This is my mother.  Though she is gone and I did not have the opportunity to know her during her years of teaching karate, I was fortunate enough to know her for the last 10 years of her life.  During my recent years at the karate studio there are a few who remember her – her strong personality, her remarkable way of teaching and communicating with students, the preciseness and beauty of her forms and the fact that she wouldn’t back down from anyone.  At 5’2 and light as a feather, she was a successful Kenpoist in a very male dominated art, the respect she received from her fellow Martial artists was not to be mistaken for anything other than earned merit.  I wish she where here today, she is missed and loved by all who knew her.

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Back in the late 1960s a small scrappy young lady walked into our Kenpo Karate studio. Little did we know that she would become one of the most feared female fighters of her generation. Her name was Barbara Marez (later to become Barbara White). She was extremely talented and had one goal, to be the best in the women’s division. She began winning trophies immediately in the lower division, and by the time she was a black belt, there was no doubt that she had achieved her goal. Barbara was a kind and sweet person, yet on the other hand she was a tiger in the ring, one of the toughest women fighters there ever was, I will always miss her and know how proud she would be of her three daughters, and their accomplishments, thru them her Kenpo Karate legacy will always be remembered.

Thank you and Blessings to all,

Bob Mitchell – 8th degree black belt


Barbara White was an active student and a dedicated and phenomenal martial artist. Barbara was a fierce fighter. I can vividly recall that the first time I spared with her I had to tell myself, “If you don’t hit this woman hard you may not be able to walk out of here tonight.“ I also remember Jim McClure once reminding me that when you spar with Barbara, “You better fight her seriously… like she is a full sized man!” There were not a lot of great women kenpoists or women fighters then and Barbara, along with some of the Kenpo Women honored on this website, blazed the trail for today’s female students. Barbara was instrumental in my preparation for my second, third, and fourth degree black belts. She spent many hours working with me and coaching me to develop my personal style in kenpo. Barbara always had a smile for you and was genuinely glad to see you. My life is richer because I was blessed with the pleasure of calling her my friend.

Ron Sanchez – 6th degree black belt