Chuzo Kotaka, former All-Japan Champion
experience 22 years, San-dan
Reading, watching movies, swimming and surfing, yoga
Au, daughter of Jane and Gary Au, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on
May 29. She started the sport of karate at age five through the
encouragement of her parents. Elisas first out-of-state competition
was the 1990 AAU/USA National Championships held in New Orleans,
Louisiana. There she won a bronze, silver and gold medal in her
nine-year old division. This national experience intrigued Elisas
interest in karate more than ever. The following year, Elisa received
her black belt from the International
Karate Federation headed by Chuzo Kotaka, who is still her instructor
By the age of 18, Elisa had won 3 WKO World Championships and 2
WKC World Championships. In addition to her demanding karate schedule,
Elisa also participated in figure skating, gymnastics, canoe paddling
and track & field, while attending Punahou School an
elite college preparatory academy in Hawaii. She also excelled academically
and maintained honor roll status throughout high school.
In 2002, Elisa won the Womens World Cup. This was the first
of many WKF world titles to be won by Elisa. The WKF is the
only international organization officially recognized by the International
Olympic Committee. Several months later, Elisa also won the PanAmerican
Championships, held in Puerto Rico. Capping off a remarkable year,
Elisa won a gold medal in the womens +60kg weight category
at the 2002 WKF World Championships held in Madrid, Spain. This
was a great moment in USA Karate history as Elisa became the first
American woman to ever win a WKF World Championship.
The 2004 WKF World Championships were held in Monterrey, Mexico.
Elisa started her competition in the womens open weight category.
Just as in 2002, Elisa beat out representatives from over 40 countries
to win a second world championship gold medal. The following day,
Elisa continued her superb performance to win the +60kg weight category.
Elisa made world history this time, becoming the only person to
ever win two individual gold medals at the same world championship.
Her performance was truly outstanding.
Elisa will continue to compete and make national and international
appearances. In addition to competition, Elisa also teaches seminars
around the world, including Japan, Canada, Australia and the U.S.
Elisa also offers a 6 set DVD series, entitled SECRETS
of Championship Karate that shares her training methods and
ideas along with tips on how to succeed in karate competition.
In addition to her karate achievements, Elisa also graduated in
civil engineering at the University of Hawaii in 2003. She has also
done some acting in local film work based in Hawaii, including both
karate and non-martial art related projects.
Blog to find out current events and news from Elisa.