Mr. Gary Engels

Owner/Head Instructor

Mr. Gary Engels is currently a 4th degree black belt (Taekwondo) and Royce Gracie Purple Belt (Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu) who founded a martial arts school called Leadership Academy in Woodruff, WI. in August of 2005.

13315261_10208611422418620_9072082282754068272_nThe school was developed to use martial arts training as a vehicle to practice Project Based Leadership Training. Engels designed an online program called Projabi to help assist students with taking action, practicing community service, and developing powerful leadership experiences through community activism. (

pixlr (5)Projabi has been spread around the globe into martial arts schools and charter schools to assist students with starting a community based project and leading a team to success. In 2010, Engels was awarded the first ever “Out of the Dojo and Into the World” Award from an organization called the100. and was also featured in MA Success magazine for the remarkable projects completed by students registered on Projabi.

Mr. Engels started his training at 5 years old in KI Kajukenpo Karate. After 7 years of training, he met Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez and began studying Olympic pixlr (8)TaeKwonDo with him. They traveled around the country competing and has won many awards and recognitions along the way. At 19, he began teaching and helping his new instructor run a successful martial arts school in Appleton WI. Champions Martial Arts, run by Master Shane Tassoul, was the launching point to many of Mr. Engels programs as he learned how to run a successful full time school. Then, in 2005, he moved back to his hometown and was convinced (by friends and family) to open a martial arts school of his own. Leadership Academy was founded on the idea that Martial Arts training is the perfect place to practice real leadership. Through his work with Master Tom Callos and The100 (a Master Teacher training program that believes 100 martial arts school owners can do some incredible work in our world) he has implemented many ideas like the Ultimate Black Belt Test, Environmental Self Defense, Living Heroes Program, Random Acts of Kindness, and Project Based Leadership Training. Master Callos has helped Mr. Engels reach his goals and his 4th degree black belt over the last 8 years.

252705_4384780463333_926288495_nMr. Engels is still training and teaching around the country. He recently was flown out to Reno, NV to speak on the TEDx stage with some of the brightest thinkers and doers in the world today to discuss Project Based Leadership Training and it’s connection to martial arts training. (See TED Video Here)

There aren’t many instructors that are dedicated to their students the way that Mr. Engels is, he teaches every class and closely works with well over a hundred students at Leadership Academy every week.