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Owner/Head Sensei
Mersina Giampapa

Mersina has been training in the martial arts since the age of three and teaching since the age of thirteen. Currently, under the instruction of Neil Bishop, a sixth-degree black belt, Mersina continues to train and passes her knowledge on to her students.  is currently a fourth-degree black belt in karate, earning her first degree at the age of thirteen, her second at the age of eighteen, and her third at the age of 21. Mersina became a lead sensei under Neil Bishop at the age of seventeen. With training in many karate styles as well as ju-jit-su, kickboxing and ancient weapons, Mersina continues to bring new and exciting things to the floor and to the students. While having only competed in local tournaments, she holds no world champion titles in sports karate. Why? Because she would much rather focus on bettering herself and her students by focusing on traditional karate practices.

"The Black Belt Around My Waist Does Not Represent Who I Am. It Represents What I Can Be"

Head Sensei
Maya Giampapa

 Like many of our teachers and leadership team, Sensei Maya started training at a young age. She received her 1st Dan under Sensei Neil Bishop at the age of 12. She tested alongside Sensei Mersina going for her 3rd Dan at the time!


Sensei Maya as been lending a hand on the dojo floor since the age of 10 and has always loved working with kids. She volunteers her off time with students in the class room and is currently in college with the hopes of working with disadvantaged youth in the future.


Her favourite kata is a toss up between Seiuchin and Choong-Moo and she loves to train with the bo whenever she can! 

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Diana Valliant

While Diana didn't have any martial arts backround when she started, we knew she would be a great asset to our team. Her passion for teaching and helping children shined bright from day one. While Dianas hobbies lie more in music and musical theater, she has also developed a passion for karate while being here with us and is testing for her black belt this year! Life long goals include becoming a Kindergarten teacher! 

"Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor. Seize it while it’s at your door."

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Harley Appleton

Harley has been with us since we opened in 2019! He is extremely dedicated to his training and loves teaching. It helps that he's awesome with the kids. For Harley, karate is a lifelong commitment. In fact, he is currently in the middle of testing for his black belt which makes him part of the first black belt class at Lion's Heart!

”Life happens wherever you are, whether you make it or not.”

Event Staff
Kaya Janiak

Another staff member who does not know much about the martial arts but sure is willing to learn! Kaya wants to one day become a teacher so working with kids in an environment that involves some kind of teaching seemed perfect! In her spare time Kaya loves to take up swimming which is pretty athletic on its own! You'll see Kaya a lot during the summer and at parties and movie nights!

Receptionist/Personal Trainer
Carla Giampapa

While Carla may not have trained in the martial arts, she put three children through karate. We know she knows her stuff. With years of experience in customer service and support, Carla is happy to answer any questions she can. Carla has also been a certified personal trainer and TRX trainer for the past 10 years. She is able to provide us with safe, fun, and healthy games, warm ups, and excersises to keep students happy, healthy and in shape.

"Fitness Is Not About Being Better Than Someone Else. It Is About Being Better Than You Used To Be. The Same Stands For Martial Arts"

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