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Straight Talk Program



Marissa Jones

Posted by [email protected] on July 30, 2019 at 6:25 PM

My name is Marissa Jones, and I have the pleasure of having Ms. Phyllis McNeal being directly involved in my life since my early teenage years. I am now residing in Sacramento, married with three kids and running our family business.


Nothing comes by luck in life, and me and my mom were blessed to meet Phyllis through a mutual friend on the tournament circuit. As a kid that had tremendous drive to win, and motivation to want to reach my full potential, my current fighting skills were nowhere near what I felt inside they could be. Being a quiet and shy kid, my mom knew there was something we had to change. Along came Phyllis McNeal, open arms, spending evenings after work, Saturday mornings, Sunday afternoons with this little kid she didn’t even know and dedicated countless hours to training. Although, our sessions were physically grueling, the mental lessons that she was teaching me are priceless, and to this day I have continued to instill in my children.


Karate, back when I was a kid didn’t seem to be the coolest thing to do as a hobby. So imagine how mortified I would be twice a week, to have to go to a recreation center and train in front of other kids! Did Phyllis care, nope! Her concern was making me out to be the best fighter in my age group regionally and nationally. At various times through the pain of being kicked too hard, or punched in the eye when rules stated “No head contact”, she was right next to me, “SUCK IT UP!”. This is a saying that has stuck with me to the present day. This is the attitude I carry in my heart when times seem too overwhelming and no end in sight. I can only try to express in words how much of a positive influence she has fully had on my life. This small show of appreciation that I am trying to convey had no measure of the real impact that is felt.


Days that she dedicated to training me, seemed to be just another private karate lesson at the time. Looking back as an adult, that was far from the case. The discipline, respect, and work ethic that was bring taught at the time and not directly communicated, has helped shaped a strong, confident wife, mother and manager!

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