About Innovative Martial Arts Academy

High-Energy Martial Arts For All Ages And Abilities

Our Core Values

We value family first and we emphasize that in everything we do. In our facility, you’ll feel welcomed from day one and challenged with exciting classes that are always changing to keep you on your toes. We take a top-down approach to teaching character education. Our instructors and staff live and believe principles like Focus, Discipline, Integrity, and Perseverance.

IMAA Student Creed

I will develop myself in a positive manner and avoid anything that could reduce my mental growth or physical health.

I will develop self-discipline in order to bring out the best in myself and others.

I will use common sense before self defense and never be abusive or offensive.

This is a black belt school, we are dedicated, motivated, and on a quest to be our best.

IMAA Student Creed

I will develop myself in a positive manner and avoid anything that could reduce my mental growth or physical health.

I will develop self-discipline in order to bring out the best in myself and others.

I will use common sense before self defense and never be abusive or offensive.

This is a black belt school, we are dedicated, motivated, and on a quest to be our best.

Our Mission

Our mission is to teach high quality martial arts classes and instill in each student what it takes to succeed in every aspect of their lives. With our Family First approach, there is a real sense of belonging at Innovative Martial Arts Academy.

Why We Teach Martial Arts

As a child, our senior instructor Charles Falk was bullied. As he progressed and continued his training, he learned that martial arts encompassed so much more. His grades went up, he began to have respect for himself and others, and a new found confidence that made him less susceptible to bullying. Although the end goal is to not have to put yourself in a situation resolved with self defense, in the end, you’re no one’s punching bag, so the kids are empowered with realistic training that works!

Our Dedicated Team

Our team is committed to your success from the moment you walk through our doors. We’re here to build your mental, physical, and emotional tools in no time with comprehensive coaching and unwavering support.

Charles Falk

Charles Falk is the Owner and Chief Instructor. He has trained for over 40 years in martial arts. The primary arts taught in his school include aikido, kenpo karate, kali, and ju jitsu. Sensei Falk has a focus on concepts rather than rote memorization. It is very important to him that his students know how to apply what they learn.

Charles not only enjoys training in the martial arts, he also loves to teach and help others benefit from the martial arts. This led him to open his first school in Albuquerque, New Mexico while still active duty Air Force. Since retiring from the service after 20 years, he brought his passion to teach to Wake Forest, NC. He has experience teaching police officers and members of the special forces community.

He realizes that every student is unique, both in the way they learn and process information and he’s able to share his knowledge and information so that everyone in the class gets it. He has helped children with shyness, ADHD, and special needs to learn martial arts… and most of all, he and his instructors are ready and willing to help YOU!


Belt Rank: 2nd Degree Black Belt

Where do you attend school: Wake Forest High School 

Why did you start IMAA: I started karate to better focus in school and to learn how to defend myself and have been doing it for 8 years now, mainly working on Kenpo, but also learning Kali, Jui-Jitsu, and Aikido material as well.

What have you gained attending  IMAA: Karate has helped me become more outgoing and confident in the dojo and in everyday life.

Honors/awards: A/B honor roll

Hobbies: I like to work out in my free time, something I’ve recently taken up, and I love teaching and watching the kids grow to eventually become a black belt.


Belt Rank: Brown belt 

Where do you attend school: Heritage High School 

Why did you start IMAA: I started IMAA because I needed something different, exciting, and sustainable. After 5 years of dance, it got boring and repetitive, and I wasn’t a huge fan of team sports outside of recreational purposes. So I experimented with solo sports and even tried out a new dance studio which was the one right next to IMAA. After seeing the dojo, I wanted to try it and then I just stuck with it.

What have you gained attending  IMAA:  I have gained so much physically and mentally from IMAA. Physically I am in the best shape of my life. I’ve been able to do things that I was unable to do in previous years. Mentally is where I really see the change. I deal with social anxiety and I struggle with my self-esteem. Before, I didn’t have an outlet or a place where I felt good about myself. When I started martial arts I felt good… I felt like I had a place to belong.  Now it’s my second home. I’m at the dojo as much as I can be. It is one of the only places where I truly feel like I can belong. I am comfortable  and I’m never happier than I am when I’m doing martial arts. 

Honors/awards: A honor roll, A/B honor roll, and Student of the quarter at IMAA

Favorite martial arts actor: Bruce Lee. I’ve always admired how he does his own stunts, especially with me being part of the demo team.

Favorite martial arts movie: Karate Kid (a little cliche, I know, but it’s a classic). I’m also a HUGE fan of the Cobra Kai series on Netflix.


Belt Rank: 2nd Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate

Where do you attend school: Thales Academy Rolesville

Honors/awards: I have received a perfect score on the National Latin Exam two years in a row.

Hobbies: I am a member of the robotics, cross country, and swim teams. After school, I plan to attend NC State University and major in electrical engineering. Outside of school I enjoy throwing knives, working on electronics, and riding my electric unicycle (a really cool toy).


Belt Rank: 3rd Degree Black Belt in Aikido

Where did you attend school: Wake Tech

Time on Leadership Team: 9 years

Time teaching: 5 years


Belt Rank: 1st Degree Black Belt in Kenpo and Yellow Belt in Aikido

Where did you attend school: Rolesville High

Why did you start IMAA: I started IMAA when I was young. I really wanted to learn cool looking moves while also learning helpful moves to keep others safe.

What have you gained from IMAA: I have gained many things like self-defense techniques from a knife attack or a choke from behind but I have also gained many friends that I work and attend class with.

Honors/Awards: A/B Honor Role, 3.95 GPA

Hobbies: Volleyball and Karate along with video games and collecting POP figures

Favorite Martial Arts Actor: Simu Liu

Favorite Martial Arts Movie: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Our Reviews

Great school with wonderful teachers. My daughter has a great time learning and everyone is friendly. There is even an adult class that allowed me to try to see if I liked it and everyone was very patient with me. I am thankful to have my daughter be a part of the Innovative Martial Arts Academy in Wake Forest and know she is benefiting from it in more than one way. It amazes me how fast she is learning and how hard she is trying. They have her trying to develop at her fullest with her mind, body, and spirit. I would recommend this school to anyone interested in martial arts.

Janice P.

This place is great! Charles and his team have fantastic programs for kids. When we started our 3.5 year old son, I didn’t know what to expect. He quickly adapted to the classes and now loves going. Our 2 year old son loves watching and will start as well as soon as he turns 3. Innovative Martial arts also hosted their birthday parties. The kids had a blast doing different activities throughout the birthday party. Can’t say enough good things about this place, and what they teach!

William D.

Wonderful place for not only skill development but also personal development. Owner and instructors genuinely get to know students and families and care about them. The lessons learned will provide character growth as well as martial art skills. The owner is also a long time student of many different martial arts, he didn't just buy a franchise, and tries very hard to live what he teaches the students. Proud to have been in this dojo family for 6+ years and proud of the friendships we have made there!

Kristi F.

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