national Women's
Martial Arts Federation

Member Spotlight

Melanie Fine, Shihan

began her study of the martial arts as a graduate student in 1976. She studied Tae Kwon Do for 2 years, then began an 18 year study of Tang Soo Do under Master Maynard Stanley in Cincinnati, OH, eventually achieving 3rd degree black belt. She was Head Instructor of Karate Temple in Columbus, Ohio, for 7 years. After moving to Corpus Christi, TX, she continued teaching Tang Soo Do, and began studying Aikido and Arnis.

Melanie Fine with Ken Stagnari

In 1995, she met Masi Shihan, and became her student in Jujutsu. The following year she moved to New York and joined Masi Shihan at Suigetsu Dojo. She was promoted to Renshi Shihan (6th degree black belt) in Hakko Densho Ryu Jujutsu in 2014.

In addition to Hakko Densho Ryu Jujutsu, she studies and instructs in T'ai Chi Ch'uan and received Teacher Certification in Yang Style Tai Chi from Master Wasentha Young. She is a certified instructor in Hakko Densho Ryu Shiatsu; and received certification in Zheng Gu Tui Na Medical Massage.

Fine Shihan holds lifetime memberships with the Hakkoryu Martial Arts Federation, the National Women's Martial Arts Federation, the Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors, and JuJitsu America. She has actively supported the women's martial arts community for more than 40 years.  Fine Shihan was a Board member of the AWMAI during 2004 and assisted that organization during its infancy. In 2018 she rejoined the board as the Certification Director. She is a member of the American Judo & Jujitsu Federation. She was inducted into the Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors Hall of Fame in 2016 recognizing her over 40 years of martial arts training.

Fine Shihan began her NWMAF community service apprenticing with Sensei Bobbi Snyder at her first Special Training, acting as gopher and helping out during registration and throughout the camp. This led to a 5-year term on the Board - then called the Steering Committee -  as Treasurer (1990-1994). She took a year off (not really- she helped out a lot and received the Member of the Year Award in 1995) and then came back to the Steering Committee for 2 more years as Chair (1996-1997). During this period of time and for several years after, she also served as the organization's Archivist and Camp Photographer and helped put together the photo collages that traveled to each camp.

She is now semi-retired and lives in northern California with her dogs and chickens. She keeps busy enjoying the mountain/farm life, running an online business selling traditional Chinese medicine and herbal remedies (, continues to study and teach Jujutsu and Tai Chi, and most recently she volunteered to complete the 2018 make-over of the NWMAF website.

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