Theresa Smith is a well-recognized figure at the annual Isshinryu Hall of Fame tournament and banquet. She has attended every year since she was first nominated for and became a finalist for Female Instructor of the Year in 2003. Since then, she has been a consistent finalist in several different categories, winning Female Competitor of the Year several times since 2004. In 2006, she earned five awards, including Female Competitor of the Year, an award in every event she entered in the tournament, and ended the day by winning the Ladies Grand Championship in kumite. She has been recognized by the IIKA, IHOF, OKU, and AOKA as a dominant female competitor and competent instructor.
Theresa is an instructor at Kelly’s Heroes in Rogersville, Tennessee and she and her husband also have a growing dojo at the National Fitness Center in Morristown, Tennessee. She also teaches karate through a special program with the Boys and Girls Club in Kingsport, Tennessee through a partnership initiative with Kingsport Ballet and project MOVE.
Employed at Eastman Chemical Company for 27 years as a Chemical Laboratory Technician, she has been recognized as an independent inventor and is on 3 official Patents issued through the US Patent office. As an active member of Kincaid United Methodist Church, she teaches Adult Sunday School and supports her Pastor as a certified Lay Speaker. Theresa has raised 3 sons to productive adulthood and did most of this as a single mother.Isshinryu karate is a lifestyle choice that has positively influenced every other area of her life, instilling and backing up a sense of responsibility and ability to succeed in all areas of life. She has a room full of trophies, but more important than all the Grand Championships (and there have been many), is the influence she has had on women in the art. Anyone who has met or worked out with her or talked to her has come away with something positive from the encounter. Humble, with a desire to see other women especially succeed; she is a teacher, a cheerleader, and an invaluable support for others.