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instructors 702-269-6700

James Miranda
Level 1 CrossFit Instructor
Women’s Self Defense Instructor

James is the owner of Excel Defense Studios, a Certified Level 1 CrossFit Instructor, Master Defensive Tactics Instructor, Women's Self Defense and MMA Instructor. James began his training at age 20 in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In 1997, James became Police Officer for the City of North Las Vegas, Nevada where he began his career in law enforcement and self defense training. During that time James has become a Master Defensive Tactics Instructor, a Master Controlled Force Instructor, PR-24 and Straight Baton Instructor and a Less Lethal Tactics Instructor for the North Las Vegas Police Department. James has developed and written several lesson plans and has instructed hundreds of classes to a variety of students including new and veteran police officers, new and veteran correction officers, security officers, military personnel and civilians. James continues his training in Jiu Jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, and MMA

Suzette Miranda
Kickboxing/Strength & Conditioning Instructor

Suzette and her husband, James, own Excel Defense Studios. She had been involved in health and fitness since she was very young. The idea for EXCEL Defense Studios came from the realization that there was not a place in Las Vegas that provided a safe, clean, professional, and family friendly facility to train in various self defense techniques and martial arts styles. She and James designed the facility for law enforcement, military and business professionals in mind. If you love to exercise and train and take an hour or more out of your day to do so why not train in techniques that could save your life if necessary! In the evenings, you will find her training at Excel, but during the day, Suzette has a successful career as a commercial real estate broker for Colliers International.

Chad Lyman
Jiu Jitsu Instructor
Kids MMA Instructor
Progressive FORCE Concepts Instructor

Chad runs Excel’s Kid’s Mixed Martial Arts Program and teaches Jiu Jitsu classes. He trained with Straight Blast Gym in Portland Oregon for four years before moving to Las Vegas in 2004. He began his law enforcement career in 1999 and joined the Metro Police Department in 2004. He has trained with Team Mica since moving to Las Vegas and is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jisu. Chad is a certified ISR Matrix instructor, defensive tactics instructor, and a Progressive FORCE Concepts instructor. He is trained in Code 4 Combat and has trained law enforcement and security personnel in defensive tactics techniques. He has a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice and a minor in Terrorism Studies from Portland State University.

Lisa King;
Muay Thai Instructor
Women's Self Defense Instructor

Lisa King is the Lead Muay Thai and Women's Self Defense Instructor at Excel Defense Studios. She has studied Muay Thai for the past 12 years under the instruction of 3 authentic Thai Masters. In addition to competing in Muay Thai, Lisa serves in a multitude of roles in the fight world to consist of Ring Announcing, Match Making and Commentating. She serves as the Lead Commentator for the XFA and Color Commentator for Fatal Femmes Fighting. Lisa has been featured in many magazines and has appeared on screen for the Today Show, ESPN's "I'd Do Anything," "Ring Girls" an independent Muay Thai Film, and "Fight Girls," - an 2 hour Oxygen original movie in which Lisa was the only American fighter to walk away with a Muay Thai victory. Lisa served as a mentor and trainer for 10 aspiring female fighters on the Oxygen Network's 8 week reality show "Fight Girls." Lisa's most notable achievements include winning the MTIA Championship Belt, being named Black Belt Magazine's "Woman of the Year" 2007, and induction into the Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame.

Travis Snyder
Submission Grappling
Jiu Jitsu Instructor

Travis is a MFS certified instructor and teaches our No Gi Jiu Jitsu classes. Travis is an accomplished wrestler, wrestling throughout his High School career. After joining the Air Force Travis continued his training extensively in the Anti-Terrorism and Close Quarter Combat arenas. In 1997 Travis became a Police Officer with the North Las Vegas Police Department where he currently is an operator on the S.W.A.T. team. Travis also continues to train in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has achieved the rank of brown belt. Travis brings his wrestling background to the art of Jiu Jitsu and has won numerous Grappler’s Quest, NAGA, Gi and No Gi Worlds and Pan Am medals in both Gi and No-Gi divisions.