Kristen is one of the most well-rounded martial arts instructors and competitors anywhere, starting her martial arts journey at age 9. She is an expert in MMA, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Jeet Kune Do, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Kali, and Silat. She holds a degree in philosophy from Hollins University and is incredibly gifted in teaching, with over 12 years of experience leading kids and adults programs. Kristen has almost 15 years of training in Gracie/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, beginning her journey under Dennis Hayes in Roanoke, Virginia in 2006 when she was in college. She moved to Northern VA in 2007 and continued her training directly under Master Pedro Sauer, receiving her blue belt in 2008, purple belt in 2011, brown belt in 2014, and her black belt in 2017.
Kristen started taking Muay Thai in 2006 under Tim Rumsfelt and has continued her training over the years with various instructors from Thailand and elsewhere. In 2008, she competed in the first full-rules Muay Thai event in Virginia, winning in the first round. In 2011 she was crowned the 135lb Light Out Combat MMA champion, and in 2014 she coached and cornered her first WKA champion. She is ranked “Kru” in Muay Thai under Ajarn Chai and is an apprentice instructor under Tuhan Dan Inosanto. She is also a full instructor under Guro Bryan Mossey, and a 2nd-degree black belt in Korean Karate under Master Kreimer. She has traveled to Thailand, and all over the USA training and teaching seminars.
Starting in August, Kristen will be leading all kid’s programs at Gracie Charlottesville, including the after-school program. She will also lead some of the adult programs with the help of our current black belt instructors. We have plans to open a Muay Thai class, as well as a women-only self-defense class, which will incorporate various techniques from Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and others.
Having Kristen on board is an incredible opportunity for our students. You will not find talent like hers anywhere else.