Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

The Ladies of NoTown: Karma Kaze


All this week, we’re introducing you to members of the NoTown Roller Derby team before its bout Saturday against The Diamond Divas of Bakersfield.

We’ve already met Kyra Practor and Clarifer. Next we introduce you to Karma Kaze.

Derby Name: Karma Kaze
Real Name: Amy Elliott
Age: 35
Number: 7

How did you get involved in roller derby?
Four years ago my friend Robin (aka Susy Snakeyes) was asked to lead a practice for a fledgling new Fresno Roller Derby team. She needed a place to stay, and asked me. Of course I said yes. She said “Good, cause I brought my extra pads, and you’re going with me.” I’ve been skating ever since, I was hooked!

How did you come up with your derby name?
I have a very eastern philosophy and have a firm belief in Karma, however personality-wise I tend to act first and ask questions later( very kamikaze-esque). Hence, Karma Kaze

What’s your worst derby injury?
Last year I was out for a few months due to a knee injury. I had re-injured it a few times and the swelling wouldn’t go down. It was horrible sitting on the sidelines, but I made due by taking pictures.

Seems like many of the NoTown ladies have their own style. What’s yours?
Apparently I can be pretty intimidating. Face painting helps with that. I use that to my advantage and am usually pretty quiet toward the other team. I wouldn’t be very scary if I started giggling or threw in a joke during a bout.

What’s your life like away from roller derby?
Pretty simple: I work for a doctor, I’m a medical assistant, and have very close ties with our patients. I live in tower and spend the majority of my time there enjoying ArtHop and other local activities. Of course, I have to get my ArtHopping in before practice.

What time of reactions do you get when people find out you do derby?
This usually starts out with an elbow coming up, “Roller Derby??? How long have you been rollerblading?” (Elbows are highly frowned upon, and we use quad skates).

How was roller derby changed your life?
In more ways than I can explain. I learned how to be athletic, eating the right kinds of food, drinking a ton of water, and avoiding the wrong substances.
The best way it has changed my life is to inspire other people. I love encouraging my teammates, especially the newer ones because I know how hard it can be; not only to balance your life and to do something that you love, to push yourself beyond what you thought possible, but to be strong in whichever way you choose to be.

Finish this sentence: The best thing about being a NoTown derby girl is …
To be able to be myself, to be aggressive and athletic at the same time.


Food: cheese
Band: Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies
TV Show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Toy as a kid: ummm, Snoopy Snow Cone Maker.
Place to eat in Fresno: I love me a British Burger from Livingstones


Water slides or roller coasters? Water slides
Coke or Pepsi? Coke, but usually diet
Mini Golf or Bowling? Mini golf — I worked at Blackbeard’s in high school
Star Wars or Lord of the Rings? Star Wars
Fresno in the summer or Fresno in the winter? How bout spring and fall???

Here are more details on NoTown Roller Derby’s Saturday night bout against Bakersfield. Doors open at 6 p.m. at the Fresno Fairgrounds.


Responses to "The Ladies of NoTown: Karma Kaze"

momandpop says:

Karma is a very interesting person. I have seen her interviewed on TV, but not so much in the Fresno Bee. She takes a good picture.

Stephen says:

karma is one of the nicest, cutest, ass-kickin-est girls I’ve ever had the pleasure to have known.

She’s a Tower District staple, smart as a whip, and again, lovely to look at, but can be deadly to the touch.

ie: I’m a HUGE Karma Kaze fan!