I was born and raised outside Sacramento, California. Following graduation from high school, I attended Humboldt State University, eventually transferring to Sacramento State University where I earned a Fine Arts Degree. After backpacking through Europe a few times and living in London, San Francisco, and Florida, I settled in Marin County, California. I returned to school and earned my teaching credentials from Sonoma State University. My love of physical activity and sense of adventure have led me to try such activities as, hang gliding, rock climbing, SCUBA diving, horseback riding, running, cycling, weight training and of course, karate. My current passions are yoga, hiking with my husband, and riding my horse. I continue to make art (which can be viewed at mmurraydix.com) or my Art Facebook page. I also enjoy playing the guitar, banjo and piano. My greatest joy and adventure has been living life with my husband Jef, while raising and homeschooling our daughter, Kylen.
Although I remember having an interest in Judo as a young child, my first martial arts training actually began as a teenager when my older brother started studying Kenpo Karate from Gary Garrett. He would practice hitting or kicking at me, as close as he could get without actually making contact (of course he was doing this just to bug me). My job, as I saw it, was not to give him the satisfaction of a reaction, so I would practice staying relaxed and unfazed while he let his weapons fly. My brother went on to obtain a second degree Black Belt from Gary Garrett.
Years later, in the mid 1980’s, while living in Orlando, Florida, I began studying USA Goju Karate with Sensei Bill Liquori, now a tenth degree Black Belt under Peter Urban. I spent two years studying with Sensei Liquori before returning to California in 1988. Upon my return to California I studied Kenpo with Gary Garrett for a couple of months before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. I asked Gary to recommend a good school in the Bay Area, and he referred me to San Rafael Kenpo, owned by Terry Neill.
There I studied under such notable instructors as Terry Neill, Jef Dix, Jon Fix, John Sutherland, and Richard LaFave. Jon Fix became my private instructor and took me to the rank of first degree Black Belt, which I earned in 1994. This school is where I met my husband, Jef Dix. Of course, living and playing with him had a huge impact on my martial arts. I have many fond memories of playing karate games in the kitchen while making dinner, watching him throw slow punches at our young daughter Kylen, while she worked her blocking skills, and grappling on the living room floor – Kylen and me against Jef.
In 1991, Jef and I took over San Rafael Kenpo, which we moved to Novato and renamed Marin Kenpo Karate. We owned and operated the school for 6 years. After selling the school I continued training in Combat Kenpo, and teaching self-defense classes to homeschoolers. In 2007, I received my second degree Black Belt in Combat Kenpo.