Martial Arts Instructors

Serving Buffalo NY

Karate Ken's is backed by several experienced and engaging instructors and supporting staff. Learn a little more about the leaders of our martial arts school below. 

To sign up for classes or request more information, call us today!

Ken Meier
Owner, Karate Ken's

I have been involved in the martial arts for over 25 years. Over 20 of those years I have spent teaching others something I am so passionate about. The primary system of martial arts we teach in my school is Kenpo Karate. Through many years of training, I have earned black belts in other disciplines such as Judo and Jiu-Jitsu, and I am a first-degree Black Belt in Ishin-Ryu. Our school has incorporated bits and pieces of other styles that mesh with Kenpo Karate. 

Coming through the ranks, I enjoyed working so much with children that I decided to pursue degrees in Elementary Education, Special Education, Reading and School and Building Administration. I currently work in education as a NY State Certified Teacher at a public school during the day.
Ken Meier, Owner & Martial Arts Instructor in Buffalo NY
Along with our character development program at Karate Ken's, the importance of having a solid education is emphasized in our children's classes. If you are looking for a martial arts school that is fun and exciting with a great curriculum, I am confident you will like what you see at our school. Call anytime to make an appointment or stop in and see us. We would love to meet you here at Karate Ken's!

Dillon Pinkham
Karate Instructor

I have been training in the martial arts since 2004. Since then, I have dedicated countless hours to the development and training of the students at Karate Ken’s. In 2010, I became the lead instructor for the Little Ninja’s class and built upon the already existing curriculum that focused on fundamental skills such as focus, balance, coordination and fitness to add basic self- defense, anti-bullying, conflict resolution and character development. In addition to further developing the Little Ninjas program, I noticed a need for a program that would prepare Little Ninja graduating students to transition to the junior program, thus the Tiger program was born.

In March of 2016, I began my journey in developing True Abilities Inc. Using my martial arts knowledge and devotion, I came to the realization that by combining my ability to instruct and my understanding of the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities, I had something to offer this community. True Abilities is an adaptive martial arts program that is open to students of all abilities.
Dillon Pinkham, Karate Instructor in Buffalo NY
In conjunction with being a karate instructor, I am also a judo and Ju-jitsu instructor and coach. I am a nationally ranked competitor in Judo and Ju-jitsu Fighting (Kumite) under the United States Ju-Jitsu Federation (USJJF).

While Martial arts is a big part of who I am, I’m also a Staff Sargent in the United States Air Force Reserves. As a Vehicle Fleet Manager, I am responsible for all things regarding the vehicle fleet.

Lauren Briand
Kid's Karate Instructor

Hi everyone!
My name is Lauren Briand. I am a Spanish teacher in the city of Buffalo. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish Education and a Master’s Degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Niagara University. You could definitely say I have a passion for both teaching and learning that also applies in the Dojo!

I have been a training in Kenpo Karate at Karate Ken’s for five years now. I received my 1st Degree Black belt and the title of Sensei in August of 2016. I am the lead instructor for the Ninja and Tiger classes, teaching students ranging in ages from four to seven. I absolutely love working with children and teaching anyone willing to learn something new! Hope to see you at Karate Ken’s!
Lauren Briand, Kid's Karate Instructor in Buffalo NY

Jim Wallace
Martial Arts Instructor

Jim's Bio Coming Soon!
Jim Wallace, Martial Arts Instructor in Buffalo NY

Krista Coash
Kenpo Karate Instructor

Hi Everyone! My name is Krista Coash. I began training in the martial arts in 2000, when I was just 14 years old. I earned my first degree black belt in April of 2003. As a shy, soft spoken teen, I was hesitant to get out on the mats, and never imagined I'd fall in love with the martial arts the way I have. It has since developed into a passion that I plan to continue pursuing for the rest of my life.

These days, I am proud to be a lead instructor at Karate Ken's, helping to teach the Junior and Adult classes, and I am currently working towards my 2nd degree black belt in Kenpo. I enjoy teaching others something I've always been so passionate about and there is nothing as rewarding as watching our students grow from nervous beginners into confident, talented martial artists. 

I am a self-taught natural light photographer. In October of 2016, I started my own on location photography business, Krista Coash Photography, which I'm hoping to eventually grow into a full time career! I am a mom of two great kids, Emma (8) and Parker (3). My daughter, Emma shares my love of the martial arts and is in the advanced junior class as a 3rd brown belt, and I plan to enroll Parker in the ninja program once he is old enough (one more year!). When I'm not at the dojo or taking photos, I enjoy listening to music, reading, and spending time with my family and friends.  

I look forward to seeing you at Karate Ken's! :)
Krista Coash, Kenpo Karate Instructor in Buffalo NY

Brian Rakfeldt
Kenpo Karate Instructor

I have been studying Modern Kenpo Karate for over four years. I, along with my son Alex, received my Black belt in 2015. I am also studying Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Engineering and work for a local company as their Chief Engineer.
Lynn Heim
Office Manager, Karate Ken's
Miss Lynn has been working at Karate Ken's since 2005 (when it was USA Self Defense Centers). She keeps the office and dojo running smoothly with her organization skills and always does it with a smile. Among her special skills is remembering everyone's name.
Lynn Heim, Office Manager for Buffalo NY Karate School
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