Meet Sensei Pannulla
SENSEI MIKE PANNULLA
Mike Pannulla, Sensei is the owner and head instructor of Magnus Karate located in West Chester, PA. A lifelong dedicated student of the martial arts, Mike has been practicing actively and consistently for over 28 years.
Since his high school years, Mike has made teaching and advancing his understanding of karate his professional mission. Beginning his martial arts training in the fifth grade under John McManus, Sabomnim (Odyssey Karate – Coatesville, PA), Mike fell in love with martial arts practice and by the end of high school knew that he would teach karate full time.
Currently Sensei holds a 4th degree black belt certification in Shobayashi Shorin Ryu and is a dedicated student of Kyoshi Tony D’Angelo (Endokan Hombu Dojo – New Lenox, IL) studying Okinwanan Shobayashi Shorin Ryu as his base art. Under the guidance of Bill Hayes, Hanshi and Tony D’Angelo, Kyoshi Mike is an active member of the Shobayshi-Kan, an international martial arts organization promoting the cultural values of the Okinawan people and the martial art of karate-do.
As an avid and consistent learner Sensei trains to advance his personal studies. Mike continues to train weekly in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and includes ground grappling and wrestling skills into all of his classes. He also takes private lessons from his teachers on a monthly basis and regularly trains in Filipino Martial Arts (Eskrima) and Okinawan Kobudo (Classical Okinawan Weapons) which he teaches in weapons skills to his students. In 2021, Sensei completed a complete 21 part course in medical and martial Qigong under his teacher Dr. Tony D’Angelo. His training in Qigong has helped him to include mobility programming, breathing training, and meditation into his classes.
A proud Owl, Mike earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sport and Recreation Management from Temple University. After graduation he continued his education at West Chester University studying physical education, adaptive physical education, and general education studies. He is a devoted husband and father of two who loves spending his time outside of the dojo going on adventures with his family.
FOUNDER: THE MAGNUS FOUNDATION
Established in 2019 The Magnus Foundation, a 501(c)(3), is an offshoot of Magnus Karate, LLC. After 9 years of owning and operating Magnus Karate Sensei Pannulla and his wife decided to pursue the creation of a nonprofit organization to provide more opportunities to Magnus’s young leaders and to have a platform to get martial arts deeper into the local community.
The Magnus Foundation began by awarding scholarships to the students and employees of Magnus Karate as they pursued higher education in 2020. They are now known as the Ted Newell Educational Scholarships in honor of a late Foundation supporter and Magnus Karate student. In 2022 the Foundation expanded to reach more children in the greater West Chester area by funding a summer karate camp experience in partnership with the Charles A. Melton Arts and Education Center and Magnus Karate. The camp experience presented the opportunity for the Foundation to also begin offering tuition scholarships for children from the summer camp to train at Magnus Karate as full time students.
SPEAKING AND VOLUNTEERING
Mike volunteers time every year to speak at multiple conferences. Recently he has shared his knowledge of Qigong and meditation at movement workshops geared toward adults – speaking on breathing and movement. He also speaks regularly at a conference for children who have Alopecia to teach them about dedication, excellence, and how to live boldly with their Alopecia. At “Alopeciapalooza” run by The Children’s Alopecia Project he has the opportunity to present a full class and teach them his methods on strong mindset and dedication.
DR. TONY D'ANGELO, DMQ (KYOSHI, 8TH DAN)
Mike is a direct and private student of Dr. Tony D’Angelo, 8th Dan, Kyoshi, in Shobayashi Shorin Ryu. He has been a student of D’Angelo, Kyoshi since 2014 and continues to visit his dojo in New Lenox, Illinois multiple times a year to receive private and group training in Shobayashi Ryu. Currently Mike is a full member of the Endokan and holds a 4th degree black belt in Shobayashi Shorin Ryu under D’Angelo, Kyoshi. Magnus Karate is an EndoKan Shibu Dojo (Affiliate Dojo) and connects its adult level curriculum and training concepts to the headquarters dojo in Illinois.
D’Angelo, Kyoshi is the senior student to Major Bill Hayes (Hanshi, 9th Dan, Shobayashi Shorin Ryu) and is a senior member of the Shobayashi-Kan, a martial arts organization dedicated to preserving and advancing Okinawan Karate and life protection arts internationally.
FOUNDATIONAL STUDIES - John McManus
Sensei Pannulla began his martial arts journey under John McManus, Sabomnim (5th Dan, Traditional Tang Soo Do) at Odyssey Karate in Thorndale, PA. Mike attained a fourth degree black belt in Traditional Tang Soo Do in 2008 under John McManus. Mike considers him a life mentor and the inspiration behind all of his curriculum design, educational philosophies, and community development initiatives.
Mike was so inspired by his time training at Odyssey Karate that he decided to name Magnus Karate after John McManus as a tribute to all that came with his teachings. As a public educator (now retired) John McManus brought educational insights into his karate teaching style which Mike has taken with him beyond his foundational training. Under John McManus, Mike learned how to coach, teach group classes, and become a leader in active classes. He considers his time spent at Odyssey Karate to be the most intricate and important time period of his 28 years in martial arts.
John McManus continues to teach at Odyssey Karate and promote Traditional Tang Soo Do in a “student first” driven environment.
SHOBAYASHI-KAN AND LINEAGE
Sensei is a full member of the Shobasyahi-Kan, a research society dedicated to the preservation and growth of classical Shobayashi Shorin Ryu. Shobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Shaolin-way) is a style of Okinawan Shorin-Ryu karate founded by Chotoku Kyan and passed to Eizo Shimabukuro.
The Shobayashi Kan is led by Major Bill Hayes (Hanshi, 9th Degree, Shobayshi Shorin Ryu) a first generation senior student of Eizo Shimabukru (10th Degree, Founder of Shobayashi Shorin Ryu).
The Shobayashi Kan is committed to life-long study, skill, character development, and healthy living habits, in an effort to honor the accomplishments of some of Okinawa’s great masters – past and present.
Sensei attends multiple group trainings and workshops annually hosted by the Shobayashi Kan. Magnus Karate is the host of the associations annual fall training retreat. Sensei is a third generation Shobayshi Shorin Ryu practitioner (Bill Hayes to Tony D’Angelo to Mike Pannulla) and is a full time promoter of Shobayashi Ryu, our academy’s primary style of study.
jiu jitsu training
Mike has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for nearly two years with his coach Zach Shimoas (Black Belt, BJJ). Sensei spends time each week privately training in Jiu Jitsu with Zach and incorporates Jiu Jitsu and wrestling concepts into all of his lessons at Magnus Karate.
Zach is an eleven year practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and is a successful tournament competitor. Under Zach’s guidance Mike has designed our academy’s grappling program called “Magnus Grappling”. Our students in all levels of Age 7+ programming and Adult/Teen classes learn ground grappling in their regular classes and are offered special monthly grappling workshops and classes.
Zach routinely visits our Adult/Teen class as a guest instructor to teach no gi grappling classes.
To learn more about Zach you can follow him on instagram: @zscobra
QIGONG AND MEDITATION STUDIES
Sensei has over eight years of experience practicing and teaching Qigong and meditation. Mike completed a 21 part medical and martial Qigong course at the Tranquil Cloud Temple under Dr. Tony D’Angelo (DMQ, China) in New Lenox, Illinois.
Mike incorporates Qigong and meditation into his adult level classes to help his students understand internal movement concepts, joint freedom, and to improve mobility. A large component of meditation incorporated in his classes comes in the form of advanced breathing mechanics and techniques he learned while attending his classes at Tranquil Cloud Temple.
Mike regularly practices Qigong and teaches workshops and special events courses at Magnus Karate.
Sensei Pannulla is the program director and head coach of our Teaching Team and Leadership Team programs at Magnus Karate.
Our academy features multiple teachers and coaches in every class. Our Teaching Team is led by Sensei Pannulla and all members of the team are active and current students at Magnus Karate.
Teaching Team members meet with Sensei multiple times per month to receive special training in instructional strategies, curriculum insight, and classroom management strategies.
Our top priority at Magnus Karate is student quality and progress. We pride ourselves on providing top quality, detail, and passion in every class.
Our Teaching Team is the pride of Magnus Karate, you will routinely see Sensei coaching and teaching side by side with all of his teachers.