This video biography of Michele Krasnoo was presented during her induction into the 2006 Black Belt Hall of Fame as Competitor of the Year. Michele Krasnoo began training in tang soo do in 1980 at age 6 and entered her first competition two years later. By the time she turned 13, she was wearing a black belt. Although she would later become skilled at shorin-ryu karate and wushu, she attributes her success to the Korean style of tang soo do. Throughout the 1980s, Michele Krasnoo, who hails from Culver City, California, built a name for herself as one of the top Southern California competitors in creative forms. She and her father, Bernie Krasnoo, owner of Sherman Oaks Karate Studio, choreographed her routines. They picked recognizable pieces of music—the themes from the James Bond movies, Rocky, Phantom of the Opera and so on—and hashed over concepts for matching movements and techniques that complemented her skill set and body type. Then they crafted the kata that would tell the stories. The results speak for themselves. In 1993 Michele Krasnoo was named National Black Belt League Competitor of the Year. At the end of the 1996 season, Michele Krasnoo retired from competition so she could finish college and pursue acting seriously. In 1998 she earned a bachelor’s degree in film production from California State University, Northridge. In the 10 years between Michele Krasnoo’s heyday on the circuit and her induction into the Black Belt Hall of Fame, she grew from a proficient performer to a mature martial artist who’s now dedicated to passing her skills on to the next generation. Black Belt is pleased to name her its 2006 Competitor of the Year.

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Photo Courtesy: Dawson Holt via Instagram

The 2021 Diamond Nationals took place on October 8th and 9th, the first time the prestigious event has been hosted since 2019. World class competitors gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota to test their skills in forms, weapons, point sparring, and more.

In the early 2010's, Ken Warner (otherwise known as ZenInc on YouTube) always shared his "Top Five" on Facebook after major sport karate events. Reflecting on these posts has inspired me to write a top five article of my own for the Diamond Nationals, and I plan to continue writing these articles after each tournament I attend. Special thanks to Ken Warner for his contributions to documenting sport karate history. Without further ado, here is Jackson's Five for the Diamond Nationals.

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