Kenpo Women’s Symposium
Helping Women Find Community and Grow

Christine Bannon-Rodrigues

Christine Bannon-Rodrigues is a 9th Degree Black Belt in Oki-Ryu (oki-roo) Kenpo and has been studying the martial arts for almost 42 years. She also trains and teaches Wushu, Krav Maga, and Kickboxing. Christine and her husband Don, who is also her instructor, are two of only three people to have been certified by three of the Kenpo pioneers in the United States: Grand Master Nick Cerio, Grand Master Ed Parker, and Grand Master George Pesare. She and her husband own a school in Warwick, Rhode Island – the Don Rodrigues Karate Academy.

Christine fell in love with competition, and after she became a National Champion, she set out for the Worlds. She broke a record by winning Gold medals in Forms, Fighting, and Weapons at the WAKO World Championships in 1991, and she went back to do it again in 1993. She holds nine WAKO World titles and has been known for being a triple threat. She was a member of the famous TransWorld Oil/Atlantic Karate Team, and later became the first female on Team Paul Mitchell. After retiring from competition, she was sought after to be in the Next Karate Kid movie doing martial arts as Hillary Swank’s double. Christine really enjoyed working on films and went on to work on Batman & Robin, Sci-Fighter, WMAC Masters, the Mortal Kombat TV series, and many, many more. She is still working on stunts in movies whenever she gets the opportunity.

Christine has appeared on over 50 magazine covers and has been inducted into over 40 Hall of Fames, including Black Belt magazine’s Hall of Fame and Inside Kung Fu magazine’s Hall of Fame. Not only does she spend her days teaching at her school, she teaches seminars all over the world on various topics. Christine is also the coach of Team Macho and has been a product designer and spokesperson for Macho Martial Arts for over 30 years. She co-promotes the Ocean State Grand Nationals with her husband. The event is on the NASKA World tour. She is married and has two sons and two step-sons, as well as a Great Dane.