, and self-defense. Tyler does marketing/outreach for Seven Star and serves on the board of the Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists (PAWMA).

 

 

 

 


Shana Reiss de Reyes

Green Belt in Kajukenbo

Shana started training at Seven Star in 2011, thinking that it might be a good place to get some exercise for a few months. She quickly realized that training in kajukenbo is much more than that, finding an inclusive community and empowerment through mutual support. Through her classes, she enjoys helping other women to feel their own power and strength, mentally and physically. Her favorite parts of training are learning new things every time, especially the small details, and having a place where yelling and kicking things is encouraged.