On Thursday, May 29th, Jillian (Banks) Vazquez, put her skills, strength and determination on the line as she tested for the rank of Fifth Degree Black Belt and was awarded the title of Renshi, Expert Instructor. This journey took this Vernon resident over 20 years of diligent training.
Jillian was required to demonstrate proficiency in all of the necessary aspects of this martial art. This included performing kata, prearranged forms that demonstrate karate technique, kumite, sparring against other black belt level students, application of her skills in self-defense situations, and competence in sharing her skills with her students as a karate instructor.
Sensei Tom Shull, owner and 7th Degree Black Belt instructor at the Vernon school commented, “Jillian rose to the occasion and made me so very proud. After all these years of preparation, dedication, and commitment, she has proven herself worthy to be rewarded with the prestige that comes with this distinguished rank. I praise her commitment, devotion, spirit, and strength.”