Shihan Jacqueline Drayton
Award: HONORING WOMEN IN NEW YORK
Shihan Jacqueline Drayton is a 5th degree Black Belt with Dai-Ichi Organization and 6th degree Black Belt with Grand Master Louis Ferrer. Shihan Jackie’s strong belief in fostering positive youth development by focusing on confidence building, character development, leadership skills, self-esteem and discipline – in order to create purposeful and productive members of society – is manifested in her extreme dedication to her students.
Shihan Jackie began teaching Martial Arts in 1988 in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. She commenced her training in Jujitsu with Michael Black at his dojo in Brooklyn’s Rutland Plaza. Before long, her love for forms, Katas, drove her to study Shotokan with Shihan Denis Debranche. In 1990, after the birth of her daughter, she decided to open her own school in the Crown Heights Youth Collective. In a matter of two months, she began training over 100 summer camp participants for ten weeks, and spent three years working closely with Crown Heights Youth Collective and training hundreds of students in the disciplined art of Karate.
With the support of her parents, Shihan Jackie decided to open her first commercial dojo. She named it Kan Cobra, USA, and began an evolution that would span over 25 years. The most significant turning point came in 1996, when she was offered a contract to work with the Department of Education. She spearheaded a program to promote self-discipline, self-worth and accountability for a group of eighth grade students who were cutting class, exhibiting disruptive behaviors and failing their classes. Knowing that her work still was not over, she went on to design a more enhanced Behavior Modification through Martial Arts program, which incorporated several character development programs such as Life Skills, Connect With Kids, arts programs, afterschool programs and annual summer camps – all while training in Martial Arts. Shihan Jackie’s students learned to build resiliency and a sense of accountability, and ultimately graduated with all of their requirements.
Shihan Jackie has instilled in her students her deep commitment to better their own communities, letting them know that they have a voice, even at the young age of two. She is currently teaching her character development program for the Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Attendance Improvement and Dropout Prevention, GYM for high schools, day care centers and school-based intervention programs.
Shihan Jackie hopes to continue to bring out the best in her students and change the world, one Martial Artist at a time.