Dasha’s curriculum vitae
IN THE FITNESS, HEALTH, & WELLNESS WORLD
- MS, Masters Degree In Exercise Science and Sports Nutrition, with a Specialty in Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention
- NASM-PES (NASM Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention Specialist)
- NASE- SES (National Academy of Speed And Explosion Specialist)
- MKC & M-KBIA (Kettlebell Master Trainer/ Specialist)
- IKC (Indian Club Specialist)
- MFM (Functional Movement and Mobility Specialist)
IN THE martial arts world
- Blackbelt in Bruce Lee’s Jun Fan Gung Fu — Jeet Kune Do Concepts and Filipino Martial Arts under Guro Dan Inosanto – Inosanto Instructor Association
- Black-belt in Jeet Kune Do and Kali under Sifu Dan Anderson – AMAA Instructor Association
- Gracie/ Brazilian JiuJitsu Brown-belt directly under the Gracie family lineage – Sifu Anderson, Prof Clark Gracie, Prof Steve Maxwell
- Muay Thai/ Thai Boxing Black-band, Instructor Sifu Anderson and Rob Kayman
- Red Glove “Initiateur” rank in Savate (French Kickboxing) under
in the business world
- Program creator / head certifying Instructor for KBIA – Instructor Organization certified all four of the governing bodies of fitness by NSCA, AFAA, ACE and CanfitPro
- Co-owner of Andersons Martial Arts Academy
- Founder/ Head Instructor of Kettlebell Kickboxing brand/ KBIA Instructor Certifications and Continuing Education Program
- Author of “Kettlebell Kickboxing: Every Woman’s Guide to Getting Healthy, Strong & Sexy” (Skyhourse Publishing, 2015)
- Contributing Fitness Editor to Blackbelt Belt Magazine with a column called ‘FUEL’ that she maintained for 4 years.
- Contributing Guest Fitness Editor; Shape, Self, Fitness Rx, Epoch Times (written over 200 fitness articles and workouts for major publications, blogs and brands)
- NY1’s New Yorker of the Week for Women’s Self Defense Program
- In 2013, Dasha was featured as a Black Belt Magazine‘s 21st Century Martial Artist (the only woman elected within the group)
- Fitness brand ambassador for lululemon athletica Soho, Vimmia, Onzie and Yogasmoga.
- Official fitness ambassador and one of the few official testers for VSX® (Victoria Secret’s Sports). Dasha has also worked with Nike, Yoplait, and Athlete for special brand launches.
- Dasha programmed, filmed, produced 36 home fitness and kettlebell DVDs, several of which are ‘best-selling’ programs.
- Dasha has spoken, taught, and done seminars for organizations like NYU, NYITTTech, ASYMCA, Bloomberg and many others
what can I tell you?
I was born in St. Petersburg, Russia – some people call my birth city the Venice of Russia, but I didn’t get much time to explore or grow in my birth place because my parents fled the government and came to America.
I was 8 years old when my family landed in New York City. I spent the next several years in inner city Brooklyn, going to public school, trying pizza for the first time, playing double dutch, and learning the language and the culture. My parents gave me the best upbringing possible – from staying up to do my science projects with me and to trying to get me to do gymnastics in the local YMCA (I only lasted two weeks before the instructor told my parents that I ‘wasn’t cut out for sports’). We didn’t have much, and for a while, my parents took turns going back to school while my entire family (grandparents, parents, my sister, myself, a dog and a cat) all lived in a tiny two bedroom housing project. But we were always happy.
I spent many of my summers upstate with my family. We rented a cabin in a Russian community within the Catskills. Every summer from age 10 through 14, my parents would pack up the station wagon, and drive my sister and I, my grandparents, and all the animals away from the noisy heat of New York streets. It was during those summers that I learned about mushrooms, fishing, and kettlebells. I watched my grandfather work with the cast iron bells on the front porch.
I wasn’t a great student in high school but I always excelled in English literature. I skipped every science and math class I could. I loved animals and I would sit up late at night reading old National Geographic magazines. I knew that one day that I would write and that I would travel.
At the age of seventeen, I accidentally found a martial arts school. After a very odd introductory lesson (one in which I fell two times trying to throw a thai kick), I joined. I was never the most rebellious kid, never the fastest, or most academic – but I was determined to live a life full of personal adventure, and for me, that started with martial arts.
By the time I turned 18, I had begun to work and save all of my money for train and travel. By 21, I had already backpacked to Europe, the Middle East, and Japan (the last two countries, I traveled completely on my own). I was writing and trying my wits as a pre-med major at New York City’s Hunter College.
My early twenties consisted of my younger sister and living in a tiny one bedroom in Manhattan. We both were at Hunter and we both held down 2-3 waitressing/bartending jobs while juggling our school studies and a social life. It was an exciting time in New York, before the creation of Twitter or Facebook, we felt free in the world, bound by nothing but our will to live and trust in ourselves.
It was a year into college when, because of my heavy schedule, I had abandoned martial arts training and began to gain significant weight. After only two years it was difficult for me to look in the mirror. The stress of school, work, and life in NYC left me almost thirty five pounds heavier, tired, and completely at a lack of confidence.
It took me almost two years to find balance and regain my life. I went through a variety of crash course diets, terribly harming diet pills, and random cardio workouts. I went through all of this only to realize that the same tool that my grandfather was using all of those years to stay strong and mobile, was the tool that would help me transform myself back to the person I once was. It was a systematic strength training kettlebell routine that helped me find myself again (and keep her).
To celebrate my college graduation, as well as my new body, and (finally) my ability to maintain a healthy, strong and beautiful weight (with no diets), I decided to start training in martial arts again.
I found the most ‘talked about’ Academy in New York City and walked right in, determined to dedicate myself to martial arts and never leave it again.
While I walked in for training, I realized soon enough that faith works in mysterious ways. After only two months at the Academy, I was head over heels in love with, and moving in with AMAA’s founder, ‘Sifu’ Dan Anderson. My family was against this decision, I was only twenty three and I had just started my own business, a court reporting company. It was the only business I realized I could start with sweat, equity, and no money. However, despite the protests, Dan and I moved in together after only a few months of knowing one another. We both had puppies, we both loved Lords of The Rings, we both trained martial arts daily, and we happily commuted home to Astoria after long days of working and training in the city. We threw parties, we traded a ton of martial arts, and we often walked from Astoria to Brooklyn to Manhattan and then back to Brooklyn. I cooked a whole fish and he learned to like it. When he would stay up entirely too late, I also began to write late at night and regain my love for words.
It was only after my business was doing great that I approached Dan and told him that I hated my job. When you spend everyday with someone who loves what they do, it’s infectious. Dan loved his work, and I wanted to love mine too.
So, Dan looked me straight in the eyes and told me to find something I loved, and that he would support us until I did. It was at that time that I began to realize how popular and respected Dan’s Academy was in New York City. At the time he had not want to expand his three thousand square foot space, he loved training and the arts and he didn’t want to bother with the business. But we were busting at the seams, before we knew it, we began having to refuse students due to a lack of space.
Some of my proudest moments have happened in the past 2 – 3.5 decades of my life. I received my brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it was harder earned than my Sports Science Masters. I was awarded the belt after a decade of training in the art and I felt like I had conquered the world. My instructorship was given to me under the legendary Guro Dan Inosanto (look him up if you don’t know). My black belt in Jeet Kune Do, as well as in Kali, was earned from my husband. I got published for the first time, it was an 800 word article in Blackbelt Magazine, I even got offered a contributing editor position for the magazine. I produced my first workout DVDs with five star reviews and transformations flying in. I stood on the stage at Nike and taught two thousand women kettlebells. I remember when my book was published, someone asked me if i had a ghost writer and I said – are you kidding!? I wrote every last word myself. I got to add my thirtieth country I traveled to to my list.
Fast forward to today and this decade. I am the proud co-owner of Anderson’s Martial Arts, the founder and CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing, as well as the KBIA-Kettlebell Kickboxing Instructor Association. I have thirty six fitness DVDs (and counting). I am an author, a writer, a teacher, and a world traveler. I am a brand ambassador for amazing companies such as Nike, Yoplait, lululemon, Victoria Secret Sport, Mind Body Green amongst many others. I am also an eternal student, always learning (not just from anyone), but from the most qualified people in the world.
Most importantly, I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, and a martial artist. My family is composed of some of the greatest people I have ever met, and they include my close friends, my training partners, my students, and my dogs.
So, I’ll let you know how it all turns out. As they say in publishing, TK (more to come).
Professionally, I have had some incredible moments, moments that took me from a writer to an author, from a student to a teacher, and from a teacher back to a student.
Personally, it has been the guidance of my family, and a trust in myself, in fitness, and in martial arts that has taken me to the place I am today.