Head Instructor Julie Reese is a registered 4th Degree Black Belt with the United Martial Arts Association of America. Along with her 4th degree Black Belt, Julie teaches Tai Chi classes as aUnited Tai Chi and Wellness Instructor and helps teach self defense for women. She is certified with the NRA and Zen Marksmen as an Instructor in pistol, rifle and shotgun, and is a level 2 Archery Instructor certified by USA Archery.
Julie was born and raised in Bergen, New York. She graduated from Byron-Bergen Central School in 1982, and pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics/Statistics from the State University of New York at Brockport, graduating in 1986. She started her professional career with Xerox Corporation in Rochester, New York as a programmer/analyst. During her employment with Xerox, she pursued a Master of Science Degree in Software Development and Management, graduating in 1994 from Rochester Institute of Technology. She then transferred to Electronic Data Systems (EDS), and relocated to Phoenix, Arizona. Since moving to Phoenix, Julie has also worked for Accenture, and currently works for American Express as a Senior Information Security Analyst.
Julie has always been active in sports and has enjoyed the extended good weather in Phoenix by playing softball, volleyball, and hiking. She has hiked many local trails, including North Mountain, the White Tanks, Picacho Peak, Oak Creek Canyon, and to Havasupai Falls. Her greatest hiking accomplishment was in the Grand Canyon, hiking from the South Rim to the North Rim – 26 miles in 15 hours! She did this with her husband Michael, whom she met after moving to Phoenix.
Julie and Michael have been married since 1997, and have two beautiful daughters – Lauren and Kyleigh, born in 1999 and 2002, respectively. Julie and Michael had talked about getting involved in martial arts for several years, and had enrolled their children in karate at the ages of 4 (Lauren) and 5 (Kyleigh). The girls enjoyed karate, and watching them participate intensified Michael & Julie’s desire to enroll in classes as well. With both parents working, family time was becoming more difficult to find – especially activities where they could all participate together. They made the decision to take the girls out of karate, and enroll in a beginning class at United Kung Fu.
Their journey began in late June 2008 as beginning students. Since starting their training at United Kung Fu, Julie and her family have trained with Master Instructor Jerry Dibble in Southern Shaolin Tiger & Crane, Northern Shaolin Long Fist, Xing Yi, Tai Chi, Wing Tsun, Qigong, Bagua, along with many different weapon forms. In her affiliation with United Kung Fu, Julie has trained with Grand Master Jinheng Li, Grand Master Jerry Cook, Master Puquan Xiao,Master Instructor Michael Leone, and Master Instructor Jason Campbell.