Martial Arts Instructors

Alex V. Kiesel Mr. Alex Kiesel's martial arts training began in 1978 in Shaolin Kempo. In 1982, Mr. Kiesel began to study under the direction of Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming in Shaolin Long Fist, Shaolin White Crane and Yang Style Taiji (Tai Chi). After receiving his instructor level from Dr. Yang, Mr. Kiesel was invited to Poland where he taught a two week intensive training course to over 75 martial arts students and instructors. At the 1989 U.S. National Chinese Martial Arts Competitions, Mr. Kiesel won first place in Taiji form and Pushing Hands. Since 1994, Mr. Kiesel has been selected to judge at the U.S. National Chinese Martial Arts Competitions and was selected as a regional advisor to the U.S. Kung Fu Federation. In addition to studying with Dr. Yang over the years, Mr. Kiesel has also studied with several renowned masters including Liang, Shou-Yu in Simplified Taiji and 12 Animal Form Xingyiquan, Grandmaster Li, Mao-Ching in Shaolin Long Fist and Grandmaster Wang, Ju-Rong in Long Fist (Cha Chuan).


Chris Fazzio, Kung Fu Program Director Mr. Chris Fazzio is a graduate of Merrimack College with a BA in History and Political Science.

In 1989, Mr. Fazzio began his Kung Fu training with Mr. Alex Kiesel at Yang's Andover. He has since earned his 9th stripe out of the 10 stripe YMAA curriculum. Mr. Fazzio has also attended many seminars, taught by several famous teachers including, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, Master Liang, Shou-Yu, Madam Wang, Ju-Rong and Grandmaster Li, Mao-Ching, on topics such as weapons training, Qigong, Wu Shu, Bagua, Sparring and Qin Na (Chin Na). His position as Kung Fu Program Director allows him to combine his passion for martial arts and history with his love of teaching.

Mr. Fazzio practices a balanced teaching philosophy mixing discipline with fun and new skills with foundation training. He believes that the greatest gift anyone can give a student is the confidence to be humble.

In his free time, Mr. Fazzio enjoys spending time with his twin boys and many outdoor activities: hiking, bird watching, kayaking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, rock climbing, and fly fishing. 

E-mail Mr. Chris Fazzio:

Marissa Federico, Kung Fu Assisting Instructor/Director Ms. Federico began her training at Yang's with Taiji in 2010 to help her deal with health issues.  Subsequently, her children began training in Kung Fu and in 2012 she switched from Taiji to our Shaolin program. 

She earned her 1st stripe in Shaolin in 2013 and began assisting Mr. Fazzio in the children's classes in 2014.  Most recently she has taken on an administrative role, assisting with special events, scheduling and student affairs. 

Matt Whitman, Kung Fu Assisting Instructor Matt Whitman has been involved in the martial arts since his youth, training in Praying Mantis Kung Fu, Shaolin, Taiji, Karate and various other styles.  He began his training at Yang's with Taiji, while teaching Karate on the North Shore.  He gave up his practice of Karate to train exclusively in Chinese martial arts.  

Since then, Mr. Whitman has earned his 4th stripe in Shaolin and his 1st in Taiji.  In 2011, he began assisting in children and adult classes. Mr. Whitman brings years of martial arts experience and a unique philosophy to the classroom

Sullivan Donahue, Kung Fu Assisting Instructor Sullivan Donahue began his Kung Fu training as a Little Dragon and studied Kung Fu with Mr. Fazzio until he departed for college. During that time he reached the rank of Black Belt and has since earned three white stripes in our Adult Shaolin Kung Fu ranking system. He was a volunteer classroom assistant, a member of our Demo Team and an Assistant Instructor. 

Mr. Donahue has degrees in Communications and Asian Studies from Clark University has since resumed his training. He will be teaching alternate Sunday morning Kung Fu classes and may be assisting in other weekday classes.