Kyoshi Penny Pitassi is the founder of 3T Karate. She started studying martial arts in 1991 while living in upstate New York. She holds black belts in five different styles of martial arts. She was awarded the rank of 7th degree black belt and the title Kyoshi by Hanshi Terry Bryan, the founder of Shorin Kempo Karate and the American Black Belt Association. Kyoshi Pitassi began teaching a recreational karate program at Scott AFB, Illinois, in 1995 while she was still an active duty member of the United States Air Force. She competed in the World Martial Arts Games in Munich, Germany in 2005 capturing a World Title in Women's Forms. Upon retiring from the military in 2007 she opened the first 3T studio in Swansea, Illinois. She opened 3T San Antonio after relocating to San Antonio in 2011 and has been the Master Instructor in this location since then.
Renshi George Mink started training in martial arts at 15 years of age. He has trained all over the world including Japan, France, Israel, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and across the United States. He holds black belts in five different styles of martial arts and has competed in full contact boxing, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts competitions both in the United States and overseas for more than 25 years. Renshi Mink raced as a professional marathoner and triathlete all over the world for more than 15 years while simultaneously training competitively for martial arts. He's one of a handful of people in the world to complete the Alcatraz to San Francisco swim three times. This swim is considered physically impossible for most people and is notorious for its difficulty with racers swimming over 2 miles in 58 degree, shark-infested waters with a 4mph current. For over 20 years he's been an entrepreneur and expert business consultant. Renshi Mink partnered with Kyoshi Pitassi in 2009 to commit his martial arts and business development skills to helping impact people's lives and making 3T a household name. His current rank of 7th Dan and the title of Renshi were awarded to him by Hanshi Terry Bryan, founder of the Shorin Kempo Karate system and the American Black Belt Association.
My name is Kevin Gaugler. I am a retired Air Force pilot and now serve as the Program Manager for 3T San Antonio. I began training in martial arts in 2005 with my daughter as a family activity. Training in martial arts was also the fulfillment of a childhood dream. My training has allowed me to spend quality time with my daughters while helping them gain valuable skills in self-defense and tools for success in life. After retirement, I was given the opportunity to take this on full time. It has not only allowed me to continue my dream of learning martial arts but also given me the opportunity to work with and influence students of all ages. Watching students learn life skills and teaching them success skills I wish I had learned 30+ years ago is very fulfilling. Initially I started in 3T as a practitioner of Shotokan Karate and later transitioned and earned my 2nd Dan in Shorin Kempo Karate.
My name is John Brendel and I am the Head Instructor of 3T San Antonio. I have been teaching part time for 3T for over 4 years and began teaching as a full time instructor in 2014. Prior to instructing at 3T, I came from a 20-year background in the real estate industry. Teaching martial arts has become my passion. I love that I get to help others and mold our next generation of leaders. Prior to relocating here to 3T Karate in San Antonio, I was a Major in the civil air patrol and was active in flight operations as a pilot. I also served in several ground based duties for search and rescue operations. While with Civil Air Patrol I served as a squadron commander, a group commander and was director of safety for the Illinois and Iowa Wings. I attribute much of his my life's successes to the 3T program. It has given me focus, determination, and an attention to detail. It has also made a tremendous difference in my health and fitness as well. For me, the 3T way is not just a pastime, it's a lifestyle. My wife Ann and I have been married for more than 20 years and we have one son (Thomas) who instructs part time at 3T as well. Getting to train together with my son has been an amazing family experience.
My name is Jake Daesch and I am a full time assistant instructor at 3T Karate in San Antonio. I have been training for almost 7 years now and am about to test for my 2nd Degree Black Belt this fall (2016). I started martial arts in 2009 when a stranger followed me home from school one day and tried to abduct me. Martial arts training has given me confidence and ability to defend myself and the people I care about. I would have to say that I don't just like 3T…. I LOVE IT! It has been a second home to me and I love my teachers, training partners and the students and their families. I am currently attending Northeast Lakeview Community College pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice. After I graduate I plan on joining the San Antonio Police Department to make the city of San Antonio a better, safer place to live and visit. I will always be a part of 3T and be here to help teach and train. 3T is like home to me and I love working with the kids, teens, and adult students.
My name is Morgan Gaugler. I am 16 years old and have been training at 3T for over 11 years. I am a 1st Degree Black Belt in Shorin Kempo Karate. I enjoy working with our younger students in our pre-school age karate classes at 3T San Antonio. I also do many of our private training sessions and lessons where I can help students individually. The most valuable lesson I have taken from my training is Confidence. I have become more confident in myself, and the way I live. It has helped me become immune to the peer pressure I see a lot of my other peers at high school give in to. My future goals include learning 3D Animation and Graphic Design, and developing my own production company to become the next Pixar Animation.
My name is Thomas Brendel. I am 18 years old and have been teaching part time for 3T since 2014. I started karate with my Dad several years ago because I thought it would be a fun thing to do. Now I realize how much more Confidence I have now than when I joined karate 5-6 years ago. When I started training I was getting bullied at school on a daily basis. As I gained confidence from my training I started to stand a little taller and act more confident and after a few months the bullying stopped. People who have known me for a long time always comment on how much karate has helped me become my best. My future goal now that I've graduated high school is to go to vocational school for welding but I never plan to leave my 3T family. I will always train in the martial arts. I am currently a Shodan-ho black belt and plan to test for my full first degree black belt later this year (2016).
My name is Dominic Pitassi. I am 15 years old and I am an instructor trainee at 3T Karate in San Antonio. I received my Junior Black Belt in April 2016 after training for 11 years. I started in the Tiny Tiger program when I was 3 mostly because my Mom owned the school. I'm glad I stuck with it because 3T is like a second family to me. I have lots of great friends here and I like being able to help other people. Training in martial arts has made me more confident and more focused. It has helped me to get better grades in school. I'm testing for my 2nd Junior Black Belt rank this fall. My plans after high school are to attend college at the University of Texas to get a degree in Astro-Geology. I hope to work for NASA as an Astro-Geologist after college.