Andy Wilson – Owner and Head Instructor
I grew up in a small town in rural Minnesota. I can’t explain why but I have always been in love with the martial arts. Some of my earliest memories are of spending hours reading Black Belt magazine, Judo books and watching Chuck Norris and Kung Fu on television when I was just 6 or 7 years old. At the time there were no martial arts schools for kids anywhere near my hometown so I didn’t start an actual class until I turned 15 in 1985.
Once I did though I was hooked. I eventually earned a black belt in the first style I started.
In 1987 I talked my parents into taking me to the big city of Minneapolis to attend a seminar conducted by Guro Dan Inosanto at Rick Faye’s Minnesota Kali Group which changed my entire perspective on what martial art could look and feel like. I had no idea what I saw but I knew I wanted to do it!
I began training with Guro Rick Faye after that and he continues to be my mentor, role model and friend to this day. I founded MKG Martial Arts International in June of 2000 as a branch of his Minnesota Kali Group. Following his example, my goal has always been to operate a martial arts school where normal people can learn and train in realistic and effective martial arts with a minimum of ego and ritual.
Since starting MKG Seattle in 2000 I have been honored to expose thousands of Seattleite’s to authentic martial art training and even create students who have gone on to start their own schools. After experiencing several career ending back injuries and failed surgeries I’ve also developed a sense of empathy for working with new students and those working with physical limitations.
My current qualifications include:
- Level 3 Instructor under Guro Rick Faye
- Panantukan Instructor under Guro Rick Faye
- Senior Associate Instructor in Filipino Martial Arts under Guro Dan Inosanto
- Senior Associate Instructor in Jun Fan Martial Arts under Guro Dan Inosanto
- Full Instructor in Thai Boxing under Ajarn Chai Sirisute
- CSW Coach Level 3 Under Sensei Erik Paulson
- Purple Belt in Machado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Brian Johnson
- White Glove in Savate under Professor Salem Assli
- 5th Level in Bahala Na Escrima under Grandmaster Tony Somera
- 1st Degree Black Belt in Chuan Lu Boxing under Sifu Michael Frischman
- Level 3 Protector Certified Self-Defense Instructor For the MKG Women’s Self Defense Program
Tammy Wilson – Owner and Instructor
Okay, I will admit – I started my martial art training with Cardio kickboxing in 1998 at another school. (A short stint of karate at the age of 6 was my only other experience). I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to do something more. I noticed another class being offered that was called “Thai Boxing”. And so began my journey and first love.
I trained at a few different schools and took a couple of breaks, but I always came back to Thai Boxing. Eventually, I ended up at MKG after a previous instructor recommended Andy to me back in 2001. First, I limited my training to Thai Boxing, but after Andy’s persistence and recommendation, I started training all the other arts offered by MKG and thus, expanding my enjoyment of Martial Arts. (Thanks Andy!) Being active and physically fit has been a great partnership with Martial Arts and I owe that to a wonderful group of people at MKG and the many other instructors and students I’ve met over the years.
Currently, I’m a Level 2 instructor under Sifu Rick Faye and Senior member on the CORE team and also a regular instructor for Body Sculpt. In April of 2004, I was the first student of Andy’s to receive their instructorship in Thai Boxing and am a Full Instructor under Ajarn Chai Sirisute. I’m also the Thai Boxing Association coordinator at MKG. I’m also excited to have passed my red glove test in Savate/French Kickboxing under Professor Salem Assli and have recently become certified as an Instructor for the MKG Women’s Self Defense Program.
I currently teach Body Sculpt and and Muay Thai classes at MKG while pursuing my own goals. In 2006 I began competing in Muay Thai and Boxing. I’m currently concentrating on boxing and have been competing as an amateur in the Masters division with the Cappy’s Boxing Team. I am also working on my certification as a personal trainer. I also am a passionate runner and run full and 1/2 marathons when time allows.
I have a passion for physical fitness, martial arts and a healthy lifestyle. I look forward to many years of helping people improve their lives through the sense of well-being created by a healthy and energetic body.
Dennis Rivera – Instructor
I was born and raised in the Philippines until I was about 9 years old before moving to the States to live with my parents in Renton, Washington. It was in those formative years when I began my interest and fascination with martial arts after seeing kung-fu and karate movies. Years later I decided to pursue my interest in Filipino martial arts and found MKG Martial Arts where I discovered they taught JKD as well. The idea of learning JKD concepts and studying Filipino martial arts made it a perfect fit for me. I also loved that they emphasized cross-training as a training philosophy and played music during the workouts. MKG encouraged an ego-less environment, thus making it a fun and friendly gym to work out and study the arts.
Thanks to Guro Andy’s leadership and mentoring as my head instructor I have earned a Level 2 instructorship under Sifu Rick Faye, Associate Instructorship in Jun Fan Martial Arts and Filipino Martial Arts under Guro Dan Inosanto and a Green Glove certificate from Professor Salem Assli in Savate. I am also a senior CORE team member and have been training at MKG Martial Arts since 2002.
Raymond Sue – Instructor
I was introduced to the martial arts at an early age by my Dad and my Grandfather both of whom teach tai chi and kung fu in Vancouver, B.C. respectively. Some of my earliest and fondest memories as a kid were spending time training and doing forms in a large room that was half occupied by old men playing mahjong.
In addition to my early training in traditional kung fu, I’ve had some training in Hapkido as well. After some time at the Straight Blast Gym in Portland, Oregon, where I attended Chiropractic College, I moved to Seattle, WA in late 2001. Before I even moved, I found MKG Seattle over the internet and the phone book. From the information on the website, I learned not only the philosophy of the gym but also, the cross-training in the variety of arts that were taught and I knew it was a place I’d like to train. One visit to the gym in early 2002 and I knew it would be home for me as long as I was in Seattle. I’ve trained with Sifu Andy Wilson since early 2002 and in the spring of 2006, I was promoted to Level 1 instructor under Sifu Rick Faye. In September of 2008, I was promoted to Level 1 Instructor for Thai Boxing under Ajarn Chai.
I’ve been around martial arts a long time and I can truly say that there’s very few places like MKG. Here you’ll find a very diverse group of people that are humble, extremely dedicated and have a true passion to research many arts with an open mind. It’s been a real privilege for me to train with and learn from such high quality instructors and great people.
Nicole Marinez – Instructor
Nicole Marinez is the Program Director and Co-Creator of the extremely popular 10-Week Body Sculpt Challenge at MKG Martial Arts International in the Northgate area of Seattle and Edmonds. Nicole has been a lifelong athlete and fitness buff. She added martial arts training to her physical repertoire 6 years ago under Guro Andy Wilson at MKG Seattle. In that time Nicole earned her certification as an instructor and helped and inspired hundreds of students at MKG.
Her instructor, Andy Wilson, describes her as one of the top 5 students he has ever trained.
While Andy Wilson conceived and outlined the program Nicole has expanded the program to one of the most innovative and effective fitness programs in Washington. The program is currently running with 5 separate groups in two locations. Nicole’s dedication to a quality program with a high level of customer service, and her friendly and welcoming demeanor, have contributed immensely to the success of the program.
Randy Nunez – Instructor
I had been the typical gym rat; working out hard with no real purpose. I had always wanted to do martial arts but didn’t know where to start. Until one day at a conference, a person had made an open announcement for a guest pass at a martial arts school and I jumped (literally) at the chance. As much effort I put in my first visit, I was exhausted and looked nothing near the skill level of advanced students. Appreciating the physical challenge and recognizing potential with hard work, I committed myself to train from the ground up.
I joined MKG Seattle in March 2004. The school has been a great place for me to train hard, find camaraderie with my peers, and know that I am learning life long skills. The arts I’m most excited about are grappling and Muay Thai. I now feel the purpose of my gym workouts is to improve my mixed martial arts training.
An important philosophy of MKG is to make accessible martial arts to the common person. It always humbles me to train hard with people who are parents, professionals, laborers, etc. Time commitment is always a challenge; I myself have family responsibilities, work fulltime, and fulltime Master’s student at Seattle University, but I feel I perform at my best with all aspects of my life when I’m training regularly in martial arts. Training and sharing the arts with ordinary people gives the arts meaning. Martial arts, unlike other methods of combativeness, derive from common people’s means of self-determination.
Czar Peralta – Instructor
My journey in the martial arts began with my desire to learn more about the Filipino Culture. After a trip to the Philippines, I wanted to learn more about my roots. As a kid, growing up in the states, the extent of my martial arts exposure came from watching Black Belt Theater and Bruce Lee movies. I never knew Filipino Martial Arts even existed.
In 1999, I had the opportunity to attend a seminar with Guro Dan Inosanto, hosted by NW Kali in Federal Way. I trained there for a couple of years, under Sifu Chris Clark.
After taking a few years off from training to concentrate on work, I was ready to get back into it. In May 2005, I found MKG Martial Arts. I was impressed by Guro Andy Wilson’s teaching style/philosophy, emphasis on cross-training and the atmosphere he and the CORE team created. I felt at home and have been here ever since.
In November of 2009, I had the honor of being promoted to Instructor Level 1 by Guro Rick Faye. I am also a certified instructor in the MKG Women’s Self Defense Program. I have achieved a Blue Glove in Savate/French Kickboxing under Professor Salem Assli and have completed Bahala-Na Escrima’s Level 6 test.
My journey began with my interest in the Filipino culture and along the way I was exposed to many other cultures through their martial arts. This has become a passion of mine that I would like to share through the teaching and continuous learning and evolution of the martial arts. — Happy Training!
Jenni Bradstreet – Instructor
My first memory of martial art training was that I was the smallest person in the dojo practicing with adults. I was 4 years old and very determined to train! My mom had me take karate lessons so I could learn to defend myself, and I’ve always been training ever since. I stuck with karate for 7 years, then moved on to tae kwon do, kendo, and hung gar kung fu. While training in hung gar, I finally asked myself – Is there a Filipino martial art system? I’m Filipino, and I wanted to learn my culture’s martial art. At the same time, I was also looking for a Muay Thai school. So I searched on the internet and found that MKG Seattle had BOTH those arts, and more! I knew MKG would finally be the place for me to train for years to come.
Since starting at MKG in 2005, I’ve become a Phase 2 student, completed the Thai Boxing Association Level 1 test, taken the 5 Round Test, passed Level 7 in Bahala Na Arnis, received a White Glove rank in Savate, attended seminars from phenomenal martial artists, and have been to martial art camps. I joined the Instructor Training Program in 2008, became a certified MKG Women’s Self Defense Instructor in March 2008, and was promoted to Level 1 Instructor under Sifu Rick Faye in May 2010. I love martial arts and I will do my best to teach as well as I can!
Michael Tamayo – Instructor
My interest in martial arts began in high school, training in a traditional form of karate. After a year of training I felt that I wasn’t progressing in a fashion I wanted and decided to seek out additional training.
In college I began training in non-traditional Wing Chun which I stayed with for 3 years. I have always had an interest in Kali, but never had the opportunity to train until I met Andy Wilson in the spring of 2000. I trained in Wing Chun and Kali for a year and then started training full time at MKG Seattle in 2001.
After consistent private lessons in Kali with Andy for a year he encouraged me to cross train in the other arts MKG offered. Although I was reluctant at first I realized slowly how all of the arts we are exposed to can compliment each other.
I received my Level 1 Instructorship from Guro Rick Faye in the fall of 2004. Andy has created a wonderful community of people who train for all sorts of reasons and I am lucky to be a part of small part of it.
Rob Bradstreet – Youth Instructor and ITP Candidate
I started out training in martial arts at the age of 10, as a way to protect myself from bullies. Martial arts literally changed my life, it helped me see more out of myself that I had ever seen before. Since then I have been forced to go from martial arts school to martial arts school trying to learn whatever I could, because of constant moving. In college I trained under an instructor from NW Kali/JKD who told me about Sifu Andy and MKG. Unable to make it work to train at MKG, I continued to find schools to learn at, getting a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido, before making the effort to start training at MKG in 2008.
Since starting at MKG, this is the first time that I’ve felt the wish to call a school home. I joined the CORE team in late 2009, and ITP in 2010. I now get the opportunity to work in the Youth Program, working with the next generation of martial artists, and look forward to continuing to train in all of the arts that MKG has to offer with all of the great people here at MKG.
Vanessa Nelson – ITP Candidate
Besides taking a quarter of Karate in college, my only Martial Arts experience had been through fight sequences I had seen in movies. After really enjoying hitting a heavy bag at a fitness gym, I decided to try kickboxing and thus began my Martial Arts journey at MKG in August 2006.
After three years I am still amazed at the things I learn and continue to improve upon. MKG has provided an opportunity to both physically and mentally challenge myself through Martial Arts, which has taught me a lot about myself. I have been a CORE Team member for a couple of years and now, in addition, I am currently progressing in the ITP program. It’s great to have an outlet where I can share knowledge and help others in their Martial Arts journey. I only wish I had started my journey sooner since it has been such a positive influence in my life through Sifu Andy’s guidance and all my friends at MKG.
Ryan Teal – Youth Instructor and ITP Candidate
Martial Arts found its way into my life as a child. While growing up, my older brother was my role model. He showed me “Way of the Dragon” with Bruce Lee starring as the lead role. His explosive display on the screen instantly drew me to the Martial Arts!
My only experience prior to MKG came from online research and rewinding and playing fight sequences from Bruce Lee films. I told my Dad I wanted to take up the Martial Arts. We both agreed that I should find a school that focused on Jeet Kune Do concepts and in 2007, I found MKG. I love to train all the arts but can’t seem to get enough of Jun fan, Panantukan, and Silat.