From Executive Director
Shifu/Sensei Koré Grate

FEBRUARY 21-23, 2020 AWMAI CONFERENCE in Safety Harbor, Florida

The AWMAI Board of Directors worked all year to manifest our annual gathering of “Teaching the Teacher."  I thank this amazing, dedicated, and talented board for making this a very memorable experience for everyone from the Opening to the Closing.  From the moment we arrived I knew this would be a good one!  Not only was Safety Harbor Resort & Spa a reprieve from the winter temps, the venue was exactly what was needed for our members, with nearby restaurants and quaint shops to explore. We had great training and meeting spaces, healthy, made-with-love food, inspiring classes taught by incredibly gifted teachers, and to top it off, a spa that offered healing waters and massages of various modalities. Seeing folks walking around in robes from the spa was indication that this was a place to come to relax, unwind, and heal. In the past, boxers came after their bouts to soak in the spa waters of Espiritu Santo Springs, which claim to eliminate all that ails. Each of the five springs under the resort was said to cure certain ailments. At the turn of the 20th century, the water was actually bottled and shipped worldwide. It remains the primary source of water used in the spa and pools, and it's offered as refreshment throughout the resort, with dispensers in every hallway.   

Being the face of this organization, as Executive Director, is an honor and pleasure.  I feel energized and confident that this group of leaders will continue onward to keep the Women’s Martial Arts Movement going strong!  Stay tuned and see you in Austin, Texas!  #AWMAI2021

From the AWMAI 2020 Closing from Participants:

What everyone LIKED or APPRECIATED:

Organization, Variety, Quality, Great Teachers, Sunshine (Location & weather), Food, Professionalism, Camaraderie, Respect, Friendship, Punctuality, Acceptance, Humor, Honor, Acknowledgement, Lack of Ego, Positive Energy, Ambience, Supportive, and SPAAAAAHHHH.

What we need to ADD or Subtract:

  • Keep the Intimacy of Private Training Space
  • Be Visible
  • Add More Signage
  • Meet up for Thursday Arrivals (Hospitality Suite)
  • Add More Time Between Classes
  • Add a way to connect with others who arrive early
  • After Dinner activities are challenging

SPECIAL THANKS  TO Dai Shihan Sheila Haddad for taking amazing photographs!

 And for the Thursday Pro-Photo Shoot!

NOTE: 10% of proceeds of purchasing prints goes to our Scholarship Fund. Visit Sheila's website:

See 2020 Conference Highlights; go HERE to view ALL the photos she took and have an opportunity to purchase them.


To Shihan Dara Masi for her marketing expertise, Facebook announcements, and conference t-shirt design!


To Sifu Sydney Schultz of Chinese Martial Arts Center of Clearwater for use of their great Mats, and To Sijeh Anne Dysinger, Sijeh Sue Hahl & Sijeh Lynne Robinson for set-up and take-down assistance.

To Grandmaster Sunny Graff, Sijeh Anne Dysinger, Sijeh Sue Hahl and ALL the participants who emptied their wallets buying raffle tickets and making donations to the tune of $2000!

To Heather Potts and the Staff of the Safety Harbor Resort & Spa


The Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors is a non-profit organization. ©2020 All rights reserved.
Mail: AWMAI, PO Box 4309, Davis CA 95617
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