JAN / 2012


My name is Franklin Puello, New York…To date I have been in a quest to bring  you interviews of Martial Artists who have made a impact not only in the Martial Arts but in the lives of many around them. This quest has resulted in the profiling of many great Martial Artist who happened to fall in the Male gender, but in never intending to neglect the Great female Masters of the Martial Arts I bring  you a very accomplished Martial Artist who is counted among the many Elite and Outstanding. Domo Arigato: 


Interview by Franklin Puello

Online Magazine What is your Full Name?  


LAUREN BAYNE: My name is Lauren Bayne Where were you Born?  


LAUREN BAYNE: I was born and raised in the Bronx. What is your current occupation?


LAUREN BAYNE: I am now a retired construction worker and working on my master’s degree. I am studying Business Admin/ Social Work, as of today I posses a BS in Computer Science/ Management. When was your first introduction to the Martial Arts?


LAUREN BAYNE: I was first introduced to the arts in 1968 however, didn't truly pursue it until 1977.

        What Style of Karate?


LAUREN BAYNE: I studied, and trained Shotokan Karate do   

     Who was/ were your instructor/s?


LAUREN BAYNE: Under GM Reno Morales.        Can you tell our readers what a typical day of training was like back when you were Training towards your Black Belt?


LAUREN BAYNE: Back then a day in training was long and hard training was continuous. We would go through to late night with lots of punching and kicking and self-defense techniques. 

  Please describe Training, when you were competing in Karate Shiai and or Tournaments?


LAUREN BAYNE: There was an everyday routine of running, jumping, punching, kicking and stances, kata's up and down and small space training (just imagine the meaning and intensity of this type of training). Describe your preparation to enter the Martial Arts competition Arena?


LAUREN BAYNE: Preparation for competition was pretty much the same with added meditation to stay focus on you purpose.  Because if you trained hard all week there wasn’t much more to do on competition day, except mentally prepare.               


WITH MASTER DEREK WILLIAMS What was the Attraction?


LAUREN BAYNE: After entering my first competition as a ku grade (yellow belt) and placing second I thought to myself, I could do better.  I had many teachers on that day in the ring. When and who did you fight?              


LAUREN BAYNE: Can you tell our readers who were some of the Noted Martial Artists you had to compete against? There were but two young ladies both of whom are my senior, which inspired me to pursue a martial arts career, Cookie Melendez and Lorna Peterson.  I fought many people but remember very few names never-the-less, Maria who I have great respect for, made me a true believer with a kick in the left bicep dropping my arm (keep your guards up) WOW! Then there's Lisa Magee who I met in the ring only once respectfully, felt more like family while we were out there. My beginning in the art started as a sport so for me it was recreational and I don’t remember names.            What was tournament competition like when you were first introduced?


LAUREN BAYNE: During my flight with AAU training was still long and hard because placing was an option.  Winning was the GOAL! They had different rules and little politics. Traveling was time consuming but well worth it. I remember having to travel way out to Coney Island once a week. During the weeks I would train in 4 different locals throughout the city. After winning the state championship making the National Team training continued to escalate and we became one as the AAU Karate Team (family) big and little brothers and sisters we were. O how I miss those days.      During my travels abroad and throughout the Continental U.S States, competitions were a little different, in competition abroad both males and females competed together and who ever wins, wins! Traveling at the time as the only female, in the United States AAU Team, was quite exciting very different but I had many brothers through out my journeys, Grand Master Phil Mcrae was one of those who always lent support and led by example.

     Explain how you perfected the utilization in Kata in Fighting?


LAUREN BAYNE: Kata! What’s karate without it? There is a difference between good and great or there and almost there. The secrets of  kata unveils in kumite when practiced and performed right.                 Do you believe the practice of Kata is useful and important? 


LAUREN BAYNE: I believe that Kata is a fundamental Element of Karate practice. Kata develops:  speed, focus, timing, spirit and it develops a character that separates you and the next person performing the same form or facing you in Kumite. It also gives you muscle memory. Kata is a form of exercise for endurance as well. What is your Most Favorite Kata? 


LAUREN BAYNE: Even though I would perform kata according to competition and judging, I enjoyed Empi and Hangetsu.  

                            If more than one in different Styles of Martial Arts, please identify?


LAUREN BAYNE: While training for my black belt it was mandatory to learn other styles for balance. There were many different styles located within our dojo, giving me the opportunity to acquire knowledge and techniques from all without changing from Shotokan. I grew up with so much talent surrounding me. one could only excel.         Did your have the opportunity to train and learn from different Masters of the times?


LAUREN BAYNE: There were Sensei's Steve & Chinc Valencia, Phillip McRae, Derrick Williams, Nat McBride, Allen Walberg, Sifu Sonny and Budda who would always guide and encourage me with my performance in kata. They all inter twined in my learning process, hard and soft, Ying and Yang, and as I mentioned earlier these were some of the most influential masters in my life, and I don’t want to forget anyone so I must mention Shihan Mario Arthur.


Please describe Specifically how you developed your tactics and techniques taking the opportunity to learn from all those great Teachers around me wile I was growing in the Martial Arts, as well as learning from every tournament experience and opponent facing me in competition. Learning and Sharing is the key to keep developing new tactics for competition while improving on the old ones.           Are you presently training others in the Art Karate?   


LAUREN BAYNE: As of today I am not teaching but still learning with others whom practice karate. I am still involved in the training of the arts with Derrick Williams, Shihan. Currently, I am involved with the ShoShin Kan dojo and a coordinator of Return of Battle of Bushido Tournament held in December. What differences do you see in today's Tournaments and competition from competition of yesteryears? Open tournaments were long, 'train hard’ or ‘go home', no arguing with the officials, and no sideline coaching. The use of safety equipment was optional except mouth and groin pieces. Today competitors are disrespectful to both their instructors and to the art.                               


What do you think about rank in Martial Arts, and the present practice of fast and advanced promotions?   I think rank is like wine it gets better with time. I know for me even though I knew advance kata and technique I still had to wait the time out, so just because a student can grasp the technique he may be lacking in other areas.                Do you feel that Martial Arts played an important role with who you are today?


LAUREN BAYNE: There are many things that I have endured throughout my life three in particular, religion, school and the martial arts. The discipline gained, have helped in the success achieved today.                              What do you teach those who want to learn Survival Skills?


LAUREN BAYNE: I would teach them in the very same way in which I was taught, simply 'Basic'.   Survival skills can be enforced by redirecting ones natural instinct (less thought and more reaction).        What would you share with Parents or Kids who want to be involved with the Martial Arts? 


LAUREN BAYNE: My advice would be to determine your strengths and weakness. This will help to decide which style of martial arts is best for you. For the parent I would not force a child into the art, for everyone is different and has special talents.  I would let them know that what is on T.V. is not reality. Now ask yourself the question, ‘what am I looking for'? What do I expect to gain from this type of training? I would also remind them that martial arts are a way of life and not just something to do in your free time. What is given to you, you must give to others. On that note please seek out a reputable instructor and dojo.                Do you think Tradition is important? 


LAUREN BAYNE: Tradition is like a mighty oak tree with strong roots. Tradition is very important, as it is the stabilizer, the grounding of a system. It carries the weight of a strong legacy. It teaches the how, why and when to, in any given situation or ceremony. It builds the way for the future. It keeps the foundation pure, preventing it from dying.   Among the many community services your perform, how else do you give back to the community? My volunteer work ranges from teaching sports (paddleball, track & field, softball and martial arts) to serving lunch to adults in the community (homeless and needy families). Any personal plans for the future? Well, in the future which holds many good things like relocating to the South or Mid West (Houston Texas). Please tell me how it was training with in preperatio for fights and in Trinidad?


LAUREN BAYNE: Being the only female, hard I would work out with the guys, sparing and kata. The coach treated everyone the same there was no separation in gender Describe fighting styles?


LAUREN BAYNE: There were many styles I :) remember 1 opponent jumping around like a monkey. My first opponent became very anger with me after losing. How were you treated by the coach (who was the coach)?


LAUREN BAYNE: At the time training it was exhausting and I had to train with men. I was a little sister but on the other hand just another Black Belt, I was not aware of the fact that In Trinidad I would be competing in a pool with males. All just the same it was most exciting because that is how we trained without Gender differences. The coach was Mario Arthur Shihan. I want to thank you for taking time from work and intense studies to participate in the interview. 



LAUREN BAYNE: Thank you, Franklin Puello and MartialForce Magazine.