Instructors

Ashley Bazan

Pronouns: she / her/ hers

 

Ashley is always up for a challenge. As a rugby player for the Austin Valkyries, she started boxing as a way to increase her fitness. Shortly after beginning her training at Austin Women’s Boxing Club, she became addicted to the challenging workouts, immediate results and supportive atmosphere. In 2014 she began teaching classes at Austin Women’s Boxing Club and is constantly inspired by the progress of her students. Ashley is also an active, competitive boxer with several championships to her name. On the weekends you’ll see her running around Lady Bird Lake or exploring a new workout.

 

Certifications & Accomplishments:

  • USA Boxing Coach – Bronze Level

  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer

  • CPPS Certified Coach

  • Certified Yoga Teacher

  • Boxing Trophies: 2016 Austin Golden Gloves Champion & Outstanding female novice boxer award recipient, 2017 San Antonio Gloves Champion, 2017 Gulf Women of Strength Champion

Alex Plichta

Pronouns: she / her/ hers

 

What started as a means of blowing off some post-work steam through boxing, quickly turned into a full on obsession. Alex’s favorite part of teaching at Austin Women’s Boxing Club is seeing students reach fitness milestones that they hadn’t reached prior to taking boxing classes. Knowing that she helps contribute to their fitness journey is incredibly rewarding.

 

Outside of the gym, Alex enjoys hanging out with her cat, playing softball, and reading graphic novels.

 

Certifications & Accomplishments: 

  • USA Boxing Coach – Bronze Level
  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer
  • Boxing Trophies: San Antonio Golden Gloves Champion 2021 and 2022, Boxing on the Green 2021, Rumble at the Rock 2021, Capitol City Heroes 2021, Texas Women’s Championship 2021,Top Dawg Boxing Show 2022 

PALLA LENTZ

Pronouns: she / her/ hers

 

Palla had been boxing for a while in group classes until she saw the competition team training and had to ask about it. It wasn’t long until she got her first fight and put all those skills to the test. As she continued to train with the team, her love for boxing grew even more and now she is co-teaching classes and actively working towards CPT/CSNC certifications as well as plans to attend a bronze clinic by the end of 2022.

 

 

Certifications & Accomplishments:

  • USA Boxing Coach – Green Level

  • Boxing Trophies: Rumble at the Rock 2021, Texas Women’s Championship 2021

Stacy “Flash” Nakell

Pronouns: she/they

 

Stacy has been a boxing fan throughout her life, after watching her first boxing match at the LA Olympics in 1984. She began competing as an amateur at the age of 32, and recently fought in the Masters division. She enjoys working the corner at AWBC competition team fights. She is a licensed clinical social worker, and utilizes her therapy skills to help people to overcome their fears in the gym. Stacy’s first book, Treatment for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors: An Integrative Psychodynamic Approach, will be available August 2022.

 

Certifications & Accomplishments:

  • USA Boxing Coach – Bronze Level

  • 6 Amateur Boxing Fights

Karen Giles

Pronouns: she / her/ hers

 

Karen watched and loved boxing since she was a little girl.  From Ali – Frazer to Sugar Ray – Duran to GGG, Mikey Garcia or Lomachenko today, she appreciates the art and science of boxing, its tactics and technique. Throughout her military career, she trained on and off with male boxers in the service; however, finding Austin Women’s Boxing Club was a dream come true. The support and positive energy from the coaches, instructors and members of the gym was powerful. When she is not working or boxing, she is having fun with her family, friends, and pups.

 

Certifications and accomplishments: 

  •  USA Boxing Coach – Bronze Level

Ri'ann Miller

Pronouns: she / her/ hers

New to Austin, Ri’Ann started training at Austin Women’s Boxing Club in 2019 to have a healthy outlet to work on increasing her mental and physical fitness levels, as well as making new friends in a new city. After beginning her training at Austin Women’s Boxing Club, she quickly became obsessed with the open and supportive atmosphere, challenging workouts and being a part of a group of strong women. Her obsession for the sport and all that it has to offer grew, drew Ri’Ann to join the competition team and teaching. In her spare time you can find Ri’Ann playing with her dogs at the park, reading, studying for her Master’s degree and promoting positive women’s health habits.


Certifications and accomplishments: 

  •  USA Boxing Coach – Green Level
  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer
  • Boxing Trophies: Top Dawg Boxing Show 2022

Owner/Head Trainer - Julia Gschwind

Pronouns: she / her/ hers

 

Julia founded Austin Women’s Boxing Club in 2007 to give women the opportunity to train in an all-woman environment; something she wished had been available to her when she was training. A native German, Julia has been training since 1996 both as a boxer and kickboxer, in Germany as well as the United States. In 2011, Julia earned her black belt in Kajukenbo under 8th degree black belt Professor Tony Morel. She also holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Julia has lived in Austin since 2004, has two sons and enjoys biking, hiking and camping in her free time.

Certifications & Accomplishments:

  • IBA Star 1 Certification

  • USA Boxing “Train-the-Trainer” Bronze Clinician

  • USA Boxing Coach – Silver Level

  • 4th Degree Black Belt, Kajukenbo, Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiujitsu

  • Kettlebell Concepts Level 1 Instructor

  • San Francisco Golden Gloves Champion 2000

  • Diamond Belt Champion 2002

  • State Champion (Baden-Württemberg), Germany, 1999

Lu Villarreal

Lu Villarreal

Pronouns: they/them/theirs

 

Lu is an Austin native who has studied a variety of martial arts since 2010, including traditional martial arts, submission grappling, and boxing. Lu is passionate about coaching students of all ages to feel powerful in their bodies.  As a queer and trans person of color, Lu brings a unique point of view to their self defense classes. They are active in the community giving self defense workshops for groups all around central Texas.


When they’re not training, Lu also enjoys outdoor recreation, gardening, and cooking.


Certifications & Accomplishments:

  • B.S. in Kinesiology 

  • 1st Dan Black belt in Pyon Moo Do

  • Blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

  • R.A.D. Certified Self Defense Instructor 

  • 3 amateur BJJ competitions (2014, 2017, 2018) 

Visiting Instructors

Joe Vela

Coach Vela is a former amateur champion and the last of Austin’s old school boxing coaches. He has been responsible for training, coaching, and mentoring hundreds of kids who have come through the gyms he managed before coming to Austin Women’s Boxing Club in 2013.

Joe Vela has been training boxers for 65 years and used to operate Austin Boxing Against Drugs (A common focus of the boxing coaches is providing something healthy for kids to do, to keep them away from crime and drugs.) Vela, a former amateur champion, has plenty of advice for boxers in and out of the ring.

Vela isn’t letting his age slow him down one bit (he turned 80 in 2015)  thanks to his boxing workouts he was in good enough shape to make it through a triple bypass surgery, followed by pancreatic cancer and being diagnosed with diabetes all within a few years. He intends to continue passing down his boxing knowledge to future generations for as long as possible. Coach Vela visits the gym occasionally to check on our boxers and helps with our advanced boxers and those training for competition.