BETA Dominates At The 2011 North American Combat Sports Championships!

This past weekend, 12 BETA Academy Combat Athletes, along with their coaches and galvanizing fans, traveled to Hampton, VA in full forces to compete in both Mixed Martial Arts and Muay Thai at the 2011 North American Combat Sports Championships (sanctioned by the World Kickboxing Association). After an intense 8-week training camp and two grueling days of competition that tested their skills and fighting spirit, we are proud to bring back 2 bronze medals, 2 silver medals and 7 National Champions! Overall, BETA Academy had 18 wins and only 5 losses, some of which where controversial!

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2011 North American Combat Sports Championship Accomplishments by BETA Academy Competitors:

  • Carrie Moskal: 2-0 Muay Thai and the first female National Champion from BETA Academy! Chasing after her competitors, she fought in a higher weight class than her own. The size difference between Carrie and her opponents didn’t matter; she still out worked all of them to become the champion.

  • Mareb Andemichael: 2-0 Muay Thai and a National Champion! Out pointed every opponent with clean counter punching and aggressive knees! He once again methodically picked his opponents apart in the ring.

  • John Goldman: 2-0 Muay Thai and a Two-Time National Champion! He demonstrated admirable Muay Thai skills and defeated his opponents.

  • Jason Stanley: 2-0 Muay Thai and a National Champion! Jason showed how strong and agile a lumbering man can be as he crushed his opponents with hard right hands and clinch knees. He closed out the heavyweight division with teammate John Goldman so there was no final bout.

  • Mike Evans: 0-1 Muay Thai. Lost a hard fought match against a very formidable opponent via decision. This was Mike’s first battle, from which he has learned a lot and will emerge a much stronger fighter. We look forward to seeing more of Mike in the ring!

  • Ryan Hill: 2-1 Muay Thai and a National Silver Medalist! After walking through the first two opponents (he KO’ed his second opponent via an astonishing Flying Knee), Ryan lost to a very close decision in the finals of his weight class.

  • Danny Chacon: 2-0 MMA and forced to pull out of his final due to injuries he sustained during his semifinal war. He is now a national MMA Silver Medalist! People in attendance will be talking about that fight for years to come. It literally could have been nominated for fight fo the night on a televised UFC event.

  • Andy Tran: 3-0 MMA and our first Mixed Martial Arts National Champion! Andy had to fight in the weight class above his own due to a lack of 125lb. entrants. Nevertheless, he gave an exemplary performance of heart and skill. After 2 difficult days, Andy’s coming back to DC with victories over 3 experienced MMA fighters in the 135lb. division (who all stepped into the cage at 140+ lbs.)

  • Kale Blessum: 2-0 Muay Thai and a National Champion! Furthermore, Kale’s division was changed from Novice to OPEN, so Kale is now officially BETA Academy’s first ever homegrown OPEN National Champion! AFter being presented with a belt by Rob Kaman, he now has the opportunity to represent North America at the World Championships in October!

  • Chuck Yetter: 1-1 Muay Thai with one highly aggressive TKO and one highly controversial stoppage loss, which will be protested. Long story short, the referee gave a standing 8 count to Chuck that could have been rules as a slip. Instead of waving the fighter forward and asking him to raise his hands (which is the appropriate action for the referee), he pushed Chuck backward and waved off the fight after Chuck stepped back to catch his balance, Robbery!

  • Amad Shojaei-Zambrana: 0-1 MMA lost a tough 1st round match due to a knee strike. He is ready to get back on the grind with his team and come back stronger next year!

  • Andrew Viloria: 1-1 Muay Thai. In his 2nd round match in the novice division, Andrew was faced with the undefeated and reigning Thai Championship Boxing’s Lightweight Titlist who has had many years of Muay Thai experience, including pro-style fights (no head gear and no shin guards). Although a fighter of his opponent’s caliber had no business being in the novice division, Andrew stepped into the ring and fought 2 spirited and technical rounds before coaches Nakapan and Rudy stopped the fight due to the clear experience gap. We want to commend Andrew on his warrior spirit and willingness to fight one of the best competitors in the entire competition! When the dust settled, Andrew emerged with a well deserved bronze medal.

  • Michael Batenga: Wins Gold and Silver in the grappling tournament.

We would like to thank Khun Kru Nakapan and Kru Melanie for their coaching and support in both building the fight team and coaching/concerning them throughout the tournament. With such strong headed and determined instructors, its no surprise that BETA Academy has thrived in its 2 years of existence. We would also like to thank Coaches Masai McDougal, Miguel Escobar, Michael Batenga and Daniel Chacon for their exceptional assistance in preparing and cornering our fighters.

A special thank you to BETA Academy’s Strength and Conditioning Coach, Jay Simon, for his hard work in conditioning our fighters. This was clearly evident as BETA’s Combat Athletes closed every match strongly while their opponents wilted. Without Coach Jay’s program, we would not have had the same level of success this weekend.

We would also like to thank MMA Coach Rudy Telles for his work as the coach and 1st corner man of the MMA fighters. We are preparing to create a formidable MMA competition team program at BETA Academy with Coach Rudy at the helm and the WKA’s were a great start.

A big thank you also goes out to BETA Academy’s Operations Director, Alex Khojainov who wielded a clipboard and the fight list with administrative prowess to ensure that all of our fighters made it to warm-ups and the ring with all of their gear and in perfect time.

Last but not least, we would like to thank the many members of the BETA Academy family that trekked out to Hampon to support our fighters. Beth, Emily, Laurie and Michelle not only ensured that we have fight footage to watch in preparation for the next battles that lie ahead, they also made sure that we had all of the supplies that we needed - including a suture kit for Chuck to sew up his lip - to keep our fighters going throughout the weekend. Without your positive energy and support, we would never have experienced such an overwhelmingly successful weekend!

BETA Set To Battle At The North American Combat Sports Challenge!
WKA 2011 Combat Sports Championships

Support our competitors at The North American Combat Sports Championships, where the best amateur fighters in North America will be showcased. BETA Academy’s dedicated team of fighters has been training hard for this national tournament during the intensive fighter training camp that began immediately after the New Year.

At this elimination tournament, they will have the opportunity to put their skills and hearts to the test amongst competitors from the U.S., Canada and Mexico and win their place as a member of the WKA US National Team representing the US at the WKA World Championships.

This tournament will include Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and No Gi Submission Grappling divisions, as well as Muay Thai, MMA and Kickboxing divisions. This year, there will be a new division of Full Rules Muay Thai, which will allow for elbows with elbow pads. In addition, special guests Rob “The Dutchman” Kaman and Roberto “The Spider” Traven will be providing seminars.

Semi-finals will take place on Sunday, February 20th, 2011. More tournament and seminar information can be found


The Hampton Roads Convention Center
1610 Coliseum Drive
Hampton, VA 23666

Event Hotel:

Embassy Suites Hampton
1700 Coliseum Drive
Hampton, VA 23666

Be sure ask for special WKA rates!

New MMA Essentials Workshop Open To The Public!
MMA Workshop 1

Due to the huge success of our first Mixed Martial Arts Essentials Workshop we will be hold BETA Academy will hold another high energy, two-hour workshop on Sunday, February 13th from 11:00am to 1:00pm.

The cost of this two-hour workshop is only $30 for students. guests and friends of BETA Academy and FREE for all members of the Combat Athlete Program. To reserve your spot at this workshop, send an email to with the subject line “February 13 MMA Workshop”.

Additionally, we plan to hold MMA Workshops every second Sunday of each month in the near future. Stay tuned for updates and be the first to know when we launch!

BETA Fighters To Compete At The Thai Championship Boxing Matches!

BETA Academy Combat Athletes Mareb Andemichael, Chuck Yetter, Amad Shojaei-Zambrana, Andrew Viloria and Kale Blessum will be competing on Saturday, January 29th at the Mase Training Center in an event presented by Operation Octagon.

Please come out and support our athletes, some of whom will be stepping into the ring for the first time. Tickets start at $25 and are now available at the
online box office. To read more about this event and see the Fight Card, click here.

Location: Mase Training Center, 21580 Atlantic Blvd., Suite 110, Sterling, VA 20166

New MMA Workshop & Program Begins At BETA!

We are excited to start our long awaited MMA Foundations program, a Mixed Martial Arts class that combines the grounded strengths of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with the standing potencies of Thai Boxing. MMA Foundations will begin with a workshop, taught by Khun Kru Nakapan and Instructor Danny on Sunday, January 9th from 9:00AM to 11:00AM. The cost of this 2 hour seminar is only $30 for BETA Students and Guests and FREE for the Combat Athletes of BETA Academy.

Reserve your space at a MMA Foundations workshop by sending an email to with the subject line “MMA Foundations Workshop”. Following the workshop, MMA Foundations classes will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings from 7:00PM to 8:00pm.

BETA Launches New FIT 4 Her Workshop & Program!

BETA Academy is proud to announce the launch of FIT 4 Her, an unconventional fitness program for women only designed to increase energy, improve strength, improve flexibility, lose weight and provide unprecedented cardiovascular training. This fitness bootcamp styled program is the brainchild of world reknown fitness coach Jay Simon who has been helping people break fitness barriers for over a decade.

FIT 4 Her starts off strong with a FREE workshop, which will be held during the following times:

  • Monday, January 10th - 6:00AM
  • Monday, January 10th - 11:00AM
  • Monday, January 10th - 12:00PM
  • Wednesday, January 12th - 8:00PM

Reserve your space at a FIT 4 Her workshop by sending an email to with the subject line “FIT 4 Her Workshop”. Following the workshop, FIT 4 Her classes will be offered at the following dates and times:

  • Mondays - 6:00AM & 11:00AM
  • Tuesdays - 8:00PM
  • Wednesdays - 6:00AM & 8:00PM
  • Thursdays - 8:00PM
  • Saturdays - 10:00AM

Congratulations To BETA’s Muay Thai Champions - Mareb Andemichael & Chuck Yetter!
Chuck Yetter Muay Thai Champion 2

We are very proud of Charles Yetter and Mareb Andemichael for demonstrating their superior Thai Boxing skills and fighting spirit inside the ring of Combat Sports Challenge 31 on November 20th. Chuck fought his first Muay Thai fight ever against an experienced MMA and Muay Thai veteran. His relative lack of ring experience, however, did not stop Chuck from delivering a beat down. Mareb put on Muay Thai clinic for his fans and handily defeated his visibly exhausted opponent via a unanimous decision. Read more about their victorious ring debuts at the
Mixed Martial Arts in DC News Blog.

Please take the time to congratulate these two champions, who will now be preparing for the WKA National Championships that take place in February.

Thank you to all the BETA Academy family and friends who came out to support them.

Congratulations the Competitors in the Converse Girls in Sports Grappling Tournament!


Several women from BETA Academy - BETA Babes - also competed at the Converse Girls in Sports Grappling Tournament this weekend. As usual, they brought back several medals for BETA. Here are the results:

  • Jules Kim: Gold Medal in Beginner No-Gi Division and Silver Medal in White Belt Gi Division

  • Jana Morgan: Gold Medal in Beginner No-Gi Division, Silver Medal in White Belt Division and Bronze Medal in White Belt Gi Absolute Division

  • Elyse Goldberg: Bronze Medal in Advanced No-Gi Division and Bronze Medal in Absolute Purple Belt Gi Division

Please take the time to congratulate these competitors on their achievements.

2010 North American Combat Sports Championship Titles and Medals Won by BETA Fighters!
BETA Academy's Muay Thai Champions bring home two Gold Medals and one Silver Medal from the 2010 WKA National Championships

Several determined fighters from BETA Academy made history at the 2010 WKA North American Combat Sports Championship on June 19, 2010. This year’s tournament drew over 280 competitors from all over the continent, making it one of the largest and most competitive amateur Muay Thai events in the country. Teams could be found hailing from as far north as Toronto, Canada down to the southern tip of Florida. Danny Chacon, Ryan Hill and John Goldman trained hard for three long months in order to prepare for the Muay Thai Championship. And when the dust settled, they emerged with three medals and two National Championship Titles.

Muay Thai Championship Highlights:

Ryan Hill, Gold Medalist - 178lbs WKA Muay Thai National Champion (Novice Division)
WKA 2010_3

Ryan Hill won his first match of the long day of battle via Unanimous Decision and thereby advanced to the semi- finals to fight against a fresh opponent (who received a bye in the 1st round of matches). Ryan also defeated his 2nd opponent and progressed to the finals by utilizing his well- trained kicks and foot jabs in overpowering combinations. After many opponents withdrew from the competition due to injury and fatigue, the final match took place at 12:30 am (after midnight) against an opponent who also did not yet have a single fight that evening and was able to challenge Ryan fresh out of the warm- up area. Nevertheless, Ryan found his warrior spirit and utilized his superior skills to defeat his last opponent and become BETA Academy’s second National Muay Thai Champion.

John Goldman, Gold Medalist - 210lbs WKA Muay Thai National Champion (Novice Division)
WKA 2010_1

John Goldman fought a hard battle to capture his title via Unanimous Decision against a tough and determined opponent. Several of John’s hard right hand punches and his dominant clinch game, which allowed him to land devastating knees at will, locked in a well- deserved victory.

Danny Chacon, Silver Medalist - 178lbs WKA Muay Thai National Finalist (Novice Division)

WKA 2010_5

Danny Chacon faced the toughest bracket of the evening with a strong will and the composure of a well- seasoned fighter. After handily defeating his first two opponents via Unanimous Decision, Danny battled his way to the semi- finals. At 1:15 am, Danny waged war against his final opponent. in the end, this match for the title could have gone either way but the judges scored the fight for his opponent. Although Danny fell just short of his goal, his determination and warrior spirit inspired us all.

The 2011 WKA National Championship will take place in February. BETA Academy is now in the process of putting together and team and a training regimen for this tournament.

BETA Academy Featured in Washington Post Article Fighting to Stay Fit!

WP Flying Knee

BETA Academy was featured in the May 2010 Washington Post Magazine article,
Fighting to Stay Fit, found in the Special Sport and Fitness Edition. Written by Holly Thomas, this article describes the “chess match” that takes place between members of the Muay Thai Fight Team, in which the goal is to “expose the weaknesses in your opponent.” Going far to dispel stereotypes that depict fighters as knuckleheads, this article describes fighters who “embrace the martial arts lifestyle” and “share a common goal: to push themselves physically and mentally” while upholding jobs as music teachers, statisticians and account clerks. Read the complete article here.

BETA Academy Welcomes Its New Kru

BETA Academy is proud of Kru Melanie for passing the Thai Boxing Association of the USA (TBA) test on Sunday, August 22nd. The test for Kru certification is a test of technique as well as heart. It is an honor to be chosen for this test by Ajarn Chai Sirisute, TBA Founder and President, and it is a great accomplishment to pass the test.
Melanie Phungephorn, Certified by the Thai Boxing Association of the USA

Under the watchful eye of Ajarn Chai and several other senior level Krus of the TBA, testers are required to demonstrate Muay Thai techniques and the Ram Muay, followed by a two- round beat down session. During the two three- minute rounds, testers are required to meet a minimum of sixty kicks and 35 knees in each round while pad holders pound away at the tester’s legs, body and head with devastating force (hence the test of heart).

A Message from Khun Kru Nakapan: The is long overdue. Melanie has been studying Muay Thai for over a decade and it was finally time to take it to the next level. I am extremely proud of her, both as her husband and as her instructor. Please congratulate her on this great achievement!

Get FIT at BETA Academy! Check Out our Expanded Ruckus101 Program Schedule!
Ruckus 101 in Washington DC

The Ruckus101 and BETA Academy partnership is proud to announce the expansion of FIT (Functional Interval Training) classes. FIT is a new and innovative way to build functional strength and is highly recommended for those who practice combat sports such as Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu. Beginning September 1st, a number of new classes are offered in both the mornings, afternoons and evenings.

See our online Ruckus101 Schedule.

NEW Fighter Team Training Each Thursday!

For members of the BETA Academy Competition Team, we have added a NEW Muay Thai Fighter Team training session. This intensive training session will take place each weather permitting Thursday, from 7:30 - 8:30 pm. The first session will take place on Thursday, August 5th. Fighters must bring their running shoes and be prepared for hill sprints, calisthenics and pad rounds in Meridian Hill Park.

Women Only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Program Celebrated its One Year Anniversary on September 1st!

On Wednesday, September 1st of 2010 BETA Academy celebrated its One Year Anniversary of our Women Only Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu Program that is taught by esteemed instructor and competitor, Elyse Goldberg. Students brought in their friends for an Introduction to Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu class for Women Only. Hear about all of the fun that the women at BETA Academy have had in the past year at
MMA in DC News Blog, authored by Instructor Reginald Esteban.