Jodi Berry

I grew up in Ypsilanti, MI, my brother and I went to a pretty rough high school. I didn't mind it though. I just stuck with my friends and you learned to not look certain people in the eye because that would start a fight. There were always fights in the halls and girls being pushed into the boys bathrooms. Many fights on the school bus and at the bus stop.

When I was 6 years old my dad was looking at the newspaper. I was playing outside in our yard with one of my friends. My dad called me over and asked me if I wanted to join karate. I said sure (not knowing what karate was). One evening my dad, brother and I all walked into a middle school gymnasium. When we entered I looked around and said Daddy, where is the swimming pool? I thought karate was swimming. I'm not sure why. Now that I look back, I think it's because I had many swimming lessons. When I first began to swim, I was classified as a guppy then graduated to a shark. I guess I thought karate was the next level. Anyways, when I got to the gym with my dad and brother I was NOT happy. I didn't want to join! Well, when the instructor walked out I decided I will give it a try and I loved it! It was so cool to do an activity with my dad and brother.

When I was in third grade, a girl named Jennifer was constantly picking on me. Calling me names and trying to scare me. At recess she and a big group of girls surrounded me. She wanted to fight. I was taught not to fight unless I had to defend myself. Well, all the girls were yelling out, "fight, fight, fight" and Jennifer swung at me. I moved out of the way and punched her right in her lip, giving her a fat lip. We both had to go to the principals office and miss the assembly we had that day. Soon after that, she and I became good friends.

I learned a lot growing up in the martial arts. Self-esteem was always a huge issue for me. I was a chubby kid and I didn't feel very good about myself. I remember one day, I was on the bus coming home from school and this one guy (I had a huge crush on) called out my name. I turned around and looked at him and he said, "Jodi, your fat!" I said with tears in my eyes, "I know". I turned around and sunk down in the seat. I was so sad. I'd come home and cry to my Mama that kids were calling me fat.

Because of the martial arts training the way I felt about myself (self-esteem) rose. Soon after, when I saw someone being picked on at school, I'd go over and stick up for them and become their friend because I knew how it felt to be belittled.

Growing up in the martial arts was not easy at times. Having your dad as the chief instructor was fun but challenging too. He was harder on his own kids than other students. I think because he expected more out of us. If we had the choice, my brother and I would have quit every belt, but my dad would encourage us to stick it out. Eventually he said, "You're going!"

I am so thankful my dad pushed me. Ive heard him tell many parents over the years, if you let your children quit, you teach them how to become quitters. Our martial arts school is about fitness, self-defense, family and fun! I am so blessed to teach at Monroe Martial Arts.

Black Belt Certifications:
  • Bo Dan 1994

  • 1ST Dan 1995

  • 2ND Dan 2003

  • 3RD Dan 2006

  • 4TH Dan 2011

Certified in these Fitness Classes:
  • Cardio Kickboxing

  • Cycling

  • Step Aerobics

  • Hi-Low Impact Aerobics

  • Fit Ball

  • Stretch & Tone

Main Instructors:
  • Grandmaster Kwang Choi: Choi Kwang Do

  • Master Michael Coleman: Choi Kwang Do

  • Master Gene Duncan: Choi Kwang Do

  • Master Dwight Werner: Kai-Zen Do

  • Certified in NADIA personal training at the Monroe YMCA in 2000

  • Graduate from Irene's Myomassology Institute in 2002


P: 734-828-4668



If you're interested in learning this effective Martial Art, fill out the request box at the bottom of this page. Classes by invitation only.


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