The Vernon Valley Karate Academy is very fortunate to have a talented and dedicated staff to serve the needs of our students. Sensei Shull has been a professional educator for 50 years… 28 of which were also spent in the Public School system as an Elementary School Teacher. His expertise has been imparted to the academy’s teaching staff assuring a positive learning environment. Most classes are instructed by a team of at least 3 staff members to guarantee personalized attention for each student.
Sensei Tom Shull
Sensei Tom is the owner and Head instructor at Vernon Valley Karate Academy. He has been training in the Martial Arts since 1974 and holds the rank of Kyoshi, 7th degree Black Belt. Sensei Tom has also taught elementary education in New Jersey for over 27 years and has earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration. Sensei Tom has experience teaching all levels, Kindergarten through Middle School, and was awarded the New Jersey State Governor’s Teacher Recognition Award in 1987. Sensei Tom has traveled to Okinawa on three occasions to continue to evolve his practice of Shorin-Ryu Karate. In 1997 he traveled with Sensei Seikichi Iha and visited the dojo of Sensei Katsuya Miyahira while participating in the Okinawa World Karate Championship Tournament. In 2004 he returned to train with Sensei Shugoro Nakazato and returned again in 2017 to train with Sensei Keishun Kakinohana. Sensei Tom has had the honor and good fortune of being a student of Sensei Robert Herten for over 40 years.
Sensei Tim Duvelsdorf
Sensei Tim started training in 2003 with his son and daughter. He was a dedicated learner to the art of Shorin-ryu karate. In 2004, Sensei Tim traveled with a group of twenty other students of Shorin-ryu to Okinawa, with his daughter, Sensei Tom, and Sensei Herten. They went there to train under Shugoro Nakazato. Sensei Tim also wanted to learn about the other systems that were related to Shorin-ryu. He started to learn about the system White Crane and became a Shodan (1st degree Black Belt) in Okinawa Hakutsuru (White Cane) in 2006. In 2017, he became a Godan (5th degree Black belt) and sees the people at Vernon Valley Karate Academy as a part of his family. Tim helps to instruct in both our Junior and Adult programs.
Sensei Jillian Banks
Sensei Jillian has trained at Vernon Valley Karate Academy since 2002. She is a Godan (5th degree Black belt) in Shorin-ryu Karate. Sensei Jillian teaches Ranger, Junior, and Adult level classes at the Academy. For many years Jillian has been one of our most valued and dedicated instructors.
Sensei Paul Doumanis
Sensei Paul has trained at Vernon Valley Karate Academy since 2006. Sensei Paul is a Yondan (4th degree Black Belt) in Shorin-ryu Karate. Before he started karate Sensei Paul served in the U.S. Navy from 1988-1992, and in the U.S. Army from 2002-2005. Sensei Paul is happily married to Barbara since 1995 and they have three beautiful children, Paul, Emily and Grace. All three of the kids have trained at the dojo over the years, starting in 2002. Sensei Paul instructs Junior and Adult level classes.
Sensei Monica McGovern
Sensei Monica began training at Vernon Valley Karate Academy in 1997. She achieved the rank of Sandan (3rd degree Black belt) in Shorin-ryu Karate before taking a leave to become a nurse and raise a family of two beautiful children. Now, a Yondan (4th degree Black Belt), having returned to the Academy, Sensei Monica teaches Ranger, Junior, and Adult classes at the dojo. Everyone at the school is so very happy to have Monica home again at Vernon Valley Karate.
Sensei Cody Williams
Cody began taking karate lessons through the PAL program offered at Vernon Valley Karate Academy when he was 4 years old. Cody is now a Nidan (2nd degree Black Belt) in Shorin-ryu karate at our Dojo. Cody is an important member of our staff.
Sensei Rachel Olinsky
Rachel began training here at Vernon Valley Karate in 2017 and had trained a bit in Krav Maga prior to that. Rachel is now a Nidan (2nd degree Black Belt) in Shorin-ryu karate at our Dojo and holds the rank of Shodan (1st degree Black Belt) in Okinawan Kobudo (weapons). Rachel is an important member of our staff as she instructs in our Ranger and Junior Karate programs and also with our Intermediate Weapons class.