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Learn About Our Professional Martial Arts Staff


All martial arts instructors at Acadiana Karate in Lafayette, LA are trained to ensure that our martial arts classes are safe, effective and fun.

Our martial arts Lafayette instructors and instructor assistants are all required to complete an intensive martial arts leadership training prior to teaching or assisting in the classroom. During these martial arts training classes, the focus is 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 child. Emphasis is put on encouragement and positive correction.

More About Our Lafayette Martial Arts Instructors

Our martial arts instructors 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.

The Lafayette Martial Arts instructors are required to maintain their personal level of martial arts knowledge. They are expected to take class on a regular basis and test at least once per year.


"Our instructors' rewards come from the good they do for their students, from their commitment to bringing out the very best in each of the lives they touch. Martial Arts, American Shotokan Style, serves as their personal vehicles for sharing."
.. from the AKI Mission Statement


Shihan Pablo F. Mejia
Sensei Stacey Knight de Mejia

Sensei Kelly Rhodes
Sensei Nicholas Falcon
Sensei Kayla Meche
Sensei Colt Biro
Sempai Sandy Estilette
Sempai Jason Vanhaverbeke
Sempai Lance Broussard
Sempai Max Saltzman

Owner: Shihan Pablo MejiaShihan Pablo F. Mejia

Originally from Honduras, Central America, Shihan Pablo is the owner and president of Acadiana Karate Institute in Lafayette. He has over 28 years of experience in American Shotokan, Shotokan, Jujitsu, Judo, Sensenta, Taekwondo, Keichu Ryu and Kempo. He began his training with Sensei Warren Menard and Master Mikami. He currently holds a 5th Dan in American Shotokan and Keichu Ryu.

More recently, in his quest for knowledge and excellence, Shihan Pablo has studied and trained with Master Ron Von Browning in the Browning Accelerated Fighting Systems, Marcus Silveria in Jujutsu and Master Ron Fergueson of the American Freestyle Grappling Association in submission grappling.

He has conducted business seminars for numerous martial arts school owners throughout the southern United States. He has been named Instructor of the Year and has won School of the Year for the last six years by the Southern League of Associated Martial Artists.

His goal is to own and operate several Acadiana Karate franchises with the main emphasis to educate the public about professional martial arts education. He is the proud father of two sons, Pablo Mejia, III and Skye Mejia.

Owner: Sensei Stacey Knight de Mejia

Stacey is part owner with her husband, Shihan Pablo F. Mejia, of Acadiana Karate Institute here in Lafayette, Louisiana. She began her martial arts training under Shihan Pablo in 1980. She holds a 3rd Dan in American Shotokan. Stacey holds
5 National Forms and Weapons Titles by the National Sports Karate Association, United States World Amateur Karate Organization and the National Black Belt League.

She was named "Female Black Belt Competitor of the Year" in 1994 by the National Black Belt League. She earned the silver medal for the United States at the W.A.K.O. World Championships in 1993. She is also the Otomix Grand Slam Forms Champion and has appeared on Showtime and the Southern Sports Network. She also served as a member of "Team OTOMIX", performing in martial arts demonstrations across the United States.

Stacey appeared in the television series "Mortal Kombat" where she performed a fight scene for the character "Meleena." Below is a picture of her on the Mortal Kombat set.


Sensei Stacy Mejia Stacey, along with her husband, Pablo, were instrumental in bringing the latest fitness craze to Lafayette, "Kardio Kickbox." To date, Acadiana Karate has trained thousands of women and men in this new and exciting fitness program, which combines karate, kickboxing and aerobics. Stacey was featured in the November 1998 issue of "OXYGEN" Magazine as a Kardio Kickbox expert.

In addition to her martial arts career, Stacey graduated from the LSU Law Center in 1988. After practicing law for 8 years, she retired in 1996 to operate her martial arts school with her husband full-time and to raise their son, Skye.
Stacey's future goals include unifying sport karate competition so that it may be recognized as an Olympic event for her students.

She serves on Speaker panel for the Lafayette Parish School Board "Just Say No" program. Sensei Stacey is also a volunteer lawyer for the Lafayette Parish Bar Association's Protective Order panel for domestic violence victums.

In 2010, Sensei received her certification for nationally recognized "Verbal Judo" Self Defense for Youth Program.




2464 West Congress St
Lafayette, LA 70506

814 Fortune Rd
Youngsville LA 70592