Karate Instructors

  • I have been a part of ACTIVSTARS since 1998, when I started out as a White Belt in the Blue Springs Dojo where I worked my way up the ranks and earned my Black Belt in Kenpo Karate. Since then, I have continued in developing my martial arts including cross-training…
  • Instructor: Alexander Leith Rank: 1st Degree Black Belt in Shotokan Karate and training in Wushu and Shaolin. PROFILE/BACKGROUND/EXPERIENCE: I have been with ActivStars since 2008. I started as a student and have worked hard to work my way up to be an instructor. I have had the pleasure of working…
  • RANKS: Shotokan Karate 1st Degree Black Belt OTHER CERTIFICATIONS: AED and CPR certified Born in Kansas City, MO, I Joined ACTIVSTARS in 2004, when I was13, to learn how to defend myself against bullying in school and to gain confidence in myself.  I received my 1st Dan Black Belt in…
  • Martial Arts has been a huge part of my life ever since I was four years old. It has helped to shape me into the person I have become; a person that I am comfortable and confident being. Amongst the many things I have learned over the years, I feel…
  • CURRENT RANKS: 4th Degree; Shorie-Goju-Ryu: 2nd Degree Taekwondo: 1st Degree Shorin-Ryu: San Kyu Uechi-Ryu CERTIFICATIONS: Concussion; BO-3rd Level; NUN CHU KU-3rd Level; TONFA-3rd Level; SAI-3rd Level. PROFILE / BACKGROUND / EXPERIENCE: I began my professional study of Karate in 1967 at Ball State University under Bill (Superfoot) Wallace. I earned…
  • INSTRUCTOR: Colby Lalli CURRENT RANKS: 3rd Dan Kenpo Karate; Hanshi Rank with ACTIVSTARS                                OTHER CERTIFICATIONS: CPR, AED, Concussion and First Aid Certified. PROFILE/BACKGROUND/EXPERIENCE: I am the ACTIVSTARS Karate Supervisor for the Midwest Region. My focus is the supervision, training and development of our martial arts instructors. I oversee…
  • PROFILE/BACKGROUND/EXPERIENCE In 1962, I started on my Martial Arts life path in Jujitsu and Judo, under 4th Dan, Bill Elam. I trained with my father, Art Elam Sr. in boxing. I boxed and wrestled throughout my years of school. I am a United States Marine Corps Force Recon Veteran. While…
  • My name is Sensei Dylan Knoll, and I have been with ACTIVSTARS and under the instruction of Renshi Dave Elam since 2000. I took a short break, came back and grew up through the ACTIVSTARS Karate program to soon earn my 1st Dan Black Belt in Shotokan Karate. I have…
  • Hello, my name is Sensei Erin Wagner. I started training in Taekwondo with my mother and brother when I was ten years old. I am now a 3rd Dan in the art. I have also trained in Muay Thai for four years, and am currently learning Judo and Brazilian Juijitsu.…
  • I have been in the arts since my time in the Navy (1991). I am ranked in Shobushido Jujitsu, which is an off-shoot of Sho Budo Jujitsu, steming from Okinawa, Japan (Master Nakasato). I have been with ACTIVSTARS since 2006. I am AED and CPR certified. I consider it a…
  • Hello, my name is Graham Leavell. I have been involved with ACTIVSTARS since I first joined a karate class back in 2001. After coming up through the ranks at the Blue Springs location, I achieved my Black Belt in the year 2011. Past that point, I assisted my instructor, Sensei…
  • My name is Heather Theiss. I am a 1st Degree Black Belt and an Assistant Instructor with ACTIVSTARS. I earned my Black Belt in 2016 through the ACTIVSTARS Program. I was a student at the UMKC School of Nursing and graduated in 2017 with my BSN and I currently work…
  • My name is Jenell Quigley.  I reside in the Northland with my husband and my son, who is also a karate student with ACTIVSTARS.  I joined the program in 1995 as a white belt when ACTIVSTARS arrived in Kansas City.  After seven years of training, I earned my Black Belt…
  • I have been an instructor for over 15 years and earned my 1st Degree Black Belt with my son, Brandon. We both love teaching.
  • I am Jon Theiss. I am a student at the UMKC School of Pharmacy working towards my doctorate in Pharmacy. I am a Veteran instructor and a first degree black belt in Shotokan Karate. I earned my black belt through Activstars in 2008 and became a certified instructor for Activstars…
  • I am a 1st Dan Shotokan Karate and a Veteran Instructor for ACTIVSTARS since 2012. I received my Black Belt through the ACTIVSTARS program in 2010, under the most capable tutelage of Kyoshi Ray Wright. In addition to Shotokan Karate, I have also studied Xing Yi Chuan and Tai Chi…
  • PROFILE/BACKGROUND/EXPERIENCE: Martial Arts: I began taking lessons in 2006 strictly as a means to rehab my knee after tearing my ACL in 2005 and to share something with both of my kids. In 2010, I was awarded my Black Belt. I currently hold the rank of first degree Black Belt…
  • I am Mark Theiss. I am a Veteran instructor and a First Degree Black Belt in Shotokan Karate. I became a certified instructor for Activstars in 2011. I teach with my family of Black Belts, Lori Theiss, Jonathan Theiss and Zachary Theiss. We were taught and trained within Activstars and…
  • I have always had a passion for the martial arts since I started practicing Karate in the Activstars program back in 2003. I was able to earn my black belt back in 2011 under Sensei Kelly Balliet in the Isshin-ryu style of Karate. I have trained in numerous weapons, such…
  • Hello, my name is Mike Tope and I will be your child’s karate instructor for the semester. After thirty-one years, I recently retired from public school education. Several Hickman Mills students may know me, as I have worked in every school as an assistant principal or instrumental music teacher. I…
  • Noah began his martial arts career with Activstars in 2002 at the age of six. He earned his black belt in Shotokan Karate in 2012 at the age of fifteen. He is in his fourteenth year of martial arts studies. Noah is a homeschool graduate and part time college student.…
  • My mother was a grade school teacher for over 35 years and always thought I would make a good teacher. I saw how little money she made and decided to enter another profession. Much later I learned that it’s not about the money! Fortunately… I became involved in ACTIVSTARS when…
  • Richard Barrette earned his Black Belt in Shotokan Karate in October of 2017 after studying with Kyoshi Ray Wright for seven years.  Richard has twenty-four years of teaching experience in middle school and high school classrooms, as well as in the homeschool setting.  His volunteer work includes serving as a…
  • PROFILE/BACKGROUND/EXPERIENCE: Born in South Korea and raised in the city of Seoul, I began my training in Taekwondo at the age of 9, under the watchful eye of Grand Master Kim. 1st Dan Black Belt evaluation took place at Kukiwon, The World Taekwondo Headquarters, where I earned my 1st Dan…