Jeff Westfall, the owner and chief instructor at the academy is a Black Belt with one stripe in the Marcello Monteiro Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association, a Senior Instructor (Ajarn) in the Thai Boxing Association of the U.S.A. under Sesara Ajarn Surachai Sirisute, and holds three ranks in the Inosanto International Martial Arts Instructors Association, under Guro Dan Inosanto. They are: Full Instructor in Jun Fan Gung Fu, Full Instructor in the Filipino Martial Arts, and Instructor in the Majapahit Martial Arts. He also holds a Second Degree Black Belt from the United States Judo Association and is an authorized representative of Combat Submission Wrestling under Sensei Erik Paulson. He has been in the martial arts since 1971, training in Kyokushin Karate, Tai Lung Gung Fu, Boxing, Thai Boxing, Jun Fan Gung Fu, the Filipino Martial Arts, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Shoot Wrestling, Silat, Judo, Fencing, and other disciplines. He has been a martial arts instructor in Evansville since 1976, founding the Rising Phoenix Martial Arts Academy in 1980. Jeff continues his formal training by attending seminars around the country and taking instruction locally in other arts. He maintains a rigorous personal training regimen for skill enhancement, cardiovascular fitness, strength development, flexibility, and longevity. He believes that too many instructors set a poor example for their students by failing to maintain their own fitness adequately, being content to remember past accomplishments and get by on their knowledge alone. Jeff teaches classes in all the arts offered at the academy except Western Fencing.
Eli Green has been training at the Academy since 2003, and was certified as an Apprentice Instructor in Jun Fan Gung Fu and Filipino Martial Arts in 2007. Eli helps instruct Jun Fan Gung Fu, Filipino Martial Arts, and Majapahit Martial Arts at the Academy.
Kyle Pemberton has been training at the Academy since 2006, and was certified as an Apprentice instructor in the Thai Boxing Association of the USA in 2014. Kyle teaches Muay Thai at the Academy.
Zach Ferguson has been training at the Academy since 2005, and was certified as an Apprentice instructor in the Thai Boxing Association of the USA in 2015. Zach teaches Muay Thai at the Academy.
John Yarger terrorized the Tri-State fencing competition scene for more than fifteen years. He holds the rank of Prevost from the United States Fencing Association, and has taught fencing at the Academy since 1993. John also holds a Black Sash in Tai Lung Gung Fu, and has trained in the Filipino Martial Arts and Jun Fan Gung Fu as well. John teaches Fencing classes at the Academy.
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