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Meet Jherie Araos of Setting Sun Dojo in Ocean Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jherie Araos.

Jherie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in Santiago, Chile up until the point when I was thirteen, when I came to San Diego. When I was eight years old, I went on a trip with my parents to visit a church that was about 5 hours away from my home and we traveled via bus. When I arrived at the bus stop, I saw a building with a video game arcade inside, but I was not allowed in. I saw kids emerge out of the building, “Did you see the guy do the fireball?!” one kid said. I was immediately intrigued. My cousin and I went around the building to see if we could look through the windows into the arcade. Looking in from the windows, I saw the screen of the video game ( which I later learned was Street Fighter), all I could see was the silhouette of Ryu in a white uniform throwing a fireball. At the time, I thought it was a real person, not just a character in a video game. I was completely amazed. The rest of the bus ride to the church, I was convinced that now I would be able to throw my own fireball.

Once my parents had arrived to the church, I waited outside the building with some other kids. I spent hours trying to throw my own fireballs at trees. Once I had arrived home from our trip, my cousin explained to me that the person I saw in the game was actually doing Karate. I had never heard of Karate before that. I then begged my mom to put me in Karate classes. She agreed and started me at Karate Dojo by to my school. That was the start of my martial arts journey. I trained at that Dojo from the time I was eight until I came to America when I was thirteen. Although I never learned how to make a fireball, I fell in love with martial arts and have been doing it ever since.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The culture shock of coming to the United States was something I didn’t expect. Finding martial arts here was so important for me and my journey. I was able to express myself through doing Karate, and not have to worry about the language barrier because I was speaking through my body and my actions, not my words. I came to the US alone, without my family. Not being able to speak English was so hard. I couldn’t to communicate to others around me and express how I was feeling. When I found Setting Sun, I found a family. An instructor there spoke Spanish. I only trained with him once a week, but that connection with him helped me grow more than ever, as a person and a martial artist.

Please tell us about Setting Sun Dojo.
Here at Setting Sun, we teach the style Go Jiu Bujitsu, which is made up of three Japanese based styles. Karate, Judo, and Jiu Jitsu. The reason why we teach three styles is because I have a personal belief that we as individuals need to be challenged to grow. In uniting these three styles into one, it assures that there will be a challenge or a learning curve that we all need to experience.

Our focus at Setting Sun is to encourage personal development to youth and adults through martial arts. To create and set challenges as well as inner growth in martial arts that can be integrated into your personal life, so you can experience hardships and challenges in a safe environment and set you up for success.

What sets us apart from other martial arts schools is our instructors and our ability to connect with each of our individual students where we can honestly talk about our challenges and approach them in ways that can best reach them with our experiences, as well as the goal that everyone who walks through our doors has insight or support regarding any challenge that may come their way.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Growing up in Chile, everyone wore a uniform to school. When I came to the US, the first day of school at Point Loma High, the school administrators gave me a PLHS shirt and shorts. I was assumed this was the school uniform and I was to wear it everyday. Monday roles around and here I come wearing the matching shirt and shorts, to see nobody else wearing the same thing as me, I felt pretty embarrassed.

I think this was one of the moments after I arrived in the US when I realized that my life was going to be very different from what I knew so far. This moment sticks out to me from my childhood because this was a very coming-to-age moment for me. I did a lot of growing up and learning my first year in the United States.


  • $175/mo. for 3 one hour long classes each week

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Elleanor Nielsen, Molly Bell

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