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50 Years of Service Recognized

Director of Library & Recreation Services David Montgomery-Scott, Jay Marconi, Elise Simmons, Terry McCarthy, and Mayor Jason Scott

On February 3, 2016, the City Council of Corona, recognized Elise Simmons, co-founder of our school, for 50 years of continuous service to the City of Corona. This school opened in 1966 under Chisai Raion, and under other names, has been affiliated with the Parks and Recreation department ever since.

Elise's service to Corona did not stop with the Parks and Recreation Department. In the 70's Elise Simmons was a sworn officer with Corona Police Department. She assisted victims of rape and domestic violence. In fact she taught Self-Defense and Rape Prevention Class for the Corona Police Department.

Below is the dedication to Sensei Simmons, written by Jay Marconi and read by Sensei Terry McCarthy:

"Robert E. and Elise Marie Simmons founded Simmons Martial Arts in the City of Corona in 1964.

Beginning in 1966, they teamed with the City of Corona Recreation Department to provide martial arts instruction to the residents of Corona.

These fundamentally traditional classes, based upon years of study of the martial arts, were provided at a low cost.  Over the years, although the number of people varied from few to many, Bob and Elise never wavered in their commitment to the City of Corona.  Courses included multiple styles of Judo, Karate, and Aikido.

Elise spearheaded efforts to provide low cost self-defense classes and no-cost seminars to Seniors, Women, and Children.  Elise consulted with the City of Corona Police Department regarding self-defense classes, and presented information for a Rape Prevention Class.

In 1983, Bob and Elise received high praise from the Consulate General of Japan for their demonstration of Aikido, Kendo, and Iaido (an art based on the Samurai which uses real, very sharp swords).  To be recognized in Japan underscores Bob and Elise’s high level of achievement in their martial arts training.

Bob and Elise’s exhaustive and intensive study combined with their over fifty years of teaching the martial arts is a testament to their desire to empower others to live more safely in this world.  Those who have had the good fortune to study under them experienced their creative approach, a combination of traditional instruction with a modern perspective.

The tradition of martial arts instruction created by Bob and Elise continues today.  Aikido classes are held on Thursday evenings in the Gymnasium Recreation Room.  The classes are still low cost and affordable to most.  Class instruction is lead by Terry McCarthy, a fourth Dan Aikidoka who studied under Bob and Elise.  Elise is a valuable asset to the dojo by continuing to consult and provide input on the instruction.  These Aikido classes are offered to men and women, youth and adult, beginner and intermediate.

Aikido is considered the “The Way of Harmony”, and its defensive nature is not dependent upon size or strength.  Elise Marie Simmons, Sensei, (and her late husband, Robert E Simmons, Sensei), through their study and teaching of the martial arts, are ambassadors of peace and a real treasure for the City of Corona.  Thank you Elise."