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

Hello Santa Cruz Community!

Clara E Minor, Master Instructor-Trainer at MINORSAN Self-Defense & Fitness, works with all populations. She teaches women, men, teens, children, special populations, groups and organizations the skills they need to be able to take care of themselves on the streets, at schools, in their homes, at work, and at play.

She also teaches fitness classes and workshops to help people find their energy, their fitness, to achieve their healthiest body ever, and get to their happy—through lifestyle changes and choices.

She has extensive martial arts training and her experience includes LimaLama (with a heavy dose of American Boxing), Shito-Ryu Karate, American Kenpo, Sil-Lum Kung Fu, Chi-Gung, Wing Chun, and Aikido.

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 her expertise. She directed her own demonstrations for numerous events in the Santa Cruz/Monterey area.

Ms. Minor's most intense and beneficial martial arts training involved her LimaLama workouts with her instructor, Mr. Tino Tuiolosega, Grandmaster and Founder of LimaLama Arts of Self-Defense. This spanned 12 years. She put in over 26,000 hours with Mr. Tuiolosega, with its emphasis on full-contact fighting. Her training partners were all male Black Belt level students. This training required inner strength, physical power with the right skills, and spiritual guidance. It was a true life-changer.


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She received her Full Professorship from Grandmaster Tino Tuiolosega in 1988, and is the only female to receive this level of expertise from her Instructor, Mr. Tino Tuiolosega. She has been teaching the martial arts since 1982, and has owned her own Martial Arts Studio since 1985. She began her studies in 1972.

Being able to stand up for yourself, stand your ground, and speak the truth are qualities of leaders and of people who can immediately tap into their own power. She believes everyone has this power, even though for some it has been suppressed. Her job is to help others unlock and release this power. This is reflected in her Mission Statement: “Heal the World~One Community at a Time~and it Begins with You.”

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

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

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

She's been honored as Woman of the Week by DiscoverHer.Santa Cruz. Ms Clara is truly dedicated to empowering women and girls, and welcomes men too.

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Clara E Minor has 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 Strong.by.Z (2017). She created her own Fitness Kickboxing Certification, and has 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.

Ms Minor also 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. She regularly offers her Self-Defense Strategies & Skills Workshops, as well as her Weekend Workshop Course. She also developed and created (in 1990) her Anti-Bully Program, 'Bully Breakers' (aptly named for our beautiful coastline in Santa Cruz).

She has also been conscious of her food choices since 1972 and has studied nutrition extensively since 1980, attending her first nutrition classes in San Francisco. She taught macrobiotic cooking classes in San Francisco between 1982-1985, and has taken various workshops, as well as nutrition, and psychology classes at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz. She continues to study nutrition, health, wellness, and weight loss, with current and emerging research.

With that being said she is a self-proclaimed Chocoholic! She also loves do to graphic arts, work on her website, loves 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 her—she'll jump on every opportunity. Her desire to live a joyous life spills into all her classes.

Advancement and Developments


Clara E Minor Self Defense & Fitness InstructorShe continues to advance all of her skills, and the curriculum of her system, MANOLAMA FighterFit, as the self-defense art for everyday people involved in everyday situations, with it’s emphasis on power-leadership & life skills improvement training, massive confidence-boosting, and the building of self-esteem, thru full contact application combat skills.

Yes, she teaches people to kick-butt, and to do so using their own spiritual guidance in choosing when it is absolutely necessary. She helps people Cultivate #badasscourage,™ so they can fight for the life THEY want. MANOLAMA is Pure Power for Life.™

Ms. Minor’s teacher, Grandmaster Tino Tuiolosega, gave her the tools she needed to evolve her Self-Defense Teachings. She continues to this day. She also continues to evolve in all her Fitness Training formats, always looking to learn more.

If you're ready to check it all out...