Vinny Christiano - 6th Dan

Martial Arts Biography (Short Version)

1970 Began study of Uechi-Ryu Karate at the Mattson Academy of Karate, Hancock St. Boston, MA, under George Mattson, 9th Degree Black Belt.

1972 Uechi-Ryu Karate introduced at Brandeis University.

1974 Earned Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) Uechi-Ryu Karate.

2001 Earned Rokudan (6th Degree Black Belt).

2006 Earned Sichidan (7th Degree Black Belt).

Currently, holds title of Renshi and Master Instructor, Uechi-Ryu Karate.

Master Instructor at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.

Master Instructor at the Hut, Newton, MA.

Master Instructor at Khoury's Karate Academy, Tewksbury, MA.

Currently studies under Sensei Van Canna (8th Degree Black Belt) and Sensei George Mattson (9th Degree Black Belt).

Steve DiOrio - 4th Dan

Jen Patashnick - 3rd Dan

Jen, Nidan test.
Here, Ms. P impales Mr. Kime with a hijizuki.

Jen Patashnick '00 began studying karate as a freshman in 1996 when she enrolled in the beginner PE class taught by Sensei Christiano at Brandeis University. (As a child, she had wanted to study martial arts, but had been deterred by her parents who thought it too dangerous. Once at college, when she told them she had joined the fencing team, suddenly karate sounded tame. ("Look Mom! Kara-te! Empty hand! No weapons!!"))

Like many others in Sensei Christiano's beginner class, she thought it might be an easy way to receive a PE credit, only having to go to class once a week. However, when she was also enrolled in the fencing PE class, she decided to drop karate, but wanted to tell Sensei Christiano in person. That night, she arrived late to class, so decided to participate and tell him afterward she wasn.t going to be there anymore. Of course, the class was great and she was hooked.

By the second semester, she was working out daily for hours with Kristian Kime '99 and Seth Rosenblatt '99, mostly in North Quad and the squash courts. Her sophomore year, the Brandeis club gained members and started to split as some students began going to classes taught by Sensei Steve DiOrio in Wellesley, MA. To preserve club integrity, she and Kristian began attending Sensei DiOrio.s classes, participating in his beginner class and standing surreptitiously (they thought!) in the back of the advanced class, miming the movements as best they could.

She received her shodan in May of her junior year under Sensei Christiano, and was simultaneously awarded .Best of Test., an honor presented to an individual whose form exemplifies Uechi ideals, regardless of rank. She became the first shodan president of the Brandeis Uechi club for her senior year. Then, in January 2000, during a workout in Syracuse, NY, Jen suffered a knee injury requiring surgical repair. (Yeah, but you should have seen the other guy! Heh heh.) That didn.t keep her off the dojo floor, however, and she did a lot of teaching without too much demonstration second semester.

Her senior year, she started attending classes with Sifu Raffi Derderian in Johnston, RI, enjoying kali and arnis tremendously, and picking up Jeet Kune Do classes, too. After the workouts, Sifu Derderian would watch her Uechi kata and do dan kumite with her, providing invaluable insights.

After graduation, she continued to attend Brandeis Uechi club workouts, as well as cross train with Sifu Derderian. She received her nidan in Uechi-ryu under Sensei DiOrio in the spring of 2001. From 2001-2004, she studied Hung Gar Kung Fu with Sifu Calvin Chin in Newton Highlands, MA, an experience which only served to strengthen her still ailing knee and increase her flexibility, strength, and fluidity.

In 2003, Sensei DiOrio introduced Jen to Sensei Allan Azoff, and Jen started regularly attending classes at his school, Allan Azoff's Martial Arts Academy (AAMAA) in Lexington, MA. She received her sandan in late 2003, under Senseis Azoff and DiOrio.

Currently, Jen teaches the Brandeis Uechi club on Sunday afternoons, and teaches an adult class at AAMAA excruciatingly early on Monday and Wednesday mornings. She is also excited to be teaching kids and adults at AAMAA every other Saturday as well. For her own training, she attends multiple classes a week at AAMAA, Brandeis, and periodically with Sifu Derderian.

Jen enjoys perfection of Uechi kata and kumite, as well as kali sinawali drills and the hitting things part of JKD. She believes that years of martial arts training have given her self confidence and discipline, as well as positively affecting many other areas of her life. She can no longer imagine life without martial arts.

In her 'real life', Jen is a Research Coordinator at Children.s Hospital Boston. The study she has coordinated since 2000, Video Intervention/Prevention Assessment (VIA),, gives camcorders to chronically ill children and adolescents and asks them to videotape their lives for several months enabling them to teach their doctors what it.s like to be a kid with a chronic condition. She also provides training and project consultation worldwide for qualitative researchers using QSR International's NVivo software,