Master J. Sanchez, is a respected leader, athlete, and owner of the USA Martial Arts Fitness Academy on Prospect Ave. He is experienced in all aspects of fitness and martial arts training programs, as he has been instructing martial arts for nearly two decades. Master J. Sanchez’s teachings are rich with practical, comprehensive knowledge from different art forms through cross-training, which he is passionate about bringing to his students. As a 5th degree Black Belt in Taekwondo, 1st Degree Black Belt in Karate, Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and green belt in Judo, he understands what it means to be a student as well as a teacher.
He is currently a lecturer in CUNY after achieving his MBA from Manhattan College. He continues to be an avid competitor, also. In 2018, he represented his country at the WKC World Championships in Dublin, Ireland, bringing back a gold medal. The following year, he achieved bronze medals in team and solo sparring. Master Sanchez believes in being a life-longer learner and maintains that:
“Regardless of your goals, be they fitness, self-confidence, balance, or self-defense; Martial Arts is a fun and a long-term path to attaining all of the traits you desire in life. You can do it, and we will show you how.”
It takes a village, and our leadership team consists of students who show exemplary skills in martial arts and academics, who volunteer their time at the dojang. All members are CPR/First Aid trained and certified under SafeSport, an organization aiming to reduce misconduct in sports. Team members have gone on to excel in higher education, the military and their professional careers. We find that students who lead by example, inspire children to overcome any adversity they may face.
Overall, our vision is to foster a haven that provides quality martial arts instruction for underserved communities. This community keeps teens off the streets, allows adults a safe space to work out and learn new things, and it offers young kids a nurturing environment to learn and grow.
Professor Luis “AP” Gil is a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt under Luiz “Manxinha” Riberio, ITF Taekwondo 4th degree black belt under Ramon Mateo, Muay Thai practitioner, and WTF Taekwondo 1st degree black belt under Mateo Maldonado. He has been training martial arts since early childhood. Luis has achieved multiple medals in IBJJF, Grapplers Quest and NAGA.
Instructor Ericson Espaillat is a 2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo and has been with us since he started as a student at just 10 years old. Now, as an instructor he is well liked and respected for his commitment, patience and hard work in martial arts. He is currently studying at Fordham University as a Psychology major and aspires to one day become a World Champion in sport karate.
Instructor Jason Torres is a 1st degree Taekwondo black belt. He joined the leadership team as a teenager, and later progressed to be an instructor and invaluable leader at our school. He is recognized by his determination, leadership and ability to make students and new comers feel completely comfortable. He currently studies Fraud Examination and Financial Forensics at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He hopes to one day become a World Champion in sport karate and open his own business.
Erika Torres is currently a Semi-Black belt; she has been a member of our martial arts community since 2016. She attends Hunter College, plans to major in Human Biology and intends to pursue a career in Physical Therapy. Erika demonstrates responsibility through her consistent training and helping our younger students in the dojang.