Master Spiridon Cariotis, VII Dan
USMA Founder/ Director
Master Spiridon Cariotis began his Taekwondo journey in 1972 in South Australia under the instruction of Frank Griggs (Choong Bong Lee). In 1993, Master Cariotis established the United Schools of Martial Arts (also known as USMA Taekwondo). Today, he runs several schools across Victoria. Master Cariotis has been involved in various martial arts events, spanning the local and international circuit (Taekwondo, ISKA, NAS and WAKO). In his early years as an Australian representative he achieved gold, silver and two bronze medals in overseas tournaments. With more than 40 years of experience, Master Cariotis continues to teach Taekwondo as a full-time instructor – specialising in the Chang Hon ITF-style. His professional background extends to other arts, including: Goju Karate, Shorin-Ryu, Moo Duk Kwan, Kyokushin Kai Kan, Judo, Boxing, Free-Style, Tang Shou.
Dr Lisa Wise, IV Dan
USMA Instructor/ Administrator
For more than a decade, Dr Lisa Wise has been involved in managing the administrative functions of USMA Taekwondo. She holds the ranking of 4th Degree Black Belt.
On many occasions, Dr Wise has travelled interstate and overseas with the USMA team. She has competed in several ITF-sanctioned events, including the 2014 World Championship in Italy and the Australian Titles in Adelaide.
" I attach many meanings to Taekwondo. It's not all just punches and kicks. For me, it's much deeper than that. A connection is created with the people I teach. Help and be helped. Appreciate and be appreciated. As instructors, we provide people with skills which become more powerful as they progress. At USMA, our rigorous training regime challenges students to discover themselves and strive for improvement. They are able to pinpoint any fears and build the confidence to conquer them.
"In our schools, we uphold strong values, such as discipline and self-control. We keep young people focused – teaching them life skills to ensure they stay on the right track. Taekwondo offers an abundance of goodness, which can be harnessed through years of training, and passion for the art."
"I started training in Taekwondo when my son Tim decided he wanted to do 'that karate thing' at Ashburton Pool and Recreation Centre. I decided to join up as well and soonafter, so did my daughter Krista. Little did I know that over 12 years later, I would still be training, that I would still be excited about learning new skills, that I would have competed in a World Championship as a veteran, and that I would have earned my 4th Dan.
"I have been so fortunate to have trained from day one with Master Spiridon Cariotis, and to have shared my training journey with my children and with so many other wonderful USMA students."
Sabum John Ravlic, IV Dan
USMA Instructor / Coach
John Ravlic started Taekwondo in Melbourne during the late `70s, as a teenager with the Rhee Brothers (ITF). Upon commencing university and full-time work, John stopped regular training. At the time he had reached his 2nd gup (red belt).
It wasn't until 2004 that John returned to Taekwondo with his eldest son. Since then, he has been a regular at USMA Taekwondo – training, instructing, participating in tournaments at club, state, national and international level and, more recently, organising events and activities. John, who now trains with his three teenage sons, recently achieved his 4th dan.
Sabum Vishnu Sankar, V Dan
USMA Instructor/ Australian Champion (Sparring & Patterns, 2010)
Vishnu Sankar enrolled in Taekwondo in 2004. Since then. he has competed in several national competions, taking out gold medals in patterns and sparring events in 2010. Mr Sankar has represented Australia in various overseas tournaments, qualifying for ITF world cups and championships in the following countries: Slovenia (2007), Italy (2008), Argentina (2009), Bratislava (2010), New Zealand (2011) and Italy (2014). His sights are now set on competing at the 2016 World Championships in London.
"I take much pleasure in working with USMA students young and old. I also experience much pride every time our students grade, knowing I had a little input in their development.
"Working with USMA's elite students competing, nationally and internationally, has been an eye-opening experience from which I have personally benefited. I cannot believe the depth of talent and desire of these individuals – and I am not only talking about the young ones. We have a number of veterans that still have that competitive fire in the belly that drives them to achieve the most out of themselves."
"I was looking for something special in a martial art and a school. I had done numerous martial arts in the past but was looking for a school that encouraged looking outside the box, to learn and grow. I found that when I came to USMA.
"I also enjoy the friendships that I have made in Taekwondo, both here in Australia and around the world.
"The more you put into Taekwondo the more you get out of it, and the more it helps you in your everyday life. Whether that be the confidence you need to succeed in competition, or in other aspects of your life or the mental discipline needed to perform at the world championships as well as succeed in school or work, Taekwondo training will give you back everything that you put in."
Lance Rubin, III Dan
Head Instructor, Caulfield Taekwondo
Lance Rubin's interest in the world of martial arts began when he enrolled in Judo at the age of nine. He eventually dropped this to pursue other mainsteam sporting activities, including cricket, swimming and soccer, but his interest in martial arts remained. At 16, Mr Rubin took up Taekwondo as a means of confidence building, fitness and self-defence.
In recent years, he has represented Australia and South Africa at the World Championships, competing successfully in sparring and patterns. He was formerly the head instructor of Bondi Taekwondo in New South Wales and now runs Caulfield Taekwondo in Victoria.
"I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa which is known for its high crime rate. I witnessed a number of incidents whilst growing up and then I realised that I didn’t have many options when it came to facing a potential attack. I opted for Taekwon-Do over Judo as it was a stand up art and I was able to learn how to defend myself against a punch or a kick rather than spending a lot of time on the ground in locks and holds.
"I like everything that a martial art represents around fitness, mind and body connectivity and ultimately, the discipline and resilience that you learn whilst on the matt or in a sparring ring.
"Life is a constant battle between Ying and Yang, you cannot blame anyone for what it throws at you, however, not being adequately prepared is entirely your decision along with some of the consequences that arise from lack of preparation."