SLU Karate Club Instructors

SLU Karate instructors are passionate individuals who enjoy sharing their knowledge and experiences with their students. Combined, SLU Instructors bring over 70 years experience in several martial art styles to their classes; creating a diverse environment that nurtures hard work ethic, discipline, and tradition. SLU Karate instructors focus on more than just in the dojang - students will find themselves working hard in class, at work, and toward their life goals.

Master Belt Instructors

Master Jamie Mize

Rank: 4th Dan Master Belt
Black Belt Number: #948
Time Training: Started training in 1995

Personal Martial Arts philosophy: “We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training.”

Master Mize began training with SLU Karate as a freshman in January 1995 after two years of Tae Kwon Do training during high school. Master Mize especially developed a love for forms and quickly moved through the club’s ranks, serving as Club Vice-President in 1997 prior to earning his Black Belt at Federation headquarters in October 1998 and becoming an instructor.

Mize returned to co-instruct the Club in 2002 with Master Beardsley after leaving for graduate school from 1999-2001. During this time they have physically and mentally developed over a dozen Apprentice Black Belts and nine Black Belts, including our three current Assistant Instructors. Master Mize earned a Master’s of Science degree in Kinesiology (Sport Psychology emphasis) and routinely brings a positive performance-enhancement approach to the dojang. He emphasizes the mental skills training components of visualization, thought-control, relaxation and anxiety regulation in combination with physical practice to push students to bring the best out of themselves. Master Mize has enjoyed the many friendships he’s made during his nearly 20-year involvement with the Club and looks forward to its continued growth and success at the University.

Master Chris Beardsley

Rank: 4th Dan Master Belt
Black Belt Number: #1220
Time Training: Started training in 1996

Personal Martial Arts Philosophy:  "Speak softly, and carry a big kick."

Humility and modesty will not only keep you out of a fight, they will also help you win a fight. People who are casual, jovial, and witty are usually well-liked, especially when compared to their more intense or brooding counterparts. An unassuming nature also often leads to dismissiveness and underestimation by your opponents, which is a powerful weapon to have. Train hard without showing off... exude confidence without arrogance, and strength without aggression.  Your eyes should say more about you than your stature.

Black Belt Instructors

Dr. David Cormier

Rank: 3rd Dan Black Belt
Black Belt Number: #1997
Time Training: Started training in 2004

Dr. David Cormier began training in Cheezic Tang Soo Do in the Spring semester of 2004 at Saint Louis University (SLU) with SLU Karate. His martial arts training coincided with the start of his MA and PhD program in the English department at SLU where he also teaches composition and literature. Dr. Cormier has been instrumental in coordinating the annual World Martial Arts Symposium at SLU as well as bringing SLU Karate out into the thriving St. Louis martial arts community through workshops and collaborations.

While Dr. Cormier enjoys all aspects of martial arts (forms, technique, self-defense, physical fitness, socializing) sparring is his favorite martial arts past time. Sparring for Dr. Cormier is not about tactics or combos; sparring is about logistics, which is movement management. In martial arts, logistics is the means of efficiently and accurately delivering power to a target. In terms of emphasis, Dr. Cormier enjoys teaching and learning about fighting theory, precise technique, power generation, distance and timing in sparring but views the learning of martial arts as a character building process.

Leila Nguyen

Rank: 3rd Dan Black Belt
Black Belt Number: #1998
Time Training: Started training in 2004

"Those who think by the inch and talk by the mile should be dealt with by the foot."

Mrs. Nguyen started her martial arts training in 2004 as a freshman at Saint Louis University. While involved in many organizations on campus, Leila quickly found her niche in SLU Karate. Leila served as President of SLU Karate from 2007-2011, advocating and promoting the club on SLU's campus. Soon after graduating with a bachelors in Science and a Masters in Public Health, she continued her campaign of cleanliness, organization, and communication skills by working for the local city health department. Currently, she is fighting AIDS, environmental health concerns, and disorganized databases. While not working (or thinking about working), Leila enjoys organizing and re-labeling the equipment storage shed,  running marathons, long distance cycling, backpacking, traveling, and eating ethinic foods.  SLU Karate Club proved to be more than just kicks and punches, as Leila had the opportunity of meeting her true love; she is now happily married to Mr. Nam Nguyen since October 17, 2015.

Leila believes that perseverance is a critical part of martial arts training. In order to grow, one must experience suffering, stress, and even failure in order to develop the stamina and endurance for eventual success. Training with purpose induces suffering, which deepens perseverance, and finally builds character (maturity). The opposite of perseverance is quitting. Don't quit.  

Nam Nguyen

Rank: 3rd Dan Black Belt
Black Belt Number: #2234
Time Training: Started training in 1990

Mr. Nguyen is a Design Engineer and one of the Main Instructors for SLU Karate.  He graduated from SLU with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. His relationship with SLU Karate has developed over five years of undergraduate education at Saint Louis University, and extended into his current teaching/instructor roles and responsibilities.  SLU Karate has granted him the love of his life, Mrs. Leila Nguyen, who thrashes him in the gym, then feeds him tasty food.

Mr. Nguyen hopes to inspire fitness and confidence in individuals.  He believes that martial arts training not only strengthens the body, but also strengthens the character of the person.  He teaches students to always carry oneself, inside and outside the dojang, with humility and integrity.  In terms of martial arts, he values opportunity and sees every opportunity worthwhile to strike fast and hard.  Hesitation is the death of opportunity.