Mr. Raksa Mark
Head Instructor of the New Hope Studio
Raksa Mark is the owner of the American Karate Studio in New Hope. He is currently a 6th Degree Black Belt. He began his training at 11 years old in 1994 with Mr. Joey Van Dyke in Mound at the community center. A year later, in 1995, he transferred to train under Mr. Marotta at the Minnetonka location. He has always wanted to be in karate for as long as he can remember because he grew up watching Martial Arts films like Bruce Lee movies and was also a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. His parents wanted to put him in karate because he had a lot of energy when he was younger, and they wanted to find a good outlet for him to burn off that energy while also learning discipline, respect, and perseverance. What started as an inspiration from movies quickly turned into a deep passion for Mr. Mark.
Two years after he began training, he earned his black belt in December of 1996. Days after, he earned his Instructorship. Mr. Marotta saw Mr. Mark’s potential as an instructor before Mr. Mark realized it was something he wanted to pursue, but he grew into strongly enjoying the instructor position. After he had earned the status of an instructor, he continued to teach at the Minnetonka studio for 5 years until 2001, when he began teaching at the New Hope Studio. Eleven years after that, in 2012, he became the Head Instructor at the New Hope location.
He has trained hundreds of students, produced high-ranking tournament competitors, and awarded many Black Belts in his years as an instructor. His favorite thing about being an instructor is meeting new people and developing connections with his students - he feels like the studio is his second home. The relationships, watching his students grow into their abilities both within the sport and personal lives, and sharing his passion for karate with those who want to learn are why he has stayed at the American Karate Studio for 20+ years and for many more to come.
Mr. Mark as a Green Belt in 1994
Mr. Mark after receiving
his Black Belt in 1996
Mr. Mark performing a flying side kick through a hoop of people's arms
Mr. Mark (bottom) with fellow instructors in 1998
Mr. Mark with Black Belts at the New Hope Studio