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Meet the

MKA Staff

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Grandmaster/Soke John Kanzler, 10th Dan

Grandmaster John C. Kanzler /Soke is the executive director of the Eastern USA International Martial Arts Association. He is the founder and headmaster of the American training system of self-defense international inc. and the chancellor of martial arts for the EUSAIMAA College of Martial Arts in advanced education. With over 70 countries worldwide in our Association, Mountain Karate is proud to say that it was the first chartered school and continuing growing strong with multiple staff and students as members of the international family.

Master Paul Maglionico, ph.d., 6th Dan

Master Paul Maglionico started training in the martial arts at the age of five. Throughout the years Master Maglionico has achieved Yuk Dan Master rank in Tang Soo Do, and Dan Rank in Tae Kwon Do /Chung Do Kwan. He continues to expand his knowledge in other martial arts such as Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga, Hapkido, Ki Gong, and Kage Essensu, practicing with Master Rich Gross,  Master Rich Maglionico, Master Kevin Kresge, Master Marty Olewine, Grandmaster / Soke Sean Martin and others, all under the leadership of Grandmaster Kanzler.

 

Some of the awards Master Paul Maglionico has achieved under the EUSAIMAA are Inspirational Martial Arts Leadership, Pinnacle Award of success, Masters Award, Bronze Anniversary Achievement, Platinum Anniversary Achievement, Charter School of the year for 2008, Outstanding contribution to the Martial arts, Martial Arts Image Award, Extraordinary Martial Arts Loyalty, Martial Arts Community Leadership, and Instructor of the year in 2007. Master Maglionico was also an instructor at the Lehigh Carbon Community College, teaching students Tang Soo Do.  He was also hired to teach martial arts at the Tobyhanna Army Depot on-site childcare center.  He is the creator of the Mountain Karate Student manual, the Little Dragons manual, the Instructor Training Course and the Tournament Judges Training Course. At this time, he is creating a student textbook detailing all the necessary requirements for Tang Soo Do advancement.  Mountain Karate also hosts their own Annual Spring Championship Tournament.

 

Master Maglionico is the owner of Mountain Karate Academy, which he took over in 2007. They are proud to be one of the first charter schools with the EUSAIMAA.

 

Mountain Karate has led many fundraising events, such as Dream Come True, The American Cancer Society, AWSOM Animal Shelter, and the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. In addition, the Academy has taught for many outside facilities such as the LCCC Shine program, Stranger Danger and Bullying School programs, and the VA Medical Center in NY.

In November of 2021, Master Paul earned his PhD in Martial Arts. He was presented his diploma from the College of Advanced Education and Martial Arts Studies at the EUSAIMAA conference. 

Grandmaster/Soke Lee Lesisko, 9th Dan

GrandMaster Rich Gross, 8th Dan

Grandmaster Lesisko has over 32 years martial arts experience teaching children, teens, and adults with focus on Jiu Jitsu and Tae Kwon Do . As a karate competitor for 25 years Grandmaster Lesisko competed in weapons, open hand forms, sparring, breaking, self-defense, and musical kata as far south as Georgia, as far north as Massachusetts and as far west as Arizona. He has won over 500 career trophies and awards including 38 tournament Grand Championships. In 1991 The Professional Karate League ranked Grandmaster Lesisko tenth in forms and weapons competition on the PRO/AM National Karate Circuit Region 10 (PA, DE, WV, VA, DC and MD). In 1998 he was rated #1 in forms competition by the World Karate Union rating system and was was also inducted into the World Karate Union hall of Fame as “National Weapons Competitor” for that same year. He has earned recognition titles for student of the year (1983-1984-1985), the title of Sempai (1987), Renshi (1993) and Chief Martial Arts Instuctor (2001). Grandmaster Lesisko routinely teaches classes and assists with the instruction at MKA.

Grandmaster Rich Gross earned his black belt in 1994 having trained at Mountain Karate in Mount Pocono, other areas schools. Grandmaster Gross is proud to be student of Grand Master Joe Trovato who is a direct student under Grandmaster Son in Korea, while serving as a US military green beret.

 

He moved to Lehighton area in 2004 and started training with Master Rich Maglionico and Master Paul Maglionico once again, whom he had trained with years past. in 2006 he passed the torch of Mountain Karate to Master Paul. Grandmaster Gross continues to train and teach at Mountain Karate Academy. He was inducted into the EUSAIMAA  Black Belt Hall of Fame in 1999 and also received the instructor of the year at that time. He has taught many young adults, older adults, and kids groups, in addition to scouts in most security organizations. He continues to study and train in the arts of Tae Kwon Do Chung Do Kwan and Tang Soo Do. In 2010 Grandmaster Gross was awarded Master of the Year by the EUSAIMAA.

GrandMaster Kevin L Kresge, 8th Dan

Grandmaster Kresge trained under Grandmaster Nenow, beginning in 1982. Grandmaster Kresge has been teaching for more than 20 years. He has trained in several styles of martial arts and is proficient in Taekwondo, including sparring, weapons, and traditional forms. He has been a competitor for many years with many championships. Grandmaster Kresge currently teaches alongside the other Masters at MKA. In March of 2023, Grandmaster Kresge achieved his 8th Dan and Grandmaster rank. We are proud to have Grandmaster Kresge and his knowledge.

Master Bernard Pfeiffer, 7th Dan

Master Pfeiffer also trained under Grandmaster Nenow since 1982. He trained in American Tae Kwon Do. He also trained under various other disciplines and has successfully competed in the breaking and sparring divisions on the tournament circuit.

Master Marty Olewine, 7th Dan

Master Olewine started his Martial Arts journey in 1980 in the art of Shotokon. He joined Nenow’s Dynasty in 1984 earning his black belt in 1991. Master Olewine competed on a national level with USAKF from 1987-1995, placing in the top 10 for almost a decade. He also competing in many local tournaments during this time. He earned the rank of Master in 2001. Continuing to train with Grandmaster Robert Nenow, he earned the rank of 6th degree. After the death of Master Nenow in 2010, he then started “House of Legend”. The focus of "House of Legend" was teaching street application and hand to hand combat in a Tae Kwon Do style. Master Olewine now proudly trains at Mountain Karate Academy since 2016. Using his 42 years of experience training with many different black belts and schools, he teaches a blend of self-defense, street smart defense and traditional Tae Kwon do. Master Olewine trained directly under the following masters: Master Andre Berard, Master Don Klingel, Grandmaster Robert C. Nenow. He also trained with the following lineage: Grandmaster Soon-Ho Chang, Grandmaster Francisco Conde, Grandmaster Adriano Emperado, Grandmaster Ed Parker Sr., and Grandmaster Hwang kee.

Master Rich Maglionico. 6th Dan

Master Rich Maglionico originally began training in the martial arts in 1966 in New Jersey learning Japanese style karate he relocated to the Pocono mountains in 1986 and shortly after that he began training in Tang Soo Do. He earned his black belt in 1997 which also trained in judo while stationed at Kunson Air Force Base in Korea under Master Ho in 1969. He advanced to the rank of San Kyu, which is third degree Brown belt. He was president of the judo club at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, competing in tournaments with other bases until he was honorably discharged in 1971. In 1982 Master Maglionico put together the easy to execute and very effective women self-defense program. Master Maglionico has been inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame and received instructor of the year in 2009. Master Maglionico was promoted to 6th degree master in December of 2019.

Master Steve Meining, 6th Dan

Master Meining is a lifelong martial artist who holds rank in Isshinryu karate and is a 6th Dan in American Tae Kwon Do. Master Meining is also proficient in traditional Okinawan weapons.

Master Steve’s interest in the martial arts began in the late 1960’s while serving in the U. S. Air Force at DaNang Air Base during the Vietnam War.  There he got to see the Republic of Korea Marines (the “ROK’S”) in action against the enemy, using their martial arts’ skills.

 

After being honorably discharged, Steve joined the Penn State Karate Club, an affiliate of the Marine Barracks Dojo, at Penn State’s University Park campus, while studying for his Bachelor’s Degree.  There, he eventually attained the ranks of 1st, then 2nd Dan Black Belt in Isshinryu Karate under the instruction of Marine Corp Captain, 6th Dan Stuart Dorow, who was a direct student of Isshinryu’s founder, Okinawan Grand Master Tatsuo Shimabuku.

Master Jan Kresge, 5th Dan

Master Jan Kresge also trained under Grandmaster Nenow. She has trained for over 20 years. She was rated Grandmaster Nenow’s highest ranked female student while training under him.

Master Irv Emerson, 5th Dan

Master Emerson is one of the original students of Grandmaster Nenow. He was a guard for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier while in the military. Master Emerson brings lots of knowledge to the dojang.

Master Mike Long, 5th Dan

Master Mike Long joined Nenow's Dynasty in 1987.  He competed locally and also at the national level in the USAKF from 1989-92. He placed 5th in the nation in sparring in 1991.  He has also won various trophies in sparring at local tournaments.  In 1991, Grandmaster Nenow mentioned in a local paper that Master Long was a hopeful for the US Tae Kwon Do Olympic Team. 

  In November of 2013, Master Long was promoted to Master rank under Master Marty Olewine at House of Legend Martial Arts.  

  He currently is being promoted to 5th degree Master black belt in the summer of 2021 under Master Marty Olewine and the board of masters at Mountain Karate Academy and the EUSAIMAA E.A.C under Grandmaster John Kanzler.  

    Master Long continues to teach and train at Mountain Karate Academy sharing his knowledge and expertise every week.  Mountain Karate Academy is proud to have him on the staff of instructors.   

Master Ron Keblish, 5th Dan

Ron started his training in the Martial Arts in 1991. He earned his; 1st Dan Black Belt in 2000, 2nd/2001, 3rd/2004 from the Legendary Grandmaster Robert C. Nenow. He continued to train under him until his passing in 2010. Ron currently trains at Mountain Karate and was promoted to 5th dan in 2023. 

During his time with Nenow,  Ron started training in Okinawan Kobodo  (weapons) and earned the rank of 1st Dan Black Belt under Hanshi C. Bruce Heilman. Ron competed at local, state and national levels. His proudest moment was when he was part of Grandmaster Nenow's team to travel to St. Petersburg, Russia in 2000.

In 2002, Ron started training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu/submission grappling. He earned his Blue Belt in 2002 under Professor Pedro Sauer, his Purple Belt in 2005 under Marco Santos then Blue Belt in Russian Sambo under Master James Simrell in 2007. Ron has been training under Master Simrell for many years and was given Purple Belt stripes 3/4 by him. Ron also competed in BJJ tournaments. His highlight was winning Gold at NAGA Nationals in 2005.

In 2023, Ron was invited to become an associate member of Professor Fred Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Along with Master Simrell testing, they are happy to share techniques and philosophy of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 

Master Paige Steigerwalt, 4th Dan

Master Paige Steigerwalt is a fourth degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.  She began training at the age of 6 with American-style Tae Kwon Do and transferred to Mountain Karate Academy as an intermediate colored belt to practice Chung Do Kwan, Tang Soo Do, Tae Kwon Do, and Jiu Jitsu. At MKA, she trained under various instructors and earned her first degree black belt at the age of 15.  Dedicating herself to martial arts, she began instructing at MKA and attending international conferences held by the EUSAIMAA.

Black Belts

Instructor Charles Lucykanish, 3rd dan
Instructor ​rose rehrig, 3nd Dan
Instructor Gary Strohl, 2nd Dan
Instructor Cayla Williams, 2nd dan
Instructor Christine Searfoss, 2nd Dan
Instructor Paul Heimer, 2nd Dan
Instructor Chris Littleford, 2nd Dan
Instructor Lily Dickson, 1st Dan
instructor joshua bearer, 1st dan

Jen Lesisko, 3rd dan
Steve Garvey, 2nd Dan
Skip Detrick, 1st dan




 

Administration

Sharyl Maglionico
Krysta Fink
 

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