Coaches

We are proud to have these fine coaches at Clark’s University of Martial Arts.

Aaron Nelson
All Disciplines

Aaron originally started training to help build confidence and discover his own capabilities. His dream is to teach and compete in the Martial Arts, he currently holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Aaron is the head coach of the Little Ninjas Program. He has lived in the Bend area since 2013. We are very proud to have him as a coach at Clark’s University Martial Arts.

Alex Needham
Muay Thai

Alex has been living in Bend since 1998. Before he started training in martial arts, he competed in Track and Field collegiality where he earned an All-American title in the 400 intermediate hurdles and a team championship. After college athletics, Alex wanted to find something that would keep me in shape, and that is when he found martial arts. He began training in Muay Thai and later picking up Jeet Kune Do, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and the Filipino Martial Arts. We are very proud to have him as a coach at Clark’s University Martial Arts.

Joseph Connoley
Jiu Jitsu

Joseph started training in 2001 in the Boston area. He currently holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has had experience in Krav Maga and Muay Thai. Joseph has competed and medaled in various Jiu Jitsu tournaments such as NAGA and Grappler’s Quest. Training started for Joseph when he was looking for a grappling art to complement his Krav Maga training. Joseph says he “mostly trains because martial arts training is a good escape from daily life. Jiu Jitsu particularly offers both physical as well as mental challenges. There is always something to work for. There are always short and long term goals.

Quinn Payton
Jiu Jitsu

Quinn started Jiu Jitsu in 2010 in Corvallis, Oregon and currently holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Quinn is in our coaching program and is the instructor for the Jiu Jitsu Fundamentals class. Quinn says he really enjoys training because of all the benefits it provides. “I really enjoy both the physical and mental health aspects of training.

Lillian Sawyer
Jeet Kune Do

Lillian began her martial arts training in Bend in 2013. “Before that, my knowledge of martial arts was limited to poor Hollywood blockbusters and that karate class I had when I was six.” However, as a firm believer of the ideology “don’t knock it till you try it” Lillian went to a Jeet Kune Do class with a friend. “It took me less than an hour to become addicted”.
Lillian is one of the few students that participates in all the programs at the gym: Jeet Kune Do, Kali, Muay Thai, and Jiu Jitsu. “I love the exercise, the discipline of the art, and the confidence I’ve gained.”
Lillian is currently enrolled in the Coaching Program for both JKD and Kali at Clark’s University. She has lived in Bend since 2003. We are very proud to have her as a coach at Clark’s University Martial Arts.

Matt Bohme
Jeet Kune Do

Matt started his martial arts journey in the art of Wing Chun. He began martial arts training as a way to become more active and healthy. In September 2013, Matt started Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Martial Arts classes at Clark’s University and never left. He is currently enrolled in the Coaching Program for both JKD and Kali at Clark’s University. When not at the gym Matt can be found working as a Software Engineer, and participating in one of his many hobbies. Matt moved to Bend in 2010. We are very proud to have him as a coach at Clark’s University Martial Arts.

Aaron Tiegs
Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai

Aaron was introduced to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2006 at the age of 8. Shortly thereafter, Aaron became enamored with the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and received his first promotion to yellow/white belt by Royce Gracie. Over the years, Aaron has experienced a multitude of different Jiu Jitsu styles and has competed and medaled in dozens of Jiu Jitsu tournaments around the United States and abroad. What draws Aaron to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are the friendships and comradery built around the martial art as well as the challenge, strategy, and exercise. In 2015, Aaron moved to Bend, OR and began training at Clark’s University of Martial Arts. Currently a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu under Professor Ryan Clark, Aaron coaches and assists with several of the youth Jiu Jitsu programs at the gym. We are very proud to have him as a coach at Clark’s University Martial Arts

Elizabeth Casner
Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai

Liz started training martial arts in 1985 in the Art of Shou Tsu Do, Filipino Kali and JKD concepts. In 2014 Liz began training at Clarks University, she currently trains in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai Kickboxing. She loves training both of these arts because it brings back a youthful energy, good physical fitness and regained confidence. . Liz has been living in Bend Oregon since 2005 and she has three awesome kids, Anthony, Mia and Ruben, all of whom train at Clarks University.

Cody English
Jiu Jitsu

Cody was born and raised in Southern California. He started training Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai in the early part of 2015. He originally sought out Jiu Jitsu because he wasn’t satisfied with traditional high school sports and he wanted a sport he could train in year round. Over the years he’s competed in all the local tournaments. Jiu Jitsu has given Cody many life lessons but the most important aspect to him is the family like support he receives from his teammates. Cody is an assistant coach for the Black Belt Kids Program.

Gage Jeffries
Muay Thai

Gage’s inspiration to start martial arts was after he watched one of his brothers fight in MMA event. He watched his brother’s journey to Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and thought he would give a try. He initially practiced Jiu Jitsu and then he discovered Muay Thai. After retiring from the US Forest Service, Gage decided to devote his time and efforts into becoming a career martial artist frequently traveling to Thailand to train and compete.

Simcha Lachman
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Simcha has been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 6 years. He is Ryan’s first student in Bend Oregon. Simcha enjoys sharing his love for Jiu Jitsu with everyone. He believes the lessons learned, the skills developed and personal growth are so important that his three kids train at Clark’s University. His 8 year old daughter has type one diabetes but the whole Clark’s University family supports and encourages and looks after her.
When not training, Simcha and his dog Flash are full time professional ski patroller and avalanche dog at Mt. Bachelor.

If you’d like a tour or a one week free trial,
give us a call 541-232-6300 or send us a message.

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