Renée LeBlanc

Massachusetts, USA

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When Renée separated from her husband of 8 years in 1998 she felt very defeated and tried to search for something to help make her life feel meaningful.  In this search she decided that studying karate would be a good idea, since she’d seen it make a tremendous difference in her brother’s life, creating an inner core that seemed unshakeable.  She wanted this for herself as her core seemed very shakeable.  Renée started studying Uechi Ryu.  Given her low spirits and busy schedule, there were times when she would give in to her stress and stay home. Thanks to the perseverance and support of her teachers Renée kept attending classes and came to the realization that she usually felt better when she showed up than when she didn’t.

Through her own personal journey Renée faced many trials and challenges, at times compromising her values and beliefs.  She strongly believes that because of the small seed of self-esteem and faith that had been planted in her core she realized that she had other choices.  She made some very difficult choices regarding people and living situations in her life that she believes she could not have made without the support from her teachers at the dojo and the growing belief that she could survive much more than she’d ever given herself credit for.  

Since starting karate much has changed in her life, including how she looks at and reacts to things.  She has a deep belief that she can survive anything emotionally and is comfortable with herself in a way that she’d never thought possible.  Renée credits this all to what she has learned through karate.  She has also become much physically stronger and feels a greater sense of freedom and personal control, no longer being fearful of someone trying to break into her house, etc.  Renée views this trip/pilgrimage as the perfect chance to refocus and strive goals of self-improvement.

Contact Me 

Personal Information

Current occupation or profession:

Training Coordinator

Marital status:


Children and ages:


Hobbies, special interest or skills:

Music – singing, piano and guitar, crocheting, web site design, computer stuff, traveling, church prayer meeting and teen program.



 Karate Information

Current Rank:


Total years of study:

6 ½

Current Style:

Shohei Ryu

Current Dojo:

Okinawan Karate Club, Stoughton, MA

Current Instructor:

Steve Banchick
Association affiliation: Okikukai/Shohei Ryu

 Karate Promotions


Certificate Number

Date of Issue

Location of Promotion





Shodan 5775 April 23, 2004 Okinawa, Japan

 Educational Background

College /University/ Vocational School:

University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Lowell , MA


Muscular Therapy Institute, Cambridge , MA

College Degree

Bachelor of Music Degree


At what age did you begin to study karate?

Why did you choose to study karate?
I wanted something different than I had and didn’t like how I felt. I had seen the incredible difference that karate made for my brother and wanted that discipline and focus. 

Was there a reason why you chose to study Uechi Ryu?

I knew two people that had studied Uechi Ryu and my brother recommended me to study with Steve at the OKC. I felt more comfortable starting with a style/tradition that someone I knew had studied and I have never been interested in trying something different.

What does this tour to Okinawa mean to you?
A goal to focus on. I have been drifting without focus for the past year and this trip gives me new focus. I want to be the best that I can be but seem to need a specific goal to reach for right now.

How has your martial arts study affected or changed your life?
I truly feel that studying martial arts has pulled me through some very tough times in my life. I joined shortly after I was separated and because of the focus and discipline and will to be better that I learned from karate, I managed to get through that part of my life with many fewer scrapes than I would have had. The focus and discipline that I learned in karate helped me back on to the path I was supposed to be on when I had wandered far off that path.


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