I have been studying and experiencing martial arts since I was 13. Since that time, I have spent the majority of it training in four arts and, to a lesser degree, cross training in a few others. For eight years, I served as a United States Marine, during which time I trained in and was taught combative arts: hand-to-hand combat, fighting, and weapons usage.
Since 2014, I’ve been training and competing in weapons, forms, sparring, and self-defense at the local, regional, and world competitive level. During this time, I’ve become a certified coach and judge for USA Karate and currently judge four to five major tournaments yearly.
Below is a concise breakdown of my specific training in the arts, my coaching and teaching experience and details regarding lineage and experience.
Black Belt 3rd-Degree (Sandan)
I spent most of my time learning the Ed Parker / Al Tracy Karate system under Master Renshi Michael Pinelli from American Olympic Karate and East Coast Karate. While training under Renshi Mike, I became a full-time instructor (Sensei), and currently teach the curriculum to kids and adults. As well, I’m an active member of Kenpo International.
I studied the Lama Pai system under Sifu Rafael Gomez and Sigung (Master) Steve Ventura. I was taught weapons, forms, and techniques in other Southern styles, including Choy Li Fut and Shuai Jiao. I currently continue my studies under Sigung Ventura learning practical applications and advanced parts of the system.
Brown Belt /Judo and Brown Belt / BJJ
Currently, I’m a part of Kioto BJJ and Judo. I am preparing for my Judo black belt (Shodan) test, and I’m a ranked active member in the United States Judo Federation (USJF) and the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF).
Over the past ten-plus years, I focused my training heavily on ground fighting to help augment my standup abilities. I joined an MMA team (which exposed me to other fighting styles) and developed an excellent Judo game while studying under Sensei Mark Staniszewski. I’ve become a coach at Sensei Mark’s school, teaching Judo and BJJ (Gi and NoGi Grappling).
As part of an MMA team (Team Believe), I took classes taught by professional fighters and coaches. The classes taught the specifics of ring and cage fighting. Although MMA is primarily for sport, many lessons are useful in real-life self-defense and fighting. As part of an MMA team, I continue to learn more advanced grappling and self defense techniques and strategies.
I firmly believe martial arts gives students structure in discipline, motivation, and physical fitness, but my main goal is to learn how to protect myself and others using practical application. My goal as a teacher and coach is to ensure that this lesson is always a focus of my classes. Learning should be fun but it should also be highly productive.
Other Relevant Styles, Training, Exposure and Rankings
Marine Corps Combative Arts - USMC
Escrima/Kali Filipino Arts - Michael Pinelli
Krav Maga – Ranked as a Level 1 under Anthony Santopadre at the Krav Maga Alliance (KMA).
Catch Wrestling – Ranked as a Journeyman catch wrestler under Joel Bane (Snake Pit Wrestling).
Muay Thai - Under Kru Paul Zambuto
Boxing - Alpha Omega MMA / Butch's Boxing
Current Coaching and Training Credentials
Master's Degree in Psychology and Coaching
Certified Master Personal Trainer at International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)
Updated CPR/AED and Basic First Aid
Specialist in Sports Nutrition (ISSA)
Specialist in Youth Fitness (ISSA)
Specialist in Strength and Conditioning (ISSA)
Certified Running Coach (ISSA)
Speed, Agility and Strength Training (ISSA)
Certified Judge and Coach (USA Karate)