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Credit Classes Instructors

Ai Kuwayama

Ai Kuwayama

Beginning Yoga

Ai is originally from Japan and she graduated with a Masters in Kinesiology in Integrative Wellness from Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, AFAA Certified Group Exercise Instructor, AEA certified aqua instructor and 500 Registered Yoga Teacher. She is also the Fitness and Wellness Supervisor. She has been teaching Group Exercise classes for 14 years and is very passionate about both teaching and taking Group Exercise classes. Ai believes in the powerful ability of group exercises to improve and promote individuals’ physical and mental well-being. 

Alberto Luiz Reyes

Alberto Luiz Reyes

Tae Kwon Do

Alberto grew up in San Diego training and competing in Taekwondo from a very young age. He earned his first black belt in 2010 under Grandmaster Bo Hwa Jeong and Master James Tanagras. He later earned his B.S. in statistics from UCLA in 2016 and went on to work in academic research for a number of years. During this time he continued to practice martial arts, and branched out into other systems. Currently his own training focuses on Muay Thai, Taekwondo and Kali. Alberto teaches a multitude of kids and adult martial arts classes within the community and enjoys watching his students overcome challenges, improve their techniques, and build camaraderie. As an instructor, practitioner, and fan of martial arts, he aims to make his classes safe and inclusive spaces for people of all backgrounds to improve their physical and mental health. He leads his students through passion, focus, and a desire to learn and continually make each other better


When he’s not on the mat, you can find Alberto at the beach, on a hike, or cooking for his loved ones. He believes that the values instilled through martial arts translate to all other areas of life as a way to excel at and enjoy them.

Annaliese Andersen

Annaliese Andersen

Intermediate Weight Training

Annaliese graduated from the University of Alabama prior to beginning her graduate degree in athletic training at SDSU! She got her start in coaching with high school athletes and programming for military personnel in the private sector. Annaliese's love of weight lifting came from her personal experience as a powerlifter and athlete. She is excited to help build the relationship and familiarity with working out into a passion for others. Annaliese also loves to cook and focuses on well rounded nutrition. The move to San Diego has been great for all things outdoors, and her pup Hazel is loving the hiking opportunities almost as much as Annaliese. 

Bethany Mendenhall

Bethany Mendenhall

Group Fitness Instructor Training
Indoor Cycling
Beginning Yoga

Bethany was born and raised in San Diego, and graduated from SDSU in 2019 with a B.A. in psychology. She has been teaching both cycling and yoga classes at the ARC since February 2019. In addition to being a group fitness instructor, she is an ENS instructor and one of Aztec Recreation's Fitness and Wellness Program Assistants. Her love of fitness stems from a place of self-love and she firmly believes that one of the best ways to take care of yourself is to keep both your body and mind active and healthy. As an instructor, her main goal is to help you discover and celebrate how strong you already are, exactly as you are. When she’s not teaching at the ARC, you can find her hanging out at a local coffee shop or rocking out to live music!

Brian  Carroll

Brian Carroll

Beginning Basketball
Intermediate Basketball

Brian Carroll was an All-Greater Rochester (NY) high school basketball player in 2003.  He played in the Ronald McDonald game where he was recruited by SUNY Brockport to play college basketball in 2003. Brian then went on to become the assistant coach at Tompkins Cortland Community College in 2009 and served for 9 years. He also worked for the renowned Impact Basketball in Sarasota, Florida.  In 2016, he founded his own skill development business, 1 More Basketball, in Ithaca NY. Brian moved to the west coast to work for the LA Clippers as a Youth Basketball Coach. He works as an assistant boy’s coach at The Bishops School in La Jolla and is the Head California Trainer at Bellucci Basketball Academy. He lives in Hillcrest with his beautiful wife and daughter.

Cole Davis

Cole Davis

Personal Trainer Prep Course

Cole graduated from James Madison University in May 2020 with a B.S. in Exercise Science after dropping his business degree in lieu of pursuing his dream of a career in the fitness industry. During his years working at JMU’s University Recreation Center Cole worked as a manager, personal trainer, and group exercise instructor with clients of all different shapes, sizes, colors, & ages! He is a Certified Personal Trainer & Certified Exercise Physiologist with the American College of Sports Medicine. He also has experience teaching a variety of group fitness formats with a focus on Strength & HIIT. Cole loves helping individuals build self-confidence, strength, and comfortability within their own bodies. To him, witnessing the positive impacts that fitness can have on clients' lives is ultimately what drives his work each day! Cole is also the Fitness & Wellness Coordinator for Aztec Recreation and oversees the Group Fitness & ENS Credit class programs. 

Cory Twitchell

Beginning Rock Climbing
Intermediate Rock Climbing

Dave Chovanec

Dave Chovanec

Beginning Volleyball
Intermediate Volleyball

Dave completed his undergraduate work at San Diego State University and went on to earn his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Cal State Northridge.  He has coached High School Volleyball and participated as an instructor in a number of Summer Volleyball Camps.  He has worked as a site clinician for the United States Youth Volleyball League assisting coaches with skill building exercises for their teams.  He has worked as a CIF Volleyball Official and is a past president of the Channel Coast Volleyball Officials Association.  He has served as an NCAA Volleyball Official and has officiated at a number of Pro Beach Volleyball Tournaments for the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP).

David Berling

Mountain Biking
Beginning Rock Climbing
Intermediate Rock Climbing

Emily Taylor

Beginning Rock Climbing

Flo Pierce

Flo Pierce

Pilates, Posture, and Poses

M.Ed., M.A., Exercise Physiology

Flo is a lifelong teacher – from Middle School to the University, and from Active Adults to Law Enforcement Officers. For Aztec Recreation, Flo teaches Group Fitness Classes including Pilates and Barre Blast, emphasizing precision and posture. Taking a sequence of classes from Flo, you will get high level instruction to help move your Pilates practice to the next level. Flo holds certifications from ACE and ACSM with specialties in Pilates, Cycling, Yoga, PIYO, Barre, Gravity, and Aquatics. She would love to see you in her class!

Heidi Sarmiento Wilson

Heidi Sarmiento Wilson

Beginning Boxing Fitness
Self Defense for Women

Heidi works as adjunct faculty at multiple colleges including SDSU, Mesa College, and Cuyumaca College. She teaches college courses in health, nutrition, kinesiology, martial arts, kickboxing, and self defense. She is an SDSU alumni times 3! (BS in Nutrition, Masters in Public Health (MPH), and Masters (MS) in Nutrition, chemistry minor). She is a martial arts nerd (4th degree black belt Taekwondo, black belt in Aikijujitsu, black belt in Arnis/Filipino Martial Arts, certified USA Boxing Bronze level Coach, USA Boxing Masters Division Champion & Director of the Women's Boxing Network in Southern California.

While Heidi teaches academic classes in health, sports nutrition, and various fitness classes, her true passion is teaching women how to defend themselves.

Jennifer Melford

Jennifer Melford

Restorative Yoga with Breathwork
Yoga for Athletic Performance

Jenny has been an athlete her whole life and her love for movement and sport go back as far as she can remember. Jenny graduated from the University of San Francisco with a degree in Exercise and Sport Science, where she also earned a scholarship to play Division 1 soccer. It was during this time that Jenny discovered Yoga. Though she was drawn to Yoga initially for the physical challenge it offered, she ended up falling in love with the holistic nature of the practice, and the deeper sense of ease and well-being that were a result of her regular practice. She now holds five different Yoga certifications as a teacher, although she will always consider herself a student of the practice.

Jenny is also a certified Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine, a Health and Wellness Coach, a Nutritionist, and a Grief Counselor. In her free time Jenny loves hiking, camping, snowboarding, hanging with her family and puppy, and seeing live music!

John Nagel

John Nagel

Beginning Ballroom Dance
Country Western Dance
Salsa Dance

John Nagel enjoys exercise & dancing. He is presently teaching the ENS classes; swing dancing, salsa dancing and cycle/core at the ARC. He has been teaching partner dancing for over 30 years. He graduated with a BA in Social Science from UCI and has an AS in accounting from Mesa College. John’s approach to fitness is to set a realistic goal and then methodically work toward it. Plan your work; work your plan. When it comes to dance, let the music move you.

Kamau Jackson

Kamau Jackson

Jiu Jitsu
Intermediate Jiu Jitsu

Kamau is a former San Diego State Criminal Justice and Psychology major preparing for a masters program. He started training “No-Gi” Jujitsu in 2002 and went on to traditional Gi Jujitsu in 2010. He is currently a First Degree Black Belt at Honu BJJ, a 6 Blade Academy in San Diego. Kamau trains and instructs jujitsu with an emphasis on self defense, utilizing sport and traditional techniques, as well as techniques derived from wrestling, Judo and MMA. He strongly believes jujitsu is a game of human chess, utilizing technique and problem solving skills over strength and agility. The study of jujitsu teaches humility while instilling confidence and improving physical fitness while learning not to rely on physical attributes and how to win by understanding your losses. Kamau believes the smallest opponent can defeat the biggest by using angles and manipulating leverage, making it as much a mental game as a physical sport.

Ken Meryman

Beginning Bowling
Intermediate Bowling

Lucy Gonzalez

Lucy Gonzalez

Intermediate Yoga

Lucy was born and raised in San Diego, and graduated SDSU in 2015 with a B.A. in Communication. She later went to PLNU and obtained her M.S. in Kinesiology in 2019. She is a certified personal trainer and has her 200hr yoga certification. She has experience teaching a variety of formats with a focus on strength and cardio and yoga. She has also experienced working with college athletes both in Cross Country and soccer. Lucy has been part of the fitness industry for 7 years. Her biggest passion is to help change people's lives through fitness and help them achieve their goals. She enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, running, and loves working out. She tries to make her classes fun and enjoyable for students by bringing enthusiasm, knowledge, energy, laughs and much more to her classes. As a fitness professional she promises you will not only get a great workout, but you will also learn about fitness while having some fun!

Megan Hollyfield

Megan Hollyfield

Hip Hop Dance
Intermediate Hip Hop Dance
Beginning Yoga

Megan’s love of jazz, tap, contemporary, and hip-hop dance began when she was 5 and has continued on in the present day.  Throughout her years in dance, hip-hop emerged as her favorite both to learn and perform.  Early in 2017, Megan’s journey has led to teaching group fitness, yoga, and dance classes at the Aztec Recreation Center.  Now as an SDSU graduate and group fitness instructor, teaching a hip-hop class for SDSU students was an easy decision to make.  She believes that dancing is key to building confidence, community, and creative expression, as well as having a little fun along the way.  No matter your experience, just get up and dance!

Metin Meral

Metin Meral

Beginning Badminton
Beginning Futsal
Beginning Pickleball
Advanced Soccer
Beginning Soccer

Coach Metin received his master degree in Kinesiology from SDSU in 2015. Metin’s soccer career started in his early age and played youth clubs,high school, college and semi-pro level. Since he arrived to the USA 10 years ago he always pursue his passion for soccer. He has coached many youth teams, high schools, college and semi-pro team. He is also currently coaching youth clubs and semi-pro level. He won CIF high school championships in 2013, won league championships in high school, college and club tournaments. He loves teaching, developing and sharing his skills with experience to young athletes as a former semi-pro player. He believe soccer and other sports have to teach and learn in fun and competitive environment. Therefore he creates fun and competitive environment while he is teaching. He has National D license and goal keeper license. He is also a soccer official for 10 years and officiating other sports as a hobby such as lacrosse, field hockey and volleyball.

Nancy  Quidachay

Nancy Quidachay

Beginning Judo
Intermediate Judo

Nancy started her martial arts journey in middle school, starting with wrestling and going all throughout high school, competing regularly throughout all those years. After high school, she moved to San Diego to get her bachelors at SDSU. During that time, she started practicing Judo (2016) and is currently ranked as a brown belt under JJ Jones. She also started practicing jiujitsu at Honu BJJ. On top of loving the thrill of competition, she also loves teaching. She is excited about giving back to the community and contributing by introducing people to the “Gentle Art” of Judo.

Richard Takahashi

Richard Takahashi

Self Defense Conditioning

Richard was born and raised in Hawaii and is proud of both his Japanese & Hawaiian heritage. Around age 13, Richard’s grandmother enrolled him in Martial Arts at her Buddhist temple to help teach him discipline (although he refused to go at first!) Later in life Richard traveled to Japan to stay with relatives and continue training with his female master instructor, Yoriko Yasuzato, and afterwards with Katsuya Miyahira (1918-2010). He was then referred to his present master, a senior Buddhist monk of the Chen yen Shingon Buddhist school and temple in Nashville, Tennessee. Richard was also ordained as a Buddhist in 2008 by Matsugi Arakawa and has been training under him to present day. 


As a Martial Artist Richard has competed professionally in Hawaii, Japan, Okinawa, Philippines, Hong Kong & California in “Bare fist full contact” fighting tournaments. He is now retired from competition due to injuries and is focusing on sharing his passion for health, wellness & self-defense with others. 

Stan Williams

Stan Williams

Yoga Inversions

Stan Williams is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He began practicing Yoga in 1976 while a student at LaSalle College located in his home town. With a Bachelor of Arts Degree, he relocated to Diego and eventually started his own business importing art and decorative Porcelain from Limoges, France. Stan completed the rigorous Iyengar three-year teacher training program and taught as a ’teacher in training’ for several years before being fully certified in the Iyengar method. Today, with many years of experience he continues his ongoing training with senior Iyengar teachers and is currently teaching Group Fitness yoga classes at the ARC, at the Iyengar Yoga Center of North County and Full Circle Yoga in San Diego. Stan’s objective for ENS 138 Yoga Inversions is to teach the basic techniques of general poses properly and safely with emphasis on Salumba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) and Salumba Sirsasana (Head Stand) as well as the many preparatory poses that help develop the strength and flexibility to do the poses properly.

Stan’s other interests include playing basketball at the ARC and volunteering at the San Diego Maritime Museum. He is currently a qualified sail crew member on the historic and gorgeous Star of India, a windjammer located at San Diego’s central embarcadero pier district.

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