It's all smiles for Michelle when she's teaching martial arts to kids.

She's been doing it so long; it is practically part of her DNA. She fell in love with it when she was five years old. "...the self-defense aspect of it. It really echoed - my dad's a police officer, so it echoed things he had said. My whole family was behind it."

Weaver’s family is still behind her 100%. Together, along with her husband, her parents helped her build DoJo Reno - a new martial arts studio in south Reno (in The Summit Reno shopping center). Michelle says it has always been a team effort. "Like an unbelievable, team of friends, family and students behind me." 

In the early years, Weaver worked hard and moved up the ranks quickly. She began teaching when she was just ten years old, and after graduating high school, she was tapped to compete on an MTV show called Final Fu. Weaver laughs at the memory. "It was kinda like a coming out of doing martial arts. Not that anybody cared, but for me, it felt like that. I'd never told anyone I'd even done it." 

Now a fifth degree black belt, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in Reno’s martial arts community who doesn't know about Michelle Weaver.

After years of teaching at other studios, this past week she opened DoJo Reno, where classes begin with discipline and accountability - even for the littlest of kickers. "You can sit straight, you can listen the first time you're asked, you can be kind to people around you. You have to let that transcend outside to other parts of who you are,” explains Weaver.

The new studio is not just for kids - all martial artists are welcome. "We recover here, we grow here - and that would be my most exciting goal, is to do that with students and with people this year, is to make that start happening,” says Weaver.

If you want to meet Michelle or check out DoJo Reno for yourself, they are having an open house all week.

Classes begin on Monday.

Read more on DoJo Reno's website -