Shihan Katherine Jones Thiry

Shihan Thiry has been a practitioner of Hayashi-ha Shito-Ryu and an instructor for 37 years. Shihan Thiry is a seventh degree black belt and began her introduction into karate at the Washington Athletic Club in Seattle, Washington at the age 27. It was there that she first met and studied karate with Hanshi Julius Thiry who has been, for the duration of her karate involvement, her sole instructor. 

Karate Accolades

  • United States Olympic Athlete of the Year-three times
  • United States Olympic Committee Coach of the year and voted as one of the best five overall sport coaches in the United States
  • USA NKF Athlete Hall of Fame
  • USA NKF Coach Hall of Fame
  • Garnered 28 WKF sanctioned international medals at World Cup, World Championships, North American Cup, and Pan American Championship within 10 years of competition.
  • Won international WKF sanctioned medals in all categories: Kumite, Kata, and Synchronized Kata

National Governing Body:

  • Founding Member of the USA National Karate Federation (USA-NKF), the National Governing Body for the sport of Karate.
  • Co-Founder and Architect: United States Open Championships


  • Among many national and international technical and op-ed publications to her credit, Shihan Katherine Thiry recently published The Morgan Expedient under the nom de plume, K.E.Thireau, now being formatted into script form for television and film
  • USA NKF Incentive plan and strategic plan for Team Selection procedures
  • The USA NKF Coaching Manual
  • USA NKF Financial Committee manual
  • USA NKF Website content
  • USA NKF Athlete Code of Conduct
  • USA NKF Referee Protocols/Rules and Regulations and Code of Conduct
  • USOC coaching manuals for Karate

Chaired the following positions:

  • USA NKF Coaching Committee
  • USA NKF Public Relations Committee
  • USA NKF Membership and Credentials Chair
  • USA NKF Marketing and Public Relations


  • USA NKF Technical Committee/Executive Committee
  • USA NKF Board of Directors
  • United States Olympic Committee Round Table
  • United States Olympic Committee Athlete Representative
  • Coach of 7 US Olympic Committee Athletes of the Year
  • Coached 6 US Open Championship gold medalists in two categories, male and female: Kata and Kumite
  • Coached more Junior and Senior international medalists than any other American coach
  • National Team Coach: WKF, PKF, NAC, WWC, USA-NKF


  • National and Pan American Referee: Kata and Kumite
  • USA NKF Technical Council
  • USA NKF Referee Code of Conduct and Technical Manual: Author
  • Designed referee rules for Titan Games/USOC event