TEACHER DIRECTOR KATHLEEN GARRITY has studied karate for over 40 years. She has created a community school that practices traditional karate with an emphasis on mutual respect and personal empowerment. Classes are offered to all ages, six years and up, beginners to advanced students.

Ms.Garrity has been teaching karate and self-defense in Ithaca for thirty-seven years. Her school, “Harmony with Nature” is a translation of Washin-ryu, a traditional Japanese martial art she studied with Karate Master Hidy Ochiai. During her eighteen year apprenticeship with Ochiai Sensei, she achieved the rank of Yodan/4th degree black belt in 1984. Garrity ran a branch school for Master Ochiai for 15 years and her own Ithaca Karate Harmony with Nature School will celebrate its 25th anniversary this spring.

Kathleen Garrity has been teaching Women’s Self Defense and Empowerment at Cornell University, her karate school, and for community organizations for over thirty years. Teaching the “Power of Respect” as a way to break the cycle of violence, these classes continue to be a challenging and rewarding project. Her association with the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation has encouraged a cooperative attitude in sharing knowledge.

Over the past eightteen years, Garrity has received intensive training in qigong practices, here in the United States and in the mountains of Sichuan, China. The nature imagery and relaxation techniques of qigong have illuminated the teaching and practice of her traditional art. Garrity teaches Qigong for Health on Saturday mornings at her Harmony with Nature School.

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.

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