Owner - San Diego native Kerri Mikita began training when she was 7 years old in Okinawan Shitō-ryū Karate. She received her black belt in Tang Soo Do in 1998 alongside her father through Master John Auer and the World Tang Soo Do Association. She has continued to expand her martial arts training in Kobudo (Okinawan Weapons), Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Kung-fu San Soo and Shotokan as well as attending advanced training seminars on grappling, personal safety and weapons defense.
She graduated from the University of Oregon with her Bachelors in Psychology in 2005 and attained her second Degree Black Belt and official Instructor certification in 2009.
In 2015, she accomplished her long-held dream of studio ownership by co-founding California Karate Academy with Master K. Courage and became the sole proprietor of California Karate Academy in 2018 also earning her Third Degree Black Belt under Master R. Jones.
Lead Instructor - Kyosanim Arango, a San Diego native, started her martial arts journey 15 years ago when her sons were 4 & 6 years old. Initially bringing them to classes to help with their behavior and focus she could not be kept on the sidelines and she began her own training in earnest.
In keeping with the family values of Tang Soo Do, KNM Arango earned her Black Belt in 2007 alongside both of her sons. While her sons have moved on to other activities KNM Arango continued her journey well past them advancing through her second degree under Master K. Courage and achieving her third degree in 2018 through Master R. Jones.
Kyosanim Arango allows our studio to have a deeper connection to the rich Hispanic community we have here in Vista by utilizing her bilingual skills to support our mixed language families as well as teaching incredibly awesome Karate classes.
Lead Instructor - Brittany Gassett originally hails from Gainesville, Florida and made her way to the west coast in 2013. She began her martial arts journey in September 2015 after signing up for a trial class at a Vista street fair. As one of the original students of California Karate Academy, Brittany has become a powerful force both on the mats and off, as a student and a mentor.
Brittany tested for her Cho Dan (1st degree Black Belt) in May, 2019 while concurrently taking on the title of “Bu Kyosa Nim” signifying she is on the path to becoming a certified instructor.
Bu Kyosa Nim Brittany’s outgoing fun-loving personality resonates with our younger members and she leads many of CKA’s kids classes. Her strength of character and kindness of spirit espouse all that CKA stands for and we so proud of all her accomplishments.
Assistant Instructor - Mr. Roth Sr. began training in Shotokan in 1967 when he joined the US Air Force. In 1969 in Vietnam, he trained with the Republic of Korea (ROK) army in Tae Kwon Do. This training focused on combat survival skills as well as traditional Tae Kwon Do.
After his discharge from the Air Force, while attending college, Mr. Roth Sr. trained in Ed Parker’s Kenpo and participated as a member of a 5-man kumite team sparing in tournaments in Southern California. The tournaments included Ed Parker’s Long Beach International and Mike Stone’s Four Seasons tournament at Redondo Beach.
Due to work commitments, Mr. Roth Sr. stopped training for a number of years. During this time, he implemented training operations for Qualcomm Inc. in Moscow, Russia and New Delhi, India. Later he started his own training company conducting classes in Hong Kong, Spain, and Australia. He is retired from Northrop Grumman where he was the manager responsible for aircrew training on the Global Hawk high-altitude unmanned reconnaissance aerial vehicle. He holds a Bachelors of Technical Education degree and a Master of Science in Instructional Technology.
Ultimately, in 2004, Mr. Roth Sr. returned to martial arts when his son, Mr. Roth Jr. began training in Tang Soo Do. He received his Black Belt in 2009, his 2nd Degree Black Belt in 2011, and his 3rd Degree Black Belt in 2014. He is continuing his training while assisting as an instructor at California Karate Academy.
Assistant Instructor - Mr. Roth Jr. started martial arts training at 7 years old at the Carlsbad Boys club. Later, while attending the Institute for Effective Education (IEE) High School, He earned his Brown Belt in Isshin-Ryu. He began training in Tang Soo Do with Master K. Courage in Encinitas in 2004. He received his Black belt in 2009 and continued training to ultimately receive his 2nd Degree Black Belt in 2011 and his 3rd Degree Black Belt in 2014.
Mr. Roth Jr. is also active as a Special Olympics athlete. He has competed in tennis, golf, swimming, and bowling at Regional and Southern California events. In 2018 he was invited to be one of two Special Olympics tennis athletes to represent all of Southern California at the 2018 National Special Olympics in Seattle, Washington. At this tournament he won a Silver Medal in mixed doubles tennis with his partner and he won a Bronze Medal in his singles tennis division.
As a 3rd Degree Black Belt, Mr. Roth Jr. thoroughly enjoys assisting in classes at California Karate Academy while continuing his own training.
Royal Harrell was born in Los Angeles, California and moved to Vista at the age of 9 with his mother and younger sister who has cerebral palsy. His family grew up poor, but were rich at heart. Because of his little sister, he later became a substitute teacher for special education. He enjoys helping people with all types of disabilities and would like to one day open a studio for special needs.
Royal is a father of four and two of them train at California Karate Academy -- Kai and Haleigh Harrell. Having his little ones doing what he likes to do and not forcing them to train is, in his words, epic. "Honestly it’s Haleigh that keeps me motivated. She gives me hope and motivation, teaching me the NEVER GIVE UP rule."
Besides learning Tang Soo Do, Royal has a little background experience in Shotokan, Shorin Ryu and Jiu-Jitsu. Because of his previous and current training he now teaches the sparring classes on Fridays. He thinks that a well-rounded martial artist should train in both stand up and ground disciplines and encourages students to do both.
Assistant Instructor - Mr. Chintalapati has been training in Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan since 2014. He began his training under Master R. Jones and accomplished his journey to first Dan under Bu Sa Bu Nim Mikita. He is currently attending Sage Creek High School as a sophomore. He hopes to spread the passion for martial arts as far and wide as he possibly can. Tang Soo!
Program Director - Professor Chris started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in November 2005 in Las Vegas, NV with Team Mica (Professor Mica Cipili). Among some of the important principles of life and Jiu Jitsu, Professor Mica gave him a deep appreciation for the fundamentals and a passion for the art.
Chris moved to Denver, CO about 2 years later and started training with Colorado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Professor Dave Ruiz where he would eventually earn his brown belt. He learned from many things from Professor Dave, those that stand out most were how to be a good coach and a better listener.
With a move to upstate New York he started training at Renzo Gracie Latham, under Professor Bruno Tostes. Professor Bruno and the team would end up flying out Professor Dave to NY to award him his Black Belt in Sept 2015.
Eventually, Chris moved to San Diego, where he trained with the Clark Gracie Team under the watchful eye of Professor Clark Gracie. Clarks lineage speaks for itself and the level of play at his academies is awe-inspiring.
Chris is excited to be a part of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program being offered at California Karate Academy. Of all the things he has learned over his years of training is that your team can make or break your training. While Jiu Jitsu is an individual pursuit, your training and improvement is equal to what your coaches and teammates bring on a continual basis, and he will give you his best every day that he shares the mat with you.
Coach - Coach Brent has been training in the martial arts at Fulcrum Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Vista, Ca for two and a half years where he earned his blue belt under Professor Chris. He helps coach the kids classes and trains with the adults. His inviting demeanor, personable nature, and life experience is a valuable asset to our team.
Brent is a former United States Marine where he served 8 years as an Infantryman. He has been on 3 deployments -- two combat -- and spent the last 3 years of his enlistment working for the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps at the Pentagon in Washington D.C.
He recently graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor of arts degree in Digital Media.