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, 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.

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 also just promoted to 6th degree master in December of 2019.

Master Rich Gross, 7th Dan

Master Rich Gross earned his black belt in 1994 having trained at Mountain Karate in Mount Pocono, other areas schools   Master Gross is presently a 7th Dan working on achieving Grandmaster rank very soon. Master 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. Master 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 Master Gross was awarded Master of the Year by the EUSAIMAA.

Master Kevin L Kresge, 7th Dan

Master Kresge trained under Grandmaster Nenow, beginning in 1982. Master 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. Master Kresge has been a competitor for many years with many championships. Master Kresge currently teaches alongside with the other Masters and we are proud to have Master Kresge and his knowledge.

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 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 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.

Grandmaster/Soke Lee Lesisko, 9th 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.

Master Marty Olewine, 7th Dan

Master Olewine started his Martial Arts journey in 1980 with a brief experience in 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. He earned the rank of Master in 2001. He then strated House of Legend, which was a Tae Kwon Do based style, specializing in street application and hand to hand combat, rather than sport. Master Olewine now proudly trains at Mountain Karate Academy since 2016. Using his 38 years’ experience training with many different black belts and schools, he teaches a blend of self-defense, street smart defense, along with traditional Tae Kwon.

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 Rod Brearman, 5th Dan

Master Brearman began his martial arts training in 1990 while attending college at Penn State University, in the art of Shorin Ryu Karate. Upon his return home in 1991, he spent a short time at Hoover Karate Academy before finding his home at Dynasty Karate in 1992. While training under Grandmaster Nenow in 1995, he earned his black belt in American Tae Kwon Do, followed by his 2nd and 3rd degree ranks in 2000 and 2006, respectively. During that time Master Brearman had competed on a national level with the USAKF as well as locally, including the Keystone State Games. After the passing of Grandmaster Nenow, Master Brearman was co-founder of the House of Legend Martial Arts along with Master Olewine. He taught a Tae Kwon Do based style, specializing in street application and hand to hand combat. He earned his master rank in 2012. Master Brearman has also trained in several other martial arts disciplines including Kenpo, Muay Thai, American Kickboxing, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Now, after joining with Mountain Karate Academy in 2015, Master Brearman shares his nearly 30 years’ experience teaching the students at MKA.

Master Ron Keblish, 4th Dan

Master Keblish started his martial arts training in 1991 at the Hoover Karate Academy. He went on to train with Grandmaster Nenow at Dynasty Karate, earning his black belt in 2000 in Okinawan Kobodo. Master Keblish was a competitor for many years, competing in local, regional, national and international levels. He also has weapons training and was the weapons instructor under Grandmaster Nenow. Master Keblish not only holds a 4th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, he also has a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and a blue belt in Russian Sambo. He is a former owner at Rat Pack fighting systems, having taught BJJ/Muay Thai/ wrestling and also kickboxing and cardio classes there. Master Keblish returned to his traditional roots in 2017, joining MKA and receiving his master rank in 2019.

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.

Master Mike Long, 4th Dan

Instructor Gary Strohl, 2nd Dan

Instructor Christine Searfoss, 1st Dan

Instructor Paul Heimer, 1st Dan

Instructor Chris Littleford, 1st Dan

Instructor Lily Dickson, 1st Dan

Black Belts

Instructor KayCee McElroy 3rd degree

Instructor Cassie Williams, 3rd degree

Jen Lesisko, 3rd degree

Instructor Cayla Williams, 2nd degree

Kim Fitzpatrick, 2nd degree

Nick Mohamed, 2nd degree

Matt Mohamed, 2nd degree

Mary Scully, 2nd degree

Charles Lucykanish, 2nd degree

Skip Detrick, 1st degree

Isabella Caruso, 1st degree

Gianna Mignella, 1st degree

Harley Detrick, 1st degree

Joseph Nguyen, 1st degree

Zach Morgan, 1st degree

Brad Benner, 1st degree

Steve Garvey, 1st degree

Administration

Sharyl Maglionico

Krysta Fink

Ashlyn LeVan

Cindy Davies

Carol Pankevitch