TEAM LIFE KI-DO
Experience, Leadership, Guidance
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
“No one in Austin deserves higher praise or greater thanks from us than the Senseis at Life Ki-do. You all are very special people and extremely talented instructors. I have been thrilled with every single staff member."
— Parent of Life Ki-do Student
SENSEI JONATHAN HEWITT
Founder & Lead Instructor
Founder of Life Ki-do® Martial Arts & Life Education, Jonathan began his martial arts training and competitive athletics as a young boy. In addition to being a skilled martial artist, Sensei Jonathan was also a high school state wrestling champion and a very proficient soccer player.
His childhood quest to find the ancient inner life skill teachings of the martial arts led to his training and teaching in a wide variety of systems including Tang Soo Do, Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing, JKD, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Street Self-Defense, Wrestling, and Systema. He is a certified Systema instructor under world-renowned Systema master Vladimir Vasiliev.
He has a degree in psychology from Emory University in addition to 30 years of study in meditation, mindfulness, and the brain-body connection. His great joy comes from sharing ancient, universal life skills to inspire students to discover and live from their inner strength
SENSEI DOUG DIAMOND
Youth Program Director & Lead Instructor
A black belt in Nisei Goju Ryu Karate, Doug is the Director of the Youth Program at the Life Ki-do headquarters at Austin Martial Arts Academy. In high school he competed regularly and was ranked first in the state in forms, weapons, and sparring by the Florida Black Belt Association. After winning his championships and feeling disillusioned with the traditional martial arts teaching methodology, Sensei Doug decided to give up martial arts to pursue a career in Montessori education.
While teaching at Parkside Community Montessori School, Sensei Doug came across Life Ki-do. He immediately knew that this would be the medium that would combine his love of martial arts with his passion for nurturing and supporting the natural growth of children. He has a rare talent and genuine love for working with children.
SENSEI DEVEN PENN
Deven comes to Life Ki-do after working at Parkside Community Montessori School as an assistant teacher in the classroom and as an assistant in Sensei Doug’s Life Ki-do classes at the school. In addition to training in Life Ki-do Martial Arts, Deven has trained in Aikido, boxing, and kickboxing.
He also has extensive physical fitness experience in gymnastics, baseball, and track and field. Exercise and healthy living have always been a big part of Deven’s life. He achieved his black belt and the title of Sensei in May 2017.
SEMPAI ED PARAY
Ed comes to Life Ki-do from My Gym in the Los Angeles area where he lead martial arts classes for multiple locations over 15 years. He has over 20 years experience in martial arts including being a certified instructor in Wing Chun kung fu and Tang Soo Do Korean karate.
His 15 years with My Gym gives Sempai Ed a wealth of experience in teaching children. Sempai Ed can be seen both assisting and leading classes at both our Westlake and Lakeway dojos.
SEMPAI SARAH HAYES
Dojo Manager & Instructor
Sempai Sarah started training with Life Ki-do when she was just 4 years old after her mom enrolled her at the dojo hoping to focus her abundance of energy. She continued her Life Ki-do training throughout her entire childhood and teen years achieving the incredible rank of 2nd degree black belt before graduating high school. From the time she was a little girl through all of her years training with Life Ki-do, Sarah has always exemplified inner confidence, strength, resilience, dedication, and most of all joy in her training. She has been an extraordinary student and role model to many over the years.
After graduating from Trinity University with a Bachelor's of Science in Marketing magna cum laude, Sarah joined us full-time at Life Ki-do. In addition to being an instructor in our Life Ki-do Classes, Sempai Sarah runs our Karate Camp, co-runs Girl Power and our Leadership Team, and is our Dojo Manager helping our daily operations run smoothly and supporting our dojo community.
She brings incredible joy, care, and skill to everything she does, and we are very thankful to have her on our team.