Sonya Richardson

Preferred Title:


Began training: 1989


Kajukenbo, Gaylord Method- 7th degree black belt; Kenpo Karate - 5th Dan

Hall of Fame Award:

2019 - 30 years

Other Awards:



Oakland, CA


Hand to Hand Kajukenbo Self Defense Center



Sigung Sonya Richardson has been training in the martial arts since 1989. I received my 3rd degree Black Belt in Kajukenbo, the Gaylord Method, under Professor Coleen Gragen in 2002 and was promoted to 7th degree Black Belt by my current teacher Professor Barbara Bones in 2015. I also hold a 5th dan in Kenpo Karate under Professor Gloria Boldizar. Hand to Hand Kajukenbo•Self Defense Center in Oakland, CA was established in 1980 by the late Professor Coleen Gragen. I have served as the head instructor of Hand to Hand since 2007. Prior to 2007, I served in the roles of Acting Head Instructor (2001 and 2004) during periods of transition (Professor Coleen’s illness and Sifu Jen Resnick’s living in NY), and served in the role of Co-Head Instructor alongside Sifu Jen Resnick from 2004 - 2007.

Health and Healing: In my life off the training floor, I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy, having practiced for 30 years. In 2016, I became a certified specialist under the Geriatrics practice. In addition to daily patient care, I established our outpatient continuum of care and serve as a mentor for colleagues in our neurological section. In my role as a physical therapist, I teach weekly balance training and fall prevention classes for seniors as well as classes in body mechanics and spine health. I have served off-campus as a guest instructor for varied physical therapy related topics and community screenings. I have integrated my knowledge in physical therapy as the foundation for a number of courses at AWMAI, NWMAF, and PAWMA.

12 photo(s) Updated on: 06 Dec 2019


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