Learn More about Our Team
Gabe is our Head Coach. He has been studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 2004 and meditation since 1994. He received Montessori Teacher Training in 2006, and has been working with students of all ages for over a decade, supporting them to learn mindfulness, martial arts, and life skills in a variety of settings. He holds a BJJ blue belt with four stripes. Coaches have included Lily & Adam Pagle (California, under Matt Thornton), Bira Da Silva (New Zealand, under Crolin Gracie), Gabe Ruediger, Christopher Lord (Maui, under Relson Gracie) among others.
Molly is our assistant coach. She is currently training in both Muay Thai Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. She has always been drawn to working with children and in addition to helping with Mindful Martial Arts Kids kids classes, offers private classes as well. Originally from Mason, Michigan Molly moved out to Maui in 2019 to follow her passion for conservation which led her to becoming an educational park ranger at Haleakalā National Park. After spending nearly a year there, she realized she wanted to do something different but still have a job with an educational component, which is when she found Mindful Martial Arts. Her passion to teach children mindfulness, respect of nature, oneself and others while helping them learn new skills in a fun way aligns perfectly with our mission. Molly also recently started helping in the office with our social media pages to build a stronger connection with our students and parents.
Coach Penny teaches our Women's Self Defense class. She has trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for over 20 years and won many titles, including: IBJJF World Champion, ADCC Submission Wrestling Champion, Pan American Champion, FILA World Grappling Champion and more! Penny is one of the most accomplished competitors of her generation and she has been here on island training and teaching for the past 15 years. Penny started training in Jiu-Jitsu following an assault and is passionate about empowering other women to prevent the same from happening to them. We are honored to have her join the Mindful Martial Arts team. Other accomplishments of Penny’s include: South Africa’s Jr Olympics, Software designer, mathematician, artist and yoga instructor.
David is the coach for our new Striking for Self Defense class! His heart's desire is to help kids and he reached out to us with a vision that aligned perfectly with ours; planting the seed early in kids so they can develop into healthy, thriving, and balanced adults. His background is extensive and full of passion. As a hyperactive youth he found Muay Thai kickboxing to be exactly what his body and mind needed and was instantly hooked. He started training in 2006 with Muay Thai in Mexico then moved to San Antonio, Tx where he began MMA training. He got his blue belt in jiu jitsu from Marcello Salazar Bergo. He trained with Andre Montero for two years as well. And then in 2013 boxer Jesse James Lejia was in his corner when David won the Golden Glove Championship! David competed from 2009 to 2014 when he decided to finish his degree. He holds a Bachelors in Kinesiology from University of Texas. He is also bilingual (speaks English and Spanish) and has certifications in ONNIT, Art of Breath, Total Body Resistance Exercise, TRX level one and Rip Trainer, as well as Box N Burn level one. When David was coaching at the UFC gym he noticed a lot of kids were drawn to the training and he took them under his wing where became like a big brother and would take them out to go hiking or to eat when they weren’t training. He recognized the need for positive role models and takes the role seriously as he himself has seen how his interest in martial arts lead him to other healthy practices like breathwork, meditation, prayer, journaling, eating healthy, drinking enough water and getting plenty of sleep.He believes that the more you go inside of yourself the more questions arise and the more questions arise the more you know yourself and the closer you will be to God.
Office Admin and assistant coach Kellie has previous experience as an Office Administrator and Office Manager, working in professional settings on the mainland, including at a magazine and an investment firm. She has training in Nonviolent Communication, meditation, accounting, website and magazine production, and has experience working with kids in a Waldorf setting. Kellie was drawn to Mindful Martial Arts by our shared vision of supporting kids by giving them the tools and inspired coaching they need to grow in the ways that will serve them best. Her experience studying and practicing meditation with the “The Art of Living” organization has both broadened and deepened her meditation practice in ways she looks forward to sharing with our students.
Ian has been studying martial arts for 5 years. He started at 16 with a focus on wrestling in high school, and then progressed into Jiu-Jitsu, Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts. He also has experience with training kids in different settings. In his hometown of Bend, Oregon, Ian paid for his martial arts instruction at the local dojo by helping teach the kids classes as well as a women’s self defense class. He has also taught kids Stand Up Paddle boarding, assisted at a Survival Camp program for kids, and has previously been a lifeguard. He also sometimes works as a firefighter on government crews in California, Colorado and other parts of the Western U.S. While Martial Arts is his passion, you can see that passion extends beyond Martial Arts and into helping others. We are happy to have him as a substitute Coach.
Rebekah Harbour has studied Aikido in New Zealand, Yoga and Pranayama in India, Vipassana and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in California, and Zero Balancing all over the world. Her passion for helping people connect with their bodies, and her decades of experience as a public speaker and instructor make her a powerful presence in any setting. Rebekah is also a certified ZB therapist and instructor, a certified Yoga Instructor, and an expert Organic Permaculture Gardener and Chef. We are happy to have her as a Program Advisor.
Dr. Laura Greenwood
For over 35 years, Dr. Laura Greenwood has distilled practical wisdom from traditional Buddhist teachings to help people overcome stress in their everyday lives. She has studied Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal and in the US for over 40 years, and has developed mindfulness-based and universal-values-based training programs for employees at 5-star resorts on Maui, Oahu, and Lanai. In 1993, Laura designed and co-founded a Family Camp for children and their families where they could learn practices and values inspired by Buddhist teachings. She is also the founder and original Director of EdVenture, formally VITEC, the UH Maui College continuing education program. We are happy to have her as a Mindfulness Program Advisor.
Other Team Members
We carefully choose team members who have previous experience working with children, who are appropriately experienced with martial arts and mindfulness, and who are deeply kind, wise, and passionate about our shared mission.