Instructors

Southeast Texas

Matthew
Garza

matthew garza
Black Middle School

Roberto
Nuñez

Roberto Nunez
Bowie Middle School

Roy
White

roy white burbank middle schoolBurbank Middle School

Gustavo
Perez

gustavo perez instructor for central middle schoolCentral Middle School – Area 1 Leader

Chris Pfenninger

Chris Pfenninger
Crockett Middle School

Tracy
Armstead

Tracy Armstead
Dulles Middle School

Jose
Hernandez

jose hernandez
Edison Middle School

Carl
Flores

Carl Flores at fonville middle school
Fonville Middle School

Wayne
Nguyen

wayne nguyen
Garcia Middle School

Jason
Holmes

jason holmes martial arts instructor for hamilton middles school
Hamilton Middle School

Wade
Jenkins

WADE JENKINS instructor for Harby Jr. High
Harby Jr. High School – Area 2 Leader

Amanda Meisner

Amanda Meisner
Hodges Bend Middle School

Rigoberto Cardenas

RIGOBERTO CARDENAS Instructor - Hogg Middle School
Hogg Middle School

Derrick Wilson

DERRICK WILSON
Lake Olympia Middle School

Derrick Robinson

Derrick robinson instructorManvel Junior High

Victor
Guerrero

Victor Guerrero
McAuliffe Middle School

Chelsea
Clark

meyerland
Meyerland Middle School

Emmanuel
Escalona

Emmanuel Escalona
Missouri City Middle School

Chantal Jackson

CHANTAL JACKSON Instructor - Navarro Middle School
Navarro Middle School

Jazmin
Urquieta

Jazmin Urquieta
Patrick Henry Middle School

Brandon McRae

BRANDON MCRAE Instructor - paul revere middle school
Paul Revere Middle School – Area 4 Leader

Dona'
Pettway

DONA PETTWAY
Quail Valley Middle School

Caesar
Paz

Cesar Paz instructor for Manvel jr. high scool
Rodeo Palms Jr. High

Patricia
Rivera

Patricia Rivera
Sartartia Middle School

Rommel
Gargoles

Rommel Gargoles
Stafford MS / Stafford Intermediate

Derek Gutierrez

DEREK GUTIERREZ Instructor - Stevenson Middle SchoolStevenson Middle School – Area 2 Leader

Damien Sauceda

damien sauceda
Sugar Land Middle School

Mark
Beel

Mark Beel
Woodcreek Middle School

Agustin
Ayala

augustin ayala
Instructor in Training

Tia
Buras

Tia Buras
Instructor in Training

Nelvin
Celeste

Nelvin Celeste
Instructor in Training

Rommel
Paul

Rommel Paul
Instructor in Training

Megan
Pinyozy

Megan Pinyozy
Instructor in Training

Erik
Soria

Erik Soria
Instructor in Training

Antonio
Valle

antonio valle
Instructor in Training


North Texas

Michael
Pana

Instructor in TrainingAustin Middle School

Robert
Sapp

Robert SappBowie Middle School

Rob
Oliver

Barbara Bush Middle SchoolBarbara Bush Middle School

George
Trevino

coming soonCrockett Middle School

John
Bain

JOHN BAIN Instructor - Long Middle School
Dan F. Long Middle School

Kristen Savala

Kristen Savala
de Zavala Middle School

Andrew Carrasco

ANDREW CARRASCO Instructor
Field Middle School

Don
Oliver

coming soonSam Houston Middle School

Julianna Holmes

julianna holmesJohnson Middle School

Mark Wilkinson

MARK WILKINSON Instructor - Lamar Middle SchoolLamar Middle School

Kim
Morgan

KIM MORGAN Instructor - Lancaster Middle School
Lancaster Middle School

Jeremy McQuivey

JEREMY MCQUIVEY Instructor
Linden-Kildare Consolidated ISD

Jessica
Hellman

Jessica Hellman Instructor - Perry Middle School
Perry Middle School – Area Leader

Cristina Rodriguez

instructor in training
Polk Middle School

Wallace Smedley

Wallace SmedleyTravis Middle School – Area Leader

Seth
Bruce

coming soonInstructor in Training




Central Texas

Jason
Whitfield

coming soonCele Middle School

Michael
Cooper

Michael CooperDavila Middle School

Rachel
Seelke

Rachel SeelkeDessau Middle School

Elijah Robinson

elijah robinsonHendrickson High – In Training

Teddy
Coleman

TEDDY COLEMAN Instructor - Jane Long Middle School
Jane Long Middle School (Bryan)

Levi
Turner

LEVI TURNER InstructorKelly Lane Middle School

Mike
Fillmore

MIKE FILLMORE Instructor - Westview Middle SchoolMendez Middle School

Benjamin Mendez

BENJAMIN MENDEZ Instructor - Navasota Jr. High SchoolNavasota Junior High – Area Leader

Jonathon
Gartmann

coming soonPark Crest Middle School

Ramon Henninger

RAMON HENNINGER Pflugerville Middle SchoolPflugerville Middle School

Jason Chartouni

JASON CHARTOUNITippit Middle School – Area Leader

Tristan
Flores

tristan floresInstructor in Training

Michael
Garner

michael garnerInstructor in Training

matthew garza

Belt Rank:
2nd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
2015

Mr. Garza joined the Kickstart Kids program in 2003 as a student at Black Middle School. After earning his black belt in the program, he decided he wanted to give back what he learned to the upcoming generation. He became a Kickstart Kids instructor in 2015 and is the current instructor at his alma mater, Black Middle School.

Roberto Nunez

Belt Rank:
3rd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
2015

Mr. Nuñez is a Kickstart Kids alumni from Jackson Middle School and accredits martial arts for making a big difference in his life. He joined KSK as an Instructor in Training in 2015 and wants to help students be successful as possible. He enjoys basketball and lifting weights.

Roy White

Belt Rank:
5th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
1992

Mr. Roy White joined KICKSTART KIDS shortly after its inception in 1992. M.C.Williams was the 1st assigned school that he started teaching at which continued a list of several successful KSK schools.

Mr. White is a 5th degree Black Belt in Chun Kuk Do. He is a 8 Time UFAF/CKD World Champion, 2 Time UFAF/CKD NORRIS CUP Champion, the 2005 UFAF/CKD Co-Instructor of the Year that he won a long side his wife Sonia Moreno-White and the 2013-2014 UFAF/CKD School of the Year.

Mr. White is married to Sonia Moreno-White and has (2) daughters, Skyler and Anayelli White.

He joined KICKSTART KIDS to have the opportunity to give back all the wonderful knowledge and opportunities that were given to him by his Instructors as well as to Save and Change Children’s Lives!

Gus Perez

Belt Rank:
2nd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
1999

 

“I always wanted to be part of something special and important. All my other friends growing up were into gangs and other stuff, but that was not what I wanted. Karate gave me everything I wanted. The martial arts brings peace to my world. Every day in the news and in my life I come across a lot of negative things and people. Martial arts and my religion let me live without fear and gives me an understanding of how beautiful the world really is.

I didn’t choose KSK, KSK chose me. When I was young we moved around a lot and when we finally found a home, I discovered the KICKSTART KIDS program at my school. Ever since then I wanted to be part of that, and now I am. I have a chance to be there for someone else. I want to be that part of KSK that will always be there for someone else that needs it, just like I did.”

Chris Pfenninger

Belt Rank:
2nd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do
KSK

Joined KSK:
2012

Karate has been a big part of Mr. Pfenninger’s life ever since he first joined KICKSTART KIDS. He joined the program in his 7th grade year at Dulles Middle School under the instruction of Mr. Gutierrez and has been in love with karate ever since. His biggest inspiration and motivation to do karate has and always will Chuck Norris.

“I think it’s a great honor and privilege to be a part of Mr. Norris’ program and hope to do great things for KICKSTART KIDS.”

Tracy Armstead

Belt Rank:
4th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Tae Kwon Do

Joined KSK:
tba

Mr. Armstead is an accomplished martial artist that became a Kickstart Kids instructor to help students. He has multiple belts and awards across an array of styles and organizations. Health, fitness, and electronics are a few of his personal interests.

jose hernandez

Belt Rank:
2nd Degree Black Belt

Style:
KICKSTART KIDS

Joined KSK:
2014

Mr. Hernandez joined Kickstart Kids in 2014 and became the instructor at Thomas Edison Middle School when the school kicked off a KSK program. He is an alumni of the Kickstart Kids program and trained at Fonville Middle School. He joined Kickstart Kids because he wanted to give others the opportunity for better health and mentality. He enjoys skateboarding and reading in his spare time.

Carl Flores

Belt Rank:
4th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
2014

Mr. Flores has been involved in martial arts for 15 years, both teaching and competing. He began as a KICKSTART KIDS student in 1999 formerly known as Kick Drugs out of America. Mr. Flores earned his black belt in 2004 in both KICKSTART KIDS and UFAF Chun Kuk Do. Currently, Mr. Flores is a 4th degree Black Belt in Chun Kuk Do and a 2nd degree Black Belt in KICKSTART KIDS. He has won numerous awards while competing on both Team CKD and Team KICKSTART KIDS. One of his biggest accomplishments to date is being a Two-Time Norris Cup Winner. In 2014 Mr. Flores joined KICKSTART KIDS to be an instructor.

Wayne Nguyen

Belt Rank:
7th Degree Black Belt

Style:
American Tae Kwon Do

Joined KSK:
2006

Mr. Nguyen has been teaching martial arts for over 20 years. He is the owner of the Texas Karate Organization (TKO), an NBL World Champion, and also starred as the White Ninja in the 1992 feature film “Sidekicks.” Mr. Nguyen joined KICKSTART KIDS because he saw the immense good the program was doing for students and wanted to personally help impact more of today’s youth through the martial arts.

Jason Holmes

Belt Rank:
5th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Hawaiian Kenpo

Joined KSK:
2007

10 time World Champion, Mr. Jason “J-Dog” Holmes grew up in Southern California in the LA Area and has been training in the Martial Arts since 1986. He has won numerous awards and gold medals throughout the world in the course of his martial arts career. He is the head coach of the KICKSTART KIDS’ TEAM KICKSTART National Karate Team. In the past he was the head coach for Shaquille O’Neal’s national karate team in 2004. Mr. Holmes has been running his own martial arts school in Houston since 2006.

“I really want to impact students that may or may not be able to afford karate, but are willing to learn and soak in every benefit the martials arts has to offer. Martial Arts is a great tool to have physically and mentally, not only in class but being able to use its applications outside in the real world.”

Wade Jenkins

Belt Rank:
6th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Shotokan Karate
Wing Chun Kung Fu

Joined KSK:
2002

Wade Jenkins has been training in Martial Arts since 1988. He competed in various tournaments throughout the years, but for the last 10yrs, has dedicated his life to training others. Mr. Jenkins has trained children, teens, adults, law enforcement (Alvin PD, Houston PD, Brazoria County Sheriffs’ Dept.), and military special forces soldiers. He began working for KSK in 2002, but left in 2007 to focus on teaching kids in his hometown of Alvin, TX. In 2011, he returned to KSK as the instructor at Harby Jr. High in Alvin, TX.

Amanda Meisner

Belt Rank:
4th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
2012

Ms. Meisner began her KICKSTART KIDS journey in 2003 at Dulles Middle School training in Chun Kuk Do. Sticking with the program, she became one of the first 4th degree Black Belts to come out of KICKSTART KIDS. She graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Marketing. Beginning as a substitute instructor on 2012, Ms. Meisner is now an instructor for KICKSTART KIDS at Hodges Bend Middle School.

Rigo Cardenas

Belt Rank:
5th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
2002

KICKSTART KIDS began in 1992 in four schools and Hogg Middle School happened to be one of them. Mr. Cardenas was lucky enough to be one of them. When he was younger his mother enrolled him in Tang Soo Do, but due to financial hardships he was only able to attend for a month. Mr. Cardenas attended Hogg M.S and when he heard his school was going to offer martial arts through Mr. Norris’ foundation, he jumped at the opportunity. He rose through the belt ranks and received his black belt in 1998. The program gave him goals to work toward that kept him out of trouble in his youth. It also gave him the tools he needed to compete locally, nationally, and internationally. Master Cardenas has 9 Chun Kuk Do World Championship Titles.

“I have the honor to teach in the school I trained in.”

Derrick Wilson

Belt Rank:
5th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Tang Soo Do

Joined KSK:
July 2009

Born September 4th, 1969 Mr. Derrick (D-Nice) Wilson is a good-hearted person, great martial artist, top-tier fighter, and a highly effective instructor. Mr. Wilson has earned numerous titles and belts throughout his years of martial arts experience and is proud to bring his talents to KICKSTART KIDS. Among Mr. Wilson’s many titles, he has held the Houston International Grand Champion title for 3 years in a row, has been rated in the Black Belt Profile’s Top 5 Men Fighting in Texas, ranked in the top 10 overall in Texas, and has won Gary Lee’s Back Alley Bash 5 years in a row. Mr. Wilson has also been running his own tournament since 2006, Texas Finest Black Belt Challenge, the only double elimination tournament in Texas. Mr. Wilson is also a state, national, international and a 4-time world champion.

Derrick Robinson

Belt Rank:
2nd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Tang Soo Do | MMA

Joined KSK:
1998

 

Bio Coming Soon

Victor Guerrero

Belt Rank:
4th Degree Black Belt

Style:
KSK
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
2014

Born in Mexico and raised in Houston, TX, Mr. Guerrero has been a part of the KICKSTART KIDS organization for 12 years now beginning as a student. After receiving his Associates Degree in Science he decided to pursue his Bachelor’s Degree in Petroleum and Chemical Engineering. Growing up through program, we wants to impact kids in the same KICKSTART KIDS has impacted him.

Chelsea Clark

Belt Rank:
2nd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
2012

Mrs. Chelsea Clark joined KICKSTART KIDS in 2002 as a student at Dulles Middle School. In her time with KICKSTART KIDS, she has earned her 2nd degree Black Belt studying Chun Kuk Do. She is currently the instructor at Meyerland Middle School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

Emmanuel Escalona

Belt Rank:
1st Degree Black Belt

Style:
American Tae Kwon do

Joined KSK:
2013

Since Mr. Escalona was very young martial arts has been his hobby, love, and life. The way that he lives and sees life is through martial arts because it is not just a physical art, it is a way of life. He has trained in many different styles of martial arts but has dedicated himself to American Tae Kwon Do. Through his challenges and struggles in martial arts he has been able to achieve many goals including winning the AOK State Championship.

“My goal is to help in the present, to have a better future for our youth.”

Chantal Jackson

Belt Rank:
3rd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
2008

For Ms. Duval, martial arts is the sport her father knows best. Her mother and father owned a Martial Arts school in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While in her stroller in the karate dojo she saw Martial Arts first hand. At the age of four her father began teaching her Korean Taekwondo. Her father worked for Kickstart Kids known as Kick Drugs out of America at the time, and trained with him at the age of 11 and earned her white belt in Chun kuk do. Throughout her years of training she gained an abundant amount of self-confidence. At the age of 16 she received her 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo. Through her journey she has competed in the Jr. Olympics in 2004 placing in all divisions and has held the state champion for five years for Kick Drugs out of America. Over the years she has watched her father impact a lot of students. She knew she wanted to do the same.

She contacted Mr. Gutierrez and asked him if he would train her so she could obtain her black belt in Chun Kuk Do. He agreed, and in 2007 she received her black belt in Chun Kuk Do. She was very excited because this would open the door to be able to work for KICKSTART KIDS, her ultimate dream. On April 1, 2008 she received a phone call letting her that she had been selected for a position with KICKSTART KIDS and was ecstatic.

“I am able to share my love and knowledge for Taekwondo and Chun Kuk Do with my students. Working with children has allowed me to appreciate the small things in life. As I am helping children grow, looking back, they have helped me grow as well. I have the opportunity to see a child’s smile and joy after accomplishing something significant by extending my knowledge to help students mature and grow is a gift in itself. I am a product of the Kick Drugs out of America as they have also become family to me. The knowledge acquired and experiences are a blessing and will always be a part of my life”

Coming Soon

Belt Rank:
2nd Degree Black Belt

Style:
KICKSTART KIDS

Joined KSK:
2015

Ms. Urquieta joined the KICKSTART KIDS program as a student at Hogg Middle School in the 6th grade. In 2015, she became an Instructor for the program in order to give back to the organization that taught her to respect others and pursue her goals.

Brandon McRae

Belt Rank:
5th Degree Black Belt

Style:
American Tae Kwon Do

Joined KSK:
1999

Born and raised in Lewiston Idaho, I started studying the Martial Arts at the age of 10. After graduating high school I ventured to Houston Texas to further my education. While becoming more involved in sport karate in Houston, I ran and managed two different karate schools, and joined the KICKSTART KIDS family in 1999. I love the challenge that the Martial Arts has given me. In addition, I enjoy the opportunity to pass down and share my knowledge and experience to tomorrow’s future leaders.

“You shouldn’t underestimate me at all. I’m going to be ready.”
– Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipović

Dona Pettway

Belt Rank:
5th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Tae Kwon Do
MMA

Joined KSK:
2006

 

Dona` Pettway hails as a Master Karate Instructor who uses his skills to help build character in all people. His career in Martial Arts began in 1994 at South Post Oak Baptist Church where he trained under the structured leadership of Master Instructor, Philip Plumber who is credited as having been Dona`’s trainer for the majority of his career. Dona` was a member of the Soldiers for Christ Karate Team where he gained numerous titles as an underbelt in local tournaments.

After achieving his Red Belt from Mr. Plumber, Dona` was allowed to train with well known respected martial artists, George Minshew and Louis Garcia. Under their instruction, Dona` gained his first Silver World title for continuous sparring 18+ for the 1997 Super Grands. During the same year, Dona` was inducted into the Hall of fame for the Texas National Tour and was named State Champion in Men’s Continuous Sparring. Always on a quest for higher achievement, Dona` began to train with the famous Master Nguyen also known as “White Ninja” from the nationally acclaimed Chuck Norris moayavie, Sidekicks. Master Nguyen, a well known world champion, promoted Dona` to his First Degree Black Belt in September of 1998. After which, he continued to receive advanced degrees; his 2nd Dan in 2002 and his 3rd Dan in 2005 in Dallas, TX.

Because, Dona` had achieved so much success and recognition that he felt compelled to give back to Martial Arts, he thought that it was only fitting to give back to the community. He became an instructor for the Chuck Norris KICKSTART KIDS programs in public schools in 2006 along with Mr. Loebe and Mr. Huerta. Their goal was to help guide youth in positive directions while teaching the fundamentals of Martial Arts. In 2008, Master Nguyen promoted Dona` to his 4th Dan Master Degree. Because of his successful journey, Master Dona` Pettway has opened Pettway’s Texas Karate Organization where his focus is to train and promote his own Black Belts while taking good people and making them well rounded from beginning to end.

Cesar Paz

Belt Rank:
4th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do
KSK

Joined KSK:
2008

Mr. Paz is a product of the KICKSTART KIDS Program. He began taking martial arts in 6th grade with so much hope and loyalty. The program itself has done wonders for him. It has given him role models, not only through his instructor but many other mentors throughout the program. He has been shaped into a young man who wants to only give back to others what the program has given to him.

Patricia Rivera

Belt Rank:
4th Degree Black Belt

Style:
KICKSTART KIDS

Joined KSK:
2015

Ms. Rivera is a Kickstart Kids alumni from Stevenson Middle School. She joined KSK as an instructor in 2015 because she wanted to give back to the program that impacted her life in such a positive way. She enjoys playing sports, running, and reading when she’s not teaching martial arts.

rommel gargoles

Belt Rank:
6th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan

Joined KSK:
2016

Bio coming soon…

Derek Gutierrez

Belt Rank:
5th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
2000

Mr. Gutierrez is a 5th degree Black Belt in Chun Kuk Do and is KICKSTART KIDS’ very first Black Belt. He has also trained in Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai and MMA. To date, he has promoted over 60 Black Belts in the KICKSTART KIDS program, many of which have gone off to college. Mr. Gutierrez has worked with students that have disabilities from the L.I.F.E. Skills programs and students with disorders in the FLIGHT classes. Teaching for KICKSTART KIDS has given him the opportunity to give back what was given to him.

Damien Sauceda

Belt Rank:
4th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do
KSK

Joined KSK:
2012

Mr. Sauceda has been practicing martial arts for over 12 years and came up through the program under instructor Mr. Stinson. Mr. Sauceda is a 9-time World Champion at UFAF ITC and a two-time Chuck Norris Cup Winner.

“I became a teacher because I want to help improve the lives of my students and help them maximize their potential the way my instructors helped me.”

Mark Beel

Belt Rank:
4th Degree Black Belt

Style:
American Karate
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
August 2006

 

Mr. Beel began his martial arts training in 1998 and later recieved his belt belt in American Karate. Mr. Beel also recently recieved his black belt in Chun Kuk Do in April 2010. While working as a jailer for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office he learned about KICKSTART KIDS. After a little investigation, he was eager to get on board with our program.

“I enjoy working with kids and wanted to seize the opportunity to share with them all the benefits I’ve gained from the martial arts. I want to lead our kids in a direction that would allow them to lead productive and responsible lives.”

augustin ayala

Belt Rank:
2nd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
2014

Coming soon…

Tia Buras

Belt Rank:
3rd Degree Black Belt

Style:
KSK
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
2014

Ms. Buras started her martial arts training in the KICKSTART KIDS Program in 2004 at Black Middle School under KICKSTART KIDS instructor Derrick Stinson. She has since been with the program for 10 years now. In May 2014 she graduated with her Associates in Arts and plans to pursue a degree in Psychology.

“Being able to work for KICKSTART KIDS has been one of the best things I can imagine. I am so thankful for KICKSTART KIDS and the help and guidance I have received to help me get where I am today. To be given the opportunity to shape the lives of children and to be able to make a difference in their lives is amazing.”

“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”
-Bishop T.D. Jakes

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”
-Winston Churchill

Nelvin Celeste

Belt Rank:
5th Degree Black Belt

Style:
American Karate
Kukkiwon Tae Kwon Do

Joined KSK:
2017

Bio coming soon.

Rommel Paul

Belt Rank:
3rd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Tae Kwon Do
Judo
Aikido

Joined KSK:
2017

Bio coming soon.

Coming Soon

Belt Rank:
1st Degree Black Belt

Style:
KICKSTART KIDS

Joined KSK:
2015

Ms. Pinyozy joined Kickstart Kids as a student at Deady Middle School in 2001. She became an instructor in 2015 after making it her mission to “seek out and uplift children and give back what Kickstart Kids has given her.” She stays busy with boxing, kickboxing, skateboarding, and spending time with her son.

Coming Soon

Belt Rank:
2nd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
2016

Bio coming soon.

antonio valle

Belt Rank:
2nd Degree Black Belt

Style:
KICKSTART KIDS

Joined KSK:
2014

Mr. Valle is a Kickstart Kids alumni from Central Middle School in Galveston, Texas. He join Kickstart Kids in 2014 as an Instructor in Training because he wanted to give back to the organization and be a positive influence in student’s lives.

michael pana

Belt Rank:
2nd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Escrima

Joined KSK:
2014

Mike Pana has been training in martial arts for over 20 years. His primary training is in the Filipino martial art of Escrima. He also hold teaching credentials in Jeet Kune Do. His background also includes Shukokai Karate, Kempo, Muay Thai, Boxing, and Brazilian Jujitsu. He has trained in the Philippines, Thailand, as well as the United States. Mr. Pana recently moved to the Dallas area and is excited to work for KICKSTART KIDS.

Robert Sapp

Belt Rank:
7th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
1991

The martial arts has had a tremendous affect on Mr. Sapp’s life and he has witnessed the incredible transformations that has on people and their families. He is a 7th Dan in Mr Norris’s Chun Kuk Do, was awarded 2nd Dan in TKD, black belt in Kenpo, level 2 certification in JKD, proficient in many weapons: Bo, nunchuke, tonfa, sai, sword, baston, dagger and Kama. He has served in Mr Norris’s UFAF organization as regional chairman and board advisory member. He has been a presenter at Mr Norris’s UFAF convention for both martial arts seminars and martial arts business seminars. He has been a presenter for the master development program for Mr Norris’s UFAF organization. Mr Sapp began his training at the Virginia Beach VA. Chuck Norris Karate school. He earned state and regional championships in the AAU karate program and made the Virginia state AAU karate team. He has earned world titles at Mr Norris UFAF convention tournament in weapons, kata and fighting. He has been a coach for Team CKD for the NBL circuit.

“Helping people discover their confidence is priceless. I’m blessed beyond measure and thankful for the opportunity to be a blessing to others.”

Rob Oliver

Belt Rank:
6th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
2009

 

Mr. Oliver began his training under Aaron Norris and Rick Prieto at the Chuck Norris Karate Studio in Virginia Beach,Va. He holds a 6th degree black belt in Chun Kuk Do as a result of many years of hard work and dedication. He was the head instructor at that same studio for over 25 years and in that same token taught quite a few instructors that would grow up to become KICKSTART KIDS staff members.

 

During his time in Virginia Beach he trained in a variety of other styles such as Tae Kwon Do, Jujitsu, and Muay Thai (to name a few) and has a black belt in each of these as well. Mr. Oliver also had a career as a professional kickboxer for a short time and was named one of Mr. Norris’ Top 20 Fighters in Black Belt Magazine for January 1991.

coming soon

Belt Rank:
4th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Tae Kwon Do

Joined KSK:
2015

Bio coming soon.

John Bain

Belt Rank:
9th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Go Hou Kan Kenpo Karate

Joined KSK:
1998

The spark that started Mr. Bain’s martial arts fire was the TV show “The Green Hornet.” This show co-starred the world famous martial artist Bruce Lee as Kato. This led him to his introduction to Tae Kwon-Do by Master Soo Young Cha at the age of 12 in 1969. It was many years later while serving in the US Navy that his serious martial arts instruction began at the Chuck Norris Karate Studio in Norfolk, VA.

It was because of the quality instruction and the personal relationship developed with the Instructors that a burning desire was instilled in him to research and learn as much as possible about the martial arts. Upon his honorable discharge he went to Korea and studied the Korean language at Yonsai University and Tae Kwon Do at the National College of Physical Education in Seoul, South Korea. This experience was priceless as it gave him a real insight into the Korean culture and lifestyle.

Upon returning to the United States, Mr. Bain set out to study and experience many other martial art systems. In the 45 plus years that he has trained in Korean Martial Arts, Okinawan Martial Arts, Filipino Martial Arts, Chinese Martial Arts and American Martial Arts. Mr. Bain holds multiple black belts and teaching certificates. Mr. Bain has said. “I believe we must always keep the spirit of being a student, that way we can learn in all aspects of our life. My job is to give the best quality instruction and continue learning better ways to help my students and their families become winners in life.” In 1998 Mr. Bain came to the Dallas area as an Instructor for Chuck Norris’ KICKSTART KIDS Foundation (Formally Kick Drugs Out Of America). When asked why he joined our cause, Mr. Bain replied, “I am able to make a difference in our future through our youth.”

Mr. Bain has been married to the beautiful Debbie Bain for 20+ years. They have two daughters Caitlan (21+) and Thalia (14+) that are both black belts and active, when time permits, in KSK activities.

AWARDS

  • World Head of Family Sokeship Hall of Fame: Inducted Sept. 1998 – Master Instructor of the Year
  • World Head of Family Sokeship Hall of Fame: Nominated Sept. 1999.
  • World Head of Family Sokeship Hall of Fame: Inducted Sept. 2000 – Millennium Master Instructor
  • W.I.F. International H. O. F.: Inducted 2001 – Lifetime Achievement Award: Outstanding Community Service
  • Texas Martial Arts Hall of Fame: Recognized May 2004
  • World Head of Family Sokeship Hall of Fame: Inducted May 24th, 2008 – Founder of the Year
  • Kenpo International Hall of Fame: Inducted August 6th, 2011 – Sustaining Member
  • Kenpo International Hall of Fame: Warrior Spirit Award Aug 2013
  • USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame: Inducted Aug. 2013 Grandmaster of the Year Kenpo Ju Jutsu
  • USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame: Aug. 16th, 2014; Landmark Award 45 Years in the martila arts

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
– Proverbs 27:17

Kristen Savala

Belt Rank:
2nd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Kuntaw and Arnis

Joined KSK:
2013

Mrs. Savala began training in the martial arts at the age of three under the direction of her father. In 2003, Mrs. Savala was awarded the honorable rank of black belt in Kuntaw and Arnis; a Filipino empty hand system and weapon’s system, respectively. On her way to becoming a black belt, Mrs. Savala was prevalent on the competition circuit where she won many state and national awards. Having an impact in the lives of others is one of her greatest passions. She is grateful for a program like KICKSTART KIDS where she can create an impact in the lives of children while doing what she loves, martial arts.

“For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but give us power, love, and self-discipline.”
-2 Timothy 1:7

Andrew Carrasco

Belt Rank:
5th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Tae Kwon Do

Joined KSK:
2008


Mr. Carrasco has been training in the martial arts since 1988 and received his black belt in Tae Kwon Do in 1995. He is a 5-time Golden Greek Award Winner as well as the World Champion in the 1995 NBL Point Sparring and 32-time Texas State Champion in various AOK, TNT, TKO, and SOCK tournaments.

“Martial Arts has been a part of my life for 22 years and I have witnessed first hand what martial arts can do for an individual. Having an opportunity share my passion through Martial Arts as a tool to direct children in a positive direction is something you can’t put a price on. The main reason why I joined KICKSTART KIDS is to give the kids who are less fortunate an opportunity in life to be successful, enjoy their childhood, and take the lessons from martial arts and apply it to their own lives.”

coming soon

Belt Rank:
5th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Karate-Do

Joined KSK:
2016

Bio coming soon.

julianna holmes

Belt Rank:
3rd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Tae Kwon do
Hapkido

Joined KSK:
2014

With a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, Ms. Holmes began her martial arts journey in 1995 in her hometown of Indianapolis, IN. After earning a brown belt in Shorin-Ryu karate, she switched to Taekwondo in 1998 and earned her black belt in 2001.

In addition, she earned her black belt in Hapkido through the United States Hapkido Federation and studies Tai Chi.

In 2005 Ms. Holmes began working for KICKSTART KIDS in Dallas, Texas and served as instructor in both Maple Lawn elementary and Bowie M.S.

“ I am so excited to be rejoining the KICKSTART KIDS family and am committed to being the difference in the lives of all our students!”

Mark Wilkinson

Belt Rank:
3rd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Shito-Ryu
Uechi-Ryu

Joined KSK:
2008

I wanted to help people improve themselves and had heard about KICKSTART KIDS through several different sources and decided that is what I wanted to do…help kids be responsible adults.

“The teaching of one virtuous person can influence many; that which has been learned well by one generation can be passed on to a hundred.”
– Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo (1860-1938)

Kim Morgan

Belt Rank:
3rd Degree Black Belt

Style:
AKR

Joined KSK:
August 2004


Mr. Morgan started with KICKSTART KIDS in 2004.

” I love teaching Martial Arts, and I love teaching children so this job
is a real dream. I believe that helping children learn character will
help us all in the end. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.”

Jeremy McQuivey

Belt Rank:
3rd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
2002


I recently read a story that sums up what the martial arts and KICKSTART KIDS is and has been in my life.

Benjamin Zander has been the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra since 1979. At age forty-five, something changed within him. He explained “I’d been conducting for twenty years, and I suddenly had a realization. The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound. (his power depends) on his ability to make other people powerful. And that changed everything for me. I realized my job was to awaken possibility in other people.” He continues, “If their eyes are shining, you know you’re doing it. If their eyes are not shining, you get to ask a question: who am I being that my players’ eyes are not shining?”

To say that my instructors made me a more powerful person and awakened my potential is an understatement, they helped make me the person I am. Through KICKSTART KIDS I have the opportunity to help make my students powerful, to awaken them to their possibilities, a chance to change their lives. There is no better life than being able to get up in the morning with the goal of “”awakening the possibilities in others””, and that is exactly what KICKSTART KIDS does.

Jessica Hellman

Belt Rank:
2nd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
June 2008

 

“My journey with KICKSTART KIDS began in 1996 when I joined the program as a 5th grader. In March of 2004 I received my Black Belt. After going to college I had the good fortune of being able to become an instructor for this life changing program.”

Cristina Rodriguez

Belt Rank:
3rd Degree Black Belt

Style:
American Tae Kwon Do

Joined KSK:
2012

Ms. Rodriguez is a Kickstart Kids alumni from Florence Middle School. She joined Kickstart Kids as an Instructor in Training in 2012 and was promplty promoted to the instructor at Polk Middle School. She enjoys the gym, running outdoors, and spending time with her family.

Wallace Smedley

Belt Rank:
6th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Hung Gar Kung Fu
Chang Hon Taekwondo

Joined KSK:
August 2002

Wallace Smedley began his Martial Arts training in 1983. He began his study under Wu Jiang Tung in Hung Gar. He earned a Black Belt rank in the system began and teaching in 1989. In 1993 he took up the study of Taekwondo. He earned a black belt in 18 months, and became a Regional, State and then National Grand Champion along the way. He has written and published several books and many articles on the martial arts. He began working for KICKSTART KIDS in August of 2002. He has said, “I wanted to be a part of KICKSTART KIDS because of the mission, ‘To Save and Change Children’s Lives’. I am living proof of what the martial arts do for people. No one would have ever suspected that a timid, introverted, bullied child would turn into what I am today, and the martial arts are what turned things around. Now I get to share that journey with kids and help them to find inner-strength and confidence to go out and pursue their dreams.” He enjoys working with at-risk youth and has said, “The martial arts impact a person’s life on so many levels. The changes in a person’s levels of self-confidence, self-discipline and self-reliance are phenomenal. Through KICKSTART KIDS I have a chance, every day, to change a child’s life for the better.”

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou

coming soon

Belt Rank:
4th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Dan Taw Kwon Do

Joined KSK:
2016

Bio coming soon.

coming soon

Belt Rank:
6th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Tang Soo Do

Joined KSK:
2016

Bio coming soon.

Ben Mendez

Belt Rank:
4th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Tae Kwon Do

Joined KSK:
2014

Mr Cooper started Martial Arts in Galveston when he was nine at Alamo Elementary School after hours. “It wasn’t anything to brag about, but it’s where I started.” From there, he and his brother enrolled into a real school at Ishmael Robles’ Martial Arts America, where he studied for two years. After a death in my family, they relocated to Bethel, Connecticut, where he studied in Chinese and Japanese Kempo for two years. They came back to Galveston, and resumed training with Ishmael Robles. Under the tutelage of Grandmaster Robles, Master Ben Mendez, Michael Emmanuelle, and a host of others, he achieved a Black Belt in December 2005, a second in 2007, a third in 2009, a fourth in 2012, and he continues to train for his 5th sometime in 2017. In Galveston, Mr. Cooper was honored with the roles of instructor, chief instructor, outreach coordinator, and even janitor. “That’s right, I was honored to clean those floors. Now, I’m honored to count myself a small member of the KICKSTART KIDS team of splendid Martial Artists and their world class support team and administrators. This is how you run a Martial Arts program.”

rachel gonnella

Belt Rank:
2nd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Jeon Sa Mu Sul

Joined KSK:
2012

 

I have been training for 9 years, and am a second degree black belt in Jeon Sa Mu Sul. I enjoy all areas of martial arts, including Kata, Weapons, and Fighting. I have 12 World Titles in these areas through USKA and UMAHoF, and hope to keep competing in the future.

Nothing makes me more proud than seeing my students succeed, whether it is in class, at a tournament, or in another area of their life. I hope to influence many children in a positive manner through KICKSTART KIDS.

“Martial arts is not about fighting; it’s about building character.”
-Bo Bennett

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
-Aristotle

Elijah Robinson

Belt Rank:
4th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Wing Chun Kung Fu

Joined KSK:
2014

Mr. Robinson joined Kickstart Kids in 2014 as an Instructor in Training and was swiftly promoted to a full-time instructor position at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville, Texas. He was mentored under Mr. Warren Scott at Hendrickson and his friendship with, KSK instructor, Jason Chartouni brought him to the organization. He enjoys gardening and bonsai cultivation.

Teddy Coleman

Belt Rank:
2nd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Chun Kuk Do

Joined KSK:
2008

Mr. Coleman grew up learning martial arts at the official Chuck Norris Karate Studio in Virginia Beach, VA being taught under the instruction of Mr. Kurek, Mr. White, Mr. Saenz, among others. He is also a KICKSTART KIDS alumni studying under John Kurek at Central Middle School. All of his instructors have been a great influence upon his life and initially where the ones that motivated him to join KICKSTART KIDS.

levi turner

Belt Rank:
3rd Degree Black Belt

Style:
Tae Kwon Do

Joined KSK:
August 2011

Mr. Turner has been teaching karate for about 15 years and holds 2 national titles and 5 gold medals for state championships. Mr. Turner has enjoyed martial arts all of his life, from competing to teaching. He has won state championship competition consecutively 5 times. He enjoys the work he does with KICKSTART KIDS because he realizes not only that he has been given the opportunity to teach kids karate and self -defense, he has been given the opportunity to help change kid’s lives. At the end of every day, bad or good, he knows there is at least one life that he has touched and changed for the better.

‘There is truly nothing like doing what I love for a living and being able to change lives in the process. This job gives me a sense of joy by knowing that I’m giving back to my community and the future of the world that we live in.”

Mike Fillmore

Belt Rank:
10th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Tae Kwon Do | Jeon Sa Mu Sul

Joined KSK:
2008

Mr. Fillmore has been studying the Martial arts since 1973. He started in a martial art program in his elementary school, that had a concept similar to KICKSTART KIDS but it was only on Fridays. He feels strongly that his martial arts instructors through the years have always guided him in the right direction. “Through their giving, I was not only able to achieve my Black Belt, I was also able to achieve my dream of being a World Champion several times! I was really thankful for their guidance and giving.” Through this process, he ran one of the largest martial arts facilities in the Stafford/Sugarland Texas with over 300 world titles won by his students, achieved an 8th Dan black belt in Taekwondo, was awarded a Sokeship to establish his own system of Jeon sa Mu Sul, then Promoted to 10th Dan.

“I was given so much by my instructors and that is why it is so pleasurable for me to give back through KICKSTART KIDS!”

Ben Mendez

Belt Rank:
6th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do

Joined KSK:
2006

Mr. Mendez was first introduced to the KICKSTART KIDS Program when the program opened in Galveston in 1992. The Black Belts of the program would come train at his instructors commercial school in the evening and they created great friendships. In August 2006 there was a need for an instructor in the Houston ISD and he was chosen to continue that program. After three years a new program was to begin in Navasota and he was given the opportunity to be the initial instructor.

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to Start to be great!”
– Zig Ziglar

coming soon

Belt Rank:
TBA

Style:
TBA

Joined KSK:
2015

Bio coming soon.

Ramon Henninger

Belt Rank:
5th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Tae Kwon Do

Joined KSK:
tba

Bio coming soon.

Jason Chartouni

Belt Rank:
4th Degree Black Belt

Style:
Tae Kwon Do

Joined KSK:
2009

 

Mr. Jason Chartouni earned his black belt in 1996 in Tae Kwon Do. He has competed in martial arts for over 20 years, accumulating 10 state championships, national and world titles in sport karate. During his time with KICKSTART KIDS, he has promoted 5 students to Black Belts, won the most competitive school award 4 consecutive years and has trained over 30 KICKSTART KIDS’ State Champions. He is also the tournament director for Central Texas and a member of TEAM KICKSTART and Team Gypsy-both internationally sponsored competition teams. Mr. Chartouni truly enjoys student success through martial arts.

tristan flores

Belt Rank:
1st Degree Black Belt

Style:
Kickstart Kids

Joined KSK:
2016

Bio coming soon.

michael garner

Belt Rank:
2nd Degree Black Belt

Style:
TBA

Joined KSK:
2014

Mr. Garner has been training in martial arts since he was in the 6th grade. Since then he has developed skills spanning three different martial arts, has acquired a world title and has learned over 15 different forms. He is looking forward to broadening his experience further during his time with KICKSTART KIDS, along with expanding the horizons of his students that seek to better themselves.