Samantha Benzi Cotter
Vice President and International Director of Operations
Samantha Benzi Cotter is Vice-President and IKFF International Director of Operations, responsible for overseeing several of the diverse facets of IKFF, including media development, educational development, public relations, product development and member services.
She also assists her husband Steve, the founder, director and head instructor of IKFF, in teaching many of the international CKT courses and provides online follow-up support to those students who need it throughout this process.
Mrs. Benzi Cotter’s training in a wide variety of specializations enables her to use her broad experience base to better serve the IKFF and wellness communities globally.
Her training and educational background includes:
- IKFF CKT Level 1 and 2
- Extensive ballet and classical dance training
- Zumba instructor
- Turbokick instructor
- Capoeira background
- Professional Dog Trainer
- Volunteer in animal shelters
- Veterinary studies
- Pedagogy and Psychology Studies
- International importing
Samantha is guided by some core philosophies:
- Don’t let your past failures and weaknesses define you, use them to refine you.
- If you believe you have a problem, it’s actually your attitude that is the ‘problem’ and your attitude depends entirely upon you.
Samantha was “blessed” with a rarely diagnosed disorder called neurophlogosis, literally inflammation of the Central Nervous System, a sensitization of the CNS that causes the brain and the bone marrow to send strong signals of pain and inflammatory responses to different areas of the body to prevent moving in order to protect the body from further damage.
This pain was so severe that she had to stay in bed for months, not walking. Doctors offered only strong painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications (not helpful at all since neurophlogosis is a CNS issue) and suggesting surgeries for her herniated discs without being able to guarantee results.
The original injuries were related to extensive long-distance running injuries, which she ignored to the point of causing 7 herniated discs. These herniations were further aggravated through her work in the volunteer shelter dog rehab work she was actively involved in.
Fortunately, she found a great physiatrist after years of deep pain, Dr. Luigi Baratto, M.D. in Italy, a leader in this field. Dr. Baratto’s treatments now help to keep the pain under control effectively. This intense and painful experience led Samantha to research more and has taught her to listen to and respect the body more and aim for the long term, progressive and steady progress.
This insight was a blessing in disguise and has helped her develop into a trainer who sympathizes with the struggles of people in pain, and understands how to push her students to their healthy limits but not beyond, by focusing extreme attention on proper technique and avoiding unnecessary damage to the body.
Her personal motto is: “A good coach will push you beyond your mental boundaries, not your physical ones”.
Mrs. Benzi Cotter is available to set up domestic and international events, sponsorships and media inquiries.