Sensei Deanna KocherĀ is an enthusiastic children’s instructor who began her own karate training at age 4. She is most considered one of the most focused practitioners at Granite Forest Dojo while remaining an avid soccer player. Sensei Deanna is a full-time graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. in Engineering from Lehigh University. She has built a water system in Nicaragua with Engineers without Borders.


My first Sensei (*cough* my Dad) always told me to keep fun in my pockets. He also told me that I read so much that words poured out of my ears. He was pretty right on both accounts. When I’m not reading or learning, I’m usually off doing something goofy with my brother… when the fun escapes both of our pockets things pretty much have to get silly.

I graduated from Lehigh University with an integrated degree in Mechanical Engineering, Design, and Psychology. I love to make things, and if I had the choice I’d spend the majority of my time happily lost in the woodshop or drawing… or reading. I am semi-fluent in spanish and travelled to Nicaragua with Engineers Without Borders to build a water system. I should also mention that I’m pretty sure I was born with a soccer ball at my feet… I play club soccer at Lehigh and I co-direct a soccer tournament in my hometown!

As someone who started practicing karate in front of my fireplace when I was four, the opportunity to help teach at Granite Forest was very exciting to me. I’ve taught on and off at my father’s dojo for the last few years, as well as a number of other teaching opportunities I’ve had with kids. At Lehigh, I tutored kids ranging from kindergarten to middle school, and I also spent a semester volunteering/doing research at a local preschool.

At home, I coached young soccer players and ran an arts and crafts summer program where I taught kids how NOT to have their pottery blow up when they put it in the kiln! I’ve always loved working with kids and I believe I am fluent in speaking Kindergartner. As it turns out, the fun in my pockets usually gets me to act my shoe size!