At the Academy for Body Efficient Tactical Arts (BETA Academy), experienced and qualified instructors teach the martial arts of Thai Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Capoeira with the goal of developing well-rounded practitioners and mixed martial artists. With time and dedication, BETA students will develop effective self-defense skills, improved physical condition, as well as self-discipline and confidence.
Khun Kru Nakapan Phungephorn and Kru Melanie Phungephorn

The BETA Program was launched in 2008 by Nakapan Phungephorn. He and his wife, Melanie, share a lifelong passion for practical martial arts and for teaching others. They drew their inspiration for BETA Academy from the Beta Fighting Fish (also known as the Siamese Fighting Fish). These fish are admired not only for their efficient and deadly attacks against their opponents but also for their grace. Moreover, their intrinsic fighting ability invokes the cultural heritage of Thailand that is so closely tied with Thai Boxing.


BETA Academy is located in the basement level of the Calvary Methodist Church, which is conveniently located less than two blocks away from the Columbia Heights Station (on the Washington DC Metro Rail’s Green Line). BETA students refine their martial arts skills in the comfort of over 2,500 square feet of dedicated mat space that is filled with MMA Zebra mats specifically designed to meet Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training needs. Moreover, our spacious 4,500 square foot facility is fully equipped with state-of-the-martial arts training equipment, including premium heavy bags, speed bags, Thai pads and focus mitts, as well as strength and conditioning materials such as kettle bells that complement BETA’s rigorous training regiment. Changing rooms, lockers and showers are also available.

Our program offerings and facility are designed to exceed the demands of all students, who have various goals to reach through their journey at BETA Academy. Whether your personal aspiration is to reach the pinnacle of your physique, learn effective self-defense skills or to become a competitive athlete, BETA Academy can help you reach your goals.

We are not only within short walking distance of the metro; we are also less than a block away from the Columbia Heights shopping district that contains a Best Buy, Target and a Pot Belly Sandwich shop, among many other stores and restaurants. In this area, there is plenty of street parking. Students may also park in the enclosed, public parking garage of the shopping center, for only $1.00 per hour.


“Studying martial arts has positively affected my life in so many ways. As a young man, I originally sought out Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Thai Boxing for its effective fighting methods. I quickly learned that there is so much more to the martial arts than just fighting. Confidence, self-discipline, and warrior spirit are just a few of the many positive character building values that I have learned over the years. My goal is to give back to the martial arts by instilling these values into others.”

-Khun Kru Nakapan Phungephorn

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