WHO WE ARE
Spatha started out as a means to continue a tradition of excellence in martial and firearms training. It has since evolved into a multi-discipline school that offers live and digital instructional courses like no other. Spatha is comprised of a core of individuals of different faiths, beliefs, and backgrounds. All of our instructors are certified, licensed, vetted, and professionals in their respective fields and areas of expertise. Spatha’s primary mission and focus is to discover, produce, test, and then disseminate realistic and effective firearms, combatives, martial arts, and self-defense skills, techniques, tactics and strategies to US civilians, law enforcement, and military personnel.
Countless men and women contemplated martial problems and developed strategies to surmount them before we picked up gun or blade or threw a punch under the structure of art. Admittedly, times and tactics have changed and evolved alongside new technology, experience, and societal changes. Core concepts, however, remain the same and so their words and experiences are of value in addition to modern sources. Study is not limited to one culture or system. Miyamoto Musashi’s thoughts are just as relevant as Camillo Agrippa’s. Sun Tzu and Alexander the Great are as worthy of study as Clausewitz and Mattis. Proven strategies and theory have withstood the test of time. That which is of no use is discarded. New material is added as it proven to be of use.
The building blocks of martial competence in any discipline include an attitude of self-reliance, discipline, and a desire for excellence. Physical fitness is a requirement for martial excellence and a goal to be sought. This includes the attributes of speed, balance, flexibility, strength, power, and endurance. These attributes are only developed through dedicated, informed training and we promote and incorporate these activities into our overall training and curriculum.
Martial skill is only produced through dedicated training and study that meets the following criteria:
- Based in reality and experience; it’s worked under pressure
- Built upon foundational concepts that inform the whole system
- Instills habits and strategies designed to produce favorable outcomes in conflict
Jonathan, President of Spatha, has been studying martial arts for over 20 years with a background in muay thai and holds advanced ranks in Shorin-Ryu and Chinese Kenpo. He is a NRA certified handgun and rifle instructor and Chief Range Safety Officer. Jonathan is also a NM DPS Certified Firearms Instructor and Crossfit Level 1 Trainer.
Chris has trained in various martial arts from a young age, including boxing, Tae Kwon Do and Shotokan karate. In 2004 he began training in Muay Thai under the Thai Boxing Association of America and Filipino martial arts, namely Doce Pares Escrima and Escrido. He has also trained Jeet Kune Do concepts, Wing Chun Kung Fu, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and wrestling/mma. He holds black belts in Doce Pares and Escrido under Chris Petrilli as well as instructortship in Muay Thai with the TBA.
Jacob is a member of the Albuquerque Police Department, 6th degree black belt in Chinese Kenpo; Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, Personal Protection in the Home, and Pistol Instructor; NM DPS Certified Firearms Instructor; Utah BCI Certified Firearms Instructor; and a law enforcement instructor with the APD. Jacob brings over 30 years of combatives and firearms instruction experience to the Spatha team and has been instrumental in developing our curriculum. Jacob is currently serving as a police officer for Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Sergeant First Class ‘JJ’ is a ten year United States Army veteran with seven years Special Forces experience. Currently an active duty Green Beret, JJ has completed numerous advanced military training events and courses including Airborne, Survive Evade Resist Escape (SERE), Senior Mountaineer, Military Free Fall (MFF), and many others. JJ has been operationally deployed to multiple countries and specializes in training both small and large forces around the world. JJ brings an elite level of training and professionalism to the Spatha team and has been a key component for the development of our military and advanced curriculum.