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MEET our instructors




Instructor Joe Chao has been training and teaching martial arts and fitness since the 1980's. He has trained in 8 martial arts and is an advanced instructor in Kid's Kickboxing, Muay Thai kickboxing, Israeli Krav Maga, Israeli Combat Shooting, Israeli Combat Knife, Police Defensive Tactics, Active Shooter Response, Krav Maga VIP and security program, Hung Gar Kung Fu and KIKBOXFIT.  He has trained around the USA as well as Asia. His classes are fun, exciting and action-packed. You can expect to train like a real fighter without getting hurt while learning reality-based self-defense.

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Alexa blends yoga practices with extensive study in anatomy, physiology, sports training and therapeutics. She creates accessible, dynamic practices that emphasize energy (up and down regulating), core stabilization, flow, balance and breath to encourage three-dimensional wellness. Her strengths lie in fusing together education, awareness and modifications empowering students to become more confident and aware of their bodies. 

She has been a student of martial arts and yoga for many years.   She achieved her AAS from Pacific college of Oriental Medicine where she studied Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), massage and Asian bodywork.  Her continued yoga studies include anatomy, dysfunction and therapeutic application; neuromechanics; training athletes; TCM; mental health; nervous system & restorative; yin & meditation; and myofascial release.  Through all of these modalities, it is her sincere hope and goal to bring long-term functional wellness and mobility so that people can live fulfilling lives. 

Alexa is also a 3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor in Shaolin Kempo as well as a Krav Maga student. She often teaches Women's Only Self Defense Workshops formulated from a woman's perspective.

Alexa teaches group classes, private clients and offers a variety of workshops.  


james jones


James Jones is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as well as an active competitive fighter. He has competed in over 50 tournaments consisting of over 300 matches and bring a great sport minded style to our studio. He specializes in Gi BJJ but also teaches No Gi style as well with a focus on mindfulness, strategy and improving your competitive edge. He is a world traveler having visited 50 countries and speaks Spanish. James is a local with a global view on martial arts training and philosophy. His classes are both fun and very enlightening.



Thomas "Yeshua" tucker


Thomas Tucker is dedicated to helping individuals achieve confidence in self-protection, as well as reaching goals in their overall health and wellbeing, through acquiring skills in Mixed Marshal Arts (MMA).Having trained in the striking arts of MuyThai, Jeet Kun Do, Western American Boxing, NoGi Grappling, Brazilian Jujitsu (BJJ), and Catch Wrestling, Thomas offers a versatile background in his instruction.


Thomas has been training in MMA for more than 17 years. Although, most of his experience is in NoGi BJJ, he currently holds a Brown Belt in BJJ (GI), which he achieved in less than two years. His MMA training career began at The Center for Martial Arts (CMA) in Asheville. From there he has trained at Rillion Gracie Jujitsu in Greenville, SC, Fight to Win BJJ of Asheville, NC, Hendo BJJ and Cross Training Academy BJJ in Hendersonville, NC. He has also had the privilege to train with countless amateur and professional MMA fighters, boxers, and wrestlers. Being trained in these arts, combined with his combative training from the military, has led him to a secondary career in security and bouncing. 


When not working on his own MMA skills, Thomas enjoys trail running, endurance sports and obstacle course racing (OCR), and CROSSFIT. He has also coached youth sports, such as football, baseball, basketball and track, for more than 15 years, giving him an acute understanding of the physical and cognitive development of adolescents. Thomas is excited to share his training and experiences with individuals of all ages who are interested in protecting themselves, gaining overall physical wellbeing, or starting a career in MMA.





Coach S. Randall Baynard has coached elementary, middle school, high school and club for the last 30 years. He is a USA Certified National team coach as well as a UWW certified World Team coach. He is a lifelong resident of Hendersonville and has coached some of the state's best athletes at all levels. He and his team run the Sgt. Matthew Baynard Foundation which has been offering wrestling classes in Western North Carolina for years.


cheryl BAYNARD


Coach Cheryl Baynard has been involved with wrestling at every level for over 30 years. She is the pairing director and the women's director for NCUSA Wrestling. She serves as event director for wrestling tournaments ranging from local to NCAA. Cheryl is the founder of SanctionNC, which sanctioned women's wrestling in NC. She is a USA certified National team coach as well as a UWW certified World Team coach. She also runs the Sgt. Matthew Baynard Foundation with her husband Coach S. Randall Baynard.



paul ruel


Coach Paul is an ACE certified Personal trainer, Kikbofit Certified and trains in Israeli Krav Maga. He specializes in Group Boot Camps. His approach to training is preventative health care. he strongly believes that if you have a strong body that is kept in shape several times a week will not only extend your life but also improve your soul. training doesn't only make you look better, it makes you feel better, gives you more energy, decreases your workday stress and makes you more confident. He makes his classes fun, challenging but not to the point that you dread coming to class. He gradually pushes you past your comfort zone until one day you look in the mirror and say "Darn I look good".



jon wiener


Instructor certified in Yang style Tai Chi. Received a Godan in Karate-do in 2015. Jon has studied Tang-Soo-Do, Aikido, Goju-Ryu, Muay Thai, Southern Chinese Kung Fu, Modern Arnis and 4 styles of Tai Chi. He has  a BS, MS and PHD in Microbiology (Virology) and is currently a Professor of Micro and Cancer Precision Medicine. He was also Dean of several colleges and universities for 23 years. Jon strongly feels that Tai Chi is an art that will help a practitioner with other martial arts, improving balance, posture and strength. Students can expect improved general health, blood pressure, stress levels and anxiety.



meridith fuchs


Meridith is a certified Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention from the Tai Chi for Health Institute with Dr. Paul Lam. She is a very hands on instructor who not only makes her classes fun but safe especially for those with mobility and pain issues. She has first hand experience on how Tai Chi will improve your health. She had spinal surgery and continued to practice her Tai Chi during her recovery. Her doctors were amazed on how quickly she recovered that they now recommend their patients to study Tai Chi





James Murphy has been a martial arts practitioner for over 30 years with experience in various disciplines in martial arts such as Northern Shaolin Kung-Fu, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, and Aikido and Kendo.

He holds a Third-Degree Black Belt (Master) in Aikido and First-Degree Black belt in Kendo. Aikido is a self-defense art that combines disciplines from Judo and Ju-Jitsu to develop a system that uses your opponent's strength combined with their bodies off balance to eliminate any threat of attack to the Aikido player.

Kendo is the practice of traditional Japanese sword fighting with the elements of sport and competition.

He is also Krav Maga VIP Protection and Security Program Specialist. He is currently training to be an instructor in Tactical Firearms Training.

His approach to self-defense is…I train for Self-Defense so that I will never have to use it!

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Julie has been training in Israeli Krav Maga for many years and has acquired her Associate Instructorship in Israeli Krav Maga. She is a very intense lady who has gained a wealth of knowledge in self defense applications as well as Tactical Close Combat Training. She is a true example of what you can do if you devote yourself to self improvement.




Monica has been training and teaching for several years and has earned her Associate Instructorship in Krav Maga as well as being a Level 3 Coach in Muay Thai Kickboxing. She is a natural coach always taking the opportunity to welcome new students and setting them up for success. Her friendly attitude always makes new students feel comfortable especially during the awkward first week of training. She is very detail oriented and makes sure to point out the finer points of all techniques. Her classes are fun yet very challenging.

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