Our Instructor

Juan Berrios – Chief Instructor

Juan Berrios began his Krav Maga training under Master Instructor Rhon Mizrachi in 2002 after over two decades of world-class accomplishment in other combat arts including Shotokan Karate, Katsugo Kickboxing Karate and Sambo.

Growing up in the Bronx, Juan’s early life shaped his perspective and fueled his passion for the world of martial arts and his own pursuit of excellence. “I was mugged at gunpoint. I grew up in the old South Bronx in the 70’s when it was truly a war zone. It was simple – there were two true types of people: the weak and the strong. And I got tired of getting picked on.”

With a number of teachers in various disciplines as part of his experience, Juan places great emphasis on proper training and safety. He is a certified personal trainer and adheres to training principles that help students increase their fitness level and avoid injuries.

In addition to his vast experience as a martial artist, Juan was a talented baseball player. He played in the minor leagues and was subsequently drafted by the Kansas City Royals. Before he could begin playing for the team, he suffered a severe shoulder injury thus ending his career as a ballplayer. The injury was a life changing experience and included intense physical rehabilitation to regain the use of his shoulder. The discipline, hard work and perseverance that Juan exhibited on his road to recovery are the same qualities that make him a talented and devoted instructor.

Juan Berrios continues to develop his skills and body of knowledge in the art through training with his teacher Grandmaster Rhon Mizrachi. Juan is dedicated to honoring his teacher’s goal of guarding the true art of Krav Maga as created by founder Imi Lichtenfeld. Through Englewood Krav Maga classes, Juan provides the highest level of authentic Krav Maga training.

Englewood Krav Maga is an affiliate school of the Krav Maga Federation and follows its requirements.

Juan says, “I will always consider myself a student of Krav Maga. It was a privilege to take part in Grandmaster Rhon Mizrachi’s instructor course and to continue to train under him and we maintain a great Krav Maga school through Rhon’s continued guidance”.

Juan Berrios’ Martial Arts Training includes:

Krav Maga

• 2002 Began training under Rhon Mizrachi
• 2011 Completed Krav Maga Federation Instructor Course taught by Rhon Mizrachi

Shotokan Karate

• Began training Shotokan Karate under Sensei Robert Rios at the age of 8

Katsugo Karate Kickboxing

• 1985 Began training under Shihan Tony Melendez
• 1996 Received Black Belt under Shihan Tony Melendez


• 2000 Began training in Sambo under Sensei Igor Chernekov
• 2003-2005 competed in Sambo on the USA team
• 2003 Placed 6th in the world in the Sambo World Championship
• 2003 2nd place in the Pan American Sambo games
• 2004 1st place North American Sambo Championships
• 2005 Received Black Belt from FIAS (Federation International Amateur Sambo)

Brazilian Ju Jitsu

• 2005 – Began training under Marcos Santos
• 2007 received Blue Belt in Ju Jitsu under Marcos Santos

Our Instructor

Lee Francesca Spagnolo, Director Englewood Krav Maga Kids Program

Lee Francesca Spagnolo (better known as Ms. Lee) began her training at Englewood Krav Maga in 2015 under head instructor Sensei Juan Berrios.  She was looking for a system that could teach a small framed woman how to properly defend herself and fight.  She fell in love with Krav Maga after her first class on the mat at EKM.

Throughout her years of training, she began to volunteer in the kids program observing and assisting on the mat with her teacher.  Her love of children and her love of children learning has always been a great passion.  Lee has an extensive background in teaching young learners.  With a Masters in Elementary Education, she spent 8 years teaching in the classroom as a Kindergarten and First grade teacher as well as moving around into different grades and tutoring privately.  She has a great love of literacy and in working with young struggling readers she decided to return back to school to become certified as an Orton Gillingham Teacher as well as a Dyslexia Therapist.  She was looking to take her academic background and implement it onto the mat working with young learners and utilizing her teaching styles to take difficult concepts and make them more comprehendible to her students.  Lee believes strongly in teaching children how to stand up for themselves and advocate for themselves in today’s world which is why she loves what she does on the mat.

As her commitment to her training continued, she was given the opportunity to go through the instructor certification course under her teacher and put in over 600 hours of student teaching on the mat.  On December 23rd, 2018 she was awarded her Englewood Krav Maga Instructor Certification as well as the Director position of the Kids Program.  Ms. Lee utilizes direct teacher methods, visual learning and a constructivist approach at times in order to reach her multiple learners on the mat.  She instills anti bullying training, character education, and boosts confidence and self-esteem in students to help them progress and work to the best of their ability.


In 2020, she achieved another goal she set for herself by becoming the first female blue belt under her teacher and continues on in her training journey.  She would love to achieve the goal to be the first female blackbelt under Sensei and will continue to stay committed to her training and fight through her struggles of difficult material.  She feels it is a necessity to be her best on the mat and uphold the responsibility to maintain her sharpness of material for her teacher and for herself.  Ms. Lee strives to be the best instructor to her students as well as a mentor and role model for them and others that train at the school.   She hopes that others look at her and become encouraged and motivated to keep moving forward and realize that you can reach your goals in training, but more importantly, reach your goal to always be your very best self in your life.

Lee Francesca Spagnolo, Director Englewood Krav Maga Kids Program