Master Ross W. Antisdel Jr’s Passion for the martial arts started as a child from watching the iconic Kung Fu series, Bruce Lee movies and then in the 80’s Saturday afternoon Kung Fu theater. There was also a karate demonstration including board breaking done at a father son night for Overbrook school, after this demo he really started pestering his parents sign him up for karate classes. It took quite a bit of convincing to start training as there weren’t any schools close by. Ross’s first experience in a formal setting was through a rec program that had 60 kids and adults in the gym of the middle school with 1 person teaching the class from the front. After his first class he was transformed into a Shaolin monk, a ninja and a karateka all mixed into one! This started the trend of him using every broom stick I could find to make into a weapons such as bo, nunchucks, spears etc. He was now equiped to have all out ninja fest battles in the backyard. Needless to say this wasn’t very productive. At the end of the 6 week program he graduated to a white belt with a yellow stripe! There was a year or so break before he was able to convince his parents to sign up at an actual school instead of the rec program. This time it was Tae Kwon Do in New Haven under Grand Master H.K. LEE. This was short lived though as getting to class was a problem. So it was back to another round of the rec program. During the next few years He decided that Kung Fu was the way to go but there were no schools around. As a freshman in Highschool a friend of his Mike Eisensmith told him about the karate school here in town that he was going to and how great it was, after quite a bit of convincing on his part Ross decided to check it out and came down to the East Haven FVSSD. When he saw what Kempo was he instantly fell in love with the art! He signed himself up for classes and started training in earnest. About a year into training his passion for teaching started to emerge, he was asked to help out with the kids classes by doing the warm ups and stretches this eventually led to him doing more around the school. After a short time helping out with the kids classes he came to the realization that if he could get someone else to understand the concept or move in question then he truly understood the concept in question. He has continued his training earning his 5th degree Black Belt in Shaolin Kempo, 3rd degree Black Sash In Kung Fu under Master Tak Wah Eng.
Sensei Shell (Michele) has been training in the martial arts for over 15 years, having earned her second degree Black Belt in Kempo Karate and First Degree Black Sash in Shaolin Kung Fu. A long-time competitor at martial arts tournaments, Shell has earned over 40 first place trophies competing in forms, weapons, and women’s fighting.
Currently, Shell teaches Vinyasa and Yin Yoga at SKA, and hosts various mindfulness workshops and events at SKA throughout the year.
Working in a hectic job in academic research oversight, assisting her husband at Shaolin Kempo Academy, having 2 daughters and three animal companions, Shell understands the stress that we all encounter in our daily lives. She strives to guide her yogi’s into a practice that opens the door for each person to put everything else on hold and connect to their inner being through yoga.
“Like many others, I started out in yoga looking at it as a cool workout routine to add to the list of other types of workouts I enjoyed. Because of my martial arts training, I found the postures easy to get used to as many were similar to postures and stances used in the martial arts. When I decided to begin teacher training so that I could bring yoga into our studio, that is when I was introduced to the spiritual side of yoga and I immediately felt a deep connection. I began learning as much as I could about yoga philosophy outside of what I was learning in the teacher trainings through books, attending workshops, going on retreats…wherever I could learn from, I was happy.”
“Today, yoga is no longer “just an exercise routine” to me, but a way of life, practiced off the mat as well as on the mat. The yoga classes I offer are practices to strengthen and nourish the body, open the mind to the idea of non-judgement and the oneness of all, respecting the Earth, and doing no harm to others. I also love integrating different types of relaxation techniques into my yoga classes, so it is not unusual for my students to also receive Reiki, end class with Yoga Nidra, use essential oils to heighten the senses, or lull my Yogis in Savasana by the sound of Tibetan Bowls, Rain Sticks, or shell rattles as part of the class. I would be honored to have you join our practice as we Share the Love, One Asana at a Time.”
Shell is a 200hr Registered Yoga Instructor through YogaFit®, Certified Divine Yoga Nidra Guide®, Certified Yin Yoga instructor, and an Advanced Reiki Practitioner in the Usui tradition.
If interested in a private Reiki session, private or group Divine Yoga Nidra or Yin Yoga session, please see Shell or Ross at the Studio, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sensei Joe is the coach of Team SKA. He has been training in the martial arts for 23 years and is a third degree black belt under Master Ross as well as a first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He started training to be an instructor when he was 13 as a member of both the SWAT and STORM teams before being awarded the title of Sensei by Master Ross. Sensei Joe has competed and placed in tournaments all over the country and in 2007 was ranked in the top 5 on the NASKA circuit for the soft style traditional weapons division and was ranked number one in the KRANE adult black belt lightweight sparring division in 2010. During his training Sensei Joe has excelled in numerous types of training ranging from weapons training to open martial arts training which combines gymnastic movements and martial arts movements. He has trained in many different martial arts, these include Jiu Jitsu, Tai Chi, and Kung Fu. Sensei Joe graduated from the University of Bridgeport Martial Arts Studies program, the first of it’s kind in the United States.