Senpai Leeann Lee (2nd Dan)
Sempai Leeann Lee (previously Leeann Dormer) became a member of the West Hill based Kyokushinkai Club in the early months of 1997 as a Cadet student, under the tuition of the Clubs Chief Instructor - Sensei Jim Elvery (4th Dan), and so began her successful career in karate.
Leeann's original decision to join karate was to gain more self confidence and achieve higher levels of fitness. As a child, Leeann was constantly bullied and needed thorough physiotherapy on her legs, which later paid off and once she was fully stable joined her school basket team which eventually lead to her curiosity to start up karate.
The progression Leeann made in karate was phenomenal, within a short time period and her first taste of success was as a red belt in an inter-club tournament at Hillcrest School. This was the first full contact fight she had participated in and beat her opponent. This started the spark for her later success as a knockdown competitor.
Finally after training extensively (up to six times a week - including squad training sessions when she could) and under high intensity in the year 1999 Leeann achieved 3rd place trophy in her first National knockdown tournament. However the success did not stop there, as she went on to win the regional tournament in 2000 and 2001. Senpai Leeann also gained 3rd place position again in the 2002 and 2003 National Knockdown tournament. These are just a selection of Leeann's achievements.
Unfortunately Sempai Leeann has decided to retire from full contact competition and is now concentrating on her teaching and training for her 2nd Dan grading.
In the year 2002 Leeann's perseverance in this martial art was compensated as she passed an extremely difficult and tiring shodan (1st black belt) grading on her 22nd birthday with Hanshi Steve Arneil (9th Dan) as the Grading examiner.
8 years have passed since Sempai Leeann's debut at the West Hill Club; and through determination and continuous effort she has dedicated to her karate, she is now the official Junior Club Instructor alongside Sempai Rob Lee (1st Dan).
When looking back on karate Sempai Leeann finishes with the following statement: "Karate has built my confidence up and made me a stronger person, realizing that I am an individual with skills and I am not around to be bullied by others. I have met a lot of friendly and interesting people through training and I hope to meet many more through the years to come."