Westchester Mixed Martial Arts and Fitness employs a team of only the best and most professional instructors. With over 100 years of combined teaching experience, we have yet to meet anyone who cannot benefit from our fitness and martial arts classes. The quality of our program is evident in the quality of our instructors. Read below to learn more about them.
Sifu Brandon Durham holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Tony Passos. His title “Sifu” (Chinese for “teacher”) comes from his achievement in traditional Kung Fu under Grand-Master Si-Gung Chan Tai -Sa. Sifu Brandon holds certification under Mike Lee Kanerek in the Haganah system of Israeli self protection. Understanding the importance of Muay Thai for a being complete martial artist, Sifu Brandon is trained and certified under Master “Ace” Ramirez, head of the Kru Muay Thai association and former Fairtex Muay Thai instructor. Sifu Brandon also trained under BJJ legend Royce Gracie for more than ten years. Throughout the 80′s and 90′s Sifu competed in several point and full contact tournaments. These early competitions helped Master Durham later develop into a true mixed martial artist. Sifu Brandon has coached his students to victories in sport jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai and MMA.
Sensei Chad Weiss began his training in American Jiu-Jitsu while at college in 1998, he now holds the rank of Black Belt. A Bedford native, he has had a lifelong interest in the martial arts and background in wrestling. He began training at Westchester MMA-FIT during the holidays and summer vacations in 1999. In 2002 Chad began Royce Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training and currently holds a brown belt under Professor Tony Passos. Chad is an enthusiastic teacher who knows how to push his students to the next level on the training floor and in competition. You can find leading MMA, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and FIT classes. In addition to teaching at the school, Chad is an experienced competitor, coach and referee for NAGA, North America’s largest grappling competition.
Head Kids Instructor Coach Patrick has been training with us since he was ten years old. Growing up in the Westchester Mixed Martial Arts program gives him a unique perspective on teaching and training at the school. As one of Sifu Brandon's original student's Coach Patrick knows how to combine traditional martial arts values and disciplines, with a modern and exciting curriculum. In addition to the core kids' curriculum, Coach Patrick teaches youth Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Adult MMA . When he's not teaching classes, he is constantly honing his skills on and off the mat.
Coach Julie Johnson has been training and teaching at Westchester MMA-FIT since 1999. You can catch Coach Julie leading any of our intense fitness classes. Her non-stop style means that when she's leading a class, you're getting an amazing work-out. When she's not making us sweat, Julie is available at the front desk to help guide you through all of our programs and services. Whether you want to try one of her hardcore classes or learn about our many styles, don't hesitate to stop by and say hi!
Coach Julie joined the gym 4 years ago when she was looking to get back into shape after having her son. She now teaches that same kickboxing class that helped her reach her fitness goals. Her kickboxing classes are all about high energy, great music, and making sure everyone leaves her class with a sweat and a smile. Julie is a blue belt in jiu jitsu and is always training and improving her skills in martial arts, as well as her pad work and conditioning. Her son attends the Tiny Dragons program and they enjoy training and practicing together.
Coach Kelly has been training at Westchester MMA-FIT for three years and recently graduated from our Instructor Training Program. She holds an AFAA Group Ex certification and has participated in strength training and conditioning from childhood through college athletics. Working in healthcare for 20 years Kelly is knowledgeable in the mechanics of body movement and as a vegetarian tries to encompass a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis. She is a HUGE animal lover and helps to coordinate the “Meet and Greet” days at Westchester MMA-FIT with the dog rescue she volunteers for. When she’s not teaching heavy bag fit classes, she enjoys traveling, gardening, and being at home with her own adorable doggies, Lola and Rocky
John started boxing in 1996, won the N. Y. C golden gloves, Empire State games, N. Y. C metro Championships as a middleweight. Turned professional and compiled a record of 18-1 with 10 knockouts, winning a national championship along the way. John now brings his experience of boxing to share with anyone who is interested in the sweet science. He classes are fun and effective workouts, whether he’s training individuals, small or large groups. John also DJs, incorporating his mixes during his classes to motivate and to get the crowd going and feeling good.
Coach Jamie grew up in the martial arts learning from his step-father and aunt his whole childhood. At thirteen Jamie began to formally study Tae Kwon Do and quickly took up other arts in addition such as kickboxing, submission grappling, and Tai Chi. Eventually earning his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, Jamie decided to focus on MMA, especially working on his striking skills. After many hard years of martial arts (and football) training Jamie took three years to study yoga and meditation, culminating with him completing his 200 hour yoga teacher training. Eventually this led him full circle back to the Chinese martial art of Tai Chi. Deepening his practice of Tai Chi rekindled an intense passion for the martial arts and for the last 4 years Jamie has been consistently training in Tai chi, Tomiki style Aikido and more recently Capoeira. Already in phenomenal shape when Jamie was invited to try class at WMMA he was amazed to find that he got such a great workout. Having the opportunity to train and teach kickboxing is has been dream come true for Jamie and he also absolutely loves Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Jessica Cardona is a Program Director and Coach-in-Training. You’ll find her running the front desk, greeting our members, helping them with their questions and getting them geared up for classes. Jessica is a strength and conditioning enthusiast who has a passion for improving her well-being. She has been focused on weightlifting for the past three years and came to the school looking to get more well-rounded by adding kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to her training. Jessica’s dedication to helping others is not limited to the training floor. She’s a Registered Nurse who graduated from the College of New Rochelle and is forging a career at the intersection of the fitness and medical fields