Graciela Casillas ,Black Belt Hall of Fame inductee,  "Women of the Year," and Inside Kung-Fu Hall of Fame member, has earned international acclaim as one of the world's top martial artists and self-defense teachers.  The first athlete to simultaneously hold world titles in the two sports of kick-boxing (World Karate Association Bantamweight World Champion) and boxing, (International Women's Boxing Association Bantamweight champion) Casillas also became a world champion in Filipino stick fighting (World Escrima, Kali, Arnis Federation-WEKAF). she was the first and only women to be certified to the advance level of instructor under the late Grand master Angel Cabales.

After retiring undefeated, she spent the following decades incorporating knowledge acquired from different arts, including her own personal and professional experiences to formulate a highly effective street defense system. Devotion to the martial arts, coupled with two  advanced degrees in Education, and Physical Education has led Casillas to dedicate herself to the promotion of the art as a teacher, student and writer.

Casillas has an eclectic approach to teaching and believes that teaching should be principle based.    Her curriculum is based on range and she stresses the importance of developing procedural (muscle) memory so that if threatened one can respond automatically, without conscious thought.  When not teaching at her school, Casillas is a tenured counselor and professor at Oxnard College where she has developed a variety of courses for the Physical education department. Students are able to take a jujitsu, escrima, boxing, kick-boxing or self-defense course and transfer it to any Cal State University (CSU)   or University of California for college credit.

Teaching Certification

  • Kodenkan Jujitsu (5th dan)

  • Graduate of the Lethal Force Institute – LFI I (40 hours) Judicious use of lethal force, combat shooting Long Beach, CA

  • Graduate of the Lethal Force Institute – LFI II (40 hours) Judicious use of lethal force-handgun & shotgun. August 18, 1989 Idaho

  • Graduate of the Lethal Force Institute – LFI III (40 hours) Judicious use of lethal force, automatic weapons. August 3, 1993 New Hampshire

  • LFI: Legal, Moral, ethical, and practical parameters of the use of lethal force and deadly weapons by private citizens in self-defense. (40 hours) May 7,1989 Long Beach, CA

  • Lethal Force Institute: Intensive Training Program-Kubotan/Persuader (8 hours) August 20, 1993 Glendale, CA

  • Lethal Force Institute: Intensive Training Program-Weapon Retention Aug 21, 1993 (8 hours) Glendale, CA

  • American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers 9th ASLET International Training Seminar Jan 16-20, 1996 Grapevine, Texas

  • American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers Seventh ASLET International Training SeminarJan 4-8, 1994 Washington, D.C.

  • American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers: Sixth ASLET International Training SeminarJan 5-9, 1993 Reno, NV

  • America Society of Law Enforcement Trainers: Second ASLET International Training Seminar Jan 10-14, 1989 Kansas City MO

  • NRA home firearms safety instructor  March 1, 1984-present

  • NRA pistol instructor March 1, 1984-present

  • NRA rifle instructor: March 1,1984-present

  • Certified Serrada Escrima (Cabales Method) instructor (close-quarter impact weapons)

  • Certified Within Arms Reach (W.A.R.) instructor under Clifford Stewart-executive protection system

  • Black Belt in Kenpo (3rd degree)

  • Black Belt in Kodenkan Jujitsu (3rd degree)

  • Certified instructor in Defensive Edge Weapons (Franco System)

  • PPCT Management System – Pressure Point Control Defensive Tactics Instructor May 8, 1992

  • Monadnock PR-24: Basic instructor certification

  • Balintawak International: Basic instructor certification: High level I Oct 13, 1996

  • Academy of Public Safety: Defensive Tactics Instructor-May 8, 1992 Long Beach, CA

  • The Law Enforcement Television Network: Training the Trainer (8 hours) Feb 7, 1991 San Diego, CA

  • Thai Boxing Muay Thai Training Camp Dec 14, 1985 by Surachai Chai Sirisute (8 hours)

  • The Great Smokey Mountain Martial Arts Camp June 28-July 8, 1989

  • JKD, Silat,Thai Camp: June 28-July 12, 1987 Brasstown, NC

  • The Jun Fan Martial Arts Apprentice Instructor (Dan Inosanto) July 4, 1982

  • The Filipino Martial Arts Apprentice Instructor (Dan Inosanto) July 4, 1982

  • International Sport Jujitsu Association: Certified ISJA Official, June 29, 1996


  • Court-approved expert witness in edge weapons issues

  • Inducted into Black Belt Hall of Fame—“Women of the Year”

  • Inducted into Inside Kung-Fu Hall of Fame

  • Undefeated International Women’s Boxing Association (IWBA) World Champion

  • Undefeated World Karate Association (WKA) Kick Boxing Champion

  • Graduate of Executive Security International (ESI)

  • Contributing editor, and columnist since 1986 - present:  Black Belt Magazine, Knives Magazine, Blade Magazine,Karate/Kung Fu Illustrated,  Full Contact Magazine, Inside Kung Fu Magazine

  • Founder of Shen Chun Do: The Way of the Warrior spirit martial arts system

  • President of United States Sport Jujitsu Association

  • Developed KO Fitness, jujitsu, women’s self-defense and boxing for fitness classes for Oxnard Community College

  • Designed the “Lady Hawk,” Masters of Defense knife.

  • Member of American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers (ASLET) for 15 years.

  • Presenter at National ASLET Convention-Nevada

  • Assistant Coach to the USA Sport Jujitsu Team 1993-1997

  • President of the United States Sport Jujitsu Association

  • Vice President of the International Sport Jujitsu Association 1996-98

Magazine Columnist and Write 1986-2002

Karate/Kungfu llustrated- Casillas Corner

Inside Karate-Grace Under Fire

Black Belt Magazine-The Warrior Spirit

Knives magazine

Martial Arts Legends magazine

Training background: 40 years in various disciplines

Jujitsu, Tae Kwon Do, Hwa Rang Do, Kenpo, Muay Thai kickboxing, Escrima-arnis,  Silat, Jeet kune do, Wing Chun, Jun Fan kickboxing, American kickboxing, and Boxing.






Wide World of Sports (ABC)            

Santana en Vivo (CH 56)

Roy Firestone’s Sportslook            

60 minutes

Gallery (KTLA)                    


Al McGuire’s On Sports (KNBC)        

That’s Incredible (KABC)

Eye on L.A. (KABC)                

Real People (KNBC)

Mid Morning L.A. (KHJ)                

Two on the Town (KCBS)

Two on the Town (KABC) 2nd appearance    

Hour Magazine (KNBC)

Hour Magazine (KNBC) 2nd appearance        

A.M. San Francisco

24 Horas (CH 34)                    

El Mundo Latino (KMEX)

La Voz Latina (WCIA)                

La Mujer Latina (KSCI)

Occurio Asi (CH 56)                

Sabado Gigante (CH 34)

P.M. San Francisco                

Women In Sports (KTTV)

ESPN Sport Report            

Ted Dawson’s Sports Report (KABC)

Stu Nahan Sports Report (KNBC)        

World-Class Women (Epcot)

Sportsbeat (KABC)                

Women’s Watch (Disney CH)

Jim Ferguson Show (KGUN) – Arizona        
Arizona Illustrated (KUAT)

Johnny Morris Sport Report (KCBS)        

Merv Griffin Show (KTTV)


  • Fire in the Night (lead actress) – New World Pictures

  • Capital Punishment – Cine Excel Entertainment

Music Video: Smokey Robinson’s “Just Hold Me” Choreography


  • Al Thomas World of Martial Arts – Universal

  • How to Defend Yourself – Impact Films

  • Defensive Edge Weapons – Ogi Productions

  • Impact Weapons Vol. I – CNS Productions

  • Impact Weapons Vol. II – CNS Productions

  • Impact Weapons Vol. III – CNS Productions

  • Combat Escrima Vol. I – CFW Enterprises

  • Combat Escrima Vol. II – CFW Enterprises

  • Casillas Self Defense Vol. I – CFW Enterprises

  • Casillas Self Defense Vol. II – CFW Enterprises

  • Masters of Defense, White Wolf Productions

Print media featured in

US Magazine                    

Los Angeles Magazine

Mirabella Magazine                

Republic Magazine

Playboy Magazine                
National Enquirer

The Star                    

L.A. Weekly

Fighting Stars Magazine (Cover)        

Inside Karate Magazine (Cover)

Inside Karate Magazine (2nd Cover)        

Karate Today Magazine (Cover)

Women and Guns Magazine (Cover)        

Combat Illustrated Magazine

Boxing Today Magazine            

Official Karate Magazine

Inside Kung-Fu Magazine            

Black Belt Magazine

Police Magazine                

Chicago Tribune

Sunday Magazine-England            

Karate Magazine-Germany (Cover)

Los Angeles Times                

New York Times

Herald Examiner                

European Magazines