“Disciplined learning gives you a better life.”

-Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman,
Spanish teacher turned UFC fighter

Disciplined learning gives you a better life.”

-Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman, Spanish teacher turned UFC fighter

Meet Charlie Brenneman

World’s Toughest Lifelong Learner

The Spaniard grew up in small-town Pennsylvania focused on family, academics and wrestling. After Division I wrestling and All-Academic success, he taught Spanish and coached wrestling back home until leaping into reality TV (“Pros vs. Joes” season 1 champ) and professional MMA (27 fights total, 11 in the UFC, #7 ranking in 2011). Now The Spaniard teaches again, not in classrooms but online and on stage, aiming to embody and inspire lifelong learning as vital for thriving. Learn More.

Charlie Brenneman, Motivational Speaker

In-Person & Virtual Speaking

Enlightening, Entertaining, Inspiring

Contact The Spaniard for keynotes, speaking events, workshops and consulting. His personal story represents resilience and perseverance, and his message of lifelong learning lays the foundation for character development and continuous improvement.

  • Captivated our students, staff and faculty with his leadership lessons and words of wisdom.
    Dr. Karen Scolforo, President, Central Penn College

  • Up there with the best I have seen over the past thirty years.
    Rocco Scalzini, Founder, Beating the Odds Foundation

  • Powerful message that inspires not only assessment but action.
    Mitch Johns, Founder/CEO, Food Services Solutions

The Spaniard’s Books

Hard-Hitting Life Lessons

Driven by Charlie Brenneman

Driven: My Unlikely Journey from Classroom to Cage

This is the story of Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman, an unassuming kid from rural Pennsylvania who ascended to the highest ranks of professional combat sports. Guided by strong family values and instincts honed by a lifetime of wrestling, “The Spaniard” is a complex mix of small town and bright lights.

Becoming the World's Toughest Life-Long Learner by Charlie Brenneman

Becoming the World’s Toughest Lifelong Learner

Whatever idea or passion you pursue, you’ll face obstacles, mess and doubt. I know because I’m chronicling the ups and downs in real time as I build my life and career: TOP 7 ranked UFC fighter, reality TV champion, nationally-ranked Division I wrestler / 1st Team All-Academic, podcaster with 1200+ episodes.

Spaniard School Online Classes

Learn to Live Fully and Without Limitations

Welcome to Spaniard School! My aim is to equip you with knowledge and skills in a variety of areas. I developed these courses because I know, as a former Spanish teacher and professional fighter, that disciplined learning leads to a better life. Any success that I’ve found in sports, academics, podcasting, speaking and writing books is from intense study and practice. Let’s do it. Learn to live!

Spaniard School Online Learning
Spaniard Show Podcast

Spaniard Show Podcast

7 Info-Packed Episodes a Week

Whether you don’t want to read, don’t have time, or are just looking for great books, you’re in the right spot. I use the discipline of a wrestler and professional fighter and the lesson-planning of a former teacher to highlight the best from all kinds of books (including kids’ books). I also interview guests from all walks of life. 

Listen and equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to take down and knock out (puns intended) any challenge. Learn to live!

What Others are Saying

Joe DeSena

Joe De Sena, Founder, Spartan

I meet a lot of people, and very few of them keep coming back. I met The Spaniard several years ago at our Spartan Wrestling Camp. He approached humbly and eager to learn. Since then, he has become part of our family. It takes a unique person to live the Spartan code—continuously striving, pushing, enduring—and Charlie does it and loves it. His love of learning and teaching shines through in his books, podcasts and speaking. He’s not reached the success he aspires to just yet, but he will, and this book is documenting the process. Read it. Learn. And do!

Joe De Sena

Diamond Dallas Page, WWE Hall of Famer, Creator, DDPY

Charlie Brenneman believes that “Work Ethic = Dreams.” Those are the exact words that are inscribed in my WWE Hall of Fame ring and something we both share. His new book is about working your a$$ off for what you want, while documenting the process. You want to achieve a Want, a Desire, a Dream, my brother Charlie can help you Live IT.

Diamond Dallas Page

Leif Babin, Former Navy SEAL Officer, New York Times Bestselling Author

Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman competed at the highest levels of mixed martial arts. We can learn much from his experience in combat sports and life, as he constantly strives to learn, grow and improve in every aspect. Get on the path.

Leif Babin