Roland S. Roemer – Founder, Academy Director

Roland founded CAMA in 1988 and has been teaching since 1967, including 14 years of public school teaching experience at the grade school and high school levels. He has obtained advanced degrees and teacher accreditation in eight martial arts systems. Additionally, he holds a Master of Arts degree in Education.

 Advice to students:  Being a martial artist is equally about traits such as emotional resilience, mental toughness, and a passion for constant learning, as it is about physical prowess. If you conduct yourself as a warrior and a scholar, the world will provide you with everything you need, and probably everything you desire. Ultimately they are the same thing.

Laurel C. Roemer – Children’s Program Director and Lead;   Business and Admissions Director

Laurel has been with CAMA since 1991 and has been teaching since 1993. She holds an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Administration. Roland and Laurel have a teenage daughter, Elisabeth, who has been a student since the age of four.

Advice to students: Peace through strength is the inescapable lesson of history. One can’t choose pacifism from a position of weakness. Practice the fight so that you don’t have to.

Rob Tharp – Adult, Youth 

Rob has been with CAMA since 1996. In addition to his extensive experience with Seizan Ryu Kempo Jujutsu, he has also trained in western boxing. Rob’s two children are also students.

Advice to students: Have the discipline to come to class regularly and practice. Embrace the struggle, and never stop working on yourself physically, mentally and spiritually.

Byron Holz – Youth, Adult 

Byron has been with CAMA since 2002. He has previous experience with Olympic Karate as well as aikido. His daughter is also a student.

Advice to students: Relax, have fun and pick at least one thing you can take from each class to make your own, especially if you feel overwhelmed. You may not be able to learn it all at once, but walk away with one thing you did learn that will get you toward the goal.

John Hettinger – Adult

John has been with CAMA since 2005. He came to CAMA as a black belt in and long term teacher of Kempo Karate. His son is also a student.

Advice to students: I’m a believer in sticking to the basics. You will hear me say “mo ichi do” which means “one more time”. Take the time to deeply study the techniques; correctly practice without worrying about speed.

Jon Padia – Adult, Youth 

Jon has been with CAMA since 2008. He studied Chinese Kempo for seven years and has five years additional experience in an eclectic mixture of martial arts including Kuntao, Silat, and Brazilian Juijutsu.  As a registered dietician, he is greatly interested in seeing martial arts and nutrition work together as vehicles for good health.

Advice to students:  Remember to see each class and even each repetition as pieces in your life long journey in martial arts.

Jason Parker – Adult, Youth

Jason as been with CAMA since 2010. Pursuing martial arts has been a lifelong goal of Jason’s. Teaching is part of who Jason is as he has been a Colorado certified teacher since 2013, and teaches language arts at a high school level.

Advice to students:  Studying martial times takes time and perseverance, but the rewards are great. Treat setbacks and challenges as lessons to be learned from.

Geoff Tennent – Adult, Youth

Geoff started his martial arts journey in college where he trained Escrima and Arnis through the Filipino Martial Arts club. He started at CAMA in 2013 while going to school in Denver but left the area after graduation. He returned to Denver in 2016 and has been training here ever since. Geoff has been teaching since 2019. He has also dabbled with Jeet Kun Do and Brazilian JiuJitsu.

Advice to students: Check you attitude at the door. Or rather, check in with yourself at the door. Most classes involve interacting with a classmate. Having proper attitude will ensure you and your training partner learn something from every class.

Emilia Martinez – Children, Youth

My name is Emilia Martinez, I am a high school student and I teach children and occasionally youth. I have been training at CAMA for about 9 years, well over half of my life. I have found a lot of peace in martial arts, along with physical and mental wellness. When I’m not at the dojo I love to play the bass guitar and go skateboarding with my friends. Ju-jutsu applies to every aspect of my life, from meditation before a stressful test to using my aerial rolls while skateboarding. Martial arts has shaped my life and brought me a community to rely on. I hope I can provide the same sense of community for our future students. 


Advice for future students: One of the best things I have learned while taking classes is empathy and selflessness. Compassion for other people is what truly makes a warrior strong. I think the best mentality to have before going to a martial arts class is “what can I bring to this class” and not “what can I get out of this class”. 

*Photo credit Nick Coffey Photography and Hilary Horrigan