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Denise Valentine Laiosa, Owner of Norwell Karate, and co-founder of South Shore Safety, has a background in nutrition and health education. In addition to teaching karate classes for children, teens and adults, Denise also teaches “Home Alone, Staying Safe” and child safety programs through Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Plymouth, local schools and other venues. As a health educator, Denise is committed to continuing education in martial arts, self-defense, nutrition and fitness related training in order to bring a range of skills to her students and classes.

Denise is a 6th degree black belt in Shohei/Uechi Ryu karate under the late Sensei Jack Summers of Quincy and has taught karate classes since 2000. She has competed in Uechi Ryu and Tai Chi tournaments and was honored to be part of the 2004 Women’s Friendship Tour. This was an unprecedented trip in which 26 women Uechi Ryu practitioners from around the world traveled to Okinawa for two weeks of intensive karate training.

Since 2000, Denise has taught self-defense classes in medical and corporate settings, schools, neighborhoods, recreation centers and shelters. Her volunteer work with homeless and victimized women has helped her realize just how important it is to proactively teach students about assertiveness and boundary setting when faced with the encounters of everyday living.

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Jon Cierri is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a retired Boston Police Officer. He has been actively involved in the martial arts for over fifty years, beginning with Judo from 1958-1964 and then transitioning to his study of Uechi Ryu karate which he continues to this day.

An 9th degree Uechi Ryu black belt, Sensei Jon has trained with many Okinawan Masters and has taught hundreds of students of all ages, feeling very blessed to watch the young and new students grow in their art. His martial arts journey has been broad, from training in various systems, to teaching, to the tournament arena where he was a certified Karate Referee; on the Board of Directors for the Karate Referees’ Association and ran the Massachusetts Open Karate Championships for ten years.

Sensei Jon takes self-defense very seriously and has taught all levels of protection, from the Boston Police Department Mobil Operations Patrol Unit to workplace violence to corporate personnel in various venues. For students within the community, he developed and implemented “Circles of Defense” for awareness and personal protection. He loves how the circular movements within the Uechi Ryu karate system translate into some simple and effective self-defense techniques. In addition to being the master instructor at Norwell Karate, Sensei Jon Cierri is currently a great–grandfather who continues to study Uechi Ryu karate and plans to do so for the rest of his life.