Learn About Our Karate Instructors


All martial arts instructors at Empire State Karate in Smithtown, NY are trained to ensure that our martial arts classes are safe, effective and fun. Our instructors and instructor assistants are trained to focus on more than just teaching martial arts skills. Instructors also learn how to work with all students, tailoring their martial arts teaching methods to fit the individual. Emphasis is put on encouragement and positive correction.


We are committed to teaching the physical skills of martial arts while applying attitude-shaping exercises aimed at bringing out the best character and physical potential in each student. Through weekly martial arts training, instructors advance their own martial art and educational knowledge to become even more effective martial arts teachers.


Empire State Karate instructors are required to maintain their personal level of martial arts knowledge and a high level of personal growth. They are expected to take classes on a regular basis and test at least once per year.

Our Smithtown Martial Arts staff at Empire State Karate looks forward to working with you.

Our current Instructors include:

  • Hanshi Joyce Santamaria (9th Degree Black Belt)

  • Kyoshi Ralph (8th Degree Black Belt)

  • Sensei Melanie Foglia (3rd* Degree Black Belt)

  • Kohai Ryan Altemose (2nd* Degree Black Belt)

  • Kohai Kyle Costigan (2nd* Degree Black Belt)

  • Kohai Kaitlyn Wright (1st Degree Black Belt)

  • Kohai Jake Felicaino  (1st Degree Black Belt)

  • Kohai Richie Massa (1st Degree Black Belt)

  • Michael Grunhaus (1st Degree Black Belt)