Master Stephanie Gorden
Stephanie Gorden was born in St. Louis Missouri December 19, 1965. She was raised in Henderson, NV from the age of one until she graduated from high school in 1983. She began her training in the martial arts under her father Grandmaster Stanford McNeal at the age of six. The system later developed by her father known as “Kifaru” included: Shoto Kan Karate, Kong Soo Do, Goju-Shorei, Mobuto Kenpo, Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Tonto-Jitsu, and Aikido. She would like to pay respect to the other martial artists who influenced her in some way over the years. They include Bob Hamiter, Grandmaster Donald Baker, Grandmaster Alexander Archie, Master Joey Walker, Grandmaster Donnie Williams, Master Robert Temple, Master Carl Smith, Master Rahim Al-Amin, and the late Dave Smith.
Master Gorden has been a very successful martial artist from her young age through adult-hood. She has numerous awards and championships under her belt. Her championships include winning the World Champion Traditional Forms in 1996 at the USA Internationals, Grand Champion at the Reno Silver State Championships in 2001, and the Grand Championship at the 6th Annual Battle of the Champions in the Virgin Islands in 2003. Master Gorden has been featured in Black Belt magazine twice and has also been featured in Black Belt video as well as a fitness video.
She has received certificates of appreciation from the City of North Las Vegas Park and Recreation Department, The Original Warrior Association, and the Piange Development Company. She recently received the 2004 Glenn Travis Humanitarian award in memory of Glenn Travis at the 2004 Annual Kifaru-Jitsu seminar.
Master Gorden received her Yo-Dan in Kifaru-Jitsu in 1995 on the recommendation of Master Edward Bell. She was inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2000 and she received her Roku-Dan in Kifaru-Jitsu on July 17, 2004 on the recommendation of Great Grandmaster Donald Baker and Grandmaster Stanford McNeal.
She has been teaching at the North Las Vegas Community Center located in North Las Vegas, NV since 1995. She and her husband Darryl Gorden work as a team at the center. Their two children Darryl Gorden II and Aubrionna are also martial artists. Her children at an early age have been involved in competition and have done quite well. In May of 2003 she began a non-profit organization called KJRS Incorporated to help benefit the children in the North Las Vegas community as well as the students in the martial arts program. Her vision is to offer martial arts training for as many children who are interested in the area.