Clara E. Minor Martial Arts Instructor - Santa Cruz, CA

Hello Santa Cruz Community!

Clara E Minor speakin' to ya here...I'm supposed to talk about me, but honestly, my work is all about you. My Specialty is Self-Defense thru Fitness. I'm honored to be sharing what I've learned throughout my entire life, to help you to find that power surge in your body. One thing that is probably the most relevant to you, that I've learned, is this: the human body is more brilliant than the human mind.

So, yeah, I work to empower your body by teaching you self-defense, so that your choices can be what you really want 'em to be, not what is 'rote' or what is already 'programmed' in your body. (Those times when you go 'darn, why didn't I say anything?!!?' ...or...'ugghhh....wish I had been able to tell him off!') And I'm sure you've got your own.

A Master Instructor-Trainer at MINORSAN Self-Defense & Fitness, I received my certification to teach the system of LIMALAMA Arts of Self-Defense by Mr. Tino Tuiolosega, Grandmaster and Founder of LimaLama Arts of Self-Defense. I was granted the name Kemposilama many years ago (I know, irrelevant to you), to differentiate my Studio from the other Black Belts' studios (all had different names). Bear with me, just givin' ya some history (really herstory cuz after all, I am female...lol).

My teacher, Mr Tino, was a man of, let's just say, 'many moods.' Yeah, he was a challenge (insert crazy-face emoji). Most people quit (our group started out with approximately 40 people). At the end of our 12-year stint with him, it had become a team of four students. The four of us worked hard because he wouldn't accept anything less. Ya wanna know challenge? Yeah, him. What a trip that was!

OK OK...I stuck it out because I wanted to learn. I wanted to learn to kick butt. Anybody's butt. I was the only woman in a team of six, and then in a team of four. We worked out hard with each other...and sweat...and pounded. We just did—because he wanted nothing less. And he wanted us to succeed.

Mr Tino also wanted to give each of his Instructors our own unique name at each of our schools, hence the name Kemposilama. Since then I have morphed the name into MANOLAMA (the hand of wisdom). My teacher was Samoan, and since I'm half Mex, y'all know 'MANO'  is 'hand,' in the Spanish language. LAMA is 'wisdom' in his native Samoan language. LIMALAMA = Samoan | MANOLAMA = Mexamoan. (Haha...sounds good to me.)

And how does all this help you? Well it doesn't. However, my experience powers me to see what you need from me. It allows me to help you achieve your most powerful badass body ever, and in the process, to find your 'happy.'

OK, just to finish out my training background: LimaLama (with a heavy dose of American Boxing), Shito-Ryu Karate, American Kenpo, Sil-Lum Kung Fu, Chi-Gung, Wing Chun, and Aikido.

I also studied Women's Self-Defense from different groups in CA (I did several Women's Martial Arts camps put on by P.A.W.M.A (Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists), and at Cabrillo College when Gail Groves used to have semester long classes (16 weeks/3 hours per class).

Thru all this training, I developed what I teach today. Ya won't know what I do, really, unless ya come in and experience it. My joy is teaching Self-Defense to Women so they can each bring out her own BadassCourage.


Conferences, workshops, hands-on seminars, as well as full-contact tournaments (as participant, and as judge), and point tournaments (participant and judge), have all contributed to my 'expertise' in the realm of fighting. How does this help you? Well...I learned about all kinda different body types, and how people move (or don't). I can 'see' where energy is stuck. I get you to 'unstuck' it and THAT feels incredible in your body. (Yeah, makes you smile.)


owner teaching self-defense

I've directed/produced demonstrations for numerous events in the Santa Cruz/Monterey area. And I developed and wrote a Self-Defense Manual for Instructors, one for Women, and one for a Children's Anti-Bully Safety Camp (which I used to hold years ago). How does this help you? I don't know everything, but I do know what I'm doing.

Of all my training, the most intense and beneficial self-defense training involved my LimaLama workouts with my instructor, Mr. Tino Tuiolosega. (Like I said earlier, my training spanned 12 years, and it was kick-butt training, no joke.) I put in over 26,000 hours with this man, with its emphasis on full-contact fighting. How does this help you? I can transfer my knowledge to your body type and what your body needs to find your #badass.

My training partners were all male Black Belt level students. This training honestly made me pull up all my inner strength, and use my newfound physical power, coupled with the other skills he taught me, plus a good dose of spiritual guidance from above/within, to get me through each workout. It was a true life-changer. So yeah, I can help you find your #badass.


I received my Full Professorship from Grandmaster Tino Tuiolosega in 1988, and I'm the only female to receive this level of expertise from 'Mr. Tino.' (He treated us like Family and wanted us to call him 'Pop.'  If you weren't a direct student, or one of his children, you were not allowed to call him 'Pop.'....end of story.) I've owned a self-defense/fitness studio in Santa Cruz since 1985.

Being able to stand up for yourself, stand your ground, and speak your truth are qualities of leaders and of Strong Women Sheros who can tap into your own power. I believe everyone has this power, even though for some it's been suppressed.

My job is to help you unlock and release this power. It's reflected in my Mission Statement: “Heal the World~One Community at a Time~and it Begins with You.”

I won a 2019 Trailblazers Award from the Santa Cruz Women's Commission for my work in the Santa Cruz Community that empowers women and girls.

My business has won numerous 'Best of' and 'Goldies' awards over the years for Martial Arts and Kickboxing.

I also won Best 25 Martial Artists in the greater San Jose area for 2017 and 2018 by Expertise.

I've been honored as Woman of the Week by DiscoverHer.Santa Cruz. Seriously, I'm truly dedicated to empowering women and girls, and everyone is welcome.

self-defense workshop with owner & student


K...now for Fitness: I've had additional training in the following Fitness formats: Fitness Kickboxing (1996), Group Fitness Training (1999), BodyPump® Certifications (2000 & 2005), Pilates Mat Training (2001-2002), Zumba® Fitness Training (2007), and StrongNation (2017).

I created and developed a Fitness Kickboxing Certification (including manual), and I've certified numerous individuals who are currently teaching different types of fitness kickboxing classes, from Santa Barbara, to San Francisco, as well as in Santa Cruz.

And...I developed and created (in 1988) a Women’s Self-Defense Curriculum for day-long, weekend, and extended programs, which evolved into Community Self-Defense, and Specialty Self-Defense Workshops. I regularly offer my Self-Defense Strategies & Skills Workshops, as well as my Weekend Workshop Course. I also developed and created (in 1990) my Anti-Bully Program, 'Bully Breakers' (aptly named for our beautiful coastline in Santa Cruz).

I've been conscious of nutrition and food choices since 1972, and have studied nutrition extensively since 1980. I attended my first nutrition classes in San Francisco. I'd run up to the City every weekend, and teach macrobiotic cooking classes between 1982-1985.

I've taken various workshops, as well as nutrition, and psychology classes at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz. I continue to study nutrition, health, wellness, and weight loss, with current and emerging research. My current phase of study is thru Precision Nutrition.

With that being said, I'm a self-proclaimed Chocoholic! I also love do to graphic arts, work on my website, love to dance, play outside, ride Harley's, and sail on our Monterey Bay! Traveling is a life-long passion and long road trips are nothing to me—I'll jump on every opportunity. My desire to live a joyous life spills into all my classes.



Clara E Minor Self Defense & Fitness InstructorI'm continually looking to advance all of my skills, personally and professionally. My current program, FighterFit, is constantly evolving as the self-defense method for women involved in everyday situations, with it’s emphasis on power-generating life skills, massive confidence-boosting, and the building self-esteem, thru physical application of combat skills.

Yes, I teach people to kick-butt, and to do so using their own spiritual guidance in choosing when it's absolutely necessary. I help women cultivate #badasscourage,™ so you can fight for the life YOU want. It is Pure Power for Life.™

I'll meet ya on the mat and help you start your journey to your baddest self ever!

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