AMAA-MDK Taekwondo Competition team

American Martial Arts Academy’s Modern Day Knights Competition Team (MDK) is the most prolific elite Olympic Taekwondo athlete development program in Ventura County.  Since 2008, American Martial Arts Academy and its owner, Master Derrick Kwak have been steadfast in producing a dozen USA Taekwondo National team members, from 2008, 2009, 2011, 2014 (2 members), 2015 (2 members), 2016 and 2017!
Here's a summary of Team Modern Day Knight’s accomplishment this year alone!
USA Taekwondo (USAT) is an official branch of USOC (United States Olympic Committee).  USAT 2017 National Championship was held on 6/30/17 - 7/2/17 in Detroit, MI
AAU Taekwondo is an offical sport of Amateur Athletic Union.  AAU Taekwondo 2017 National Championship was held on 7/5/17 in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Eric Mastrolonardo - 2017 National Collegiate National Team member

Martin Lado - USA Taekwondo Cadet National Team A member (-49 kg)
- 2017 US Open Silver Medalist & 2016 Bi-national Gold medalist
- He will go to Pan Am Cadet Taekwondo Championship, Aug 28-31 2017 in Costa Rica, representing Team USA

Marlon Arevalo - USA Taekwondo Cadet National Team B member (-45 kg)

Derrick Kwak Jr.  - USA Taekwondo Junior National Team B member (-59 kg)
- USAT National Team member in 2014, 2016
- AAU National Team member in 2014, 2015
- Represented Team USA at World Jr. Taekwondo Championship in Nov 2016; Burnaby, Canada.
- Represented Team USA at German Open 2016

Other MDK 2017 national medalists:
Charlie Hartwell - USA Taekwondo Junior (-55 kg) Bronze medalist
Daniel Kwak - USA Taekwondo Junior (-59 kg) Bronze medalist
Jillian Berthet - AAU National championship Bronze medalist (going to AAU national team trials)

Taekwondo is the most popular martial arts and martial sport in the US with estimated 50,000 studios and about little over 2 million practitioners.  The competition to make USA taekwondo national team members are incredibly fierce and difficult.  Even producing one team member is a high honour and distinction for that team, athlete and coach.  This year, Modern Day Knights (American Martial Arts Academy competition team) has outdone itself by producing 4 national team members! AMAA also qualified four athletes to go to AAU Taekwondo National Team Trials in Sept 2017 in Florida!  It is a real possibility that team MDK could produce another 3-4 national team members and this will be an unparalleled accomplishment in the whole state of California.

What truly separates Modern Day Knights from others are:
- Its first emphasis is character development. Our athletes are all homegrown, not recruited from outside and they demonstrate strong discipline and respect of traditional martial arts.
- Modern Day Knights take academics seriously. We foster the culture of the student athlete who strives for academic excellence and sports distinction. Our ultimate goal is to help our young athletes to get into top universities while competing in collegiate Taekwondo circuit. Perhaps one day in the future, an MDK athlete going to Olympics is also a possibility!
- Our athletes are also very well versed martial artist; forms, acrobatics, weapons, grappling and self-defense. We believe the power and value of traditional martial arts; the balance of mind, body and spirit.

For now, all our athletes must self-fund their trip to the worlds and international championship; while representing our nation.  These athletes and their families have made extraordinary sacrifices to get this far; time, energy and money.  Unfortunately, USOC and USA Taekwondo do not provide funding to cover the travel expenses of the youth national team.  It is disheartening to see our athlete’s world-class abilities are not adequately funded by US Olympic Committee.  We humbly request for everyone’s encouragement, public recognition, and some financial support from our local communities, families, and friends as we face and pursue this exciting journey, challenge, and privilege to be in USA Taekwondo national team, representing our nation in international competitions.

Please support our remarkable athletes and show your pride in our team MDK (homegrown in Simi Valley), by supporting our cause and pursuit of excellence.  Let’s inspire every youth in this town to aspire to have a big dream and pursue their goals.  Big things can happen in small town kids.  We deeply appreciate and thank you for all your support!
It takes a village to raise champions!

MDK is a non-profit 501c3 organization and all your donations are tax-deductible. At the end of our fundraiser, we will provide the MDK Tax ID & donation receipt/letter to all our gofundme donors.

Those who donate $100 or more will receive this upcoming MDK Legacy shirt for free ($20 value).
Any donation is deeply appreciated, thank you for your support!

  • Romeo Mercado 
    • $50 
    • 56 mos
  • Abigail Cabanes  
    • $100 
    • 57 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 57 mos
  • Ielleen Kwak 
    • $100 
    • 57 mos
  • Tina Apeta 
    • $50 
    • 57 mos
See all


Mylene Lado 
Simi Valley, CA