Sensei Rochelle Brenner, Founding Director
Sensei Rochelle is a third-degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate and former USA Boxing judge and coach. She began her martial arts career as a child in a family of martial artists and earned her Black Belt from Action Karate in 2000. She was the 2008 National Women’s Golden Gloves Boxing Champion and ranked No. 1 in the nation in her weight class. That same year, Rochelle was the first woman ever honored by the Boxing Writers Association of America for her first-person account of fighting in the ring. She has won numerous sports-writing awards. She was recently featured in the Hall of Fame book, “Championship Rounds.” She is a Temple University graduate. Rochelle opened Action Mt. Airy in August 2017.
Tariq Boston, Director of Collingswood
Tariq, a first degree black belt, is a former NCAA Division 1 All-American and three-sport athlete (track, football and baseball) but his passion is martial arts. If he’s not teaching, he’s training. He first tried martial arts at age 4 and regained his passion for it upon performing stunt work in various films many years later. Tariq has an MBA and a past career as a construction consultant before he realized how much fun it would be to pursue a career in karate. Tariq is also a working actor and model and you will likely see his face on billboards, TV commercials or print ads. He grew up in Mt. Airy. He continues to work at Action Mt. Airy, but also wanted the opportunity to own a business. He is the co-owner, program director and head instructor at Action Collingswood.
Tim Wetzel, Head Instructor
Tim is a lifelong martial artist who trained extensively in Tae Kwan Do and now has his second degree black belt in Kenpo Karate. He has a Master's Degree in Instructional Technology. Tim had a successful career as a professor of computer animation and game arts at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, Drexel University and Moore College of Art before committing to the martial arts full-time. He is a well respected professor with high expectations for his students. His wife and children are also black belts and actively training in martial arts. He grew up in Kenya and has now lived in Philadelphia for over 30 years.
Marion Forsythe, Assistant Instructor
Marion is a certified instructor and second degree black belt at Action Karate. She has a BA in Art Studio & Art History from Chestnut Hill College. She studied French and Marketing as well. Marion has had a diverse career, including leadership of large/remote call center teams. She is currently the Vice President of Business Optimization for FreedomCare. Marion was a Taekwondo student many years ago and was known by her peers and instructors as the "Powerhouse." Marion was inspired to train in Karate by her son. They train together and earned their black belts together.
Dominic Brown, Staff Instructor
Dom started teaching karate as a teenager and has more than 10 years of experience. He started training at age 10 with Master Ed Iannucci and earned his second-degree black belt in a style that incorporates both Karate and Tae Kwan Do. Dom started teaching with Master Ed at age 15 and is proud to set an example and share the knowledge and life skills he gained at a young age. When that karate school shut down during the pandemic, he was hired to teach at Action Karate. If you’ve seen him on the mat, you know he is a completely different person when he is teaching -- everything about him shines. He quickly earned certifications to teach all ages at Action. Dom is a lifelong resident of West Oak Lane who studied business after graduating from the Philadelphia Military Academy. He earned his third-degree black belt under Action Karate’s Master Anthony Atkins in December 2022.
Eva Webb, Assistant Instructor
Eva Webb attends St. Joseph’s University majoring in communications and even leads karate classes in Zoom from her dorm room. In her high school sports career, she competed in varsity cheer, track and fencing. She is now a cheerleader and straight-A student at St. Joe’s. She coordinates karate camp activities and teaches both ninja and basic classes when she’s not doing back flips. She is a first degree black belt.
Jaden Hampton, Assistant Instructor
Jaden began his martial arts career at another karate school that closed during the pandemic. He was one class away from his Black Belt at the time. Within one year of transferring to Action, he earned both his Junior and Senior Black Belts – an incredible feat in such a short period of time for a young man. His impressive skills and athleticism make him a superstar to the students. Jaden works as a certified instructor that leads in ninja, basic, school programs and adult classes. Outside of karate, he enjoys sculpting and completed a career technical skills program. He is a captain and performer on the demo team.
Kelly Van Train, Executive Director, Action Scholarship Fund
Dr. Van Train’s job is managing a non-profit that coordinates 50+ martial arts schools and is based in an office at 9 W. Mt. Airy Avenue. She is also the most active volunteer parent of 4 students at the karate school. Fly-killer, Seamstress, Instructor, Innovative product developer, She-who-knows-everything and gets it done. Kelly has a PhD in molecular biology and works as the Director of contracts and grants for a medical device company, which she says pales in comparison to the accomplishment she felt earning her Black Belt. In her spare time, she has 5 kids, a dog and does all the embroidery. She won a National Championship with Villanova as the two-seat in crew and was a varsity swimmer in high school. Four of her kids are active martial arts students and the other one is a ranked high school squash player.
Francine Keen is a Philadelphia native and the matriarch of an amazing karate family: two of her sons, four of her grandchildren – and several other relatives – have taken up martial arts in the last few years. At first, she adamantly resisted karate, satisfied with bringing her grandkids. She reluctantly joined them and says it was the best decision of her life. The teenage twins got their junior black belts first. In December 2021, she achieved her Black Belt and said, “I am looking forward to my second degree!” She is an assistant instructor, supervises children and completes administrative duties.
Kyia is a high school student and natural leader who sets the standard for making kids feel welcome and confident. As a Junior Instructor, she leads student programs and intro lessons. She earned her Junior black belt and is training for her senior black belt. When she’s not teaching karate, she also wrote a book and enjoys sharing her artwork.
Tyler is the youngest person to earn the rank of Senior Black Belt at Action Mt. Airy after over 5 years of dedicated training. He is a high school student, sings in a choir, and works as a junior assistant leader. He helps in all classes as an enthusiastic leader. Tyler is also one of the captains on the demo team.
Kathryn is a junior black belt and works as a valuable assistant for administrative duties at the karate school. Her duties are focused on using her organizational skills off the mat, from supplies to belts to attendance cards. She is a trailblazer - she was the first student at Action Mt. Airy to lead in a class. She lives with her Black Belt family including their cat Peanut.
De’Asia is the friendliest person at the karate school and you will always find her with a welcoming smile. She started working at Action Karate in summer camps and is now one of the key leaders in ninja class. She loves writing and is pursuing a college degree when she graduates high school.
Samantha is a standout leader who is dependable to teach intro lessons, assist at birthday parties, and teach private lessons. She is a sword specialist as a co-captain of the demo team, and is the first Action Mt. Airy student to win the coveted “green ring” at the Action Invitational tournament. She is particularly skilled with ninjas and students with special needs. She also plays the piano and can bend her elbow backwards. She is the author of “Teachings of the Asah Shark.”
Ihsaan is a high school student . After just a few classes, his talent was impossible to miss. He earned his Junior Black Belt and is currently training for his Senior Black Belt while working part-time as a junior assistant instructor.
Brad Barth is the head instructor at Action Karate Martha’s Vineyard. He is a dual black belt in both Kenpo Karate and Kung Fu and continues to practice both arts. He is a professional martial artist, and has a background as a social worker with state child services in Massachusetts. He’s in a band and can be seen performing gigs with his girlfriend on the Cape.
Lisa Belcastro is the Program Consultant and Instructor for the Ninja Sharks at Action Karate Martha’s Vineyard. She is unbelievably, incredibly accomplished: a mental health expert, director of a homeless shelter, support group leader, former executive at NAMI, avid fisher who had a Grand Slam at the derby, world traveler, ran a marathon in every state, former competitive equestrian, author of six books in the genre Christian romance historical fiction, award-winning organic gardener and serious Disney fan. She has taught kickboxing and pilates.