Testimonials PDF Print E-mail
Have been thinking  of writing you and email for a long time but keep forgetting.
We had a wonderful time at the holiday celebration at Aroma restaurant. You had a great presentation and it was fascinating to see the year roll by and watching the kids grow and learn under your guidance.
Your commitment and love for the program is incredible.  The amount of time both of you devote to the program and teaching value system to the children is much appreciated, especially in the current environment.
Also thank you very much for the t-shirt that you made specially for me.
Alok Sancheti, parent of a student


Dear Master Amsell and Master Lisa,

Today was the first time that I could stay for the complete testing and I must say I was impressed by yours and kids dedication to this art. I am happy to learn that kids are not just learning martial art techniques, but are also learning how to stay positive and deal with the challenges of life. They may not understand or fully comprehend the importance of such training now, but I am sure that this training and your positive reinforcement will leave a profound impact in their lives.

I am going to encourage Ria to do routine practice at home also. 

Thanks again for all your hard work.

Rajiv Agrawal, parent of two students


Mention “Martial Arts” and “The Karate Kid” movies, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, or Bruce Lee almost immediately come to mind. Then, one thinks of Martial Arts as a sport that is rigorous, strenuous, disciplinary and intense. But ask my son, Marc, about the AMK classes he had been attending since the summer of this year, and his eyes will light up! He will share with you lessons he has learned almost endlessly! Marc always looks forward to all classes, be it after school or Saturday mornings.
Master Jack Amsell and Lisa Amsell, as well as Terry, Riley & Marcus, have made very structured Martial Arts classes engaging, interesting and appealing to students and even the students’ families.  The lessons are presented so that even if deep concentration is required to digest information, students of all ages can follow. Sit through a class and you will see students focused and the teachers make sure that everyone is on the same page. The teachers explain and demonstrate lessons thoroughly and once in a while, they brighten it up with friendly humor.

There are also other activities outside of the classroom such as training at the park or at the beach, and major events such as tournaments. Then, of course, there is testing.  Participating and earning a belt imparts a rewarding feeling. This encourages the student to keep striving for the next belt and also to constantly improve and be a better version of himself or herself. The students are reminded of this by the Grandmasters at testing and by the black belts by example during classes. Even seeing their peers earn their belts motivates them as well.

Through the AMK classes, students surely and effectively learn self defense. Hand in hand with learning self defense comes key life skills such as being respectful, punctual, listening attentively, interaction, team work, helpfulness, interest in different cultures, setting goals, confidence, endurance and perseverance. .

The bottom line is AMK inspires students to realize and be their best.

Thank you!

-Melanie L. Gutierrez, parent of a student


Martial Arts is a discipline and pursuit of happiness as Grandmaster Kim said during testing. Since joining the class, my kids have enjoyed and been having a sense of fulfillment when they achieve something on their own. They rave about it and their faces beam with joy. Outcomes (whether good or bad) are enough to make them happy because they know they did their best. What Master Jack Amsell talked about at the park made me realize that as a parent, we sometimes tend to sell short our kids' potential and capabilities. We babied our kids thinking they could only limit themselves instead of pushing and assuring them that they can reach any dream as long as they do their best, aim for it, and set up a goal to attain it. My kids enjoy the class because it gives them a sense of pride, the self-esteem of being treated as a human being that is equal to an adult and not just a kid.

Instructors in the class knows that each student is capable of something bigger than they could imagine. I am grateful for the class that makes my kids, Nathan and Elmier, feel special, motivated, and know that they can achieve anything if they put their hearts into it.

-Maria Eliza Fajardo, parent of 2 students


Loving sports and outdoor activities (soccer, basketball, tennis, middle distance running, biking, swimming, etc.), I have little problem in maintaining my physical fitness.  However, several large ups and downs in my life in the last few years, among other things, have gradually abated my previous level of mind-body harmony, mental balance, and or spiritual satisfaction, which are hard to derive from the sports and outdoor activities anyway, so I was in a search of something to be able to offer such, better if it is also of authentical and/or philosophical nature.

Oriental Martial Arts seems to be one of the obvious choices, since it tends to emphasize on mental or personal development (other than just on physical fitness and/or self-defense).  However, there are so many of them, it is hard for me, as a novice, to choose unless one tries a lot out , moreover I did not want to be confined into just one or two particulars (even if it might turn out to be best for me or becomes my most favored), because I knew each Martial Arts has its own merits as well as could compliment to or enhance each other.  Time is another issue due to my long daily commute (1.5 hrs one way), so there has been no action on my part for some time.

One day (November 6th, 2008), I decided to give BEAC martial arts club a try, after all its flyer indicates that it will cover several martial arts and is held on Boeing site after work weekly (no commuting and time issue) as well as at a rather reasonable fee.  Since then, I have been surprisingly delighted with many of AMK's characteristics such as it's philosophy, it's instructors, it's small size class, its emphases, its training, its goal ..., I have to say that it has been a very pleasant thing for me to have stumbled on AMK.

-Bo Fu, student
Member of the Boeing/Raytheon/Northrop martial arts club


We signed our two elementary school aged children up for the AMK martial arts program each for different reasons. Jessica to gain self-confidence and Collin needed some help to understand authority and self-control. We have seen improvements in both of them in these areas and more, including better grades in school.

AMK has done an outstanding job in not only educating Jessica and Collin in Martial Arts and the art of self-defense, but also in educating us as parents to appreciate their abilities and not compare them to other children. In accepting this methodology and not expecting perfection, we can see the many accomplishments and improvements they have made and continue to make.

During instruction each technique being taught is clearly defined so that the students understand why they are doing a certain movement rather than just working through the motions. This helps the students to better grasp the proper way to move with purpose.

We, as parents, are grateful for the dedication of Masters Jack and Lisa Amsell as well as the other instructors to the martial arts and to our children to help them in their journey. We could not be happier with the training our children are receiving from AMK. The lessons Jessica and Collin are learning through AMK training will serve them well in their future.

- Todd and Lisa Lewandowski, parents of two students


AMK has done a tremendous job in working with my six year old daughter, Jasmine.  She has gone from being a "total disaster" in her very first class (sobbing uncontrollably, refusing to participate, etc.) to "Most Improved" at her very first testing, three short months later. 

Masters Jack and Lisa Amsell run an exceptional martial arts program that emphasizes not only rigorous physical training, but a true knowledge, appreciation, and respect for the culture.  They raise the bar of expectation for the students' learning and never "talk down" to the younger ones, making them all the more eager to rise to the challenge.

Under the leadership of Masters Amsell, as well as class instructors VB SBN, Marcus SBN, and Terry SBN, Jasmine has made amazing improvements, both in and out of AMK.  Her mother and I could not be more happy or grateful.  Every parent should have the same privilege as I at watching their child break her first board at testing!

-John B. Adair, parent of a student and a high school teacher


I have yet to see any other Taekwondo school do more than AMAC and AMK do for the progression of modern Taekwondo sport.  Acting as mentors, teachers and managers they've been instrumental in consolidating and standardizing tournament procedures, referee training, as well as many other aspects of the sport of Taekwondo.

They've acted as teachers, mentors and managers to many people from competitors all the way to tournament directors; leading them through the otherwise unorganized and complicated processes that tournaments and competitions can become.

I'd like to personally thank them for all they've done for the art.

-Philip Atkins, 4th Dan Taekwondo & 2nd Dan Hapkido, Internationally Certified Instructor
Colleague of AMK & AMAC and alumni of Prof. Zambetti


I had wanted to practice Martial Arts since the age of 10 or so. My Mom, as a single Mother could never afford classes and in later years, I could not find a school that “felt” comfortable.  I wanted to find a traditional approach, like the Karate Kid, but thought this would be impossible to find.  Then I met Master Amsell.  I was recovering from spinal surgery and a heart attack, I was 41 years old.  I had been thinking I would never be able to practice Martial Arts with these injuries. I was wrong.  I saw an ad for the GM Hughes Martial Arts Club in an employee bulletin and went to take a free intro class.  When I first saw Master Amsell, I thought, “oh great, look at the size of this guy, this must be another joke school.  I took the intro class anyway.  During class Master Amsell led us through some stretching exercises.  Master Amsell sat on the floor with his legs stretched out to his sides and proceeded to place his chin on the floor in front of him.  I was amazed “this guy” could do that.  I joined the GM Hughes Martial Arts Club THAT DAY!!.  It was in the winter of 2000.  This is my testimonial and only as I was writing it did I realize that: The first day I practiced Martial Arts I learned a life lesson.  The lesson is to never judge a book by its cover, and I never will again.  As we practice Martial Arts, it would be best to realize, it’s not just punching and kicking.  We can learn many lessons that we can carry with us for a lifetime.  I am in great debt to Master Amsell and all the instructors and students, past, present and future of the AMK and all Martial Arts.  These lessons have been priceless and have helped me to begin to overcome my shortcomings.

Ko-map-soom-ni-da Master Amsell for being the fork in my road.

-Riley J. Sullivan, 1st Dan, Internationally Certified Instructor
Member of the Boeing/Raytheon/Northrop martial arts club


(Note: This Testimonial is in regards to AMK & AMAC)

I participated in and enjoyed many Taekwondo events since I first started practicing Taekwondo in 1992. I started to referee in tournaments in addition to other volunteer jobs in 1997. I refereed less often after a few years and became more active after I joined the referee program under the Anasazi Martial Arts Council (AMAC).

Mr. Zambetti, who is the co-founder of AMAC, recommended me to this program. Mr. Amsell, who is also the co-founder of AMAC, and Lisa SBN, who is the Referee Director of AMAC, provide me with a lot of help and opportunities to improve my refereeing skills and acquire updated refereeing knowledge.

AMAC only supports tournaments with positive experience. Lisa SBN and Mr. Amsell make sure referees are being treated as professional independent contractors and are having fun in the tournaments. Lisa SBN and I have discussed and compared two tournaments in order to determine which one would be a more relevant experience for me. I also get the latest updates on sparring rules and on Poomsae rules by attending the AMAC referee seminars and by receiving email from Lisa SBN and Mr. Amsell.

I got to know some very friendly and experienced referees through AMAC. It was my honor to work with many skillful and knowledgeable referees from different parts of this country at the National Collegiate Taekwondo Championship earlier this year. I was honored to receive the Female Referee of the Year award at this championship.

My husband and our two kids have enjoyed accompanying me to different Taekwondo events especially the ones in Southern California. While I attend the Taekwondo event, they would visit Disneyland. They have motivated and encouraged me to do demonstrations in local preschools and elementary schools and to teach Taekwondo to other kids. Lisa SBN helps me with questions related to teaching Taekwondo and practicing Poomsae. She also helps me get books and DVDs that are difficult to find.

I feel comfortable around the other AMAC members and the American Moo-Do Kwan (AMK) students and their families. I always look forward to seeing them next time. Two years ago, I was glad to be invited to Lisa SBN's 5th Dan Black Belt test and the AMK end of the year party. At the party, Mr. Zambetti and Mr. Amsell surprised me when they and Lisa SBN presented me my 3rd dan black belt certification.

AMAC has given me continued opportunities in general. Every time I look at my belt I feel proud to be part of AMAC.

-Teresa Langford, 3rd Dan, Internationally Certified Instructor
Longtime colleague of AMK & AMAC and alumni of Prof. Zambetti


I want to thank the AMK for helping my son develop more than just physical skills. I can see discipline, perseverance, and even leadership traits develop since he first joined the class. I want to especially thank Master Jack Amsell and Master Lisa Amsell, whose dedication to the class and its students is admirable.

-Suman Birda, parent of an Instructor 


I was ten years old when I first started with the American Moo-Do Kwan, and there are reasons why I continue to train and learn under not only the lead instructors, but other students as well. One of the best things about the class is its community spirit-whether with group discussions or push-ups, every student, regardless of rank, is welcomed warmly into the AMK Family. I thank Master Amsell for his leadership and guidance and everyone who comes to class with a passion for learning and teaching. One of the core tenets this class has instilled in me is that martial arts is not just about kicking and punching-this class is unique, challenging, and ultimately rewarding.

-Vaibhav Birda, 1st Dan, Instructor


AMK is a good balance for Nathan and Elmier to express themselves and learn life techniques with their fellow students and masters. Teamwork to show “no man is an island”, you need to be a team player to excel and make life equal for everyone. Taekwondo also emphasizes on being on time and responsible which my kids learn the value at a young age. Taekwondo is not just a sport or something to past time with, but a lifetime commitment for learning values and valuing other people especially one self.

-Maria Eliza Fajardo, parent of 2 students


Since joining the AMK back in the summer of 1999, my motivations have often changed. Not really knowing what to expect and having been influenced by years of watching “little grasshopper” from the “Kung Fu” series or any number of Bruce Lee or other “karate” stars, I was pretty sure that after some brief period of time I would surely have become a well-trained fighting machine who’d probably needed to get his hands and feet registered as legal weapons at the LAPD.. Besides, that’s what most people around me thought anyway. They always said, “Oh, you’re taking Karate? I better not mess with you!” I also thought that knowing forms would be a cool thing to be able to show off to family and friends. Soon, I became a self-motivated student, really digging into my study of the forms and even researching different ways of looking at them and trying to stay one or two steps ahead. I was always of the mindset that “testing” was constantly occurring every time I came to class and that I wanted to be ready for the formal test whenever that occurred. I really learned a lot and quickly learned that our system was not just about kicking and punching and other physical techniques, but that there were many martial arts, each rich in its own value, history, philosophy and principles and yet they all had similar goals, particularly that the student find his “way” or road to perfection in skills, way of thinking, and way of benefiting his fellow man, whether that be in the dojo (dojang), school, home, workplace, or place of worship. My motivation now is to constantly improve my “way” in all areas so that they become transparent, and in turn, my example, becomes a testimony for others.

-Terry L. Owens, 4th Dan, Internationally Certified Instructor
The first Black Belt produced by the Boeing/Raytheon/DirecTV martial arts club


I returned to AMK after a 15 year absence. During that time I quite literally traveled the globe only to find my way back. I was exposed to other styles and schools and see the AMK in that light. The two top instructors have almost 75 years of intense experience between them. Unlike most other schools, they are dedicated strictly to teaching; not marketing or making money. Their standing in the Taekwondo community is top tier and they are highly respected in the other styles they teach. Their broad base of knowledge is outstanding and their dedication to each student is unparalleled.  It is good to be back home.

-Marcus A. Krieter, 2nd Dan, Internationally Certified Instructor
One of the first four Black Belts produced by the AMK in 1991


I am a systems engineering leader at the Boeing Company; so I am busy and stressed.  My doctor recently did a medical examination on me and was concerned with my higher than normal bad cholesterol, my lower than normal good cholesterol, my high Body Mass Index, a bit of elevated blood pressure, and too high levels of blood sugar.  He also did not like my pot belly.

I began working with Boeing Wellness/Mayo Clinic to devise some new strategies to reduce weight, to reduce stress, to bring my cholesterol to normal levels, to reduce my weight by 30 lbs, etc.  I increased my water consumption to 48 ounces of water per day. I decreased the amount of food (particularly the carbohydrates) by 350 calories per day. Finally I increased the amount of exercise to burn at least 350 calories per day average over a typical week. Two days per week, on Tuesday and Thursdays the Boeing Martial Arts Club meets and works out. On Sunday morning I climb one of the more challenging canyons in the Hollywood Hills.  And on Wednesdays, I take an aggressive 3.5 mile walk during lunch time. 

I lost 12 lbs over the last 5 months and I am feeling great.  Thanks to Master Jack Amsell for investing his time to help me achieve my most important goals.

-Elozor Plotke, student
Member of the Boeing/Raytheon/Northrop martial arts club


The instructors are very passionate in ensuring the students receive a well-rounded understanding of Martial Arts.  The material makes the student think about the philosophy, the true meanings and the reasons for the techniques.  Also appreciated is the adaptations the instructors employ as the student body changes in terms of age, experience and capability.

- Niraj Shah, parent of 3 students


You are one of the best teachers I have ever studied under (in any subject).

-Daniel Ingram, student and high school teacher
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