Diane Ortenzio began training in Isshin-Ryu Karate in 1979 in Harrisburg, PA. Her instructors were Sensei’s Jake Stoss, Don Monismith, and Jim Clark.
After first moving to Baltimore and then Philadelphia, she became a student of Master Bud Ewing and a member of the Order of Isshin-Ryu fraternity in 1988.
Diane was a fierce competitor for 23 years, attending many events in the Northeastern US, Tennessee and Virginia. She consistently placed in the top three in women’s black belt kata, kumite, and weapons. In addition, she won the Isshin-Ryu Hall of Fame’s (IHOF) Women’s Overall Grand Championship 3 times, and the IHOF Women’s Kata Grand Championship and Kumite Grand Championships once each from 1996-2002. She retired from competition in 2003.
After moving to Nevada in 1996, she began Sierra Dojo Martial Arts to continue her own training and to introduce the OI method to others. The dojo continues today under the direction of Sensei Charles Duarte with Sensei Ortenzio as advisor.
Some of sensei’s awards include:
- 1992 IHOF Female Instructor of the Year.
- 1998 IHOF Spirit of Isshin-Ryu Award.
- 2003 inductee OIKKA Hall of Fame
- 2003 inductee Isshin-Ryu Hall of Fame
She trained to become a member of Douglas County’s Search and Rescue Team, earning EMT-B and POST Investigative Mantracking licenses. She has served on the Board of Directors, and as an operations leader. She also passed the Nevada POST Defensive Tactics Instructor course in 2010, and earned a 2nd degree black belt diploma in Presas Arnis from Grandmaster Rick Manglinong in 2013.
“My perception of martial arts training has changed many times in many ways in 33 years. Never stop trying to learn new things and try to work with as many different people as possible.”