Sensei (chief instructor)
Diane began her martial arts training in 1979 at the Isshinryu Dojo of Master James Clark. She was first a student of Sensei Jake Stoss and then Sensei Don Monismith.
In 1986, her career changes within Bell Atlantic (Verizon) moved her to the Baltimore area where she began training with Sensei Jeff Bracone of the Order of Isshinryu. Another job change found her in Philadelphia in 1989, where she became a student of Sensei Bud Ewing.
Over the years Master Ortenzio has earned the Female Instructor of the Year and Spirit of Isshin-Ryu awards from the international Isshin-Ryu Hall of Fame, as well as being inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2003. For over 21 years, she was a fierce competitor in tournaments on the east coast, consistently placing in the top 3 spots for kata, weapons kata, and sparring. She opened Sierra Dojo in Minden, NV in 1999, becoming the first female dojo owner and chief instructor in Northern Nevada. She became a POST certified defensive tactics instructor for law enforcement officers and an operations leader for the Douglas County (NV) Sheriff’s Search & Rescue team.
Master Ortenzio instructs karate, weapons, and arnis classes, along with women’s self-defense seminars. She is a senior black belt and former board member of the Order of Isshin-Ryu, and a guest instructor at various schools around the United States and Australia.
She has been training continuously in the fighting arts since 1979. She was elevated to the rank of hachidan (8th degree black belt) by the board of examiners in the Order of Isshin-Ryu in 2015, and to the rank of dayang lima (5th degree black belt) in Presas Arnis by Grandmaster Rick Manglinong and Punong Guro Sal Todaro in 2017.