theMALC

About Us

Vision Statement

The Martial Arts Learning Community (The MALC) is a place where associates come together to pursue a common goal --- to create a path of learning, teaching, and personal development through the martial arts. It provides opportunity and reinforcement for constructive research and development to take place. The MALC offers an environment for the training of future leaders and teachers. Our events allow us to study the martial arts with limited distractions. In competition, we learn to compete, not against others, but against our perceived limitations and toward a personal best. In the Martial Arts Learning Community, rank is defined through ongoing training, research, and contribution. Time in grade and organizational ties have little bearing on how we perceive the positions of associate instructors, senior instructors, and professors.

Board of Directors

Mark Brosten
Director of Operations - Western United States

Bio

Mark Brosten began his Martial Arts teaching career as an associate instructor in Missoula, Montana. After Serving with the Military Police in Kuwait and Iraq during the first Gulf War, he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, to continue his training. Mark was promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt by a Board of Examiners for the International Kenpo Karate Association. While in New Orleans, Mr. Brosten continued teaching, working with a diverse group of students from artists and architects to law enforcement and military personnel. Mark also developed a summer program for children, ages 4 to 5, for the Isadore Newman School in New Orleans.

An exceptional athlete, Mark is committed to training and competition. He competes in Martial Arts events throughout the United States and has placed within the top three, each time he's competed internationally. Since his return to Montana, Mark regularly teaches seminars at various martial art studios. Mr. Brosten successfully tested for advanced Black Belt rank in October of 2007. In 2008, Mark taught his first international seminar at The World Kenpo Karate Championships in Jersey, Channel Islands U.K. His practical experience and no nonsense approach to Kenpo have served him as a student, competitor, and teacher for nearly 25 years.

Articles

Dennis Lawson
Director of Operations - Eastern United States

Bio

Dennis Lawson has trained for 4 decades in Ed Parker's Kenpo. During his varied career, Mr. Lawson has been an IKKA Regional Director for Region #3, has acted as Master of Ceremonies for the International Karate Championships, and has published numerous articles in publications for the International Kenpo Karate Association, The Martial Arts Learning Community (TheMALC), and Kenpo 2000.

Mr. Lawson has had the opportunity to study other Martial Arts and holds advanced rank in Aikido and Takemusu Aiki Budo. Dennis taught, competed in, and promoted events in the New Orleans area for 20 years. Among his list of favorite achievements is choreographing and performing Kenpo for the Dance Council of New Orleans. His academic background in psychology and love of music allow Dennis to offer a unique and entertaining approach to tailoring "the Art" to the individual. Dennis has taught seminars in Ireland, Jersey Channel Islands, The Netherlands, Portugal, and throughout the United States.

Dennis holds a Sixth Degree Black Belt in Ed Parker's Kenpo and was awarded the title “Professor” under the auspices of The Martial Arts Learning Community (TheMALC). Mr. Lawson was inducted into the International Black Belt Hall of Fame as Master Instructor of the Year for 2006.

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JJ Simon
Artistic Director / Registered Agent

Bio

JJ Simon has studied the Martial Arts for over a decade. In October of 2010, he tested for, and earned, his black belt at TheMALC's annual Residential . Mr. Simon has studied meditation since 1990 and has completed a number of Meditation retreats from 3 to 30 days under such noted teachers as Lama Surya Das, and in the Shambhala training tradition created by Chogyam
Trungpa.

JJ has acted as a meditation coach for friends and martial arts associates since 1992. Mr. Simon is a tattoo artist of some renown with some 20 years of experience in the field. He owns Explosive Tattoo South in Salisbury, MD. JJ is also a painter, knife maker, and the Artistic Director for The Martial Arts Learning Community, Inc.

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Lena Varuolo
Director of Information Technology

Bio

Lena Varuolo has studied the martial arts for over a decade. She began competing internationally in 2006 at the International Karate Championships in Holland. Lena earned her black belt in Ed Parker's Kenpo in October of 2007. Since then, she has taught seminars in Ireland, as well as Bethany Beach, Delaware. Ms. Varuolo is a member of the Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors and National Women's Martial Arts Federation.

When Lena is not training or teaching, she is the director of Information Technology for the Martial Arts Learning Community.

She is the owner of Eclipse Web Service. As liaison for her business, Lena has taught over a dozen seminars on various types of computer software. Lena holds a degree in music, specializing in classical and jazz trombone and has been performing for 30 years. In addition to her martial arts teaching, Lena teaches both computer skills and trombone privately. Lena believes her music training compliments her martial arts

Lena is also the founder of Defense Awareness and regularly conducts Defense Awareness seminars. She works to empower people - especially women and others targeted for abuse and assault.

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John Davis
Activities Director

Bio

John Davis is an Associate Instructor of Ed Parker's Kenpo, currently studying with coach, Dennis Lawson. Being a life long lover of sport and adventure, John began practicing the martial arts eleven years ago out of curiosity. Throughout that time, he has attended seminars and camps with several of Kenpo's regarded masters. A career highlight came in 2006 when he was part of a group that attended the Kenpo World Championships in Utrecht, Netherlands. While training in a large commercial setting, John taught daily classes for two years. Currently, Mr. Davis supplements his martial arts training with distance cycling, coming from a background of amateur racing in that sport. When not training regularly, John enjoys cooking for friends, travelling, fine art and a good comedy.

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Lela Simon
Director of Fitness(es)

Bio

As an ACE certified Personal Trainer, Lela Simon quickly realized that while exercise was an incredibly powerful force for change in the life and for the health of her clients, without a total lifestyle management system, many people would not achieve ultimate wellness.

After searching for the ideal fit, she settled on a dual certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Columbia University in Health Counseling. She used the knowledge that she gained and her experience with mediation and the culinary arts to craft a well-rounded, holistic approach to lifestyle and fitness.

Since 2003 Lela has made it her lifes work to help people become healthier, happier and more balanced. Her online radio show, website, helium.com articles, place on the board of the MALC, and allexpert.com answers have all served to spread her message.

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