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Heath Waterman

Sensei 3rd Degree Black Belt

Sensei began training at Pinney’s American Karate in 1993 and earned his black belt in 1999 at age 13. He was the first to achieve this rank in the school and one of the youngest to be certified by the Zen-Do Kai International Organization.


In 2000, the ZDK and Mr. Pinney awarded Sensei and his family the opportunity to meet Chuck Norris on the set of Walker Texas Ranger.


He became Mr. Pinney's full-time assistant in 2004, helping develop curriculum improvements and implement new testing standards.

A month after graduating college, he opened WMA in January 2008 at 128 Phelps St in Oneida.


In 2012, he expanded the dojo’s teaching roster, signing on Carlton Elijah and Michael Morse to teach Capoeira and Kettlebells, respectively. He also worked with local schools and developed an annual self-defense program that continues to be taught throughout Central New York. This introductory seminar has been adapted to also benefit women's groups and individuals in high-risk occupations.


He was awarded his black belt in Japanese sword in 2014 by Mr. Woodcock, and later that same year, launched WMA’s online curriculum.


The dojo moved to Sherrill in 2017, and Sensei began teaching karate at the city’s annual morning programs.


With PAK’s closing in 2018, he opened a second location in Hamilton, NY, and was honored to be entrusted with Mr. Pinney’s students.


Despite WMA students routinely scoring high in tournaments and tests, Sensei continues to increase his knowledge and discover ways to improve the school and its curriculum.


Zen Do Kai International


Founded by Michael Campos in 1974, this association is home to member and affiliate schools across America, Europe, Canada, South America, and Australia. 


For the full description of the organization and it’s director’s

accomplishments check out the link below:



William "Speedbag Cory" Anno


Cory began training kickboxing and judo with Chuck Putnam in 1980.  In 1985 he joined, Doug Tourney.  Master Tourney studied multiple styles, but primarily taught Cory karate, boxing, and physical wellness.  Cory continued to train with him until 1998.

He introduced himself to WMA in 2011, offering to teach speed bag lessons. He has since helped Sensei develop the dojo’s kickboxing and core fitness curriculum, found new students, and donated equipment. 


He continues to be a strong supporter of the dojo to present day.  


Jeanine Conway

1st Degree Black Belt

Jeanine first joined the dojo as a parent, watching her daughters climb through the ranks.  Her personal journey in martial arts began with kickboxing in 2013.  In 2014, she was invited to train alongside Sensei Waterman under Mr. Woodcock and immediately connected with the sword arts.


She was awarded her Shodan rank in both Kendo and Iaido by Mr. Woodcock in 2017.


In 2018, Jeanine began working with Sensei to create a fully realized sword club for the dojo.  She invested significant time and effort into research and experimenting, ensuring the club matched the karate program’s high standards.  With a degree in Psychology focusing on abnormal and criminal behavior, she provided key insight into the creation of the dojo’s annual SSA seminars.


In 2019, she helped structure a standardized curriculum and ranking system for sword.


A dedicated runner and lifter, she continues to train relentlessly and plans to achieve her advanced black belt while overseeing the sword club’s official launch. 


"The Gatekeeper" Waterman

1st Degree Black belt

Ethan began martial arts watching his elder siblings in class, mimicking karate moves before he could even walk.

He officially started at PAK in 1998 and rapidly rose through the ranks to become a junior black belt in 2003 at age 10.

He was the first to go through PAK’s entire junior black ranking system, and after a few short hiatuses, achieved his full black belt in 2013 with a panel consisting of judges from across the United States. After fully joining WMA, he assisted Sensei Waterman in growing the school and day to day operations.

He moved to Seattle in 2015, taking a job as a security officer. The profession and location led to him encountering numerous violent situations. While it validated his self-defense training, Ethan felt it necessary to step away from martial arts for several years.

However, he has gradually resumed training and has taken advantage of the dojo’s expanded virtual resources. He uses his first-hand experiences to act as an SD consultant to Sensei and has visited several times to assist on tests and mentor the next generation of WMA students.


Robert Pinney

6th Degree Black Belt

Robert Pinney began his martial arts career in 1984, studying Tae Kwon Do at Norwich Martial Arts.

He founded Pinney's American Karate in 1992 in downtown Hamilton, NY under the guidance of ZDK Cobleskill's Ed Davenport and ZDK Director Michael Campos, transitioning the school system from TKD to Karate. 

In 1994, Colgate University hired him as Director of Martial Arts.  He oversaw the operation of the student run clubs and promoted events.  PAK moved to the Colgate campus where Sensei Pinney taught it in conjunction with the Colgate American Karate Club.

The ZDK Super Summer Seminars Camp moved to Colgate in 1996 and PAK assisted with the event for 13 years.  The first Pinney’s Karate Tournament was held in 1997 and is still going strong.

PAK opened a satellite school in North Norwich in 2002 which moved to Sherburne, NY in 2005.

Pinney’s American Karate officially closed doors on May 1st, 2018, but Sensei Pinney continues to teach Colgate’s self-defense PE program, host the annual tournament, and frequently mentors WMA instructors and students.


During his career he and his club received numerous awards including:  Zen-Do Kai Top Schools Awards, DSI Seminar Coordinator, and Zen-Do Kai Promoter of the Year.


Autumn "The Honey Badger" Davis

1st Degree Black Belt

Autumn started in 2009 at age 6. She struggled through the beginner ranks and fell behind her peers in the intermediate range, becoming the first WMA student to fail an official test in 2013. Frustrated, but unwilling to quit, she worked to overcome her natural limitations through sheer work ethic and achieved her junior black belt in 2016. It

was during this time she started dominating local tournaments and earned the nickname Honey Badger. Then in 2018, she became the dojo’s first full black belt, wowing an inter-state panel of judges, and leaving her significantly larger attackers (Sensei and Sempai Waterman) reliant on ibuprofen.

Autumn has since grown into Sensei’s main assistant, managing both teaching and business matters during his few absences. In 2019, she developed a college preparation SD course to benefit young women leaving for college.

While attending University of Rochester, she has maintained top grades academically and continues to actively train.


Joseph Chevrette

Business Strategy Adviser, MBA

Joe came on board during the school’s first expansion in 2012.  Originally brought in to help with marketing graphics and campaigns, his role has since expanded into that of the school’s Business Strategy Adviser.

He oversaw the renovation of the Phelps St. dojo, which increased the student base by 50%. 

In 2014, his direction played a key role in keeping doors open during the original dojo’s collapse and ensuing challenges.

He was instrumental in launching the Hamilton location, and continues to cultivate new opportunities for the school. 

Joe holds a Master’s Degree of Business Administration in Technology Management and works as a Senior Consultant for the Inizio Technology Consulting group, www.GoInizio.com