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Instructors

Your safety is our primary concern! ALL instructors at World Martial Arts Academy are required to successfully pass a criminal background check conducted by the FBI and Illinois State Police.  World Martial Arts Academy Instructors have also been  finger-printed by the Kane County Regional Office of Education.

 

MASTER PHIL

President, World Martial Arts Academy USA

Rokudan (6th Degree Blackbelt), Sensei

Master Phil is a life-long practitioner of the martial arts.  His initial interest was sparked by Sunday afternoon television broadcasts of old Kung Fu movies.  At age 7 in his hometown of Las Vegas, NV, he joined a “Korean Karate” park district class, taught by Shotokan and Taekwondo expert, J.J. Reis, Jr., a retired U.S. Naval Commander.  Master Phil earned his 1st Degree Black Belt during his senior year in high school and continued his martial arts training in college, serving as secretary and assistant instructor for the Stanford University Taekwondo Club.  Always interested in broadening his martial arts experience, Master Phil also participated in the Stanford University Aikido program.  Upon graduating with a BS in Electrical Engineering, Master Phil headed to Denver, CO, where he joined Strantz Taekwondo, which was known for its success in Olympic-style competition.  From Denver, Master Phil moved to the Fox Valley area, where he earned his MBA from DePaul University.  Master Phil established a martial arts program at a local gym in St. Charles and co-founded BAM! Self Defense, a group which taught basic self-defense at the St. Charles Park District. A Hall of Fame Inductee, Master Phil has coached and officiated  at local, state, national, and international competitions, and served as Vice Chairman and Vice President of various state associations.  He continues his training in Shotokan, Modern Arnis, and Aikido under Grandmaster Ramon Ribay.

 

MASTER RODOLFO T. POBLACION, JR.

Master Instructor, World Martial Arts Academy USA

Officer, International Modern Arnis Federation Philippines (IMAFP)

Rokudan (6th Degree Blackbelt), Sensei

Master Rodolfo comes from a martial arts family.  His uncle, Shihan Romeo Tabano, founded the Martial Arts Training Center of the Philippines (MATCOP) in 1975.  Many world-renowned martial artists of all styles visited MATCOP back in the day including Hirozaku Kanazawa, and Antonio Ilustrisimo.  It was at MATCOP in the early 1980s that Master Rodolfo studied Shotokan Karate under our very own Grandmaster Ramon Ribay.  Master Rodolfo’s martial arts resume is extensive and includes induction into the Philippine Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2012, where he was named one of the Top Ten Filipino Martial Artists.  He has competed, coached, and officiated Karate and Arnis tournaments for many years.  His expertise in Modern Arnis has brought him all over the Philippines as well as Hong Kong, and the United States to conduct seminars.  As an officer of IMAFP, he has been instrumental in organizing several of the FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) World Festivals that have taken place in the Philippines.  Master Rodolfo continues his Modern Arnis training under Grandmaster Samuel “Bambit” Dulay, Vice President of IMAFP.  He continues his Shotokan training under Grandmaster Ribay and Shihan Antonio Plotria, President of MATCOP.

 

INSTRUCTOR MARK

Yondan (4th Degree Black Belt), Sempai

Instructor Mark has studied the martial arts for over 40 years.   He is a Chicago native and has been a resident of the Fox Valley area since 1970.  Instructor Mark has experience in Isshin-Ryu Karate, Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Aikido, and Taekwondo.  More recently, he has been studying the internal and healing arts of Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Reiki.  Instructor Mark and his wife own Inglenook Pantry Catering, serving up delicious meals for your special event! (www.inglenookpantry.com)  Instructor Mark continues his martial arts study of Shotokan Karate and Modern Arnis under the direction of Grandmaster Ribay. In 2014, he was named World Martial Arts Academy’s Most Valuable Person.

 

INSTRUCTOR JAKE

Operations Manager, World Martial Arts Academy USA

Sandan (3rd Degree Black Belt), Sempai

Instructor Jake has studied multiple martial arts for nearly 20 years. He received his 1st Degree Black Belt at age 9. A former and once-again student and long-time friend of Master Phil, Instructor Jake has competed successfully in local, state, national, and international competitions.  Under Master Phil’s coaching, Instructor Jake was a 3-time Ilinois State Champion, and a medalist at the Junior Olympics and the North American Open.  Instructor Jake entered the American Line Builders Apprenticeship Training program at age 20.  He credits much of his success in the lineman field to the confidence, discipline, and focus he developed in his martial arts training.  Instructor Jake was 1 of 20 students who completed climbing school — 44 started out.   He became  a Journeyman at age 23 and a Foreman at age 25 for ComEd’s contractor of choice.  When Instructor Jake is conspicuously absent from the dojo for extended periods of time, he is likely working on storm-response duties somewhere in the country.  He has been on the front lines of recovery efforts for hurricanes Gustav, Ike, Irene, and Sandy,  just to name a few.  Instructor Jake has trained in boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, and Taekwondo, and continues his study of Shotokan Karate, Modern Arnis, and Aikido under Grandmaster Ribay and Master Phil.  In 2013, he was named World Martial Arts Academy’s Most Valuable Person.

 

INSTRUCTOR MAREUS

Nidan (2rd Degree Black Belt), Sempai

Instructor Mareus began his study of the martial arts in his hometown of Dumaguete in the Philippines.  He, along with his brother, studied a combat-style of Filipino Martial Arts derived from Mas Oyama’s Kyokushin Karate and the hand-to-hand techniques of Escrima.  Instructor Mareus received his 1st Degree Black Belt over 10 years ago after successfully passing his promotion test in which he had to demonstrate unarmed defenses against attackers with real knives and swords.  He, along with his school-age son, continue their martial arts training under the direction of Grandmaster Ribay.

 

INSTRUCTOR MICHAEL FOLKERTS

Nidan (2rd Degree Black Belt), Sempai

Instructor Michael has been training in Martial Arts for nearly 20 years, beginning with Karate in Muncie, IN. He has trained extensively in the art of Aikido for over a dozen years, earning a rank of Nidan. During this time, he supplemented his Aikido training with Tae Kwon Do and Japanese Jujutsu. He also studied Japanese weaponry — Jo, Bokken, and Tanto, as well as the basics of Kenjutsu (Sword Combat) and Iaijustu (Sword Drawing Combat). A math and music teacher turned anesthetist, Instructor Michael continues training along with his 2 young sons at the World Martial Arts Academy. He generously shares his experience with us and is a key component of Aikido instruction to our advanced students.

 

INSTRUCTOR TOM

Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt), Sempai

Instructor Tom is a life-long student of the martial arts.  He has studied multiple arts throughout his life including Shotokan Karate, Tang Soo Do, Judo, Taekwondo, and Wing Chun.  Instructor Tom was introduced to many of these styles during his service in the military.  He had privilege of training with Modern Arnis founder, Grandmaster Remy A. Presas, during his Chicago seminars in the 1990s.  Now retired from the Kane County Judicial Court where he worked in the Drug Rehabilitation Program, Instructor Tom generously shares his experience with us and continues his martial arts training under Grandmaster Ribay.