Training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 1993. During his training at the Renzo Gracie Academy, Karel has trained with and studied under some of the highest authorities in the art including Renzo Gracie, John Danaher, Rodrigo Gracie, Daniel Gracie, Matt Serra, Ricardo Almeida & Shawn Williams. Karel is one of Georges St. Pierre’s training partners when Georges periodically visits the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York. Karel is a highly sought after instructor who has taught seminars across the United States, Canada, Europe and Latin America. He has coached BJJ and submission grappling on national and international level (ADCC, IBJJF, GQ and NAGA tournaments) & cornered amateur and professional MMA fighters.
Karel started studying martial arts in 1986 under Master Byung Sung Cha, reaching the rank of 3rd degree black belt in the World Tae Kwon Do Federation in 1995. In the early 1990′s, while studying and teaching Tae Kwon Do, Karel expanded his martial arts knowledge by attending numerous seminars, including Muy Thai, Jeet Kun Do and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, incorporating the techniques into his martial arts arsenal. Incorporating various martial arts in one’s training became known as mixed martial arts (MMA).
After attending the 1st seminar on the East Coast given by the Gracie family (Helio, Rorion, Royler, Rickson and others), Karel was convinced of the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which was further confirmed by the style’s success in the early mixed martial arts competitions. Karel started taking regular classes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the New York/New Jersey area when they first became available in 1993, when Craig Kukuk, the 1st American black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu moved to East Coast. Shortly after, Renzo Gracie, one of the most successful and dynamic practitioners and teachers of the art moved from Brazil to open an academy with classes in New York and New Jersey, and Karel became one of Renzo’s original students.
Studying under Renzo Gracie and John Danaher (one of the world’s most technical instructors), Karel achieved the prestigious rank of Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt in July 2006. On June 29, 2012 Karel earned his 2nd Degree Black Belt from Renzo Gracie at the Renzo Gracie Academy in NYC and was promoted to 3rd degree Black Belt in July 2015.
Although Karel competes infrequently, he has demonstrated the success of his style (focus on submissions) by winning:
Karel has a Bachelor’s degree from State University of New York (Albany) and Master’s degree from Columbia University. The education and analytical skills have helped Karel continue growing both as a practitioner and teacher of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.