4th Degree Black Belt.
Jessie started her karate training in 2004 at the age of 12 when her parents saw a TV commercial promoting special Summer Karate Program. Although Jessie wasn’t really interested in learning karate, her parents, like so many others, wanted their daughter to have self-defense training. Jessie was born in Huntington Beach California on December 7, 1991. She and her family moved to Tennessee around 1995.
In the beginning, Jessie felt frustrated because everything was so new and she wanted to do everything perfect.
As Jessie tells it, “I was the most timid and shy person. I had low self-esteem and couldn’t look anyone in the eye. It was the hardest thing for me to step out onto the blue floor and do something on my own. I felt very intimidated because I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
But as the weeks progressed, Jessie kept practicing and practicing until everything was spot on.
“I remember testing for my Gold belt and didn’t realize how big of a deal it was for me—to do it by myself and pass it by myself. It was then that I realized how much karate was helping me and decided to join the Black Belt Club. By the time I became a Blue Belt, I was completely hooked and taking classes every day.”
“After a year of karate training, practicing every day, and perfecting all my Katas, I was given the opportunity to start teaching other students as a SWAT instructor, which was the second best thing that’s happened to me because having to explain karate moves and techniques to a child helped me understand karate even more.”
In the competitive realm, Jessie has won first place awards in multiple events in all three divisions, forms, weapons, and fighting. Shihan Tyler says “her smoothness on the floor is a thing to be emulated and admired.” Presently, Jessie is working on a degree in Elementary Education and is a member of the Board of Examiners for The American Wado Karate-Do Black Belt Association. She has managed to successfully accomplish all of this while attending to her responsibilities as one of the main instructors at the Mount Juliet School.
“I’m a very family-oriented person but most of my family lives in California. The bonds I’ve made with the people at David Deaton have been incredible, they’ve become my adopted family. It’s the most important thing that has happened to me.”