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Our Team

Hardee Merritt

Hardee Merritt

Owner & Senior Instructor

Hardee Hakutoshi Merritt, owner of Chapel Hill Quest Martial Arts, has a talent for teaching students of all ages that is unparalleled. His incredible ability to equip and inspire students can neither be taught nor adequately described, and his engaging teaching style is equal parts informative, exciting, thought-provoking, and fun. Mr. Merritt is a Rokudan (sixth degree black belt) in To-Shin Do, a brown belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, and an ACE Certified Personal Trainer.

Bryan Evans

Bryan Evans

General Manager & Instructor

Bryan Guntoshi Evans graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2008 with a B.S. in Biology and has been training at the Quest Center since 2006. Before becoming a full-time instructor, Bryan was extremely active in the Coach/Trainer program. His natural leadership abilities make him an ideal instructor for both youth and adults. Mr. Evans is a Yondan (fourth degree black belt) in To-Shin Do.

Justin Panza

Justin Panza

Youth Director & Instructor

Justin Deitoshi Panza has been training at Chapel Hill Quest Martial Arts since 2009 and began teaching shortly after. A UNC graduate with degrees in film production and coaching education, he takes his love for creativity and translates it into his martial training. Working with youth is how he fosters encouragement and possibility for others, bringing to life the fantasy that brought him here as a teenager. He is a certified coach through the nationally accredited ASEP program; his cumulative experience makes him an ideal fitness and martial arts instructor. Mr. Panza is a Sandan (third degree black belt) in To-Shin Do.

Brett Moran

Brett Moran

Instructor

Brett Moran has been training at Chapel Hill Quest Martial Arts since 2012. As he progressed through his training, Brett became active in the Coach/Trainer program. He was handpicked for the instructor team not only because of his dedication to the art, but due to his warm personality and sincere desire to help every other student grow with him. Brett teaches Youth and Adult classes and is involved in the fitness program. Mr. Moran is a shodan (first degree black belt) in To-Shin Do.

Staff

Rachel Merritt

Rachel Merritt

Owner & Program Manager

Rachel has a Masters in Sustainable Development from The University of St. Andrews in Scotland. After graduating, she spent a year in New Mexico working with the Mescalero Apache tribe. She has been the Program Manager at Quest since 2014 and manages all events, the social calendar, community outreach, and the scholarship fund. 

Kelly Cox

Kelly Cox

QuestKick & QuestFit Instructor

Kelly has over 20 years experience in Martial Arts and has been training at Chapel Hill Quest Martial Arts since 2010 and has a nidan (second degree) black belt in To-Shin Do. He is a certified corrective exercise specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and has 7 years experience as massage therapist. Kelly teaches our fitness and kickboxing classes and is a CTI certified instructor.

Eric Gadol

Eric Gadol

Coach & Trainer Program Coordinator

Dr. Eric Nentoshi Gadol has been training at Chapel Hill Quest Martial Arts since 2004. Dr. Gadol has a background in clinical psychology, earning his doctorate from UNC Chapel Hill in 2013. He is a sandan (third degree) black belt in To-Shin Do, a certified CTI instructor, and is the program coordinator for our coach and trainer program. Our coach and trainer program is an invitation only group of committed senior students who have been trained to assist with our classes. Dr. Gadol is also very active in our meditation program. 

Connie Vance

Connie Vance

Women's Self Defense Leader

Connie has been training at Quest for 8 years and is a second degree black belt in to-shin do. She is a senior member of our certified coach and trainer program and a leader in our women's self defense program.