Luis Garcia, 7th Degree Black Belt TKD
and a Brazilian Ju-Jitsu Black belt, is the Houston Karate Academy Co-Owner and Chief Instructor, with 30 years in the martial arts. Mr. Garcia is World Martial Arts Ranking Association member number 138.
He began his martial arts career in September 1985 under April Cunningham at the Houston Karate Academy. Mr. Garcia earned his Tae Kwon Do Black Belt from Ms. Cunningham in October of 1988, and his list of competition accomplishments includes many titles; of the most prestigious, are his state, National and World Titles. In 1998, Mr. Garcia won the National Black Belt League World Championships, in the men’s’ super heavy weight continuous sparring division. Mr. Garcia also appeared in the Chuck Norris movie "Sidekicks" as a competition fighter.
Today, Mr. Garcia leads all programs at HKA and teaches young people from ages 3 & ½ to Seniors in three separate programs. Mr. Garcia was the first in the city to pioneer a program for “Little Kickers”, children from ages 3 & 1/2 to 7 years old. The program teaches the responsibility of knowing Karate, role playing for self defense situations, anti kidnapping techniques, and how to recognize and avoid danger.
Mr. Garcia is also a Brazilian Ju-Jitsu Black Belt under Mr. Art Alvarado, Caique, who are under Helio Gracie of the famed Gracie family. He also have a 3rd Degree Black Belt in the Bujinkan System. Mr. Garcia has been teaching martial arts for 25 years, and feels that the real rewards are in your student’s progress and accomplishments!
Brenda Milner, 5th Degree Black Belt TKD
In August 1993, I began my 21 year martial arts career with Ms April Cunningham 9th Degree Black Belt and Mr Luis Garcia 7th Degree Black Belt at Houston Karate Academy. Ms Milner is a World Martial Arts Ranking Association member number 144.
Received 1st Degree Black Belt in March of 1996
Received 2nd Degree Black Belt in November of 2001
Received 3rd Degree Black Belt in August 2005
Received 4th Degree Black Belt on November 11, 2010
Received 5th Degree Black Belt on November 7, 2014
I have 2 sons, Matthew and Andrew that are Junior Black Belts at HKA and feels strongly that their experience here has enriched their lives, giving them both more confidence, self-esteem, and discipline that they will continue to use in their advanced education and their adult lives.
Being at Houston Karate allows me the opportunity to teach our young people, to see the excitement in their eyes and their desire to learn. I feel very strongly about teaching children to have respect for themselves and each other and that nothing is impossible. I also believe teaching children in today’s society includes teaching them to be aware of their environment and knowing what to do or who to call in an emergency or in an uncomfortable situation. Our children are so smart and it makes me so proud to be a part of their Houston Karate lives.
I am also active in the Adult program teaching the principals and values of HKA and believe that even as adults we are all continuing to improve our selves, our minds and to help other people. It is my belief that one’s actions no matter how small do make a difference and that one can always continue to grow and learn.
The Bo is my weapon of choice, but I also have training with the nunchuck’s and kama’s. I have trained several students to learn the advanced Bo Kata as well as developed a 2 person kata with Daryn Ofcarzak as demonstrated at her rank exam of 1st degree Adult Black Belt.
As a mixed martial artist, I have been studying Aikido “The Way of Harmony” under the direction of Sensei Michael Black, and Sensei Cesar Aguirre. I continue to attend all belt tests and show support for all our students as well as help with community service projects, such as the Shriner’s Hospital, the Girl Scouts Best Defense Program and Women’s Self Defense Seminars.
Jonathan Pyndus, 4th Degree Black Belt TKD
has been with Houston Karate Academy since September 10, 2001, under Master Luis Garcia and Master April Cunningham. In January 2004 he began assisting Mr. Garcia with instructing classes and fell in love with teaching, as it allowed him to share his passion for the martial arts with others. He currently assists Mr. Garcia in teaching the advanced and elite junior programs, as well as with the adult class, and summer weapons camps. He also teaches private lessons in basic and advanced martial concepts.In December of 2006 Jonathan began training in Bujinkan Budo Ninpo Taijutsu [武神館武道忍法体術] under Shihan Rich Cearley. In November 2011 Jonathan travelled to Japan and passed the Sakkijutsu [殺気術] exam before Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi Soke [初見良昭宗家](Grandmaster) and earned his Shidoshi Menkyo [指導し免許](teaching license). Jonathan goes to Japan as often as he can to train under Hatsumi Sensei and the senior Japanese teachers [師範](Shihan). Jonathan trains under and assists Cearley Sensei with the Bujinkan classes on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Additionally, in January 2014 Jonathan began training in Shaolin Kung Fu [小林功夫] (Longfist [長拳]and White Crane [白鶴拳]) and later Yang Style Taijiquan [楊氏太極拳] (108 frame) under Instructor Edmund Kao of the Yang Jwing-Ming [楊俊敏博士] lineage. Through his graduate and seminar studies, he has also had the chance to study the Yang Style 24 frame and 27 frame sequences and their applications. In 2014 Jonathan began studying Kuntao Silat [拳法 Silat] (Indonesian and “Old Hand” Chinese martial arts) following an introduction to the system by one of his Bujinkan teachers, Shihan Joseph Adriance. He is currently ranked Level Five Teacher in Malabar Kuntao Silat under Bapak (Grandmaster) Steve Gartin. Jonathan is a licensed Level 1 Qigong [気功] Instructor under Jeff Primack of the Supreme Science Qigong Federation, and teaches the Houston Karate Academy Qigong Class on Sundays.
Jonathan graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010 and then earned his massage therapy license (LMT). He works almost exclusively with the disabled and handicapped. He is currently pursuing his Masters Degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MAOM) at the American College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, training in Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Acupressure massage, and Medical Qigong. Jonathan hopes to continue to be of service to those in need. Jonathan believes that the martial arts are a pathway for endless self-improvement and personal discovery, allowing us to live according to our truest nature.