Our Instructors & Staff Members
Our Instructors have spent many years devoted to training in the martial arts and have attained a certain level of expertise to qualify them as teachers and also mentors.
Through extensive testing, certification and tournament level competition, our staff has attained mastery in this martial art and now enjoy sharing their skill and passing it on to their students.
Here are a few of Gary Hernandez Martial Arts's instructors and other staff members, starting with Master Gary Hernandez:
Master Gary Hernandez (School Owner and Head Instructor)
Master Gary Hernandez is a 6th Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do,The RDT System (Realistic Defensive Tactics),Hapkido, 5th Degree in Kickboxing (The Bill Wallace Superfoot System) and 3rd Degree Canemasters. Mr. Hernandez started Martial Arts in 1978. He is a 41 year veteran of the Martial Arts. He has also trained in various Martial Arts styles: Judo, Kenpo, Muay Thai, and Shim Shin Do,
Master. Hernandez has been teaching Martial Arts for over 35 years. He is a ex-amateur kickboxer, and a point sparring fighter .
Master. Hernandez’ current instructors are the following Grandmasters: Bill ‘Superfoot’ Wallace, Woon S. Shim, and Mark Shuey. He has also trained under Grandmaster Yung Ho Jun, Master Ed Maley and Master Mike Linheart.
For many years Master. Hernandez has trained in martial arts seminars with Grandmasters and Masters such as: Joe Lewis, Olando ‘The Warrior’ Rivera, Skipper Mullins, Eric Lee, Karen Shepherd, Mike Lee Kanarek, In Sun Seo, John Pellegrini, Richard Ryan, Amir Ardebily, John Chung, Mike Bernardo, Dr. Maung Gui, Jerry Beasley, Rick Fike, and Roger Greene to name a few.
During tournament competition from 1979 to 2007, Mr. Hernandez won many 1st place events. The events included: full contact fighting, point sparring, tag team sparring, board breaking, weapons competition, and kata (forms). In 2007 Mr. Hernandez competed in the 2007 U.S.Open.
Mr. Hernandez has trained many law enforcement, security officers, and military personnel in Self-Defense.
Mr. Hernandez works with people of all ages and handicaps having special needs, as well as with children afflicted with ADD and ADHD.
Mr. Hernandez has judged many tournaments which include the following: The 2001 Superfoot Open, Young Olympians, AAYA, KICKS, FLMA, and NASKA. He is an official referee for the Florida League of Martial Artists, and WAKO (World Association of Kickboxing Organizations).
Mr. Hernandez has trained and coached many students in all events that have won 1st place recognition in various tournaments including the U.S.Open, and W.A.K.O light contact kickboxing tournament.
1978 Mr. Hernandez started training in Judo at Ed Maley's in Tampa.
1979 Mr. Hernandez started training in ATU Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido at the Yung Ho Jun School in Tampa.
1982 Mr. Hernandez became an Instructor for Grandmaster Yung Ho Jun Tae Kwon Do school in Tampa.
1996 Mr. Hernandez Started training in WTF Tae Know Do and Hapkido under Grandmaster Woon S.
1997 Mr. Hernandez Started training in Combat Knife Fighting under Master Mike Linheart who was in Army special forces in Palm Harbor.
1998 Mr. Hernandez Started training in ITF Tae Know Do and Kickboxing the Superfoot System under Grandmaster Bill Wallace and Master Paul Acklin.
2000 Mr. Hernandez became an Instructor in the Superfoot System at Superkicks in St.Pete, FL.
2001 Mr. Hernandez started teaching Martial Arts for the Hillsborough County Rec Centers in Tampa and Plant City.
2001 Mr. Hernandez became a life time member of ISKA (International Sport Karate Association).
2002 January - Mr. Hernandez opened a small school in Dover, Florida
2002 Mr. Hernandez hosted a martial arts tournament in Tampa.
2002 Mr. Hernandez worked with church youth groups in Dover, Florida.
2003 December - Mr. Hernandez opened his Martial Arts School in Zephyrhills on Allen Road.
2004 Mr. Hernandez was inducted into the Martial Arts Hall Of Fame by Martial Arts Master Dr. Thomas for Outstanding School of 2004.
2005 Mr. Hernandez joined the FLMA (Florida League of Martial Artists)
2006 June - Mr. Hernandez moved his school to Gall Blvd in Zephyrhills
2006 June - Mr. Hernandez put together The creation of the RDT (REALISTIC DEFENSIVE TACTICS) System for the “everyday” person.
2006 Mr. Hernandez became a referee for the FLMA (Florida League of Martial Artists)
2006 June - Mr. Hernandez put together The creation of the RDT Knife Fighting System
2007 Mr. Hernandez joined the World Close Defense Art Association and became one of the Management Board Members
2008 Mr. Hernandez joined and became a referee for WAKO (World Association of Kickboxing Organizations),
2007 through 2009 Mr. Hernandez served on the board of the FLMA (Florida League of Martial Artists) as Region 1 Director
2008 Mr. Hernandez joined and became a board member of WMKO (World Modern Kickboxing Organization) for the USA Branch.
Mr. Hernandez’ other Attributes and Contributions to the Community:
Mr. Hernandez’ membership in the following organizations: ITF, WTF, ATU, WBBB, AAYA, and MAIA
2005 Mr. Hernandez did a martial arts demonstration in Tampa for the kids in the cancer care unit at St. Joseph Hospital.
2006 Mr. Hernandez participated in the Sam's Club 2nd Annual Family Safety Day Event held in New Tampa - worked with families on child safety and self defense.
2006 Mr. Hernandez was one of 6 Instructors and Masters to host a seminar for the F.L.M.A in Largo, FL. He taught various techniques in The RDT System (Realistic Defensive Tactics). All proceeds were donated to the Bill Klase Fund.
2006 Mr. Hernandez is the focus of a Self Defense Article written in Action Martial Arts Magazine.
2006 Mr. Hernandez worked with church youth groups in Zephyrhills, Florida.
2007 Mr. Hernandez’ Martial Arts School started Training under Grandmaster Mark Shuey in the Canemaster System.
2007 Mr. Hernandez’ School was hired by the Toyota Car Company in Wesley Chapel to conduct a Women’s Self Defense Seminar. Mr. Hernandez helped Ms. Khan-Gordon train participants in self defense techniques.
2007 Mr. Hernandez’ Karate school did a demo for the Wesley Chapel PTA Family Fun and Fitness Fair at Wesley Chapel Elementary School.
2007 Mr. Hernandez’ Karate school did demos in October for the 2007 Halloween Howl held in Down Town Zephyhills - where he and his students performed sparring, board breaking and self-defense demos.
2007 March and September - Mr. Hernandez has participated in 2 public cable TV shows on martial arts. He discussed and demonstrated techniques in Hapkido and his RDT System (Realistic Defensive Tactics).
2008 Mr. Hernandez worked with the Neighborhood Watch programs in Self Defense.
2008 November - Mr. Hernandez had an Article written about him in Tae Kwon Do Times Magazine focusing on his 4th Dan Black Belt Testing with Grandmaster Bill Superfoot Wallace.
2009 February-Mr. Hernandez became a Cerified Canemaster Cane-Fu Instructor.
2009 February - Mr. Hernandez, his School, and Grandmaster Mark Shuey were filmed and aired on PBS TV for providing instruction in the Canemaster System.
2009 February - Mr. Hernandez had an Article written in the Associated Press News that centered on his and Grandmaster Mark Shuey’s instruction in the Canemaster System that was distributed all over the world.
2009 September - Mr. Hernandez had an Article written about him in Tae Kwon Do Times Magazine for his Knife Fighting Seminar held at his school.
2009 June - Mr. Hernandez participated in Fight Choreography for the Independent movie “The Tunnel: Blackfire”.
2009 November - Mr. Hernandez and his School were Filmed by Voice of America an US and overseas radio and TV show focusing on the Canemaster System
2009 December - Mr. Hernandez had an Article written about him in Inside Kung-FuMagazine for his Knife Fighting Seminar held at his school.
2009 October - Mr. Hernandez and Ms. Khan-Gordon conducted a RDT System (Realistic Defensive Tactics) Seminar for the State Of Florida SunCoast Region Dept. of Children & Families.
2010 January - Mr. Hernandez had an Article written about one of his female Instructor in Tae Kwon Do Times Magazine focusing on her 2nd Dan Black Belt Testing with Him and Grandmaster Bill Superfoot Wallace.
2010 January - Mr. Hernandez and his school worked on making the Canemasters Cane-Fu training video for Canemasters International Association.
2010 February - Mr. Hernandez starting to make Martial Arts Training DVD's
2010 May - Mr. Hernandez his school and some students will be in a Article in The Wall Street Journal about teaching martial arts to senior citizens
2010 June - Mr. Hernandez had an small Article written and a photo in Tae Kwon Do Times Magazine about one of his Canemaster Cane-Fu testing.
2010 June Mr. Hernandez and Ms Karuna Khan Gordon had a Article written and photos on them in the Tampa Tribune paper on the RDT System.
June 2010 Master Hernandez did a RDT Knife fighting seminar at the 2010 goodwill seminar that was held at Kyokushin karate school.
July 2010 Mr. Hernandez had a Article written and photo on him in the Tampa Tribune paper on being a extra on the TV show Burn Notice filmed in Miami FL.
August 2010 Mr. Hernandez and the school demo team did a show at the Main Street Zephyrhills National Night Out in downtown Zephyrhills.
August 2010 Mr. Hernandez had an Article written about him in Inside Kung-FuMagazine for his Knife Fighting Seminar he did at Kyokushin karate school.
November 2010 Mr. Hernandez was a extra in a episode of the TV show Burn Notice, He was one of the guys at the hospital working on a IV pump.
January 2011 Mr. Hernandez joined and became a board member of M.A.W.C.L (Martial Arts World Competition League)
May 2011 Master Hernandez move his school on Gall Blvd to a bigger one on Allen road.
Jan 2012 Master Hernandez tested and passed his 3 test under Master Mike Griffin with the Griffin Martial Arts Training federation for the Griffin self-defense tools. Master Hernandez tested and passed on the following self-defense tools. The Griffin Grip hand head striking tool also the Fury Pepper strike / Kubotan and the Kuba Kicks tool for your feet, And is now a self-defense Instructor under that federation and certified to teach these weapons at his school.
From 2001 to 2012 Mr. Hernandez has hosted many women's self-defense seminars, kids self-defense seminars, a Superfoot Seminar with GrandMaster Bill Superfoot Wallace, and a Canemaster Seminar with GrandMaster Mark Shuey.
2015 May - Master Hernandez, his School,were filmed and aired on ABC Action News at our school for providing instruction in the RDT System with kids using their back packs for self-defense in school against knife attacks .
Mr. Hernandez has years of training with the knife, escrimas sticks, kamas, nunchaku, combat cane, sword, bo/staff, shuriken, throwing knives, and Kubotan fighting. Mr. Hernandez has also designed The RDT System (Realistic Defensive Tactics) for the everyday person.
Master Karuna (Thunderbolt) Khan Gordon (4th Degree Black Belt and School Owner & Head Instructor)
Master Karuna (Thunderbolt)Khan Gordon named for her fast and powerfull hook punch and side kick is the school owner as well as the office manager and Head Instructor and is great with the parents and students.She is currently a 4th Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do / Hapkido / Kickboxing (the Superfoot system)And the RDT System (Realistic Defensive Tactics)designed by Mr. Hernandez for the eveyday person. She teaches the mini-kicks classes ,9 to 15 year old classes and the adult classes and is on the blackbelt testing board.Master Gordon is one of the main instructors for the women's self defense classes. and has help with Neighborhood watch self defense programs.And also helps work with people with special needs of all ages and handicaps and kids with ADD and ADHD.Ms. Gordon assists in the summer camp program .And also assists Mr. Hernandez in teaching a self defense class for the church youth group.and the karate classes at Lake Bernadette Community Center. Ms. Gordon is a member of the Superfoot System,The RDT System,WAKO(World Association of Kickboxing Organizations) and F.L.M.A.,Canemaster ,WBBB. and is also an official referee for F.L.M.A the Florida League of Martial Artists and WAKO(World Association of Kickboxing Organizations)and she is on the schools karate demo team.Ms. Gordon has won 1st place in many tournaments in sparring, kata, and board breaking.Ms. Gordon has helped trained and coached many students that have won 1st place in many tournament in all events including the U.S.Open and W.A.K.O light contact kickboxing tournament. And Ms.Gordon her self has won 2nd place in the 2006 U.S.Open in Continuous Fighting Division.and has competed in the 2007 U.S.Open. Ms.Gordon has been on public cable TV shows on martial arts about Hapkido and his RDT System( Realistic Defensive Tactics).showing how well a women can defend herself against a man.And in 2009 has been on PBS TV for the Canemaster system.And also Filmed by Voice of America a US and over seas radio and tv show for the Canemaster system.And in 2009 did a RDT System (Realistic Defensive Tactics)Seminar for the State Of Florida SunCoast Region Dept. of Children & Families.Ms.Gordon is also a great roll model for young girls at the school.Ms. Gordon has participated with Sam's Club at their 2006 2nd Annual Family Safety Day event in New Tampa where she worked with families on child safety and self-defense and in Aug 2007 Ms. Gordon did a womens self-defense seminar for the toyota car company were she set up and trained over 30 women in a self-defense class.Also did a karate demo for the Wesley Chapel PTA Family Fun and Fitness Fair at Wesley Chapel Elementary School.And in Oct Ms. Gordon did demos for the 2007 Halloween Howl at Down Town Zephryhills were she did sparring,board breaking and self-defense demos. Ms.Gordon has trained in martial arts seminars with master Bill Superfoot Wallace ,Joe Lewis,Mike Lee Kanarek,Richard Ryan,Dr.Maung Gui,John Pellegrini,Rick Fike,Roger Greene.
Shirley Hernandez (Business Manager)
Mrs. Shirley Hernandez oversees all office duties and is the heart of the school. She is currently an Orange Belt in Tae Kwon Do / Hapkido / Kickboxing (the Superfoot System)And the RDT System (Realistic Defensive Tactics)designed by Mr. Hernandez for the eveyday person.Ms Hernandez is a member of the Superfoot System ,ITF and the RDT system.
For more information about the Gary Hernandez Martial Arts staff or training programs, please contact us at 813-782-0477 or by clicking here.