Agape Black Belt Center
Agape Black Belt Center’s vision is to establish ourselves in our local community as a valued place of instruction, not only in martial arts but in life. We believe that a strong and balanced physical foundation can help foster psychological, emotional, and spiritual health as well, which are just as, if not more, important to a person’s overall well-being.
Master John Ra’s Biographical Sketch
Master John Ra began his martial arts training at the age of eleven in Los Angeles, California. Throughout his school years, Master Ra competed in local Taekwondo tournaments, the California State Championships, and received medals in numerous national and international Taekwondo tournaments including Collegiate Nationals. Master Ra attended Yong-In University, receiving a degree in Judo and Physical Education, one of the top martial arts institutions in the world and where the best of the best in Korea go for their training.
He was on the Yong-In University Judo Demonstration Team and was an assistant to Professor Byun-Gum Ahn, the 1984 Olympic Judo Gold Medalist.
After finishing his studies at Yong-In University, Master Ra returned to Los Angeles in 1998 and was an Instructor at Dae-Myung Judo Taekwondo Academy, of Glendale California, under Grandmaster Jae-Ho Park.
In 2006, Master Ra and his family moved to Rochester, New York, and opened Agape Martial Arts. He has taught hundreds of enthusiastic students and has quickly become one of the area’s most recognized and visible experts in martial arts.
He has a passion for passing on his knowledge and approach to these arts to anyone with a willingness to dedicate themselves, both children and adults. In 2014, Agape Martial Arts changed its name to Agape Black Belt Center, and in the summer of 2015, they relocated to Monroe Ave. in Pittsford/ Brighton, New York.
With over 30 years of martial arts experience, Master Ra instructs and oversees day-to-day operations at Agape Black Belt Center and conducts seminars and demonstrations around the Rochester area.
Master John Ra holds a 7th degree in Hapkido, a 6th degree in Taekwondo, and a 5th degree in Judo.
He and his wife Joanna have three kids, Hailey, Luke and Matthew, with the whole family being committed martial arts enthusiasts.
Agape Black Belt Center
Master John Ra
Master John Ra (7th Dan Hapkido, 6th Dan Taekwondo, 5th Dan Judo) has been studying martial arts since 1984. He received a degree in Judo and Physical Education from the prestigious Yong In University of Martial Arts in Yongin, South Korea. He has competed and received medals in numerous national and international Taekwondo tournaments including Collegiate Nationals. With over 30 years of martial arts experience, he instructs and oversees day-to-day operations at Agape Black Belt Center and conducts seminars and demonstrations around the Rochester area.
Self Defense Instructor
Beginning with an interest in Asian culture, Bill Bendschneider (2nd Dan Kuk Sool Won) began studying traditional Korean martial arts in the mid-1980s. His love of martial arts has extended to training in Aikido and Kali and most recently Tae Kwon Do/Hapkido under Master Ra. He has found the quality of instruction at Agape Black Belt Center to be unsurpassed and is inspired by the dedication of this martial arts family. As an educator (International Baccalaureate Psychology & Theory of Knowledge, Finger Lakes Community College Introduction to Psychology & Sociology, and World History), he particularly appreciates the attention to character development at ABBC and the solid grounding in positive virtues which are at the heart of the center’s programs.
Hailey Ra is a 4th-degree black belt and has been training in taekwondo since she was five. Throughout her journey as a martial artist, she has achieved many state titles and has become a top national competitor in Poomsae. She has received numerous accolades to her name informs, leadership, and outstanding achievement. She is the current state champion in three states and a nationally ranked athlete. Instructor Hailey competed in the 2018 Canada Open Taekwondo Championships and won all Junior Poomsae divisions and was also selected as the female Poomsae MVP. Hailey instructs classes regularly and can also be seen training and helping around the academy.
Taekwondo Jr. Instructor
Luke Ra is a 4th-degree black belt and started studying Taekwondo in 2007. At the academy, he can be seen assisting as well as leading classes. Outside of the academy, Luke likes to spend his free time with his friends. He also enjoys playing basketball with others and drawing. In addition to these hobbies, Luke also enjoys competing in tournaments. Throughout the years he has received numerous medals in local and regional competitions.
Taekwondo Jr. Instructor
Matthew Ra currently holds a 4th-degree black belt and has been studying taekwondo since 2007. Over the years of training, Matthew has competed in numerous local, state, and national competitions. Matthew enjoys competing in sports poomsae and sparring. Outside of taekwondo, Matthew enjoys playing basketball and hanging out with his friends and family.
Mrs. Ra has extensive experience in working with/ providing care for multi-age children and has been our director for over 10 years. She oversees the daily operations of the school programs and serves as our parents/student liaison. Mrs. Ra’s mission is to provide each child with quality, personalized care, and she works closely with our staff to maintain a safe, disciplined, nurturing (and FUN!!) environment for our students.