The team


Arlene holds the rank of 2nd Degree Black Belt and the title of Nidan. She's been studying Uechi-Ryu Karate under Sensei Neil Stone since 2016. Arlene works with the junior students and enjoys connecting with and getting to know all of the different and unique personalities in the classroom!



Susan holds the rank of 3rd Degree Black Belt and the title of Sandan. She's been studying Uechi-Ryu Karate under Sensei Alan Kessler since 2012.

"I come from a family at AKKC starting with my oldest son, a young man with Autism who has been with the dojo since 2005 and holds the title of Yondan (4th Degree Black Belt). I also have a younger adult son who teaches alongside me who also holds the title of Yondan.

We are a family who all grew up here in Billerica. Me personally, I have been practicing Uechi-Ryu for about 10 years. Further experience with martial arts also includes being a nursing instructor in de-escalation techniques without harm to the aggressor. My most memorable moment in my Uechi journey was meeting members of the Uechi family in Washington DC during a weekend performance at the Cherry Blossom Festival."


Jo ann

Jo Ann holds the rank of 4th Degree Black Belt and the title of Yondan. She's been studying Uechi-Ryu Karate under Sensei Alan Kessler since 2000.

I had the pleasure of earning this rank alongside my two children.

Jo Ann runs the behind-the-scenes operations at AKKC and has been the Program Director of the school for the past 17 years!

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Mrs. Stone started her Martial Arts career in 1994 under the guidance of Nancy Gavenda. She has been teaching since 1998 and a dojo owner for over 20 years. She currently holds the rank of 7th Dan (7th Degree Black Belt) and studies under the tutelage of Master Buzz Durkin, 10th Dan in Atkinson, NH. She also holds an RN BSN degree.

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8th Degree Black Belt for over 30 years of training and teaching experience. Sensei Stone has helped thousands of students reach and exceed their goals, and is a well-known figure in the community.

Neil Stone started his martial arts career in 1986 and began teaching in 1990. He has spent his entire tenure studying Uechi-Ryu in order to fully develop his understanding of the style. He currently trains with Mr. Buzz Durkin, a 10th Degree Black Belt (the highest rank attainable in Uechi-Ryu), and constantly works with his mentors and peers to heighten his own capabilities. Mr. Stone has lived in the Southern New Hampshire area all his life, and currently raises his two children in this area. When not teaching Martial Arts, Mr. Stone enjoys watching and supporting the New England sports teams!