When I was 14, I read a book by Peter O’Donnell called “A Taste for Death”. He
wrote about a female James Bond-type called Modesty Blaise who did karate and took no prisoners. I
wanted to learn how to do it. For 10 years I told my sister I was going to study at the dojo near our
house. Finally in 1977 we were walking by the Sen Shin Dojo in Newark and as usual, I peeked in the
front door. My sister opened the door, pushed me in and held on to the doorknob. There I was, trying
to open the door and when I turned, the whole class plus Sensei Taveira was looking at me. I smiled
weakly and said, “May I join your school?” I studied there for 6 years, earning my Isshinryu black belt.

Then I attended Sensei Giulio Cavallero’s dojo for 6 years. After that, I went to Sensei Bob Herten’s
dojo and earned my black belt in Shorin Ryu in 2006.

When my husband, Ray retired from the Newark Police force, we moved to Florida and began
attending Sensei Scott Smith’s dojo in 2009 and earned my black belt in Goju Ryu.

My son, Peter graduated Duke and then served 5 years on the USS San Juan, a nuclear submarine
and I am very proud of him. I don’t know why I am so fortunate to be in this great country, but I am
very grateful to God for this privilege.

Thank you Sensei Scott and all my fellow karateka!
U.S.A. Goju Organization
Sensei Maria Golden