Instructors

OUR SAN DIEGO MARTIAL ARTS

MARTIAL ARTS INSTRUCTORS RANCHO BERNARDO

Chandler_Smith

CHANDLER SMITH

Head Instructor

  • 2nd Degree Black Belt in Applied Martial Arts

Coach Chandler Smith has been training at SwiftKick Martial Arts for over 12 years. In his years at SwiftKick, Chandler has obtained the rank of 1st Degree Black Belt and holds the prestigious title of Head Instructor. In his free time Chandler enjoys spending time with his wife and newborn son. He also enjoys writing and playing music.

“Chandler is a truly gifted teacher. He exudes a passion for coaching and care for each and every student. Chandler always brings a positive energy and unique creativity to classes. His ability to innovate fun drills for our students to learn martial arts has allowed him to develop some amazing experiences for kids in camps, special events, and weekly classes. Chandler leads by example in passionately pursuing continued personal growth through his commitment to his own martial arts training at SwiftKick. I am so proud to have Chandler as a valued member of Team SwiftKick.”
-Coach Cowell

Chandler@swiftkickma.com
 858.385.1600

Parker_Smith

PARKER SMITH

Senior Instructor

  • 2nd Degree Black Belt in Applied Martial Arts

Coach Parker Smith has been training at SwiftKick Martial Arts for over 13 years. In his years at SwiftKick, Parker has obtained the rank of 2nd Degree Black Belt and holds the prestigious title of Senior Instructor. In his free time Parker enjoys working on cars.

“Parker is an incredible martial artist and instructor. Parker is a hard worker; not a week goes by that he does not practice to improve his skills as a martial artist. His commitment to training has made him perhaps one of the most skilled boxers we have at SwiftKick. Not only is he an excellent martial artist, he is a gifted teacher. As a coach, Parker is patient, considerate, and funny. He absolutely loves the students he teaches and it shows in every class he instructs. If you’re ever having a down day, you can always count on Parker to make you laugh and be supportive.”
-Coach Cowell

Parker@swiftkickma.com
858.385.1600

Mike_Appel

MIKE APPEL

Advanced Instructor

  • 1st Degree Black Belt in Applied Martial Arts

Coach Mike Appel came to SwiftKick with an extensive martial arts and coaching background. In the five years he’s been with SwiftKick, Mike has obtained the rank of First Degree Black Belt and Lead Instructor at SwiftKick. Coach Mike primarily works with our Teen and Adult programs and oversees our specialized Forms and Weapons Program. When he’s not training or working, Coach Mike enjoys diving into  psychological thrillers.

“Mike is an incredible martial artist and coach. He truly exemplifies what it means to be a lifestyle martial artist: he approaches his training and coaching with humility and constantly seeks opportunities to better himself.  I truly appreciate Mike’s genuine passion for exploring, learning, and growing as a martial artist and individual. One thing I really love about Mike is his immense compassion for others. He brings this compassion with him to every class he coaches and in all his efforts to help SwiftKick provide an exceptional experience to our community.”
-Coach Cowell

Mike@swiftkickma.com
 858.385.1600

Laura_Merrill

LAURA MERILL

Advanced Instructor

  • 1st Degree Black Belt in Applied Martial Arts

Laura Merrill started training at SwiftKick in 2011 after watching her son develop in Mr. Smith’s class. She earned her black belt in 2017. Laura coaches the after school programs (asp) and she most enjoys seeing the kids continue their training in the studio to strengthen their skills.

Laura is a fourth generation Realtor with eXp Realty. She has been in the business for over 25 years.

Laura@swiftkickma.com
 858.385.1600

Nathan_Miller

NATHAN MILLER

Instructor

  • 1st Degree Black Belt in Applied Martial Arts

"Nathan is an inspiration as an individual and a martial artist. As a teenager, Nathan struggled with some debilitating health challenges that affected his entire life. Despite that, Nathan always had a positive attitude and expressed a drive to train and better himself. His tenacity to pursue goals in the face of obstacles is an amazing example of black belt perseverance. I'm thrilled to have Nathan on our coaching team as he provides not only great skills and coaching to our students, but real world examples of overcoming personal hardship."

-Coach Cowell

Nathan@swiftkickma.com
 858.385.1600

MARTIAL ART INSTRUCTORS CARLSBAD

Sam_Turpin

SAM TURPIN

Senior Instructor

  • 1st Degree Black Belt in Applied Martial Arts

Coach Sam Turpin has been training martial arts for 9 years and currently competes in BJJ, MMA and Muay Thai. He has a brown belt in Judo, a purple belt in BJJ and a 1st Degree Black Belt under Coach Cowell at SwiftKick Martial Arts. In his free time he likes to cook food and play music.

“Sam is an astounding martial artist, coach, and athlete. Sam has an unquenchable desire to improve himself as a martial artist and teacher on a daily basis. He is constantly seeking resources, training, and experiences to enhance his life as a martial artist. As a coach, Sam is innovative, results driven, approachable, caring, and also a ton of fun. Sam will bring up the energy and quality of every room he enters and I am thrilled to have him on Team SwiftKick and proud to have him overseeing our Carlsbad students helping develop the next generation of martial artists.”
-Coach Cowell

Sam@swiftkickma.com
 760.930.9300 

David_Welchons

DAVID WELCHONS

Senior Instructor

  • 3rd Degree Black Belt in Applied Martial Arts

Coach David Welchons has been training at SwiftKick Martial Arts for over 17 years. In his years at SwiftKick, David has obtained the rank of 3nd Degree Black Belt and holds the prestigious title of Senior Instructor. In his free time David enjoys surfing, rock climbing, and camping.

“David was one of my very first students ever in Carlsbad. He actually started training with me in 2007 before I even officially established the Carlsbad program! David is a natural leader with an exceptional work ethic. His positivity is infectious and you cannot help but smile when he walks into the room. From the moment I met David I recognized his potential as a compassionate, influential leader. As his teacher, I was thrilled to see him develop a desire to coach and pass along what he has learned to future generations of martial arts students.” 
-Coach Cowell

David@swiftkickma.com
 760.930.9300 

PHILLIP_CAVINESS

PHILLIP CAVINESS

Lead Instructor

  • 1st Degree Black Belt in Applied Martial Arts

Coach Phillip has been training at SwiftKick for over 14 years. In that time, he has obtained the rank of  First Degree Black Belt and Lead Instructor.

“Phillip is an amazing student to work with. From his first day of class, Phillip showed discipline and focus in his training unlike any of his classmates. He takes his training very seriously and has developed into a gifted martial artist. Perhaps what has impressed me most about Phillip has been his development as an Instructor. By nature, Phillip is quiet and reserved. As an Instructor, Phillip has learned to command a class, get students to laugh and have fun while also teaching them how to be great martial artists.”

-Coach Cowell

Phillip@swiftkickma.com
 760.930.9300 

Sarah_Piscopo

SARAH MCCANN PISCOPO

Lead Instructor

  • 2nd Degree Black Belt

Coach Sarah has been a martial artist for seventeen years and has been working at SwiftKick for six months. She enjoys every moment of being a coach! Sarah has been competing in Taekwondo since the age of eight, has participated in multiple demo teams and holds a second degree black belt. Her favorite thing about martial arts is that it empowers the individual to dream big and accomplish their goals all while staying physically, mentally, and spiritually fit. She loves seeing individuals grow in the area of self defense and martial arts and feels honored that she gets to be a part of our student’s education and journey. On her free time you can find her camping, hiking, watching baseball or cheering on the SDSU Aztec Football Team.

Sarah@swiftkickma.com
 760.930.9300 

Martial Arts Instructors Virtual Program

Chris_Welchons

CHRIS WELCHONS

Senior Instructor Virtual Program

  • 2nd Degree Black Belt in Applied Martial Arts

Hi all! My martial arts journey started about 10 years ago in March 2008. Since I started I have been very active in the program. I was a member of the SwiftKick demo team and student leadership team. I worked my way up to the highest rank in the student leadership team before being hired as a coach, about two years ago. Shortly after becoming a coach I earned my first-degree black belt.

I love coaching! Getting to be a positive influence on students in a world so full of negative influence is one of the most rewarding things that I get to do. I love watching as all the students grow in their martial arts as well as in their character. I know for myself, that martial arts has had a huge impact on my life. So now, getting to be that person who impacts the lives of the students after me, is amazing, not to mention a big responsibility, but very worth it.

When I’m not coaching or training, I enjoy doing just about anything outside, such as biking, running, hiking, swimming, rock climbing, and especially camping. If I’m not doing that, you likely will find me working with my hands in some way or another. I keep busy with things like woodworking, gardening, or helping a friend on his farm.

Chris@swiftkickma.com
 760.930.9300 

Rachel Welchons

RACHEL WELCHONS

Lead Instructor Virtual Program

  • 1st Degree Black Belt in Applied Martial Arts

Hi everyone! I started my training with Swiftkick nine years ago, and more recently I have taken on coaching. I especially enjoy coaching because it blends my love for martial arts and of working with children into one. Throughout the past years of training, I have had many moments of striving, and moments of success. Getting to walk with students through their journey, share with them what I have learned, and watch them have the same challenges and triumphs that I experienced, makes coaching a highlight of my week. The mental, physical, and even emotional challenge of training the skills myself, teaching others, and learning from every day, makes for a dynamic, moving journey, and that is what I love about martial arts.

On days when the studio is closed, I enjoy sticking my hands in the dirt to garden. I also might quilt, hike, or challenge myself with training my family dogs. To relax, I grab my camera and escape to the outdoors where I practice photography.

Starting with Swiftkick when I was small and working my way through the belts and the student leadership program has taught me many invaluable lessons, kept me fit, and has given me a healthy way to engage my mind, body, and spirit.

Rachel@swiftkickma.com
 760.930.9300 

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