Legend Karate promotes first ever female Shodan Black Belt

Photo submitted

Stephanie Bruno (center) of Fair Haven Vt. receives Shodan First Degree Black Belt.

WEST RUTLAND — On Saturday, Jan. 17, Rick Smith, owner and head instructor at Legend Gates Shotokan Karate, and a panel of nine other Black Belts promoted Stephanie Bruno of Fair Haven Vt. to be the first ever Female Shodan First Degree Black Belt in the 25 years the Legend has been in Vermont. It was an historic accomplishment as many woman have joined as members since 1990, and a few have received Brown and High Brown belt statuses, but none ever tested for Black Belt in Vermont until now.

Bruno tested hard for six weeks. She now fights like a Martial Artists and will continue to train as such. She has now “graduated High School” as Smith calls it and is starting “College” where “she will truly start to learn Martial Arts inside and out,” Smith said.

Also promoted, Jan. 17, was Rick Smith and Jay Bruno, who we were promoted by O’Sensei Rick Lenchus and Hanshi James Keller to Renshi level Masters Degree.

“This is like getting your B.A., then your Graduates degree then comes Doctorates in a manner of speaking, or the Hanshi, Grandmaster levels,” Smith explained.

Legend Gates Karate is a non-profit Martial Arts Dojo for the public. It is located at the West Rutland Town Hall open every Tuesday and Friday 4:30-6 p.m. The first two weeks are free to try. For more information call 802-438-2750.

6 comments on “Legend Karate promotes first ever female Shodan Black Belt

  1. It sounds like they worked hard, and were promoted by well respected leaders of the community. You sound angry about something. You also hide behind the name “anonymous”. That doesn’t lend you much credibility.

    Congratulations to Rick, Jay, and Stephanie! Keep working hard toward your goals!!

  2. Only any Anonymous person would write such a statement hence we give it no validation and already know who it is. To Questions OSensei Lenchus and Hanshi Keller is to show no respect or honor. Renshi Bruno and I have started rebuilding the good Old Legend Days again for a new generation the students speak for itself not your comment. Deshi Bruno trained hard for hers as well….and at least all were tested!
    Thank you much to all the other respectable guests that came to endorse us and support the students… and to the Mountain Times for the post.

    1. You must be a real warrior yourself to make a post like that and not sign your name. And shame on you for trying to make this new black belt feel anything less then awesome.

Comments are closed.

Mountain Times Newsletter

Sign up below to receive the weekly newsletter, which also includes top trending stories and what all the locals are talking about!