Coaches

coaches
Carl Gebhardt

Carl Gebhardt

Head Coach, Muay Thai

Carl Gebhardt is a world class Muay Thai instructor with a proven history of creating programs for both competitive athletes as well as fitness enthusiasts. Carl has trained many professional fighters and is known for building the best Muay Thai training program in all of Southern California.

Recent champions trained:

  • Tiffany Van Soest- WBC and LFP 125lbs Champion
  • Marvin Madariaga- WLF 135lbs Champion and Epic 145lbs MMA Champion
  • Chad Klingdensmith- 170lbs GE MMA Champion
  • Zac Shepard- 170lbs XFS Champion
  • Jorge Gamez- North American Muay Thai Association’s Lightweight Champion

Iejnno "Gino" Ortiz

Iejnno "Gino" Ortiz

Head Coach, Yoga

Iejnno (Gino) approaches yoga to nourish the body, mind, and spirit with love and opportunity, on and off the mat.

He has always been active and fascinated with many sports such as Boxing, Muay Thai, & Tae Kwon Do (receiving his first-degree black belt at the age of ten). The desire to find discipline and freedom within the body, Iejnno later found both through yoga. Introduced to yoga around the age of twelve, he then committed to his practice back in 2010 starting with Bikram Yoga, then discovered his true connection with vinyasa yoga in winter of 2011. The warmth of the community and support from the teachers guided him through a new journey, growing spiritually and finding his authentic self.

His passion is to instruct vinyasa flow, yoga sculpt and to inspire others as he was inspired. Discovering everyday his true authentic nature, Iejnno aims for anyone who practices alongside him to do the same and connect deeper within our own selves. In his dynamic and challenging classes, one can expect precise alignment instruction, uplifting humor and discipline to go exceed one's limits.

Shaun Shepard

Shaun Shepard

Coach, Muay Thai, "Shreda"

Shaun “Shreda” Shepard was born in San Diego, California and raised in Hawaii. A natural born athlete, Shaun participated in a variety of sports growing up- excelling at both soccer and men’s body boarding. He advanced so quickly in body boarding rank that he was given the name “Shreda” to commemorate his superior athletic accomplishments on the water.

Shaun joins the team with over 10 years of experience training on and off the mat specializing in Muay Thai and kickboxing. With both practical application as an amateur fighter and many years training under some of the best instructors in both San Diego and Hawaii, Shaun knows how to cultivate natural talent within kids and adults alike.

Shaun loves to teach children because it both helps him feel closer to his daughter and it is incredibly rewarding to positively impact children’s lives.

Max Ferris

Max Ferris

Coach, Jiu Jitsu

Max was born and raised on the island of Maui. He started training Jiu Jitsu in 2008 under Jeff Higgs in San Diego while attending college. As Max returned to Maui during breaks during college he trained with Luis Heredia (Limao). 2009-2010 is when Max started teaching Jiu Jitsu at Cal State University San Marcos.

In 2010 Max explored more stand up in Thailand learning the basics of Muay Thai. His love for both arts drew him to helping fighters in MMA and Jiu Jitsu at amateur and pro levels. During Max's journey with Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai he stumbled upon yoga. In 2013 he invested himself in a 200hr training with Maureen Gildersleeve at Mangala Yoga. He has found a great connection between Yoga, Muay Thai, and Jiu Jitsu. He loves to incorporate all arts into his life and within his trainings.

Either on the yoga mat or on the Jiu Jitsu mat Max says "it's all the same". One thing max has learned from all arts and life is "an open mind is the only mindset for success and happiness". "I want to thank all my teachers who have made me who I am today, respect".

Brendon Raftery

Brendon Raftery

Coach, Muay Thai

Brendon started his martial arts journey at the age of five when he enrolled in a Kenpo Karate school in Meridian, Idaho. He fell in love with the art of combat and self-defense right away. After eight years of training in Kenpo, he received his black belt from Sensei Mike Hagood.

Brendon took up freestyle wrestling in Middle School and became obsessed with the art of grappling and being able to overpower your opponent using technique and leverage. He wrestled from 8th grade up until his junior year of high school where he transferred into MMA. He had his first fight when I was 15 years old and won with a first round standing guillotine choke. He went on to amass an amateur record of 6-2, while also becoming the Rogue Fights Amateur Bantamweight Champion, before making the decision to enter into the professional ranks. He currently has four pro MMA wins, all first round finishes.

Brendon recently ventured professional Muay Thai and plans to compete in both Muay Thai and MMA.

Marvin Madariaga

Marvin Madariaga

Coach, Muay Thai, "The Mad Lion"

Hawaiian native Marvin Madariaga is the captain of the Steel MMA Fight Team and one of our most versatile coaches. Starting martial arts at an early age in Judo and Wrestling, he slowly moved to pick up the striking arts in 2006. Since then he has fought for Epic MMA (picking up their 145lbs championship belt) WCK & WLF (picking up their WLF 135lbs Title) and would eventually find his way to Lion Fight and becoming one of the spotlight fighters for the organization. Marvin is one of the most exciting Muay Thai fighters on the west coast due to his aggressive style and ability to finish a fight with a single strike.

When he's off the mat he divides his time between his freelance work as both a graphic designer and a commissioned artist, both of which have quite the waiting list. Check out more information on Marvin Madariaga on his fighter page.

Erik Alignay

Erik Alignay

Coach, Muay Thai

Began training at Muay Thai in 2005, under Bunkerd Faphimai at Fight and Fitness in San Francisco. For 6 years there, he trained under former Lumpinee Champions Bunkerd Faphimai and Neungsiam Sampursi; former USA&CA State lightweight boxing champ Paris Alexander; and UFC veterans Chris Cariaso and Darren Uyenoyama. In 2011, Erik moved to San Diego and began learning Dutch style Muay Thai under Alex Palma. 2013 Erik began to train under Alex's protégé Carl Gebhart. Erik has over 30 un-sanctioned smoker and 15 sanctioned amateur fights. Erik has under, trained with, helped train, and help corner fighters at the amateur and pro level with over 10 year experience in Muay Thai.

Jorge Gamez

Jorge Gamez

Coach, Muay Thai

Jorge has been training martial arts literally all his life. He started training Tae Kwon Do while in Mexico City and later Choy Li Fut Kung Fu. As a junior in high school, Jorge joined his newly formed high school team. As it turned out, he had a natural talent finishing 4th in San Diego C.I.F. as well as 4th in the state Greco Roman Tournament. After wrestling season ended, he started training Muay Thai. He quickly started competing in novice level fights and worked his way to become the North American Muay Thai Association’s Lightweight Champion.

Jorge is known for his incredible work ethic, his intense coaching style and his dedication to the sport of Muay Thai.

John Crabtree

John Crabtree

Coach, Muay Thai

Born and raised on Korea early on, John picked up wrestling at an early age and excelled at the sport through a combination of work ethic and a keen eye for technique. After high school he would continue his combat sports training with boxing at Norte Dame College followed by a two year stint in Thailand training at Muay Thai camps in Pai and Chiang Mai.

John has a love for traditional Muay Thai mixed with a firm appreciation for the repetition that can only be found in a seasoned wrestler.

Ben Roberts

Ben Roberts

Coach, Muay Thai

Born and raised in sunny San Diego, Ben has been practicing Muay Thai and MMA for the last five years. He has traveled to Thailand multiple times in order to train Muay Thai and has well over 10 amateur fights under his belt.

Ben would love to become a professional fighter one day and, while he continues training, he helps teach our Kid’s Muay Thai class.