Our dedicated, highly-trained staff brings many years of martial arts experience and a genuine passion for teaching others to each and every class. Each instructor's style and insights are unique – you're guaranteed to learn something new each time you step onto the dojo floor! Private lessons are also available with lead instructors, which are a valuable one-on-one opportunity to train with our top-quality teachers in specific areas of interest.
Eric Radoman, 5th Degree Black Belt
Sensei Eric Radoman started his martial art training at NYGKA in 1993, received his black belt in 1999, and his 5th Dan in 2015. After completing his degree in Environmental Science at the University of Connecticut, Sensei Eric has returned to NYGKA to dedicate himself to both his training and our students. He has been the lead instructor since his return in 2009. Sensei Eric also heads our preschool program along with Sensei Jacki and instructs the Teen/Adult class, providing him with a well-rounded understanding of the needs of students of all ages. Recently, he has expanded his knowledge to include the Filipino martial art of Kali, becoming a certified Kali4Kids instructor. Sensei Eric hopes that all his students will recognize the true value that the balance and focus provided by martial arts has in their daily lives.
Caroleann Calgi, 4th Degree Black Belt
Beginners Program Director
Sensei Caroleann Calgi started her martial art training in 1998, receiving her black belt in 2005, and her 4th Dan in 2012. After completing her degree in General Science at Fordham University, she continued to devote time to her martial arts training, despite working a full-time job after college. She has been an instructor at NYGKA since 2007, and enjoys teaching students of all ages. She has specialized in the beginner levels, where she enjoys teaching very young martial artists valuable life lessons. It is important to Sensei Caroleann that her students understand that nothing is given; everything must be earned through hard work, determination, and effort.
Ben Andersen, 4th Degree Black Belt
Demo Team Director, Webmaster
Sensei Ben Andersen began his karate training in 2001, received his black belt in 2005, and his 4th Dan in 2013. In addition to being a lead instructor at NYGKA, Sensei Ben is a professional theatrical stage manager based out of Manhattan. He completed his undergrad education at Ithaca College, where he earned his Bachelor's degree in Stage Management. His love for the martial arts and working with children led him to begin volunteering as an assistant instructor as a brown belt in 2004, and he became a lead instructor at New York Goju Karate Association in 2007. He has also led the school's Demo Team program for four years, and has been recognized as “Instructor of the Year” at NYGKA on two separate occasions. In addition to his years of experience in goju-ryu karate, Sensei Ben is proud of his training in various other martial disciplines, including aikido, taekwondo, muay thai, kyokushin karate, and Okinawan kobudo (traditional weaponry). Sensei Ben has taught hundreds of students throughout the northeast, through his work at NYGKA, Blue Cliff Monastery, Ithaca College, and through private instruction. Known for being a tough and detail-oriented instructor, Sensei Ben believes that the one of the greatest gifts of the martial arts is the confidence to set challenging goals for yourself and achieve them.
Jacki Samolsky, 3rd Degree Black Belt
Tiny Tigers Program Director
Sensei Jacki Samolsky started training in 2005, earning her Black Belt in 2009, and her 3rd Dan in 2014.
Sensei Jacki grew up in Boston, MA and New Orleans, LA and holds a BA in French from Rutgers College. She first came to NYGKA in 1999, watching her children take karate classes. One of her hobbies is photography and she loves to take pictures during testing time at NYGKA. Sensei Jacki has directed our Tiny Tigers program since 2009 and is thrilled to be continuing her work with the youngest martial artists in our school.