Ron Schnell began training in a credit course offered by the St. Petersburg Junior College (SPJC) to fulfill his physical education requirements. In 1985, Mr. Schnell followed his instructor to every class taught around St. Petersburg. It was known that John Graden trained with Kickboxing Legend Joe Lewis and as a Blue Belt, Mr. Schnell took his first “Lewis Seminar.” The impressive instructor provided an outstanding vocabulary for expressing the dynamics of sparring. Terms like “set point”, “lead fighter”, and “counter-counter fighter”, made the science of sparring very intriguing.
While pursuing a Mass Communications degree from the University of South Florida, Mr. Schnell earned his 1st Black Belt in June of 1988. Mr. Schnell immediately became a staff instructor and developed a preschool program for 4 & 5 year old children and taught all the under rank classes. After graduating, Mr. Schnell earned his 2nd Degree Black Belt and took charge of the demonstration team, became an interview reporter on the cable show and opened a satellite program at the Willis S. Johns (Fossil Park) Recreation Center, the precursor to USA Karate’s second location.
With the encouragement of his wife, Joanne and family, a new adventure began in 1995, Superkicks Family Martial Arts opened its doors. While growing the school, Mr. Schnell attended Karate College for six consecutive years and trained with Renzo Gracie, Jhoon Rhee, Benny Urquidez and, of course, Superfoot Bill Wallace. After one weekend training with Mr. Wallace, Mr. Schnell saw immediate increases in his flexibility, speed and timing. His involvement over the years with the Superfoot organization included becoming a Certified Superfoot Training Center, editor of the Superfoot Newsletter and a guest instructor at Superfoot Winter Camp. In 2006, Mr. Schnell earned his 6th Degree Black Belt under Superfoot and was recently inducted in the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame as “Instructor of the Year.”
Presently, Schnell is a high school educator with Pinellas County schools in the curricular areas of English and Computer Sciences. His current assignment is at Lakewood High School where he greets the incoming freshmen. In addition to several general education classes, Schnell serves as an adjunct to the county's premier STEM program, The Center for Advance Technologies (CAT).