Gabe is our Head Coach and Program Director. He has been studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 2004 and meditation since 1994. He received Montessori Teacher Training in 2006, Youth Life Coaching certification in 2021, 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.
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 Head Coach for our Kickboxing for Self Defense class! David's background is extensive and full of passion. As a hyperactive youth, he found kickboxing to be exactly what his body and mind needed and was instantly hooked. He has trained and competed in Muay Thai Kickboxing, Western Kickboxing, Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Mixed Martial Arts throughout Mexico, Spain, Texas, Missouri, California, and Hawaii. He won the 2013 San Antonio Regional Golden Gloves Boxing Championship, has a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology, and holds several fitness instruction certifications. David is passionate about working with youth because he’s seen how martial arts training has led him to live a better life, fueled by focus and discipline and empowered by deep-rooted confidence.
Angelina has an extensive background working with children and has volunteered in such places as the Dominican Republic, Washington D.C., and Massachusetts, helping underprivileged youth by creating safe places for them to play and learn. Angelina grew up near upstate New York playing soccer, running track and dancing. Following her passion of supporting kids and their learning, she is excited about the potential that martial arts instruction has for empowering youth, and is a big believer in the importance of mindfulness for supporting them to settle their bodies and minds. She has a White Belt in BJJ and trains under Penny Thomas.
Office Admin 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.
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.