Willard FORD

Willard Ford is the founder of Strong Sports Gym. The self described "Assistant Assistant Coach" helps with all classes as well as organizes the coaching staff, and general gym schedule and activities. 

Willard started in traditional martial arts but took up "western-style" wrestling, boxing, and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) over 20 years ago. His background in competitive endurance sports also makes him the house authority on training methodology and practices. 


Vladimir "The Janitor" Matyushenko is a former Soviet wrestling champ and veteran of over 40 professional fights in the UFC and other premier fighting leagues. His palmares include championship titles and victories over some of the biggest names in MMA. 

This no-nonsense Belarusian export is known for coaching at the highest level. 

Kengo URA

Kengo "The Japanese Assassin" Ura has fought professionally for over 12 years, culminating with the welterweight title in his native Japan where he was "King of Pancrase." He continues to fight internationally and also owns and operates Strong Sports Gym - Japan. 


Despite his gentle demeanor, Kengo is expert at all ranges of combat and teaches in both English and Japanese. 

Howard LIU

Howard Liu (a.k.a., The Rabbi) is the elder statesman and founding sponsor of Strong Sports Gym. He is also one of the longest standing supporters of Mixed Martial Arts, as the former sponsor for greats Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, Matt Lindland, and coaches Frank Trigg, Vlad Matyushenko, and Kengo Ura. 

Howard is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and is available for private lessons. 


Adrian Gonzales is a longtime student of both Strong Sports Gym and Meynard Ancheta. He exhibits a sophisticated understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of the gym methodology and theoretical framework. 

Adrian can be found almost every day in the gym and trains beginners across all disciplines, but excels in boxing. A thoughtful coach, Adrian excels with beginners and experts alike possessing a keen eye for detail and one of the hardest work ethics in the gym.


Dr. Robert Willhite has worked closely with athletes ranging from high school to those in the professional ranks of football, basketball and hockey. He holds a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology as well as a Doctorate in Chiropractic. Dr. Rob is a strong supporter of total body wellness through treatment and training of the soft tissue via various myofascial release techniques as well as movement therapies.

A Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist as well, Dr. Rob is a huge proponent of exercise and proper nutrition in reaching and maintaining wellness.


As far back as he can remember, Cornell has been obsessed with sports performance. He strives to understand the science behind injuries and pushing athletes to their fullest potential.


Known as “The Sports Physicist,” Cornell studied under the great Marv Marinovich and also received a degree in Physics from Cal State Dominguez Hills. Cornell works with elite athletes from a wide variety of sports.


Armando is a stud.


Any questions?

Meredith HEWSON

“Mad Dog” is a toll troll.


She is the buster’s buster.

Coach MOE

Coach Moe is the Head Striking Coach and chief architect behind the training methods at Strong Sports Gym. With over 30 years of experience in western combat sports, Moe is a highly sought after trainer and corner man.

A boxing historian and collector, Moe knows all the stories worth telling. He also has a keen interest in exercise physiology and is always on the hunt or the newest and most progressive training techniques. 


Frank "Twinkle Toes" Trigg is in the UFC Hall of Fame and a legend in the MMA community. He is also a budding stuntman and referee in the sport he loves. In over 30 professional fights, Trigg faced the best of the best during his long and storied career. 

A master coach, Frank possesses a superior working knowledge of the realistic integration of traditional western wrestling in the MMA game. 

Andrew HAGAR

Andrew Hagar teaches kickboxing in the "Dutch" style, having learned his trade in the hardscrabble gyms in The Netherlands. His technical know how also includes the integration of boxing and wrestling, having formerly taught at top gyms in Los Angeles. 


Don't miss this opportunity to train with one of the best. 


Meynard Ancheta is a BJJ practitioner and expert in traditional Filipino and Chinese Martial Arts. His educational background in educational theory means his classes are expertly structured to get the most out of session. 


To connect the dots between traditional methods and contemporary reality, consider Meynard for private training. 

Jacob LEE

Jacob Lee is the new Head Performance Coach at SSG. His programming champions proper rest, recovery, and endurance base development as the foundation of any science based training program or effort. Jacob earned BA degrees in Kinesiology and Psychology at Occidental College.


He has worked with mixed martial arts stalwarts Jake Ellenberger and Nate Marquardt, tennis superstar Maria Sharapova, and Olympic gold medalists Allyson Felix (track & field), Henry Cejudo (wrestling) and Helen Maroulis (wrestling).

Benjamin LEE

Benjamin Lee is a boxer, wrestler, and grappler who started his martial arts career at Strong Sports Gym.  His ongoing education puts him alongside our coaches as an assistant who understands the complete system offered here. 


Ben is not available for private training but assists in classes throughout the week.  

Matthew AGUILA 

Matthew Aguila is one of those rare athletes that achieves high proficiency with ease. As Assistant Coach he plies his expert skills in boxing, wrestling, and grappling. His scrappy style is respected by all. 

Matt also works as Maintenance Director at the gym so expect to see him daily. He keeps it fresh and clean.

Calliope WHITE

Callie is our Front Desk Manager and general backup for the gym. She is currently enrolled at Cal State Long Beach in the Film Department. She is also studying Electronic Arts so that means she’s good at Photoshop and other things that young people can do.


She’s also an athlete who takes part in the boxing and strength training programs. As we speak she’s brushing up on her sales skills so look out.

Coach Reviews

The best of the best...

“Every time I come here I learn something new, some little detail that I've never seen before. It's unreal that after 30 years in wrestling that this can still happen. He showed me something today that blew my mind.”

— Y.W.

They know...

"Coach Moe and Willard Ford are just fantastic boxing coaches who really take the time to oversee your development."

— P.L.

All instructors care...

"The level of detail is like no other. The instructors give clear instructions on what they want you to do and make sure that you understand why you are supposed to do certain things...It's a real system by definition."

— A.G.

The most expert coaching, one-on-one or in a class setting from professionals from around the world.