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Meet the Coaches

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Dave Engel

With over 20 years in martial arts, Dave is dedicated to being a welcoming, knowledgeable, and informative instructor. His teaching career spans 15 years across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California, focusing on youth and adult classes, as well as personal training. Dave's mission is to instill comfort and competency in his students, both in martial arts and in life. He's established successful programs at reputable schools like Rise Combat Sports in San Francisco and Round 5 Martial Arts Academy in San Leandro. As a WBC registered coach, Dave has played a key role in securing 3 international gold medals for CMA and has served as an assistant coach for Team USA.

Current Trainers:

  • Bunkerd Faphimai (Fairtex)

  • Neungsiam Samphusri (Fairtex)


  • Youngest apprentice instructor under Ajarn Chai Sirisute, Thai Boxing Association of America (2009)

  • Over 5 years of teaching experience at multiple East Coast Muay Thai academies

  • More than 10 years of teaching at top California Muay Thai academies

  • Registered cornerman for amateur and professional competitors under IKF

  • Top-ranked amateur competitor in California's 127-130lb weight class (2013-2015)

  • WBC registered coach for Team USA

  • 3x Gold Medalist in WBC International Tournaments

  • 2x Gold Medalist in WKA International Tournament (Wales, UK)

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Joe Chernay

Joe is a seasoned martial arts coach with a rich 15-year teaching background. He's passionate about making martial arts accessible to everyone, from beginners to pros, including those with special needs. Joe champions a safe and inclusive training environment. He's known for his success in establishing and running programs in top gyms, such as Tri-State Martial Arts Academy in Pennsylvania, Fight and Fitness in San Francisco, and Crispim BJJ in Pleasanton. His expertise shines in small group and individual training sessions. Joe is excited to build a solid community of students eager to enhance their martial arts skills.


  • Earned the title of Full Instructor under Ajarn Surachai Sirisute of the World Thaiboxing Association.

  • Coached professional athletes in prestigious Muay Thai and MMA promotions, including Bellator and Triumphant.

  • Gained fighting experience in Thailand.

  • Established himself as a successful Muay Thai and MMA amateur competitor.

  • Became a WBC registered coach for Team USA.

  • Led international athletes to victory, securing a gold medal at the WBC PanAm Games in 2023.


Born in Fremont, California, Xyler Rodis discovered his passion for Muay Thai at 16, which inspired him to pursue a physically demanding career, eventually leading him to the culinary arts. A graduate of the Culinary Arts Program at City College of San Francisco, Xyler has honed his skills in prestigious kitchens, including The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, and notable stages at Benu and Rich Table, even playing a key role in the opening of Ernest. Throughout his culinary journey, Muay Thai remained his steadfast outlet. The pandemic allowed Xyler to focus full-time on training and fighting, leading him to compete in multiple states. He's currently sharing his experience and skills as both a teacher and a trainer at California Martial Athletics.


  • Amatuer Record 5 wins – 2 loss

  • IKF PKB Record 4 wins – 0 loss

  • 125 – 132lb USMTO B Class Champion 2022

  • 120 – 130lb IKF PKB Champion Sparks Nevada Oct 2020


Brandon's journey in martial arts started at 14 under Coach Joe at Crispim BJJ in Pleasanton, CA. After moving to San Francisco, he started training with Coach Joe and Dave. At Crispim BJJ, Brandon not only achieved Thai Boxing Association Level 1 certification but also played a key role in running the youth program. Now at CMA, he teaches both beginner and intermediate adult classes, leads the youth program, and is a vital member of the fight team. As an active competitor and private instructor, Brandon boasts an impressive amateur record and was a finalist in the 2023 USMTO National Tournament.


Tina discovered Muay Thai at 29 while living in New Zealand, quickly became passionate about the sport, training six days a week and participating in her first fight within a year. Her journey in Muay Thai, transcending her experiences in running, team sports, and rock climbing, significantly boosted her overall fitness, confidence, and self-imposed physical boundaries. This practice not only enhanced her body awareness and strength but also deepened her appreciation for the community, skill, dedication, and the art of Muay Thai itself. Along her journey, Tina formed some of her most meaningful relationships and personal accomplishments. As a lifelong practitioner, she is committed to sharing the beauty and benefits of Muay Thai with people from diverse backgrounds


Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Lindsay traded competitive soccer for a career in freestyle skiing upon moving to Utah with her family. She proudly represented the United States in international competition for 11 years before retiring from professional athletics and venturing into dual careers in engineering and fitness instruction. After relocating to San Francisco in 2022, Lindsay joined California Martial Athletics as a student and quickly cultivated a passion for Muay Thai. She hopes to continue to grow as a student, a fighter and a coach while she develops a strength and conditioning program that is both a good workout and beneficial to your development as a Muay Thai practitioner.

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