About Melander’s Martial Arts Academy

The story of our school starts way back in the 1980’s when a young Jeff Melander studied under Mr. Tony Irvin in the Red Dragon Karate School in Ballston Spa, New York.

About Red Dragon Karate School

Jeff Melander with Tony Irvin

Jeff Melander with Tony Irvin

The Red Dragon Karate School was established in Ballston Spa, New York in 1981 by Mr. Tony Irvin. Practicing an “American Freestyle System” with influences found from many different styles including Tae Kwon Do and a base style of Pentjak Silat. Red Dragon Karate School was a member of the Zen-Do Kai Martial Arts Association.

Sensei Jeff Melander - 11 years old.

Sensei Jeff Melander – 11 years old.

Jeff Melander began his training in the martial arts in 1982. At just eleven years of age he earned his Black Belt, becoming the youngest to do so in the Zen-Do Kai Association and New York’s Capital Region. Presently a 5th degree Black Belt, Melander is a tournament veteran, both locally and on the national karate tour. Twice he has earned the “Competitor of the Year” award and has also been awarded “Instructor of the Year” & the Bushido award by the Zen-Do Kai Association.

SenseiLavigne photo by Kick Pics

Sifu Roland Lavigne

With much consideration after being offered a position at Safety America Karate in Sugarland, Texas, Sensei Jeff Melander turned over the reigns of the Red Dragon Karate School to Sensei Roland Lavigne in December of 2015. Roland, who had been a stand out student at Red Dragon Karate School and had already been running his own school, Eight Star Martial Arts since 2011, took on the additional responsibility and challenge of a second school. This new chapter of the history of the Red Dragon Karate School is still unfolding as Sifu Lavigne has combined both schools and is currently running Eight Star Martial Arts and Red Dragon Karate School which has two locations, Ballston Spa and Warrensburg. This video was created by Josh Rask of Josh Rask Films during Sensei Jeff Melander’s tenure as the owner of Red Dragon Karate School and also features Sifu Lavigne as an instructor. Enjoy!

Melander’s Martial Arts Academy – A new chapter…

Mr. Melander’s position at Safety America Karate was very fulfilling and a great learning experience in a new and different environment, however, to be closer to family, he has decided to once again return to the Capital Region. Melander’s Martial Arts Academy will open in Glens Falls, New York in July 2018. This new school is a member of the Zen-Do Kai Martial Arts Association and will follow the same rules and practices put in place at the Red Dragon Karate School. We welcome you to stop in and try a class for free or just observe and see how our style of Martial Arts would be a great fit for you and your family! We are a short drive from Queensbury, Hudson Falls, South Glens Falls, Saratoga and many surrounding areas.