Sensei Ricky is a 2nd degree black belt. He specializes in self-defense. His weapon of choice: Kamas. Sensei Ricky’s dedication to the Martial Arts has taken him world-wide: competing in Puerto Rico, qualifying in 2011 for WKC (World Karate Championship) in Spain representing the USA. He is also a 5 time Amerikick champion.
Sensei Ricky is part of the 5 time NASKA (North American Sport Karate Association) championship winning Dream Team. They have performed at Madison Square Garden for the Knicks and Liberty basketball teams. Under his leadership, AmeriKick Park Slope and AmeriKick South’s Demo Teams have won multiple championships.
In addition to being a huge sports fan, Sensei Ricky currently attends Bramsonort College, pursuing a degree in endocrinology. The need to use his karate skills has not been many. Sensei recalls an incident in high school. Other than that, the Martial Arts played a huge roll in weight loss and in stabilizing his diabetes.
Sensei Leticia Dumas
Sensei Leticia is our first female white belt student to attain her black belt.
Her competitive spirit has enabled her to travel and competed nationally and internationally, including Spain. Along with the other members of the Amerikick Park Slope Dream Team, Sensei Leticia has performed at Madison Square Garden.
Leticia is currently attending John Jay College pursuing a career in law enforcement.
The road to black belt has not been an easy one for Sensei Leticia but, at this juncture, she looks back and sees each hurdle as stepping stones. Though she has never had to use her martial arts skills to defend herself, her confidence has grown since stepping onto the mat 9 years ago. She is physically and mentally stronger. Her grades in high school went up and she was 3rd in her class. She attributes her focus and success to the Martial Arts.
Sensei Nikolay (Niko) Shegay, is from St. Petersburg, Russia. Sensei
Niko obtained the majority of his education in Russia: high school, 3 years of college and 4
years at University, majoring in Business Management and Organization. Sensei Niko is a
3rd degree Black Belt in Hap Kido, 4 degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon do and a Master in
Kickboxing. He participated in the 2002 St. Petersburg Championship, no gear, Kickboxing.
In 2011, Sensei Niko also competed in 10 Kickboxing matches in Seoul, Korea. Upon
coming to the United States, Sensei Niko continued his education at Long Island University
as well as his martial arts training at The Training Zone.
Sensei Marquez Vargas
Sensei Marquez is a 1st degree black belt. He has the honor of being the first of AmeriKick’s official white belt to earn his black belt. Sensei Marquez has competed nationally and internationally in Spain and Puerto Rico. Sensei Marquez has performed at Madison Square Garden with Sensei Manny Brown and is a member of the 5 time NASKA (North American Sport Karate Association) championship winning Dream Team.
Sensei Marquez’s passion for karate is second only to his passion for food. Sensei’s next aspiration is to delve into the world of culinary arts.
As a child, Sensei Marquez was chubby and lacked confidence. Through the Martial Arts, he has not only gained confidence but lost all of the weight that held him back. Luckily Sensei Marquez has never had to use his skills to defend himself but has helped others to learn how to ward off attackers.
Sensei Dennis Ogando
Sensei Dennis has been studying karate for 9 years and is now a 1st degree black belt. Sensei Dennis has performed at Madison Square Garden with Sensei Manny Brown. He is also part of 5 time NASKA (North American Sport Karate Association) championship winning Dream Team. Sensei has won several 1st place trophies in tournaments such as AmeriKick Internationals and Twin Towers Classics.
Studying the Martial Arts has boosted Sensei Dennis’s confidence, helped with his self-control on and off the mat and has aided in controlling his asthma. Though he has never had to use his skills to defend himself, Sensei Dennis recommends that everyone and anyone to take-up the Arts. Sensei is currently a senior at Benjamin Banneker Academy. He is aspiring to become a linguist to master at least 4 languages in addition to English.
Ms. Carrie Schechter
Carrie Schechter is an ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified instructor with over 18 years fitness instruction nationwide in: Kickboxing, Yoga, Pilates, Boot-Camp Fitness, HITT (High Intensity Interval Training), Tabata. Miss Schechter is also a student at Amerikick Muay Thai Kickboxing and trained So Bahk Do (Mu Do Kwan). She is a personal trainer with a variety of clients from all aspects of life: amateurs, professionals and those looking to improve their overall health and way of life.
Realizing the futility of a good workout regimen without a healthy, balanced diet has lead Miss Schechter to pursue a certification in nutrition. It is not just about getting fit—It is about embracing a healthy lifestyle—Mind, Body and Spirit.
Ms. Ada Vargas
Ms. Ada is the mother of 2 awesome and talented children. She enrolled as a member of Fitness Kickboxing in 2005 as well as enrolled her children into the karate program. Those children are now 1st and 2nd degree black belts, Sensei Ricky and Sensei Marquez. With dedication and hard work through the Fitness Kickboxing program, Ms. Ada lost over 150 pounds.
Not too long after, Ms. Ada was offered the position of Program Director for AmeriKick Park Slope and soon after she became a Fitness Kickboxing Instructor. Currently certified by the AmeriKick Fitness Program, she runs the entire Park Slope Kickboxing program.
Because of her welcoming smile and professionalism, the parents and children adore her. Ms. Ada has become an inspiration to the AmeriKick Fitness Kickboxing members.
Mrs. Cherylann Simon
After battling uterine cancer, going back to school and a major transition in the workforce, Cherylann’s weight went up to 335 pounds. Though her confidence was not hampered by the weight gain or the changes in life, her strength was depleted. Cherylann found AmeriKick Park Slope on her way home one day and decided to give it a try. She called. Spoke with Ms. Ada and was encouraged by the happy and welcoming voice over the phone. Cherylann’s father taught her to box as a child and now she needed to fall back into such workout but with more!!! Two weeks after joining Ladies Fitness Kickboxing with Ms. Ada, Cherylann found strength returning to her body as well as seeing the weight drop.
Why does she now work at AmeriKick? Cherylann knows first-hand the difference the programs make in people’s lives. Not just kickboxing, but the kids/adult karate and the MMA Kickboxing. It is true what that old cliché says, “You get out what you put in.” Cherylann speaks to women of all different stages in their lives sharing her story and spreading the hope of a better and newer “You.” Her 3 daughters are proud of the “new” mom and push her to keep going. Today, spiritually, physically and emotionally, Cherylann is healthier than she has been in almost 20 years.
Sensei Alex is Head Instructor of AmeriKick Karate Studio's Brooklyn location. He is a 4th Degree Black Belt and has been training since he was 6 years old. Sensei Alex holds multiple world titles in sparring, forms and weapons in competition affiliations such as NASKA, NBL and WSKF. He is also a 2 time MMA Belt Holder and Submition Grappling Champion.