New Orleans Instructors

Head Instructor

iching_squatJoseph Meissner

Sifu Joseph Meissner, Head Instructor, is a fourth degree black belt with over 17 years experience teaching Shaolin-Do. He holds a bachelor's degree in Theatre, Speech, and Dance from Brown University and has completed graduate work in creative writing at UNO. He studies Shaolin-Do under 7th degree Senior Master Joe Schaefer of Austin, TX and has taken many classes directly from Grandmaster Sin Kwang The' and other elder masters. He was a guest tai chi trainer on the Discovery Channel's "Health Cops New Orleans" program and strength & conditioning trainer to a starting player with the New Orleans Hornets. In addition to his traditional kung fu training, Sifu Joseph has also trained personally with modern fitness pioneers Steve Maxwell and Pavel Tsatsouline. Sifu Joseph is also an experienced instructor in academia and the arts. He has taught classes and lectured at NOCCA, Nicholls State University, UNO and Loyola. He is also a filmmaker and actor with the award-winning feature film Flood Streets and comedy webseries (a 2014 Webby Honoree) Least Favorite Love Songs. His instructional approach is patient and inspirational, fostering a supportive, non-competitive atmosphere as he challenges each student to surpass his or her goals and aspirations. (back to top)


Active Black Belts  

Brian Adams (3rd black, February 2011), senior instructor, runs our children's program and teaches tai chi. Brian began his Shaolin-Do studies in 1999 with Sifu Miles Thomas at UC San Diego, where he earned his B.S. in biology. (back to top)  
Helen Krieger, 2nd Black (August 2009), writes fiction and screenplays and performs sketch and improv comedy at the New Movement. She and her husband (Sifu Joseph) own a production company, The Hatchery Media. (back to top)  
Daniel Leard 2nd Black, February 2012 (back to top)
Chris Tray 2nd black belt test Chris Tray 2nd Black, February 2013 (back to top)  
Guy Johnston October 2008 (back to top)
Huzefa Dossaji 1st black, (September 2009) is a native of Kenya. He teaches biology at Brother Martin High School. (back to top)  
George Gilbert February 2011 (back to top)  
Khalil Ferdinand August 2011 (back to top)  
Heidi Kuehnel April 2012 (back to top)  
Scott Sanderson April 2012 (back to top)  
Hakim Rashad April 2012 (back to top)  
Sam Killpack August 2012 (back to top)    
Christine Robert October 2012 (back to top)
Shaolin-Do Kung Fu Black Belt SN Shealynn Neve December 2012 (back to top)
Shaolin-Do Black Belt MB Molly Buchenberger December 2012 (back to top)
Shaolin-Do Black Belt RK Ritchie Katko December 2012 (back to top)
Shaolin-Do Black Belt IT Isabel Theriot December 2012 (back to top)


Thomas Schwank March 2014 (back to top)


Mason Toups March 2013 (back to top)


Trevor Moyer (2nd black, March 2007), Trevor is currently living in Washington, D.C., and with his brother Kyle is an assistant instructor at the Shaolin-Do under Sifu Maiky Tran. (back to top)  
J.T. Palacio (2nd black, February 2008) brings his break dancing moves to bear in his Shaolin-Do training. He is also an aficionado of kung fu movies. (back to top)  
Dr. Dennis Kay (2nd black, August 2008) is chairman of the Department of Radiology at Ochsner Hospital. (back to top)  
Andrew Kay (2nd black, August 2008), is our youngest black belt. He is also involved in Boy Scouts and plays the piano. (back to top)  
Dr. Isolde Butler 2nd black, Feb 2010 (back to top)  
Eric St. Laurent (1st black, February 2004), is studying Chinese medicine in Boston. (back to top)  
Robert Reynolds (1st black, February 2004) is a painter whose work can be seen at the Off the Beaten Way Gallery on Royal Street. He is currently living in Milwaukee, WI. (back to top)  
David Sullivan (1st black, March 2004) has studied Yang and Chen family tai chi since 1995 and Shaolin-Do since 2001. He received his MFA in painting from the Maryland Institute, College of Art. He creates illustrations and animations for money. He is fond of pie. (back to top)  
Dana Pellegrin (1st black, March 2004) is a native New Orleanian and holds a B.S. (with honors) in Biology from Loyola. She works as a research analyst at Tulane and volunteers with Gulf Coast Doberman Rescue, Inc. (back to top)  
Thomas Gondalfo, (1st black, March 2004), manages computer networks for the U.S. Army. (back to top)  
Eric Normand (1st Black, February 2005.) Eric recently returned from a Peace Corps mission in Guinea, West Africa. (back to top)  
Jared Taylor (1st black sash in internal arts, February 2005) is a graduate of Tulane Law School and currently lives in Portland, OR. (back to top)  
Corina Bittleston-Calsing (1st Black February 2005), studies creative writing in the MFA program at UNO and teaches middle school. (back to top)  
Michael Overstreet (1st black, June 2006) currently lives in Hartford, CT. (back to top)  
Vince Giordano (1st black, August 2006) now lives in Raleigh, NC. (back to top)  
Toff Murray1st black, August 2006 (back to top)  
Mark Gallant December 2008 Mark is a now a Chiropractor in Palm Harbor, Florida. (back to top)  
Maria Kay 1st Black (September 2006), is a physical therapist. (back to top)  

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