Welcome to the American Martial Arts Academy!  Established in 1998, our mission in AMAA is to develop exceptional individuals and to promote a culture of excellence in an environment that is enjoyable and safe. We believe martial arts has the power to change us into more focused, disciplined, happier, and confident individuals who can overcome the stress and challenges of modern-day life.  

Our core style is Taekwondo, Korean traditional martial arts, and an Olympic sport.  Taekwondo emphasizes kicking, which is a great way to develop flexibility, agility, core stability, and physical fitness; laying the foundation for high learning in martial arts.  We incorporate Judo‘s takedowns and Jiu-jitsu‘s ground fighting techniques into our curriculum so our students are versatile in both stand-up and ground fighting.  Last, but not least, our competition team, Modern Day Knights are the most decorated team in Ventura County; producing countless national medalists and more than a dozen national team members since 2008.  (see MDK page)

We pursue excellence in both traditional and sport martial arts, while not forgetting the traditional values and ideas and they are expressed in our academy tenets; Loyalty, Respect, Self-Control, Responsibility & Humility.  We want our students to become strong, confident, and capable black belts, but with the right moral, ethical, and spiritual foundation. True spirit martial arts is to defend oneself and help protect your family from unjust and tyrannical forces.     

Everyone who walks into AMAA will always be respected and treated with courtesy.

Our staff and I will do our best professionals to serve and guide you to find your true potential. We also expect our members to put aside their egos, anxiety, self-doubts, and just enjoy the process of learning.  Pay attention to each and every detail and be in the moment.  It is going to be a journey and we are honored to be your guide.  Welcome to the American Martial Arts Academy!

At American Martial Arts Academy in Simi Valley

Our Martial Arts Instructors Promise To

Be Dedicated Icon
Be Dedicated
Be leaders of love, not fear Icon
Be leaders of love, not fear
Treat each child with respect Icon
Treat each child with respect
Empower our members Icon
Empower our members
Help members reach their goals Icon
Help members reach their goals

Our Logo

Our logo is an abstract image of two persons kicking high; one in red and one in blue.  It also resembles a flame; flame of passion.  Passion is an engine behind any great idea, cause, and organization.  We are passionate about martial arts and its benefits to everyone.  Our goal is to work, teach and practice martial arts with passion.  That passion needs to guided by a positive mission.  Our passion is grounded on clear three mission statements. 

High kicking symbolizes an act of pursuit of excellence in the physical, mental and spiritual domains. 

That pursuit is not going to be realized unless it is accompanied by diligent preparation.   

Preparation requires a discipline and system driven life.  Discipline will naturally lead to success.

Repeated success increase your confidence and higher level of physical, mental, intellectual or spiritual awareness. 

This power corrupts unless it is a harness with compassion.  Compassionate people do not look down on people who are less fortunate than they are; rather they strive to help less fortunate with their talent and resources.

Finally, we want our students to have the courage and strength to be competitive and thrive in this hyper-competitive world.   The competitiveness does not lead to long-term success unless we collaborate with others; think win/win solution in every situation.  Discipline is the foundation where we will build our vision, because it requires discipline to live a life of principles centered life; rather than following our impulses and emotions.  We invite you to be a part of this journey.

Martial Arts Instructors

We proudly serve the Simi Valley community and feel an overwhelming sense of pride and humility when we see our students grow into happier, healthier, more confident children, teens, and adults! Our staff are Kukkiwon (Korean TKD HQ) certified black belts.

Head Master : Derrick Kwak (6th dan)     

Chief Inst. : Derrick Jr Kwak (3rd dan)

Sr. Inst. : Todd Peterson (3rd dan)

Sr. Inst. : Connor Navin (3rd dan)

Sr. Inst. : Elizabeth Snedeker (3rd dan)

Jr. Inst. : Daniel Kwak (3rd dan)

Jr. Inst. : Sarah Kwak (2nd dan)

Jr. Inst. : Luke Behrens (2nd dan)

Jr. Inst. : Alex Kountouris (1st dan)

Coaching Staff
Sparring Sr. Coach : Derrick Kwak Jr. (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2020 AAU & USAT National Team)

Sparring Jr. Coach : Charlie Hartwell (2017 & 2019 USAT and AAU medalist)

Sparring Jr. Coach : Martin Lado (2017 AAU & USAT National Team, 2017 PamAm Gold medalist)

Demo Jr. Coach : Juliet Catherine Hughes Diballa (2015, 2017 California State champion)

Demo Jr. Coach : Brooke E Castillo (2014 USAT National Team alternate)

Derrick Kwak - Head Master

Derrick Kwak

Head Master
Derrick Jr. Kwak - Chief Instructor

Derrick Jr. Kwak

Chief Instructor

Senior Instructors

Todd Peterson - Senior Instructor

Todd Peterson

Senior Instructor
Connor Naven -  Senior Instructor

Connor Naven

Senior Instructor
Elizabeth Snedeker - Senior Instructor

Elizabeth Snedeker

Senior Instructor

Junior Instructors

Daniel Kwak - Junior Instructor

Daniel Kwak

Junior Instructor
Sarah Kwak - Junior Instructor

Sarah Kwak

Junior Instructor
Luke Behrens - Junior Instructor

Luke Behrens

Junior Instructor
Alex Kountouris - Junior Instructor

Alex Kountouris

Junior Instructor

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American Martial Arts Academy of Simi Valley will positively change you and your child. Are you ready to take the next step towards a more healthier, confident, dedicated life?

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