TEACHER DIRECTOR KATHLEEN GARRITY has been teaching karate and self-defense in Ithaca for forty-two years. Garrity studied Washin-ryu karate-do with Master Hidy Ochiai for eighteen years and ran a branch school for Master Ochiai for 15 years. Her dojo, Ithaca Karate Harmony with Nature School, celebrated its 27th anniversary this spring.
Kathleen Garrity has been teaching Women’s Self Defense and Empowerment at Cornell University for over thirty-five years. Women Self-defense workshops are also offered for the community at her dojo. Teaching the “Power of Respect” as a way to break the cycle of violence, offers a challenging and rewarding project. Her association with the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation encouraged a cooperative attitude in sharing knowledge.
Over the past twenty-three years, Garrity has received intensive training in qigong, here in the United States and in the mountains of Sichuan, China. The nature imagery and healing techniques of qigong have enhanced the practice of traditional karate. Garrity teaches Qigong for Health at her Ithaca dojo.
In February 1996 Garrity began her study of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu. This traditional Japanese sword practice deepened her appreciation of discipline and partner forms found in her karate style. In the summer of 2001, Garrity and five members of the Ithaca Yagyu Shinkage Ryu group traveled to Nagoya, Japan to study the “sword of life” intensively at a seven-day summer camp with Yagyu Sensei and top instructors of Yagyu Kai.
In April 2011 Kathleen Garrity traveled to Okinawa, the “birthplace of karate,” to participate in seminars organized by CFA/Rengokai Group, training at the Prefectural Budokan in Naha. The faculty included Isamu Arakaki 10th Dan Hanshi; Morio Higaonna 10th Dan Hanshi; Minoru Higa 10th Dan Hanshi; Seiyo Itokazu 9th Dan; Yoshio Kuba 9th Dan; Tsutomu Nakahodo 10th Dan Hanshi; Zenpo Shimabukuro 10th Dan Hanshi; Tsuyoshi Uechi 9th Dan. Ms. Garrity hopes to return to Okinawa soon.
Kathleen Garrity teaches to learn and has learned much with her students about respect and patience, form and energy.