All of our trainers are passionate about Muay Thai and want to help you learn the sport and achieve your goals. Each continues to spend time training in Thailand and continues to grow as practitioners themselves.
Head instructor and co-owner David Reese has 30 years of experience in martial arts, especially Muay Thai Kickboxing. He began training Muay Thai in 1977 at age 14 and traveled to Thailand to train for the first time in 1979. He has trained with Master Instructors such as Pud Pad Noy from Thailand and Gerard Finot from France. Besides making frequent shorter trips, David lived, trained, and competed in Thailand for over 7 consecutive years at the Chuwattana Boxing camp in Bangkok. He holds instructor certificates from Pud Pad Noy and the French Sports Authority.
Instructor and co-owner Marissa Barr-Hartman began training martial arts as a child, primarily Tang Soo Do Karate. As an adult she trained in K-1 style Kickboxing and Western Boxing under her brother, certified boxing trainer Adam Hartman. She has studied Muay Thai under David Reese for 4 years. Since 2016 she has traveled to Thailand several times a year to train at gyms such as Sitmonchai and FA Group as well as under former Muay Thai Stadium Champions. She holds a Bachelors Degree from Chatham University and a Masters Degree in International Training and Education from American University.
Instructor Chris Merritt has been training and competing under David Reese for 3 years. In Thailand he has trained under former Thai Olympic Boxing Coach Ajarn Pui and Muay Thai Stadium Champions such as Toto Pongsawang and Orono For Petchpun. Besides being an instructor and competitor on the Sitkiatnin team, he also co-ordinates the competition team and travel for the gym. Chris’ passion for Muay Thai helps keep his classes technical, engaging and a also great workout. When not teaching you can catch him holding pads for and encouraging his teammates.
Co-Owner and operations manager Michael Seamans is the most novice Martial Artist of the staff and not an instructor. Though his job is to make sure things run smoothly on and off the mats at the gym he is still passionate about Muay Thai and has been training with David Reese for over 4 years. He has traveled to Thailand several times a year since 2016 to train. He has a Bachelors Degree in Urban Studies from the University of Pittsburgh and has long been a member of the Pittsburgh music and art community with deep roots in the East End of Pittsburgh where he grew up.