New York Combat Sambo is a division of American Sambo, LLC © 2003-2015 All rights reserved.

Owner/Head Coach
Stephen Koepfer

Stephen's first introduction to martial arts was Shotokan at the age of eight (1976). Since that time, Stephen has also been awarded a black belt in Tae Kwon Do (1993), spent five years training and competing in San Shou (1994 - 1998), culminating with a finish as a finalist in the 1997 United World Championships. In 2014 Stephen was awarded his Judo Shodan by Gregg Humphreys and took home a Gold Medal in the Shuai Jiao US Open (Men’s Division). Stephen has also gathered competition experience in Tae Kwon Do, Kung-Fu, amateur mixed martial arts, Freestyle Sambo,and grappling. In 1997 Stephen began coaching; serving as corner man and cut man for many amateur fighters. In 1999 he began training Combat Sambo training under Alexander Barakov, which he continues to teach today.

Stephen is a Level 1 USA Boxing Certified Coach (inactive), a Level 1 Catch wrestling coach under the ISWA, an ABC approved MMA judge and referee, a Class A International Referee under the FICW (Combat Wrestling) and the head official for the American Sambo Association. He attended the inaugural Combat Sports Medicine Symposium hosted by the NJ State Athletic Control Board in 2012. S. He has had the pleasure of training Sambo under Igor Kurinnoy at Spartak (Ukranian Olympic Training Center), Borec and Sambo 70 (Russia). Additionally, Stephen has taught Combat Sambo at the FKE training facility in St. Petersburg, Russia and has been a guest instructor at the United States Military Academy (West Point, NY) and Fort Campbell (Kentucky).

Stephen regularly offers national/international seminars; has coached his team to wins in Sambo, Combat Sambo, submission wrestling, San Shou, Shuai Jiao, Combat Wrestling and MMA. In 2008, Stephen was on the US Coaching Team for the FIAS World Sambo Championships, was awarded his Master of Sport of Russia (Combat Sambo) in February, 2009, and was the Head Coach for the 2015 Combat Wrestling US National Team. He has written for Bodyguard Magazine, Ultimate Grappling Magazine, Bloody Elbow, the Journal of Asian Martial Arts and regularly writes for his NYMMANOW Blog. He served as a technical advisor for the "Human Weapon" (History Channel), "Dhani Tackles the Globe" (Travel Channel) and is producer of "New York Mixed Martial Arts," “Girl Fight: A Muay Thai Story,” and “Choke Artist.

Outside of martial arts, Stephen is a NY State Licensed Massage Therapist, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts and a Master's Degree in Creative Arts Therapy from Hofstra University.

Wrestling/Grappling Coach
Tyga Maclin

Tyga started wrestling in 10th grade at Mt. Vernon High School in Mt. Vernon, NY in 1993. His first year wrestling, he quickly realized that there was more to wrestling than what he saw on T.V. as he finished with a 14-10 record. His second year he quickly turned that around with a 29-3 record, 3 consecutive tournament championships, became divisional champion and became co-captain of the team. He accredits this to the training he received at NY Athletic Club under coach Sonny Greenhalgh (World Freestyle Champion from Iran), Hamid Kermanshah, Florian Ghinea (2x Romanian National Freestyle champion and 2x Division 3 national champion at Montclair State). In his senior year, he posted a 33-2 record, became divisional champion again and finished 2nd in the Section 1 championships.

After graduating high school, in the summer of 1996, he competed for the first time in freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. He won 3 freestyle tournaments, went 7-0 on the East Coast Wrestling Tour camp where he had one of his most memorable moments defeating a high school Freestyle national champion in Florida. He also qualified for the high school Greco-Roman National championships. He went on to wrestle at Hunter College under coach Bob Guadenzi in 1996. He achieved All-State at the NY State championships in his sophomore year in college. Due to financial and family commitments, he had to stop wrestling for his last two years of college but continued to train at NY Athletic club with many great wrestlers. He wishes to pass his love for wrestling onto others. Tyga began training Combat Sambo under Stephen Koepfer in 2008. In addition, Tyga holds a purple belt in BJJ under Marcello Garcia. He is the 2008 - 2009 North American Freestyle Sambo Champion (74kg).

Assistant Submission Wrestling Coach
Anthony “Magnum” Pipola

Anthony, Ozone Park’s Secret Weapon, is a talented grappler and fighter with many competitive accolades under his belt. He began training at NYCS in February of 2011. In addition to his 3-0 record as an amateur MMA fighter, Anthony has won the Good Fight Winter Open Gold Medal (No-gi purple belt), North American Freestyle Sambo Championships Bronze Medal (A division), ISWA Carpentier Catch Wrestling Open Gold Medal.

Sambo/Judo Coach
Alexius “Stealth” Phoenix

Alexius, who works as a senior court officer at the NYS Federal Court, has been training at NY Combat Sambo since 2007. In addition, he holds a Shodan in Judo and Japanese JuJitsu. Alexius’ competitive record is a long and accomplished one including a Bronze Medal (Judo) at the 2011 World Police & Fireman’s Games. He has placed in numerous other events including the Good Fight, World MMA Expo Takedown Tournament, Ultimate Sambo Submission Showdown, North American Freestyle Sambo Championships, and Canadian Freestyle Sambo Open.

Assistant Submission Wrestling Coach
Thomas “Sambo Ronin” Doyle

Tommy has been training with NY Combat Sambo since September of 2012. In addition, Tommy holds a Purple Belt in BJJ (Oct, 2014) and is a Level 1 coach under the International Submission Wrestling Alliance. In the past several years Tommy has proven himself as an avid competitor racking up Gold Medals at the 2013 Good Fight Winter Open (No-Gi Adv) and the 2014 ADCC New York (Blue Belt Division/Gi), Big Apple BJJ Open (Blue Belt Division), Good Fight NJ Submission Only (No-gi purple - fastest submission award) and Good Fight NY Submission Only (no-gi Blue & Absolute). On November 21
st Tommy made his MMA debut on the Victory VII card at Madison Square Garden. He defeated Mike Kelly via 1st round rear naked choke in what was the first ever MMA bout contested in the historic venue. Since that time Tommy has increased his record to 2-0.

Assistant Combat Sambo Coach
Paul Varacchi

Paul began Combat Sambo training under NYCS’s Reilly Bodycomb and has trained under Stephen Koepfer since 2013. He is currently training for his 3
rd Level NYCS Combat Sambo Instructor’s Certificate, for which he will test at the end of 2015. Additionally, Paul is head Krav Maga instructor of Flow Krav Maga NYC. He the only American to be certified by Professor Itay Gil of Protect Security Systems of Israel. Itay Gil is an IDF commander and the Director-in-Charge of Intelligence, Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security Studies at the Magid Institute in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Paul has also had the honor of training with IKMA Grandmaster Haim Gidon and Senior Instructors Yigal Arbiv and Noam Gidon. He continues to consult and run workshops with Itay Gil.