Alumni Success: Kevin Kaminski ‘93

An 8th degree black belt, Kevin is a world taekwondo champion as both competitor and coach.

Kevin Kaminski ‘93

For Kevin Kaminski ’93, the gold medals are almost too plentiful to count. The owner of Kaminski’s ATA Martial Arts Academy in Allison Park has racked up an impressive collection of titles, including 28 American Taekwondo Association World Championships. Four of them came this summer at the ATA National Championships in Phoenix, in four different weapons categories: traditional, combat, creative, and Xtreme.

The designated “Senior Master” also coached his wife, Krista, along with two other students including RMU media arts professor Jon Radermacher, to a team sparring gold medal in the age 40 and up bracket at this summer’s national championships. They join a list of impressive performances by Kevin’s students. In 2019, for instance, five of his students won world championship titles. “They’d been trying for years to win the title but came up short,” Kevin says. “But they didn’t quit or give up. They finally achieved their goals, and now they’ve set new ones.”

Kaminski Alumni Success

It’s that kind of determination that Kevin cultivates in students of all ages and abilities.  “We have students with autism, ADHD, and Down syndrome who work extremely hard to overcome obstacles,” he says. “The training they get here teaches self-esteem, discipline, and respect; to set goals and have the perseverance to reach them.”

Kevin started taking taekwondo classes when he was a freshman at RMU. Martial arts quickly become an all-consuming passion for the accounting major. By his junior year, he was teaching taekwondo and scheduling his college classes around training sessions. After graduation, Kevin had a decision to make: Go into corporate accounting or pursue his dream of running a martial arts studio. He decided to follow his passion.

He taught for a few years, and in 1997 purchased the school in Allison Park. Kevin later bought two acres of land across the street and built a plaza that includes a larger training space and rental property. And that RMU accounting degree has been invaluable. “Owning my own business has taken every accounting, finance, marketing, and management skill I ever learned in college,” Kevin says. “My accounting degree and all the other business classes I took had a major role in developing the plaza.”

Currently an eighth-degree black belt — a level that took 30 years to achieve — Kevin now is aiming for the ninth, and ultimate, degree. That means another year of training, a nine-day fasting period, and a ceremony to achieve yet another title, that of “Chief Master.” And possibly another gold medal or two.