Instructors of Fighting Spirit Karate

Owner of Fighting Spirit Karate

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Shihan Sean Schenker:

Shihan Sean Schenker started his martial arts career in the late 70's training in the New Paltz, NY World Oyama Karate dojo when he was only 5 years of age. He began to learn Kyokushin karate in the golden age era of Kyokushin fighting; he learned directly from the legendary figures of Soshu Shigeru Oyama, Shihan Mike Skinner, Sensei Frank Clark, Shihan Willie Williams, and many more. He immediately excelled in the Kyokushin art and earned his Shodan (1st-Degree Black Belt), under the WOKO in 1989 when he was 16 years old. After finishing high school and moving to many different places over the states, Shihan took a leave of absence from Kyokushin karate to focus on his musical career. He later began to train under the MYB organization and earned up to his Godan (5th Degree Black Belt), as of 2020 in their organization. After moving back to New Paltz, NY, and starting his own dojo, Shihan began to explore Kyokushin organizations once again. Shihan found a love for the art as he shared best in the IFK and joined as a member. Since joining Shihan Sean has become an official USA-IFKK instructor and elected as the Chairman of the board, in the United States branch. In 2020 the president of the USA-IFKK, Shihan Michael Monaco (8th Dan), promoted Shihan Sean Schenker to Godan (5th Dan), in IFK Kyokushin Karate. Shihan Sean has dedicated his life to the martial arts and strives to help every single person who walks through Fighting Spirit Karate's door achieve the best version of themselves. Osu!

Head Krav Maga Program Instructor

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Sensei (Renshi) Katie Murphy:

Sensei Katie began her training in Goju Ryu in 1991, and has continued to study the art ever since. Over the past 15 years, Katie has expanded her martial arts journey, competing internationally, training in Shotokan and Kyokushin, and obtaining rank in Judo and Krav Maga. Sensei Katie, the title she prefers,  trains in Kyokushin classes regularly at Fighting Spirit Karate (FSK) and in Krav Maga at KMNY (Krav Maga New York). Katie teaches her Krav Maga classes regularly at FSK and runs self-defense and Krav Maga based seminars locally and at international martial arts festivals.

A former karate competitor on the NASKA, KRANE, and NYT circuits and member of two USA National Competition Teams, Katie represented the United States at World Games in Portugal, Spain, Canada, Austria, and Ireland earning Gold Medals in Traditional Bo Kata, Traditional Forms, and Creative Forms. Using these experiences, she now coaches and trains youth students for competition on the NASKA and NY Tournament League circuits. Sensei Katie currently holds a 5th Degree (Godan) Black Belt in Goju Ryu along with her Level 4 Instructor certification in Krav Maga.

Head Fighting Coach/Instructor

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Sempai Jonah Schenker:
Sempai Jonah Schenker is the Head Kumite (Fighting) Instructor and Coach at Fighting Spirit Karate. Sempai Jonah is the brother of Shihan Sean and grew up in New Paltz, NY where he shortly trained in the WOKO dojo under Sensei Frank Clark as a kid. Sempai Jonah took up the sport of wrestling during his years in high school. After graduating school he lived in many different places all over the world before eventually finding his way back to New Paltz. Sempai Jonah began his training in Kyokushin Karate once again and in 2017 was awarded his Shodan under Shihan Sean. Sempai Jonah is the main teacher for fight training and competition here at Fighting Spirit Karate. He trained the USA-IFKK team for the 2019 British Open, where the United States team took 1st place in. He actively trains FSK's students on a weekly basis and is a key member of our team. In 2020, Sempai Jonah earned his Nidan under the USA-IFKK, Shihan Monaco and Shihan Sean.

Child/Adult Karate Lead Instructor & Program Managers

Senpai Reggie Gold


Senpai Tuari Schenker

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Sempai Reggie Gold & Tuari Schenker
Sempai Reggie and Sempai Tuari both started their training under their uncle, Shihan Sean Schenker, at a very young age and have continued under him ever since. They began training in the art when Shihan Sean had not founded FSK karate and he was running a "Traveling Dojo" at many different studios and schools in the area. As Shihan Sean founded Fighting Spirit Karate, both of them continued in their training of Kyokushin curriculum, kata, and kumite. Sempai Reggie and Tuari both are avid knockdown fighters and engage in officiating for kumite events. They both were on Team USA in the 2019 British Open in the United Kingdom and took 1st place for our country, as well as representing USA in the 6th IFK World Championships. As of 2020, Sempai Reggie and Tuari both tested for and obtained their Shodan under the USA-IFKK and Shihan Sean. They both teach daily at FSK for all classes in each age group and handle the operation of children/schooling programs.

Lead Instructor & Dojo Manager


Sempai Ryan Kraus:

Sempai Ryan started his training in Kyokushin Karate under Shihan Sean as a kid at the FSK Dojo. Over his years of training he has engaged as a competitor of Kata and Kumite, most prestiougously when representing the USA in the 2019 British Open. Sempai Ryan currently serves as the Dojo Manager and is a Lead Instructor for the Kids program at FSK. In October of 2021, Sempai Ryan tested for and passed his Shodan testing under Shihan Sean, Shihan Monaco, and the USA-IFKK. Sempai Ryan continues to train all aspects of his karate between, Kihon, Kata, and Kumite, while overseeing the younger staff and interworkings of FSK.


Other Black Belts of Fighting Spirit Karate

Sensei Dave Kalish
(Krav Maga Instructor)

Sensei John Halstead

Sempai Stefan Bolz


Sempai Dahlia Rosen


Sempai Ken Casamento

Sensei Terrence Quinn
(Kobudo Weapons)

Sempai Tom Dunphy

Sempai Daniel Waage


Sempai Rebecca Haskell

Sempai Scott Bara