top of page



A sneak peak into the lives of the staff here at West Coast World Martial Arts El Dorado Hills, CA.

Owner/Master Instructor

KJN Gary Merlo began his martial arts training in the Bay Area at the age of 15. For the past Fifteen years, he’s enjoyed training thousands of students in his role of owner and head instructor of WCWMA El Dorado Hills.


Being an 8th-degree black belt, KJN Gary takes seriously the responsibility of instructing his students in the traditions and disciplines passed on to him by WCWMA founder and master instructor KJN Ernie Reyes. He believes the practice of martial arts and the discipline of training help to develop the necessary skills to succeed in whatever goals a student might have. His goal is to create a supportive environment where his students, both children, and adults, will not only learn about martial arts but also about themselves.


KJN Gary’s passions lie in helping his students reach their martial arts potential while balancing all areas of life. While celebrating each step of growth and achievement in martial arts, his dedication to his students goes far beyond the mat. Whether dealing with bullies and school conflict, the loss of loved ones, health issues, or tough times, KJN Gary is an invaluable resource in helping his students maneuver the trials of life. By mandating a Zero Tolerance for bullying in his school, KJN Gary allows the unique personalities, gifts, and talents of his students to thrive in a collaborative, creative environment where they’re encouraged to become their best.


KJN Gary is not only committed to his students, but he’s also deeply involved in serving his community. By supporting local schools and non-profits with fundraisers, demonstrations, self-defense workshops, anti-bullying seminars, and volunteering, he works hard to encourage the efforts of leading organizations in education and important social issues affecting society today.

Martial Arts Instructor | West Coast Martial Arts School
Tami Merlo

Bio coming soon

bottom of page