1. How did you get started in the martial arts and what has kept you going throughout the years?
“When my daughter was 6, she wanted to be a karate kid. I finished college June 10, started martial arts the very next day, and haven’t ever looked back. I decided to train with my daughter because it was a great family hobby, to connect with my child while doing something together. We would even practice at home together. Now, 25 years later, I am a 4th degree black belt, considered a master, and own my own school.
What keeps me going? The desire to keep learning. I never want to get to the point where I know it all. The more I learn, the more I am able to give back to my students and my school. Martial arts keeps me disciplined in my personal life, and at work, keeps me focused and on task. This carries over in all areas of my life, and I’ve been doing it so long that I can’t imagine not training!”
2. What is the value of martial arts training in today’s society?
“Number one, self confidence. Having self-confidence and valuing who you are is vital for day-to-day happiness. With a lot of students, preteens and teenagers, there’s peer pressure. Martial arts builds their self-esteem to the point that they feel confident in standing up to peer pressure.
Number two, self discipline. Not only teaching martial arts, but working at a middle school, a lot of youth nowadays do not have self discipline. That’s something that carries over in all areas of life, chores, potential jobs, school, eating, managing money. Martial arts can help anyone build good habits.
Number three, self defense. That carries over in not being bullied at school, which is related also to self-confidence. It also means not needing to be afraid when you have to go somewhere alone, and knowing you can defend your loved ones if you ever needed to.”
3. What has been one of your greatest challenges and how did you overcome it?
“Trying something new can be scary, and for me, even trying martial arts was a huge challenge. As a woman and a mother, doing martial arts for the first time was very intimidating for me. A lot of times, I was the only female in class. My male classmates never made me feel inferior, and as I trained and met more and more female martial artists, I was able to share my experiences and learn from theirs.
Now, the older I get, the more physical challenges I face. I deal with them by not giving up, and learning to be happy doing the most and the best I can each day.”
4. What advice would you give to new students and your current students who aren’t yet black belts?
“You may hit times when you don’t want to train, that happens to all of us. Push through it, you’ll be glad you did. We always say, ‘A black belt is a white belt who never quit.’ It’s true–we were all a white belt once.
For new and current students, never hesitate to ask questions. I never want to see any student leaving class frustrated or confused.
Welcome to Northwest School of Martial Arts!”
Sabumnim-Sensei Doris Eastbury is the owner and chief instructor of Northwest School of Martial Arts, established in 1988. She has a 4th degree black belt in Chung Moo Kwan Tae Kwon Do and Modern Arnis, and a 3rd degree black belt in Seito Shito-ryu Karate. She has trained with both masters and creators of these styles, and has additional training in Muay Thai (Thai Kickboxing), Krav Maga (Israeli Self-Defense Tactics), Goju-ryu and Shotokan-ryu Karate.
Sabumnim-Sensei Doris Eastbury has over 30 years of experience in the world of martial arts. Among her achievements, she placed 1st in women’s forms at the 2000 World Karate Kobuto Cup in California, and in 2018, she was an Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors’ Hall of Fame recipient.
You may refer to her with either of her titles, Sabumnim (which means master in Korean) or Sensei (which means teacher in Japanese).