Meet our engaging team of martial arts instructors; committed to providing you with unparalleled training experiences, targeted to meet your needs!
Adrian Hayes is a martial artist, knitter, mountain bicyclist, biologist and environmental philosopher. She is married to an adoring husband and has an adorable daughter. Adrian has been training in mixed martial arts since the late 1990’s. Since training under Guro Beheler, Professor Sauer and Guro Inosanto she has developed a deep love of the art and history of martial arts. For Adrian, martial arts are like languages which often share similar ideas, but do not always express themselves the same way. She is humbled by the vast lineage of people who have studied, fought, died and passed on their knowledge of these unique arts. Adrian continues to train and explore in the vast arts she has been awarded instructorship and she will be pursuing instructorship in additional martial arts in the near future.
Adrian began training in the arts of Jeet Kune Do, Wing Chun and Filipino Kali in the fall of 1998 under Sifu/Guro Johnny Beheler. Adrian was awarded the rank of Apprentice Instructor in the A. D. F. Personal Protection Program under Guro Beheler on November 27th of 2006. Adrian was awarded the ranks of Apprentice Instructor in the Arts and Sciences of the Filipino Martial arts and Lee Jun Fan Gung Fu & Jeet Kune Do under Guro Dan Inosanto in November of 2013. In addition, Adrian trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Pedro Sauer, as well as, Chin-Na, Muay Thai, Shooto and Silat under Guro Beheler.
Some of Adrian’s childhood heroes are Annie Oakley, Elsie Kilpatrick, Clara Barton, Theodore Roosevelt and Bruce Lee. Each of these people have inspired her for different reasons and Adrian would like you to be inspired by them as well. Here is one of her favorite quotes from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech “Citizenship in a Republic” at the Sorbonne in Paris, France on April 23rd, 1910.
“The Man in the Arena”
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Nathan Hayes is a martial artist, teacher, and science-enthusiast. He is married to an adoring wife, Adrian, and together they have a wonderful daughter, Fiona. He loves that they both share his passion for martial arts. He has been training in mixed martial arts since the late 1990’s. For Nathan, nothing is more rewarding than working with someone and helping them reach that “A-ha!” moment.
Nathan has had the pleasure of training with some of the most knowledgeable martial arts instructors in the world. He began training in the arts of Jeet Kune Do, Wing Chun and Filipino Kali in the fall of 1998 under Sifu/Guro Johnny Beheler. Mr. Hayes received the rank of Apprentice Instructor in the Art and Science of Jun Fan Gung Fu under Guro Beheler on November 27th of 2006. Nathan was awarded the ranks of Apprentice Instructor in the Arts and Sciences of the Filipino Martial arts and Lee Jun Fan Gung Fu & Jeet Kune Do under Guro Dan Inosanto in November of 2013. In addition, Nathan has trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Pedro Sauer, as well as, Chin-Na, Muay Thai, Shooto and Silat under Guro Beheler.
Contra Mestre Neguinho
Contra Mestre Neguinho, native to Rio Casca, Minas Gerais, Brazil, has over 20 years experience in capoeira. He studied physical education at Isabella Hendrix Methodist University (Belo Horizonte, MG) and it was his infectious energy and dedication to capoeira that brought him to the United States in 2011 to share and divulge this artform. CM Neguinho has trained with many mestres in Brasil, with dedicated study with Mestres Custodio (Rio Casca CDO) and Mestre Ze Paulo and ultimately with Mestre Fuinha (Belo Horizonte CDO). In 2009 Neguinho became Professor and graduated to Contra Mestre by Mestre Suassuna in 2013. He also teaches Afro Brazilian dance, for which he has studied over 10 years. Neguinho is additionally available to consult about personal fitness and training.
Contra Mestre Neguinho – Capoeira Cordão de Ouro North Carolina/South Carolina (Gastonia, NC & Spartanburg, SC, Greenville, SC)
Cultivating more connection through movement, music and bodywork, Melinda seeks to serve others in their journey to do the same drawing from several modalities.
Professora Risadinha of Capoeira Lago Vermelho has trained since 2002 with ASCAB Capoeira under Mestre Doutor. Music and motion have always been integral components of her life, so the synergy of the two found in capoeira was irresistible. Risadinha has had the privilege to have trained and performed all over the United States and internationally. Risadinha has lived in Brazil on two occasions to deepen her study and understanding of the culture, capoeira, the language and music.
Melinda has a Bachelors degree in Biology, Pre-Med from Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN). Melinda became a certified Hatha Yoga teacher in 2008 and an AcroYoga Teacher in 2011. She looks forward to sharing these joyful practice with anyone, especially those willing to play their edge. Melinda speaks English and Portuguese, plus a little French & Spanish.
Owner of the highly esteemed Raja Academy of Martial Arts, Sifu/Khun Kru/Guru Raja started his martial arts journey at the age of 5 from Sifu Al Zepeda in the art of Wing Chun Kung Fu. Growing up, he came to love the uniqueness of the art and had a rough past as a minority around post 9/11 era, where he had to defend himself more than anything around his late school years.
Mr. Raja started taking the art of Muay Thai at the age of 15 and started to compete on a amateur level. He was quickly introduced to Sifu Francis Fong, founder of the Wing Chun Association of USA, from his former Sifu and further pursued his Wing Chun skills to this day from him. He was also deeply interested in furthering his studies in Muay Thai and saught Ajarn Surachai “Chai” Sirisute, founder of the Thai Boxing Association of USA.
He has also trained in the Russian ground fighting art of Sambo under Sensei Hakim Ahmed, NAGA World Champion and Abu Daibi Grappling Championship participant.
Sifu Raja holds a black sash under both Sifu Al Zepeda and Sigong Francis Fong in the art and science of Wing Chun Kung Fu. He is also an associate instructor/Khun Kru under Ajarn Chai and is the South Carolina, Greenville Branch representative for the Thai Boxing Association of USA. In furthering is martial arts studies, in 2016, Mr. Raja became Guru under Dan Inosanto and Dan Medina and integrates this art of weaponry skills into his FMA classes.