World Class Martial Arts Instruction at Bronx Martial Arts Academy

At the Bronx Martial Arts Academy, we set high standards for ourselves and we challenge each other to achieve our best in all that we do.  We believe that through the practice of martial arts, we become better people. Through effort and dedication, our martial arts training improves not only our lives, but also the lives of those around us.

That is why we go to great lengths to provide world class martial arts instruction. Interested in learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?  Our instructors are Renzo Gracie and John Danaher Black and Brown belts. Interested in learning Shotokan Karate? We offer classes taught by national and international champions.  Interested in learning Muay Thai? Our instructor has traveled to Thailand and trained with the best. He brings years of knowledge and technique back to the Bronx. Our instructors are passionate and focused on providing you with the best technical martial instruction.

Bronx Martial arts Academy staff.


Professor Doug Pelinkovic

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt | Shotokan Karate Black Belt

Professor Doug Pelinkovic, a life-long martial artist, holds a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under world-renowned Professor John Danaher. During his eighteen years at the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York City, he has trained with and studied under some of the highest authorities in the sport, members of the Gracie family, and several mixed martial arts fighters and champions.

Professor Pelinkovic is also a Black Belt in Shotokan Karate under renowned instructor Shihan Kai Leung. Since earning his Black Belt, Professor Pelinkovic has continued his training with Sensei Adel Elbehiry.

A 3rd degree Black Belt in Shotokan Karate, Professor Pelinkovic is a 3-time USA National Team Member, a 4-time national champion, and a multiple-time state and regional champion.


Professor Andrew Johnson

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt | ISCA certified level 2 Kickboxing Instructor

Professor Andrew Johnson holds a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Master Renzo Gracie and Professor John Danaher. He is also an ISCA certified level 2 kickboxing instructor and certified by the National Academy for sports medicine for personal training. With a passion for physical fitness, Professor Johnson has helped the young and old in their quest for health and fitness.

Professor Johnson truly believes that you will gain a tremendous amount of confidence and sense of fulfillment through the martial arts and fitness. He is very excited to be part of an organization that is so intent on producing leaders both in the martial arts and in the community.


Professor Lou Presta

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt

Professor Lou Presta began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2003. In 2007, he met Professor Doug through mutual friends and has been training with him ever since. As a Black Belt under Professor Pelinkovic, he stresses the use of leverage and proper technique over strength. He believes the keys to getting better are training hard, training smart, and training consistently.

Off the mat, Professor Presta graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a B.S. in Economics and Finance and works as a Financial Analyst. He’s also a WKC certified kettlebell instructor.


Instructor Joey Hernandez

Muay Thai Instructor

From the time he first watched Sugar Ray Leonard box, young Joey Hernandez knew he wanted to be a boxer. Though his passion may have started as a child, his boxing career didn't start until his early 30's.

In 2010, while working at the Mushin MMA gym, he was introduced to Muay Thai instructor Sean Hinds and started his training in Muay Thai. Six months later he had won his very first fight. From that point on, he never looked back.

He became the assistant Muay Thai instructor at Mushin, allowing him to immerse himself in his craft. Within a few months, he was teaching and actively competing.

Joey became the TBA tournament Muay Thai World Champion in 2012. His love for Muay Thai even took him to Thailand's famous Sitsongpeenong camp to train under Master Monlit Sitphodaeng. Joey actively trains under Master Aziz Nabih at Sitan Gym in Queens NY. Instructor Joey also currently holds a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Professor Pelinkovic.


Sensei Rahul Bhowmick

Shotokan Karate Black Belt / Muay Thai instructor

Sensei Rahul Bhowmick began his journey in karate at the young age of 6 as a student under Shihan Kai Leung at the Shotojuku Dojo in Astoria, Queens. Upon earning his Black Belt under Shihan Leung, Sensei Rahul has remained a committed student and now he brings his 20+ years of experience to the Bronx Martial Arts Academy.

Earning his a Doctorate Degree in Pharmacy (Pharm.D) from St. John’s University – Queens and his Certification in Personal Training from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), Sensei Rahul combines his formal education and martial arts training to promote an active healthy lifestyle. His passion in spreading the art has also reached a collegiate level as Sensei Rahul is an Adjunct Professor at CUNY Hostos College and teaches classes in Medical Terminology and Nutrition during the Fall and Spring semesters. Upon climbing one mountain, Sensei Rahul is always looking to further himself in martial arts and fitness and looks forward to seeing you at the BMAA.


Sensei Bernard Clemons

Shotokan Karate Black Belt

Sensei Bernard Clemons started training Shotokan Karate in 1992 at Kai Leung’s Shotojuku in Astoria, Queens under Sensei Gene Dunn. After earning his Black Belt on December 9, 1995 under Shihan Kai Leung that’s when his journey really began. His never ending thirst for knowledge in the martial arts has also taken him into the study of Kobudo (weapons) and Goshin Jitsu (the art of self defense). After training Under Shihan Toshihiro Oshiro in Kobudo for twenty two years, Sensei Clemons is now one of the top weapon experts in the country. He has also won many Grand Championships with his weapon Kata’s. Sensei Clemons looks to bring his love for the martial arts to the Bronx to help extend his knowledge and enthusiasm to our students.


Professor Stanley Rosa

Brazilian Jiu jitsu Black Belt

Stanley Rosa is currently a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Pelinkovic. He started martial arts at the age of 16 and currently also holds a 2nd degree Brown Belt in Kenpo Karate, as well as a Green Belt in Shotokan Karate. A dedicated martial artist, Professor Stan believes that there are no short cuts when it comes to training. His hard work and dedication can be seen every day through his consistent training and competitive spirit.


Professor Igor Popovic

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt

Igor Popovic started practicing BJJ in his home country of Montenegro in 2009, where he was part of the first generation of BJJ athletes. A mere two years later, Igor won the first gold medal for Montenegro in the Serbian Open 2011.

He moved to the USA in 2012, where he met Professor Pelinkovic and proudly joined the BMAA-Renzo Gracie family. Igor holds a brown belt in BJJ under Professor Pelinkovic and is a dedicated BMAA instructor.

In his roles as a student, an instructor or a competitor, Igor views the mat as a mirror which reflects our spirit (inner self).

Igor also graduated as an Environmental Engineer from the Facilities of Metallurgy, Technology and Biology of the University of Montenegro.


Justin Pagan

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt

Justin Pagan is currently a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Pelinkovic. In addition to his love for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Justin also trains and competes in Muay Thai. Equally important on and off the mats, he works hard at improving the lives of many of our students by encouraging self-confidence and fitness. Justin is currently enrolled in borough of Manhattan Community College and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Justin works diligently in improving the atmosphere at BMAA for both parents and students. He is working hard to reach his black belt every day.


Cristina Velez

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt

Cristina Velez is currently a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Pelinkovic. As the Program Director of both the Bronx Martial Arts Academy and Renzo Gracie Bayside, she is responsible for all of the day to day activities of both academies and helping to improve the lives of hundreds of students through the Martial Arts.

Cristina graduated Cum Laude from CUNY Lehman College with a BA in Mass Communications and Journalism. Her commitment to student service helps everyone regardless of age or stage - to build long-lasting, positive relationships in both academies. In the course of managing the administrative side of the Bronx Martial Arts Academy and Renzo Gracie Bayside, she communicates her enthusiasm and love for the martial arts to every student on a daily basis. She continues to train hard daily toward her Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as well as training Muay Thai under Instructor Joey and Instructor Carlos.