JOHN WHITMAN is a 5th degree black belt in Krav Maga, a certified Young Warriors Krav Maga instructor, certified Next Generation Krav Maga Kids instructor, a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, and a certified USAW Sport Performance Coach. He is the first person in the world to hold a Senior Instructor degree from the prestigious Wingate Institute in Netanya, Israel. He served as president of Krav Maga Worldwide for 7 years, and has been teaching for 18 years. John teaches civilian, military, and law enforcement personnel, and has taught elite military units in the United States and abroad. John is the founder of the Krav Maga Alliance, an international organization of Krav Maga schools with affiliates in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. He is co-author of the books Complete Krav Maga and Krav Maga For Beginners. John has been featured in the videos Krav Maga Complete Set and Ultimate Krav Maga. He has “train the trainer” status and has trained most of the other Krav Maga instructors currently working in North America. He contributed significantly to the creation of the certification course used in North America to train Krav Maga instructors. He has appeared in numerous media outlets, including The Today Show, ABC News, and CNN.
VIVIAN CANNON was one of the first women in the U.S. to earn a Krav Maga Black Belt. She helped found Alliance in 2008 and has been an instructor for 14 years. At Alliance, she enjoys teaching Krav Maga, StrikeFit and the Next Gen kids classes. When she is not coaching or training, Vivian is the head of the television department for Original Film where she produced The Big C for Showtime.
BRENT WILKENING is a Southern California police officer and a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Krav Maga who has been teaching for 10 years. He is a certified instructor for civilians, military, and law enforcement personnel. He has “train the trainer” status and has helped to certify many of the other Krav Maga instructors currently teaching in the United States. Brent has taught multiple military and law enforcement units around the country.
RACHEL GREENBAUM began teaching a heavy bag kickboxing class at a Kenpo Karate school at age 19. She progressed into training Muay Thai, and then went on to compete in The 2004 U.S. Women’s Nationals Boxing Championship where she was ranked 6th in the country. While in school for Photojournalism, Rachel filmed the 2006 Hezbollah (from Lebanon) attack on Israel, the experience, while beyond heart-breaking, gave her a restored appreciation of life, and renewed want for helping people. Rachel began teaching Krav Maga at STW Krav Maga in San Antonio, TX. She now manages The Krav Maga Alliance, oversees the StrikeFit program, and has earned her instructor Black Belt in Krav Maga. She continues to teach people how to defend themselves, but has now discovered another new love: SPX fitness, (Pilates inspired strength training) – and is certified in teaching the method. Rachel has worked as fight trainer and coordinator for several films, including “Addicted To Fresno.”
ADAM TOWNSEND is USAW Club Coach, CrossFit Level I, Crossfit Olympic Weightlifting and Crossfit Kids certified. He is also a Krav Maga Alliance Level 1, Krav Maga Alliance Next Gen (kids) and Krav Maga Alliance Heavy Bag certified instructor. The son of a martial artist and nephew of a NJ Golden Glove champion, he is an East Coast transplant with over 20 years of experience in the field. Adam began weightlifting/bodybuilding at the age of 15, played High School football, and studied a myriad of martial arts, including Jeet Kune Do, Aikido and Iaido Muso Shindin Ryu.
When not coaching, lifting, punching or kicking things, he can be found avidly devouring books, websites and current publications concerning fitness, anatomy & physiology, and athletic conditioning.
TYLER McMURRAY holds Instructor certificates as a Krav Maga Level 1, CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Endurance, Crossfit Kettlebell, and USAW Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach. He has been certified by Rock-Tape as a PMT (Performance Movement Taping) Specialist and earned his BioForce HRV trainer credential. He continually seeks new challenges, strives to live outside of his comfort zone and enjoys sharing his passion for fitness with others through helping them reach their goals. Tyler believes that clean nutrition and right effort are the vehicles to total fitness and that the journey should be rewarding and seriously fun.
EILEEN DORN first fell in love with Krav Maga when she signed herself up as a reward for putting her husband through law school! She was in the first class of Certified Strikefit Instructors. Now over 2 years later, she still looks forward to making her students have such a good time that they never know how hard they are working. When she is not at the Alliance Training Center either training, or teaching her grown-up students how to punch and kick things, she can be found at her day job, teaching 5 year olds how NOT to punch and kick things.
ANDREW GERBER is a certified instructor in Cross Fit Level 1, CrossFit Basic Barbell, and is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist. After spending years at “Globo gyms,” Andrew tried Krav Maga and CrossFit and never looked back. He has a passion for teaching people how to perform barbell lifts and to show them that they can be strong. Given the chance, he will talk endlessly about the benefits of squats and deadlifts. Being a California native, Andrew likes to surf and ski. He also competes in Olympic weightlifting.
Seb Zewdie is a well-known Olympic Boxing Coach. He was the 2008 Olympic Trails Coach, as has served as the Olympic Trials Team Coach for Trinidad & Tobago. Seb is a certified boxing coach for AIBA and USA boxing. Seb coaches a number of amateur and professional boxers and MMA fighters.
HOLLY WILDE has been an instructor since 2004. Holly is a 2nd degree black belt, and a certified Young Warriors Krav Maga instructor. A believer in the Krav Maga credo, “So that one may walk in peace,” she is grateful for the opportunity to give back to the system and inspire others to walk tall, fight with heart, and surprise themselves. Holly also holds a B.A., Honors from Brown University. When she is not coaching, she runs operations and marketing for startups and companies launching new growth initiatives.
Richard Bresler started his Jiu-Jitsu career in the summer of 1979 when he met Rorion Gracie. He had private classes with him and many other Family members. In 1980 Richard moved in with Rorion and lived with him for about a year where he helped Rorion teach private classes.He was also instrumental in helping Rorion start the Gracie Academy in Torrance. He was in the first class of the certified instructors back in 1993 at the Gracie Academy. After he left the Gracie Academy in the summer of 1996 when he was one of the original founders of Beverly Hills Jiu-Jitsu. After he left Beverly Hills Jiu-Jitsu he went to Krav Maga and October of 1997 where he helped them developed their ground techniques.
Susanna Della Penna
SUSANNA DELLA PENNA first got involved with Krav Maga in 1996 and loved it from the first class. She has been an instructor for many years. Her fitness career began with teaching aerobics classes in college, then moved to bag classes and, currently, she’s a StrikeFit coach at Alliance. She brings passion, a smile and a lot of fun to this intense fitness and bag combination workout. Susanna focuses on form, function, strength, cardio and the basics of Krav Maga.
LOUIS is a Krav Maga Alliance Brown Belt, and Level 3 Krav Maga Instructor, as well as a certified StrikeFit instructor. He has been practicing Krav Maga for over 4 years. Outside of the gym, Louis owns the marketing agency Circle Marketing and is the Chief Marketing Officer for the global mobile marketing events company Mobile Growth Fellowship. Louis is also a regular at the gym, so you’ll find him in Krav Maga, CrossFit, StrikeFit, and many of our other classes throughout the week!
SARAH WHITMAN is a certified StrikeFit instructor and has been teaching since 2013. She has taught StrikeFit and kickboxing classes in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. A former cheerleader and soccer player, she has always had an interest in fitness for herself and others. When she’s not kicking butt on a heavy bag, she studies sociology and psychology.
PRESTON KERN, 28, grew up overweight as a child and played offensive line for 4 years in high school football. After his freshman year in college, Preston started focusing on his fitness and lost over 30 lbs during the summer by sticking to a running routine and lifting weights at his local gym. During his senior year he first got into kickboxing by practicing at a local muay thai dojo. In 2009, Preston joined his first crossfit gym in San Francisco and has been hooked ever since. “When I first started I could barely do 2 pull ups in a row, now I can do a workout like Angie or Murph (which involve over 100 pull ups) in 20-30 mins”. In 2010, Preston moved down to LA for a new job and found Alliance as his new crossfit gym, and has been a consistent member of the gym ever since. He found that by adding the strike fit bag class to his crossfit workout routine, he was able to increase his cardio endurance to a whole new level. His passion for strike fit grew and he became a certified trainer in 2012.
ROB BLANCHARD joined Alliance in 2010 because he wanted to do Crossfit and Krav Maga. It took him a year to add StrikeFit into his routine and he quickly fell in love with the high intensity classes. Having trained in Kung Fu, Kenpo Karate, Boxing, Krav Maga, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he likes to bring all those elements, plus high energy and incredible playlists, to his class. Rob is also an improvisational performer and does shows all throughout Los Angeles.
JOEL LAMBERT is a former Navy SEAL who got turned on to CrossFit in 2004 and got certified in 2005. After breaking through plateaus almost immediately in his own fitness levels that had been stagnant for years, and then seeing the lowered injury rate, quicker 2-mile ocean swim, obstacle course, and run times, as well as greater “pass” rate on all physical evolutions after implementing the CrossFit protocol in Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training where he was an Instructor, he was sold for life.
ED WEDDING’s martial arts experience is vast. Training for almost 25 years, he started in Shotokan Karate at the age of 10 in Toledo, OH and then briefly Tae Kwon Do at age 13. He then left martial arts through high school and upon graduating, took up American Kenpo. Feeling that Kenpo lacked enough realism, he researched other martial arts through Bruce Lee’s “Tao of Jeet Kune Do” (JKD) and Dan Inosanto’s many books relating to JKD.
Consequently, he relocated to L.A. to study with some of the greats of that time in Muay Thai/Boxing, Kali (eskrima/arnis), grappling, and JKD at the IMB Academy in Torrance. Training there for 10 years, he left in search of further knowledge. He continued training at RAW gym (later became R-1) in El Segundo, one of the first “MMA” gyms in America, from 2001-2008 with high level Division 1 wrestlers such as Rico Chiaparelli, Frank Trigg, and Vladamir Matyshenko (both UFC fighters also).
He is a certified Kru in Muay Thai under Kru Vut Kamnark, and the UWMTA (United World Muay Thai Association). He has a 17-1 Muay Thai Fight record. He has fought MMA in the Shooto Wrestling Association in Japan and in the WEC (before it was bought by the UFC). He has multiple winnings in smaller scale local jiu-jitsu tournaments in both the blue and purple belt divisions. He has taught seminars for the Schwerin Police Force in Germany, for Acapulco Police in Mexico, and teaches women’s self-defense tactics at the U.S. Air Force in El Segundo and San Pedro. He is also an instructor in Eskrima (Filipino Weaponry). He currently trains BJJ with Nino Schembri.
MARC VALERA (RYT 500) has been practicing and teaching yoga since being dragged into Bryan Kest’s class in 1997. His teaching incorporates Santa Monica Power flow with an emphasis on modern, science-based form. Marc’s teaching mentors include Bryan Kest, Rudy Mettia, and Jules Mitchell. You may find some of his teaching videos and follow him on his YouTube channel: Marc Loves Yoga.