Instructors | Austin Karate Academy

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Passion Dedication Commitment

Martial arts, when trained under a dedicated master, teach self discipline and leadership skills. That's exactly what has happened for Indi at AKA and Master Mukherjee. I never felt the need to push my kids into any leadership camps as they train at AKA where they are encouraged to lead, help, and support each other all the time. This whole journey of a white to black belt will mold your children into natural leaders clubbed with empathy and self-discipline. When you are part of WTSDA (World Tang Soo Do Association), no matter where you are, you are always accepted with the same fervour. As soon as shelter-in-place was announced, Austin Karate Academy moved virtual. AKA's ability to operate in this new normal is evident from the fact that we actually accomplished testing for promotion to next level belts with the same vigour. I also would like to share this vital point I tell my kids often: Master Mukherjee along with his other teaching staff have full-time jobs. Yet, they never look or sound exhausted when they are at AKA training their students. That passion, dedication, and commitment is what our children need as a take-home lesson

Chandra Krishnan reviewed Austin Karate Academy
via Facebook

AKA is an amazing place for your child to experience positive self-growth in a great environment. Both our kids have learned valuable life lessons as they progress and strive to move up in rank and skill level. Master Mukherjee is amazing and has a great intuitive understanding of children as they try something challenging in a communal environment. All kids are different and he takes the right approach to bring out the best effort in each one. More experienced students who have been in the program for years are intimately involved in assisting the kids learn forms and techniques. Parents of kids are welcome to sign up with the kids and go through the process together.

Adrian Cardenas reviewed Austin Karate Academy
via Facebook

Great Karate school!! Excellent instructors! Very family oriented.

Shawn N Sawyer reviewed Austin Karate Academy
via Facebook

Awesome place to learn martial arts and achieve goals. Super instructor.

Paul Grudowski reviewed Austin Karate Academy
via Facebook

What a great place to instill confidence, coordination, athleticism, and respect in your child. Our daughter has been training at AKA for almost 10 years (from 5 year old Tiny Tiger to 2nd degree black belt) and has loved every minute.

Tammy Partridge reviewed Austin Karate Academy
via Facebook

My son has been attending austin karate since he was 5 years old and a white belt. He is now 11 years old and a blue belt and on his road on becoming a black belt. He wanted to quit many times but stuck with it with some encouragement from parents. He loves it and loves teaching the younger belts. He looks forward to class every time he goes. The instructors are helpful and encouraging. My son is more disciplined and takes pride in being a part of AKA.

Manjima Kundu reviewed Austin Karate Academy
via Facebook

My 2 daughters and I have been part of AKA family for quite some time. They teach not only martial arts, but also good manners, mutual respect, leadership skills and fitness. It is a family like environment. The instructors are kind and friendly. From my own experience as an adult student I can say that you don't have to be strong or in a good shape to get started. You just need to be brave and determined to get started and rest will follow you. Thanks Mr. Mukherjee and Ms. Carla for the push I needed. Great place and I highly recommend for you and your children.

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Meet our instructors!

Master Dave Mukherjee

4th DAN International Master Instructor

Master Dave Mukherjee is the Owner and Head Instructor of the Austin Karate Academy. Master Mukherjee has a life-long fascination with Martial Arts and began his Karate training when he was 12 years old. Currently, he holds a 4th Degree Black Belt Master as well as Instructor’s Certification from the World Tang Soo Do Association. Master Mukherjee is a strong proponent of using Martial Arts training to develop a Better Person. He believes that training in Karate can play an important role in Mental and Physical development – it provides a boost to Self-Confidence, Mental Discipline, and refinement of Motor Skills. His main philosophy is to provide an environment where students are surrounded by a family environment where they can develop Mind, Body, and Spirit through training in Karate. He believes in empowering individuals, couple and families to reach their fullest potential and become better citizens in their communities.

Over the years Master Mukherjee studied different Martial Arts like Kyokushin-Kai Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Hap Ki Do, and Tang Soo Do. He is also an Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) certified Kickboxing Instructor. Master Mukherjee competed and won awards in numerous Regional and World Championships.

Interesting facts about Master Mukherjee
– Over 30 years practicing and instructing Martial Arts
– Specialize in Open Hand, Kicking Techniques, Sparring Drills, Self-Defense skills, and Weapons
– 2007 and 2014 Regional Instructor of the Year
– 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 Regional Black Belt Grand Champion
– Holds a Master Degree in Computer Science, and works as an IT professional in one of the World’s largest retail company. He thrives in his high demanding work and at the same time maintains a high quality Martial Arts training environment at the academy.

Mr. Alejandro Cardenas

3rd DAN Certified Instructor

Mr. Alejandro Cardenas has been training for over 10 years, and teaching over 5 years. He is a 3rd Degree Black Belt with World Tang Soo Do Association, and also a certified Instructor. He specializes in open hand techniques both kicks and punches, weapons like long/short sticks, Nunchuks, Swords, Breaking as well as Self-Defense techniques.

Mr. Cardenas pays close attention to what each student does and is aware of their strengths and weaknesses. He is a great motivator, he helps students maintain their interest while at the same time helping them overcome their individual weaknesses. He always corrects the students techniques not only by getting them in the correct position/form, but by also explaining how and why it should be done that way. He knows what their understanding level is as well as their functional level. Mr. Cardenas always leads by example, and our students simply adore him!

Ms. Tracey Ruhlman

2nd DAN Certified Instructor

A native of Nova Scotia, Canada and long time resident of New Orleans, LA, Dr. Ruhlman settled in Austin in 2009 after completing her doctorate in Biomedical Sciences. Although a life long athlete, Dr. Ruhlman came to Austin Karate Academy with no Martial Arts experience. Joining AKA in 2012 at the age of 43, she discovered a passion that has become a central focus of her life: Training in Tang Soo Do and sharing her experience with our students. Outside of teaching and training, she is a Research Scientist at the University of Texas at Austin, and enjoys travel, cooking, live music, hiking and spending time with her husband and teenage son.

Mr. Vijay Joglekar

First DAN Certified Instructor

Mr. Vijay Joglekar was born in India but moved to the US for his graduate studies. He then joined IBM in Austin 32 years ago and has been here since then. He left IBM in 2008 to run a startup in Austin. Following that, he joined Hewlett Packard Enterprise in 2011 as a Business Development Executive. He is also a lecturer in the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas here in Austin.

Vijay started karate with his son back in 2010. He enjoys teaching karate. His other hobbies include working on his 737-800/900 flight simulator and robotics.