Stefania Di Buono was introduced to Kyokushin Karate simply by word of mouth and by seeing numerous bruises and the unusually large knuckles I had. She’d only heard about the pain, sweat and hurt we Kyokushin practitioners went through day in and day out in training, and thought it was something she would never attempt. Stefania watched me train from time to time and came to my second Full Contact fight to cheer me on…..this is where I noticed the heart this women had. After watching me train and seeing the passion and dedication I had for Karate, and knowing how much I loved teaching and passing on my knowledge, Stefania set out to make my dream a reality.

She began pushing me relentlessly and reminding me how successful I would be if I opened up my own school. Months after, Stefania had succeeded in building me with enough confidence and the Russo Dojo Kyokushin Karate School was born. As much as she did not want to try Karate, still, the good natured Stefania tried the very first class with as little as 8 students, just to support and help me in my quest. I will admit that I am running on high every day and need plenty of fuel and recoup time. Stefania is my “one woman pit crew”, who is always there making sure that I am ready and well prepared to take on my 15 hour days of work and teachings, (6 days a week).

Stefania Di Buono, standing 5 feet 6 inches and ever so feminine, began training at an unprecedented rate; never missing training and always pushing at 150% no matter what. In the day she works as a certified dietician for long term care patients at a local hospital and in the evening she rushes back to the Dojo on time, to make the classes and run the school’s finances on both weekends and nights after classe. When she is finished with all of that, she uses whatever energy she has left to make it home to cook a healthy meal and make sure our home is as comfortable as can be. Stefania is the fuel that keeps me going stronger and stronger day and night, never complaining or making a fuss. You never hear a word from her as she runs the entire show without a sound. I owe the world to this woman who does not get the recognition she truly deserves. She is my wife, my friend, my partner and the major component of the Russo Dojo.

Today Stefania is a brown belt and will soon be getting ready to pass her black. She has traveled with us to Australia and soon Japan to make sure that our fighters are mentally ready, taking care of everything from fund raisers to applications.

This entire page is dedicated to Stefania Di Buono from the Russo Dojo. We the Russo Dojo say thank you for being who you are and we love you incredibly.

Osu Stefania Di Buono…A.K.A Mrs. Sempai.

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