Roland S. Roemer – Founder, Academy Director, Weapons Program Lead 

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 Unarmed Lead and Adult Armed,Youth Unarmed and Armed

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 Unarmed and Armed

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 Armed and Unarmed 

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 Armed, Youth Unarmed and Armed

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 Unarmed, Youth Unarmed and Armed

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.

Melinda Gentry – Youth Unarmed and Private Instruction

Melinda has been with CAMA since 2008.  She came to CAMA with a black belt in Kempo Karate and Olympic style Taekwondo.  Melinda is also a Colorado state certified school teacher with over 19yrs teaching experience in the classroom, and over 23 years experience instructing kids in summer camp and athletic programs.

Advice to students:  Live your life with honesty and integrity.  Do what is right when no one is watching, without need for acknowledgement or reward, simply because it is right.  Have the emotional fortitude to persevere through life’s adversities ,and the empathy and compassion to create a more caring world along the way.  This is the true gift of martial arts and what is really means to be a black belt.

Sterling Bailey – Youth Lead Unarmed, Armed Teacher

Sterling had a black belt in Taekwondo when he came to CAMA in 2007. He has an extensive background studying and teaching Taekwondo and Hapkido; he also has background in Aikido and Sulsado, as well as training with both US and Korean Olympic coaches. Sterling also appeared in the martial arts film, “Tiger Street”.

Advice to students: Always have a beginner’s mind. There’s always room for improvement and there’s always something new to learn. If you approach situations with a “know it all” attitude you will deprive yourself of many learning opportunities. Advice for black belts and soon-to-be black belts: Achieving the level of black belt in a traditional budo system is quite an accomplishment that takes years of dedication, focus and discipline. But, students need to understand it is truly just the beginning.

*Photo credit Nick Coffey Photography and Hilary Horrigan