At Empower Martial Arts, we are dedicated to serving our community through teaching martial arts and life skills. We believe in cultivating strong, confident, focused, and respectful individuals that empower themselves and others. Through our every thought and action, we are committed to developing an empowered you, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Come take the journey to self-improvement with us.
Our team of instructors is passionate about serving our community, helping others succeed, and teaching martial arts. From a fresh perspective and relatability from our younger team members to years of life experience and insight from our adult team, each instructor is highly knowledgeable and has plenty of wisdom to offer. We are proud to have such a strong instruction team that is driven by sharing their expertise and their love of helping others. We are most rewarded by seeing our students grow and improve over the years, both in and out of the dojo.
Meet the Team
Shihan Samar Shirmohamadi
As part of the team, I strive to make a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of our students and family members each and every day. I'm extremely grateful to be able to use martial arts as a way to inspire, motivate, and empower others to be their best.
Sifu Francesca Apaya
I love to work with the children because they are honest, spontaneous, and full of positive energy. The connections I have made with students have allowed me to see the world through different lenses. Life doesn't always have to be taken so seriously, but there is always something new to learn!
Chief Leah Valencia
I really enjoy working with the kids and helping them to be their best. They're all so awesome and make being a Sifu so much fun for me.
Sifu Liana Waga
Martial Arts is so much more than movements on the mat. It's about dedication, discipline, confidence, and grit to name a few. It's these important characteristics that I strive to instill in my students. Having fun is also pretty important...gotta have some laughs along the way!
Instructor Satvik Bandi
Ever since the beginning of my karate journey, I have been inspired by other instructors who infused a creative style of teaching into their classes. Here at Empower Martial Arts, I hope to do the same to have both the students and myself engaged in what we are learning.
Instructor Alicia Duarte
When I begin a class, everything clears from my mind. All I am concerned with is trying to help shape these young beautiful children into well-mannered, disciplined students. I love to watch my students grow and learn new things. Teaching is one activity where I feel "at home.”
Instructor Isabella Gonzales
I enjoy teaching kids because I am able to help them on their martial arts journey. Not only am I able to teach them self-defense, but I'm also able to teach them skills that they can carry on throughout life, like confidence, respect, and integrity.
Instructor Allison Valencia
I teach because I enjoy inspiring others on their journey to becoming a martial artist.
Instructor Jeffery Wong
I enjoy seeing students, youth and adults, learn and develop into well-rounded martial artists. It's more than punching and kicking. It’s respect, honor, hard work, and tradition! I enjoy motivating and driving others stay fit for life! It's a personal interest of mine too.
Mr. Ronak Chakraborty
I have always admired the culture around this dojo. It is one of respect, grit, discipline, confidence, and fun. Now, I am honored to have the opportunity to help pass on that culture to others!
Mr. Jacob Morada
I enjoy teaching at the dojo because it gives me the chance to develop and experience many social and life skills at a young age. I also enjoy all the students I get to teach, who mature and learn just like I do. It’s not about the notoriety, instead gaining a chance to progress and learn with my EMA family.
Ms. Harley Tsujimoto
I enjoy teaching because I love getting to know all the students and watch them earn their next belt knowing that I helped in mentoring them. When I'm watching the students it inspires me to be the best I can be.
Mr. Ryan Wong
Ms. Mika David
At the dojo, each student, parent, and team member has made me as if I belong here. What truly inspires me to do my best is the community fostered between all of us. My goal is to help people see they belong here as well and I hope to make everyone feel welcomed once they step into the dojo.
Mr. Brennan Loy
Martial arts was a keystone in growing up. I believe the values and the personal growth that come with training are what helped make me who I am and who I continue to become. I hope to teach those same life values and inspire students to always improve.
Ms. Mirna Maamou
Ms. Marjan Mahjouri
Over the years I've been grateful to watch the kids who come to our dojo to grow into confident, independent, capable and poised human beings. There is nothing more rewarding and empowering than creating a safe and trusting community for our parents and students.
Ms. Rachel Wong
Chief Luke Valencia
From our start in 2010 (formerly known as Shir Martial Arts), we have catered to families and individuals who want to better themselves through martial arts. It’s very important for us to contribute to our community as we stay involved by sponsoring and participating in local events.
Our base style is Kajukenbo, a hybrid martial art, which incorporates a mixture of striking, blocking, kicking, stand-up and ground combat, choreographed forms, and self-defense. The style borrows from other martial arts such as karate, judo, jujitsu, kenpo, and boxing. This style was developed by five martial artists, being officially founded in Oahu, Hawaii in 1947. We practice a modified version of our base style to best serve the students and families we teach, while still keeping the values & philosophies that tie us with traditions of the past.