Our Staff

Gardea Christian

Senior Trainer

Gardea Christian has over 14 years of fitness experience and is a certified USA Boxing Amateur Coach. He brings 9 years of experience from the United States Naval Academy and United States Marine Corps. He has been a trainer in New York City for 4 years at Church Street Boxing Gym. If you are looking to improve your boxing form and technique, maximize your fitness, or compete in US amateur boxing, Gardea is the right trainer for you.

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Lee McConnell

Senior Trainer

Lee McConnell is a Boxing Coach and Personal Trainer who specializes in mitt work from New York. He has been boxing for over 10 years and has his NASM certification. Lee’s training style mixes high intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training to create a fast paced calorie burning workout.

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Michael Hughes

Senior Trainer

In 2012, Michael Hughes won the New York Golden Gloves in Madison Square Garden, weighing in at 141 lbs. In 2014, he won the New York Metro Tournament at 141 lbs, and in 2016 he became the 152 lbs New York Tournament Champion. Michael’s resume in combat sports started at the age of 11, when he practiced Tae Kwon Do, kicking before throwing punches. His goal when working with clients is to maximize their fitness potential. Michael believes that fitness allows people to learn more about themselves and to improve their fortitude and will. Whether the goal is to learn self defense, lose weight, or improve overall strength, Michael is committed to helping you get there.

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Chris Kwiatkowski

Senior Trainer (Muay Thai)

Chris Kwiatkowski is a professional Muay Thai fighter that trains & fights out of New York City. He’s been training & fighting Muay Thai for the better part of two decades. Chris is a 6-time Muay Thai champion, including WKA World Amateur Champion and FNF World Professional Champion. Chris is internationally known, having competed in countries such as Thailand, Belarus, Spain and South Korea.

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Alex Chang

Senior Trainer (Muay Thai)

Alex comes from a family of martial artists, where he began training Taekwondo & Hapkido at the age of 5.  During his teens and up to his early college years, he played soccer until an injury eventually pushed Alex on his path towards Muay Thai.   

Soon after relocating to New York City, Alex began his studies in the art of traditional Muay Thai.  He has competed nationally & internationally, cornering/coaching amateur &  professional fighters, and is currently a Muay Thai & Kickboxing instructor at Church Street Boxing Gym in Manhattan. He brings over 10 years of experience studying Muay Thai in the US as well as in Thailand.    He welcomes all levels of levels of experience and will push you beyond your limits to meet your goals.

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Jose Guzman

Senior Trainer

Former professional boxer and amateur stand out with 25 years of boxing experience. Jose has 200 amateur fights and 21 professional fights, and is now a trainer of amateur champions and pro fighters.

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Peter Kaijevic

Senior Trainer

Peter Kaljevic traveled to America in the mid 80s as a master chess player, where he shifted his focus to kick boxing, especially Muy Thai. Kaljevic always had an interest in fighting, practicing Karate since the age of 6 and admiring Bruce Lee’s action movies. He feels that chess and mix martial arts are natural extensions of one another when it comes to strategizing. He continued training and was not only six time World Kickboxing Champion, but also the WKA USA Muay Thai Champion, Shoot Boxing Champion, and IFC MMA Champion. He holds a kickboxing record of 140 wins and 37 losses.

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Jason Strout

Senior Trainer

Jason Strout is known for being one of the top striking (boxing,MMA, kickboxing/Muay Thai) coaches in USA with over 20 years of training experience. Jason has gathered knowledge first hand as a boxer and kickboxer under renowned coach Duke Roufus. Jason then utilized his experience to successfully coach professional and amateur boxers, kickboxers and MMA fighters in UFC, Bellator, Glory Kickboxing and many other promotions.

Jason has worked with several male and female athletes who have competed in the UFC, Bellator, K1, Glory Kickboxing, Lion Fights, and numerous boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai and MMA professional and amateur promotions. He has trained many notable professional fighters, including Liam McGeary, Jared “Flash” Gordon, Skender Halili and Marcos Galvao.

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Hugh McKenna

Senior Trainer (BJJ)

Hugh is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt and a Professional MMA fighter. He has been training and actively fighting for over 15 years. Hugh teaches BJJ, Wrestling, Kickboxing, and MMA using a series of systems that break down into smaller sub-systems that are easily digestible. He tries to foster a safe training environment and an atmosphere of respect and camaraderie. He is also a personal trainer focused on movements that respect the gait cycle and human evolution. Hugh trains students that want to actively compete and those that are there for a workout/hobby.

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Sydney Maccow

Trainer

Sydney is a boxing coach who focuses on the fundamentals of boxing and defense, training each client as if they were preparing for a bout in the ring. Sydney has been a personal trainer and boxing coach for over 4 years and has been a pro boxer for 5 years. Sydney won the St. Maarten amateur boxing championship. He is currently accepting new clients for individual and group training. In addition to working with adults, Sydney also specializes in working with children and teens.  He is the head trainer for our middle school outreach program. Certified and registered USA Boxing Trainer.

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Jennifer Oconnor

Trainer

Jennifer started boxing in the Police Athletic League gyms in Queens NY in the early 1990s trained by Golden Gloves fighters. Jennifer fell in love with the sport and continued to pursue a career in kickboxing, Muay Thai, and traditional western boxing.

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Teon Thorne

Trainer

Born in Georgetown, Guyana, raised in Brooklyn, Teon Thorne is an active fighter who started boxing in 2014. Golden Gloves finalist, NY Junior Metro Finalist, 2014 Pure Breed Boxing Champion. Specializes in teaching the fundamentals of boxing: stance, footwork, defense and effective punching technique. Senior Instructor in charge Absolute Beginner Boxing and Kids Boxing programs.

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Kalief Lindo

Trainer

Kalief began his boxing journey in 2013 when he started taking classes at Church Street. In 2015, Kalief joined the training staff.  He is an active fighter, having competed in national competitions and tournaments abroad.  Kalief is a Golden Gloves finalist.

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Kenny Ocean

Trainer

23 Year Old Kenny Ocean won the 2017 New York Boxing Tournament and is continuing his journey as an up and coming amateur fighter. He has trained for four years and is here to help you improve mentally and physically.

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Susanna James

Trainer (Muay Thai)

Susanna is an amateur Muay Thai fighter who has been training and coaching actively under Coach Chris’s guidance for the past four years. In 2017, she won the championship at the USMTO. She continues to be an active fighter and when she isn’t teaching you will see her training as often as her day job of being an Art Director allows. In her classes she focuses on technique, and using that technique to optimize your power.

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Scott Copenhaver

Trainer (Muay Thai)

Scott has 9 years of training and fighting experience in traditional, very technical Muay Thai. Scott fought out of various gyms in Philadelphia, then Chok Sabai for 4 years, where Scott also completed their extensive instructor training certification. Scott has trained in Thailand with Attachai Fairtex, Petchboonchu, and Kru Kin of Por Promin. In addition to martial arts instruction, Scott is also available for strength and conditioning training, and is certified in corrective exercise(CES) and Functional Range Conditioning. (FRC)

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Flynn Holman

Trainer

Flynn is a NASM certified trainer who fell in love with boxing the first time she entered a boxing gym. She has worked with Tony Jeffries through Box n Burn academy, and currently trains with an active fighter. Her classes are endurance focused and aim to push you past your boundaries. She’s also an expert at writing in 3rd person.

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Nicco Diaz

Trainer

Nicco Diaz basically grew up in a Church Street Boxing Gym. First walking in when his father and uncle trained here in 1997 at the age of 7, to pushing to compete out of CSBG, to now where he’s been a Church Street Trainer since 2014 and a boxing coach since 2009. With some amateur boxing experience, a lot of ring time (with professional and amateur champions), a decade of being a trainer, and family boxing pedigree under his belt, Nicco has a good amount of knowledge to share. He enjoys focusing on technique but could run a boot camp circuit with some of the best and always finds a way to slide a couple jokes in the process.

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Iegor Plevako

Trainer

Iegor Plevako is a professional boxer with over 18 years of boxing experience. He is a two-time New York Golden Gloves Winner (Recipient of Sugar Robinson Award for Most Outstanding Boxer in 2011); EUBC European Olympic Hopes 19-22 Boxing Champion; (AIBA) World Youth Boxing Championship Bronze Medalist; Ukraine National Champion; Draftee into the World Series of Boxing; and a former Member of Ukraine National boxing team. Iegor is a certified Personal Trainer and registered USA Boxing Coach. He offers high level fitness classes and world class boxing trainings.