The Shiai was a complete success.  Congratulations to all who were promoted.  Notable promotions include:

  • Jared Manning and Prateek Mokkarala to Sho-Dan (1st Degree Black Belt)
  • Benjamin DiCristo and Caleb Sharp to Ni-Dan (2nd Degree Black Belt)
  • Alan Exaros and Michael Arcaro to Instructor Level in our Staff Program

Congratulations: to Sho-Dan, Anoop Bhat on his district level honor for his National Merit Scholarship award.

DOJO CLOSED:  We will be closed the following times:

  • Tuesday, Halloween.  Trick or Treat!
  • Thursday through Sunday of Thanksgiving Weekend

Women’s Self Defense Class was held Saturday, October 7th.  It was a lot of fun.  Topics covered were striking, defense from being grabbed, and escapes and chokes from the ground.

Kids Night Out Halloween Costume Party – Saturday, October 28th 5-9pm.  Registration is $25 per child.  Come in costume and bring a friend.  Ms. Lynott will have a flyer out on this soon.

Good Luck! to BJJ Blue Belt Kishan Jivani who enlisted in the Army Reserves.  He’ll be gone for about six months and is coming back to continue his training with us in April.


Spring / Summer News

Yudansha-Kai Class: Friday, April 28 6-8pm at the Horsham Community Center.


to Ms. Iryna Ostapenko on being accepted at University of Wisconsin. She will be attending there in the fall.

and to Mr. Jake Coll on being accepted at Temple University.  He is also attending in the fal.

DEADLINE to register for the Gasshuku is May 15th. End of May is also the deadline to register for one of our exciting day camps!


BJJ Special Training Class
Saturday, January 21 12n. We will train for a little over an hour, then go to lunch. All BJJ students
are encouraged to attend.

Black Belt Prep Class
Saturday, January 21 2pm. All students being tested this year for Sho-Dan should report.

Horsham 300 year Anniversary Health and Wellness Demonstration.
Saturday, February 11 at Simmons Elementary School. We will be hosting a booth from 10am to 3pm with a
demonstration scheduled at 12n. Please sign up with your instructor to be a part of the demo.

Deepest Condolences to Mr. Cameron King on the passing of his Grandfather.

Congratulations to Mr. Mihai Todea and his wife on the birth of their child, Sebastian in December.

Congratulations to Mr. Brad Umfer and his wife, Kari on the birth of their child, Amelia Rose on January 9!

Congratulations to Mr. Tom Ruch who graduated from the Welder Training and Testing Institute in Allentown, Pa with certifications in SMAW (Shield Metal Arc Welding), FCAW (Flux Cord Arc Welding) and GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding)


As we finish up the year, 2016 I want to take a moment to thank all of the students, parents and families who have been so supportive over the past 25+ years.  This didn’t just happen, we made it happen.

Here is some news for our Academies as we draw closer to 2017:

Dec. 17th was our End of the Year Kanpai (All Black Belts)  Congratulations to Mr. King and Mr. Larosa on their promotion to San-Dan (3rd Degree Black Belt) and to Mr. Keller on his promotion to Go-Dan (5th Degree Black Belt). We all went out to dinner afterwards at our favorite Sushi restaurant: Hunan City in Warrington. Great Time!.

Congratulation to Mr. S. Parys and his wife, Kat on the birth of their second child, Elizabeth Marie on Christmas Day!!!! Momma and baby are doing great!

Congratulations to Ms. Nicole Wagner on graduating with her Masters Degree this month in Geography from the West Chester University. Her majors were Geography, Planning and GIS. She also published a thesis on “Reconstruction of Historical Streams and Wetlands in Philadelphia.” Great job!

Deepest Condolences to Ms. Lynott and her family on the loss of her grandmother a couple days before Christmas.

DOJO CLOSED:  Saturday, Dec. 24 and Saturday, Dec. 31.  Have an awesome Holiday!!!

January 2 through March 20th we will be running a 12-week course at all three Rec Centers (Doylestown, Lansdale, Upper Merion / King of Prussia) on Mondays at 6pm.  See the individual Rec Center websites to register.  You can also find the information in our website under “Locations” tab.

January 21, Saturday 12n Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Program Special Class.

January 21, Saturday 2pm Sho-dan Prep Class for all those being tested for Sho-Dan in 2017. (one hour)

HAPPY NEW YEAR…….2017, here we come!!!

………..prior months’ news:


Deepest Condolences to Mr. Dallas Strachan and Mr. Kevin Ferguson who both lost a grandparent in November.

Congratulations to Mr. Caleb Sharp (Sho-Dan) who made National Honor Society!

SEMINAR:  Mario Roberto will be returning to Pennsylvania the weekend of Nov. 11th to conduct some training, testing and a seminar.

  • Friday, the 11th……..8pm Class ($20)
  • Sunday, the 13th……9am Blue Belt Testing (by invitation only).
  • Sunday, the 13th……2-4pm Seminar ($45)

The holiday week between Christmas and New Years we will be conducting the following special classes (normal classes are cancelled).  These classes are optional and you can come to as many as you want (according to the program you are enrolled in):

  • Monday
    • 5pm Regular BJJ Class
    • 6pm Black Belt Mentoring Class (come in and get special training from the black belts)
    • 7pm Weapons Class
  • Tuesday
    • 6pm Black Belt Mentoring Class
    • 7pm BJJ Class
  • Wednesday
    • 6pm Black Belt Mentoring Class
    • 7pm Weapons Class
    • 8pm Regular BJJ Class
  • Thursday
    • 5:30 – 6:45pm Bring a Buddy to Class and be the assistant (Junior Division)
    • 7pm BJJ Class
  • Friday
    • 5pm Junior Division Kumite and Randori Class
    • 6pm Teens and Adults Division Kumite and Randori Class


Deepest Condolences to Instructor Mackenzie Walters on the passing of her mother. Her mother was a prominent figure in the community, having worked at Simmons Elementary School for many years. Our thoughts are with you.

Deepest Condolences to Mr. Richard Bornstein on the passing of his mother in August.  Mr. Bornstein lost his father earlier this year, too….very tough time for his family.

Congratulations to Mr. Kevin Cunningham and his wife, Josa on the birth of their baby girl, Mary Charlotte.


  • 8th Kids Fest in Horsham  Stop by our booth and show support.  Lots of fun, info and games during the event.
  • 14th SHIAI  6pm to 7:45pm  Details will be sent shortly via e-mail.
  • 15th 2pm Willow Brook Farm Pumpkin Picking / Hay Rides / Games…for the kids. (bring approx $12+)
  • 15th 5pm  Teens and Adults:  Meet at Spatola’s for Pizza….then carpool to Eastern Penn for the Haunted House
  • 22nd  2-3:30pm Special Black Belt Prep Class by invitation only.
  • 29th  KIDS NIGHT OUT HALLOWEEN COSTUME PARTY ($25 per child) 5-9pm.  Look for flyer soon.


Summer Newsletter 2016

Congratulations to all of our students who graduated college, high school, junior high and grade school this month!

Congratulations to those who were promoted at our Gasshuku / Intensive Training Camp Weekend, especially those who made black belt and black belt degree promotions:

  • Sho-Dan Promotions:
    • Yovel Lendner
    • Mihai Todea
    • Gabrielle Leavitt
    • Gregory Lostaunau
    • Srikar Yelamarthy
  • Ni-Dan Promotions:
    • Andrew Genesio
    • Jacob Pilch
  • San-Dan Promotions:
    • Tom Ruch
    • Luke Graglia
  • Go-Dan / Renshi Promotion:
    • Neil Zieselman
  • Roku-Dan / Shihan Promotion:
    • Kevin Ferguson
  • Nana-Dan / Kyoshi Promotion:
    • Anthony J. Egan

Congratulations to Mr. Jacob Pilch on attaining his Eagle Scout!


  • Next Kobudo Class to be announced soon.

The Dojo will be closed Labor Day Weekend, Friday, through Monday.

New Kids BJJ Class forming at the end of August:  We will keep you posted.


Winter Newsletter 2015-2016

New Locations Open up for Karate, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Anti-Bullying Classes:

  1.  In January, Kokoro Kai partnered with the Doylestown Recreation Center to teach a kids martial arts class at the Activity Center near Kids Castle Park on Wells Road, Doylestown.  We are beginning our second session at the Rec Center on March 4th.  You can register your child by visiting doylestownrec.com
  2. Feb. 29th we also open up our martial arts classes at the Lansdale Recreation Center.  Classes will be held every Monday night at 6pm for kids ages 5-12.  You can register by visiting www.lansdale.org/145/Parks-Recreation
  3. Starting April 5th, we will be heading up our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu / Judo and Anti-Bullying martial arts program for children ages 5-12 at the Upper Merion Recreation Center in King of Prussia.  You can get more information on the program by visiting their site at https://register.capturepoint.com/reg/cat_program_list.cfm?season_id=12451


  • Ariana Reckhemmer on her acceptance into the Staff Assistant Program.  She will be assisting Ms. Lynott on Saturday mornings in the Little Warriors Program.
  • Ms. Laura Blau on become a Grandma!!!  We know you’ll make the perfect grandparent!!!
  • Gabrielle Leavitt made National Honor Society!
  • Yovel Lendner was accepted into John Hopkins University
  • Abby Cox on her acceptance into the Staff Assistant Program.  She will be assisting Ms. Lynott on Saturday mornings in the Little Warriors Program.

Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu / MRJJA Seminar was a complete hit.  We had many participants from our Dojo and six of our students were promoted to Blue Belt after a rigorous testing:  Michael Neff, Amanda Maguire, Mackenzie Walters, Kishan Jivani, Erik Cunningham and Casey Johnston

Discovery Time:  Our Kai sponsored the Discovery Time Course at Simmons Elementary School again this February.  Ms. Walters and Ms. Ostapenko conducted a course that included Karate, Judo and an introduction to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  We are happy to be involved with such a great after-school program.




Congratulations:  To Ms. Gabrielle Leavitt, on being accepted into our Assistant Instructor Program.

Congratulations:  To Ms. Amanda Maguire on her engagement to Chris Spalding!

Congratulations:  To Mr. & Mrs. Brad and Kari Umfer on their wedding.  They made it official on 8/31 and are getting married in Mexico over Labor Day Weekend!


* Halloween Kids Night Out – to be announced soon.  See your instructor

* SHIAI:  Friday, October 23rd.  See the Kai Calendar for times.  E-mail coming out shortly to all students.

* Halloween Haunted House Visit – details coming soon.

DOJO CLOSED:      We will be closed on Labor Day (Monday) and also the entire weekend of Thanksgiving.

Congratulations to all those who participated in the IWKA tournament in Princeton, NJ the weekend of August 7th.  Everyone had a great time and did very well in all three events!

Congratulations to Mr. Joe Cassin who was promoted to Sho-Dan (1st degree black belt) on August 9th.  Mr. Cassin went through a vigorous testing that day, by himself, and passed with flying colors.  Good luck at college and we look forward to seeing you back in the Dojo with your new black obi during your breaks!

Good luck to all our students who are heading off to college this month….and to those who are returning to college after the summer break.

KAI Adventure Club Donation:  Over the weekend at the Gasshuku, we made our Kai Adventure Club donation to the Free To Breathe fundraiser.  I personally handed Ms. B. Maguire the cash for over $500. which she will deposit into their team’s account when they do their walk-athon.  She will send a pic when this is complete.  You can see the pic I took this weekend on our Kai Facebook Page…….Like us on Kokoro Kai Martial Arts Facebook.





* Congratulations to the 8 new Sho-Dans who were tested most of the weekend and promoted on Saturday evening:  

      – Caleb Sharp

      – Metani Exaros

      – Sam Byun

      – Benjamin DiCristo

      – Ryan Winkworth

      – Jake Coll

      – Iryna Ostapenko

      – Krish Parikh


* Congratulations to Mr. Yovel Lender on his acceptance into the Staff Program as an Assistant Instructor.  He will be assisting Mr. Strachan on Saturday mornings at 10am.

Winter Newsletter 2014-2015

Congratulations to Mr. Steve Dull.  He is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Robotics Team for Hatboro-Horsham High School.  The Team won the Chairman’s Award!  Great Job!

Deepest Condolences to Mr. J. Parisi on the passing of his father, Paul Parisi over the Easter Weekend.

Our hearts also go out to our good friends, the Carmonas in New Jersey who lost Mrs. Carmona’s mother on Easter Sunday.

KAI ADVENTURE CLUB……Go-Kart Racing and the hike/bike at Valley Forge events were a blast last month.  We are looking to do a couple of really cool activities in the coming months.  We hope you will join us!

Congratulations to Ms. Michele Wexler on her engagement to Evan Weiss!

Junior Shiai = Friday, April 24th 6pm

Teens & Adult Shiai = Sunday, April 26th 8am

Gasshuku = June 13,14,15  ……………The Deadline to Register is rapidly approaching – May 16th!

Summer Newsletter 2014

Congratulations to Amanda Schmidt, Alan Exaros and Krish Parikh, who were all inducted into our Kai Staff Program.

We have a  TON of activities on the calendar.  Check out the Kai Calendar frequently to see what is going on.  In the meantime, here’s a quick list of what is coming up:

July 13th (Sunday) – Kai Hiking in Wissahickon Valley Park.

August 1st & 2nd – MRJJA 10 Year Anniversary Seminar and Training in Minnesota.

August 9th (Saturday) – Kai Family Picnic at Peace Valley Park pavilion #4 1pm to whenever.

August 15th weekend…..Black Belt Beach Weekend in Long Beach Island.

August 23rd (Saturday) – Kai Rafting and Kayaking down the Delaware River

August 24th (Sunday) – Kai Hiking….either in Delaware Water Gap or Tohickon Park….to be announced.

September 13th (Saturday) – Upper Dublin Community Day.  We will host a booth with several contests and give out info.

September 20th (Saturday) – Kai Laser Tag at the Ultra Zone in Plymouth Meeting.  4pm

September 21st (Sunday) – Kai Hiking at Hawk Mountain.

October 11th (Saturday) – Shihan Jenkins 30th Memorial at the NJMAA Dojo in Landing, NJ

October 12th (Sunday) – SHIAI  9-11am teens and adults.  11:15-12:45p Junior students.


April 2014 Newsletter

News of the
Kokoro Kai

May 2014

NEW LOCATION:              The Kokoro Kai is pleased to announce that we will be teaching in a new location in Paoli, PA at the Pure Energy Studio.  Several of our Kai Instructors will be heading up the program there and we will start by teaching kids ages 3-12.  You can find info on the programs offered at  http://www.purenergystudio.com/


To Gabe Griffith who graduates this month from PSU with a Bachelors in International Politics and a minor in History.

Luke Graglia graduates from HS next month and will be attending New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts pursuing a BFA in Film and Television.

Matt Bernanke also graduates from HS next month and will be attending the University of Miami.

Nicole Wagner will graduate this summer with a Master of Arts in Geography with certificates in Planning and GIS from West Chester University. She also achieved 4.0 GPA throughout! Way to go!

DEADLINE RAPIDLY APPROACHES:  The deadline to register for the Gasshuku is May 17th.  no enrollments can be accepted after this date.

KAI HIKING:  May 18th – Sunday – Valley Forge Park.  Let’s go for a hike and have some fun!  E-mail Mr. Exaros for more information at exaros@kokorokai.com

DOJO FIELD DAY:  All East Montgomery Dojo Junior students are encouraged to participate at the Field Day Event on Saturday, May 17th from 3-5pm at the Peace Valley Park / Lake Galena – Pavilion #3.  We’ll have some great games and it’ll be an awesome opportunity for the students to bond up with fellow dojo-mates.  Parents, stick around – watch and join in on some of the fun – and we can also do a little picnic at the lake afterwards for anyone who wishes to stay.

10 year Anniversary of the Mario Roberto Jiu-Jitsu Academy will be celebrated in Rochester, MN on the weekend of August 1st.  Any BJJ students who wish to attend with Mr. Exaros should speak with him soon.  Flight arrangements will be made by the end of May.

KAI Rafting – August 23rd.  There’s still some space left to sign up for the Rafting / Tubing event in Point Pleasant, PA.  Space is limited to get in on the early bird special pricing.  I believe we only are allotted about 8 more enrollments before the price goes back up to the regular fee…..so get your’s in today.

April 2014

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Seminar:

Saturday, April 26th at 12:30pm to 3:30pm will be our No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu Seminar featuring Mario Roberto.  To enroll, please send e-mail to Mr. Exaros at exaros@yahoo.com and he will send you a brochure.  Sunday, the 27th Mario will be teaching a few private lessons.  We also hope to have Mario teach classes on Monday and Tuesday as well.

GRAND OPENING:  New Location:

Saturday, May 3rd will be the Grand Opening of the Paoli Pure Energy Fitness Studio on Plank Avenue in Paoli, PA.  Our Kai will be heading up the Karate Program in the fitness studio and we will start out by having a few classes per week for children ages 12 and under.  If you would like to participate in the Grand Opening, please see Mr. Exaros.

Broad Street Run!

Ms. Wagner and Ms. A. Maguire will be running in the Philadelphia Broad Street Run on Sunday, May 4th.  Come out and cheer them on with the rest of the Kai!


On Saturday, May 17th from 3pm on will be our Dojo Kids Field Day at Peace Valley Park / Lake Galena – Pavilion #3.  All families are encouraged to join in on the fun.  The instructors have some great activities panned and this should prove to be great fun for everyone!  See your instructor for details.


A couple weeks ago, a good group of Brown and Black Belts participated in a new tradition….Kai Hiking.  Next month on May 18th we plan on hiking Valley Forge.  All families are welcome.  This is a long hike, though, so we recommend this for teens and adults.  Suggestion….bring water to hydrate.  Mandatory….Kai apparel if you have it.  Show your Dojo Spirit!


–          To Mr. Avery Romanoli on making Deans List this past semester, and his brother Kevin Romanoli on finishing his business degree.  Kevin is just a few courses shy of a nursing degree, too!  Great job, fellas!

–          To Ms. Nicole Wagner on her accomplishments in school. She received the Richard Paciaroni Memorial Scholarship Award and was recognized as the outstanding student in her Master of Arts in Geography program.


Our Martial Arts Training Camp is scheduled for June 13,14,15 at Camp Nockamixon, 2014.  Brochures have been e-mailed to all students and we have hard copies at the Dojo if you need one.  You can register on our website if you wish.  Don’t delay.  Enroll today!

 Tournament Attended

We had 7 students attend the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament this past month on the 15th in Langhorne.  They all did VERY well.  Mr. Dare, Mr. M. Egan, and Mr. Camillo all took first place in their division!  Wow!  What a great showing for the Kokoro Kai / Association member of the Mario Roberto Jiu-Jitsu Association!  Great job, fellas!

Qi-Gong / Energy Course

Have you tried our Qi-Gong class yet?  It meets every Friday at 2:30pm.  If you want to tap into the unlimited resource of your inner-energies and gain more health and well-being, this might be the course for you.  E-mail Mr. Exaros for more details.