2011 Was an Amazing Year for the Smash Gyms BJJ Program! Watch out 2012!

 

2011 was an amazing year for all the programs at Smash. I’d like to take a moment and point out the amazing growth of our BJJ program in particular.

The Smash Gyms Jiu-jitsu program is headed by Michael Jen. Michael had been teaching a small group of loyal students out of his garage for nearly 10 years. Most of his students grappled recreationally for exercise, fun and self-defense. He did have one student that liked to compete in Sport BJJ. Seo Perales was only the second person ever to be promoted to Black Belt by Michael. Seo took 3rd and 5th in the World Championships and won his division in the US Open twice. Michael’s students were all complimented on their solid fundamentals when training at other schools and Seo’s success was impressive but still Michael was largely unknown in the younger Sport Jiu-Jitsu world. Michael was one of the first 50 American BJJ Blackbelts but only the “old school” guys knew who he was since he had been not publicly teaching for ten years.

The Smash Gyms Jiu jitsu program officially started in January 2011. We were excited and happy to share the system of BJJ that we had spent 10 years in Michael’s garage helping to design. The system went through many iterations where techniques were changed, thrown out, and replaced. We were confident that we now had a system of teaching BJJ that would help the average person turn into a very good grappler in a short amount of time. We also knew it would help a talented person turn into a monster even faster.

Many of Michael’s top students came and helped lead the new program at Smash. Seo moved to the Bay Area for a few months to help get the program started. Mario Rios a brown belt, was in almost every class teaching the system of jiu-jitsu to beginners. Louie Noble and Andrew Yao purples and all of our blue belts were happy to help everyone. Before opening Smash we were fortunate to have relationships with talented people and training partners with a variety of skill-sets and backgrounds. They all came to help. My younger brother Eli who was a D1 College wrestler came in and combined his wrestling with our BJJ and made some noise. Pretty soon we had state champions like Jacob Palomino, all-american wrestlers and Judokas like Patrick Kong and pro-fighters like Sam Spengler all join the team to train, learn and pass on their existing skills to the students at Smash.

With such a great group of talented and giving instructors our brand new Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program literally shocked the Sport BJJ world in 2011. The very first team tournament the Smash competitors attended they brought home 3 Gold Medals. Sam, Seo, and Patrick dominated their divisions at BJJ by the Bay. After a few months the influx of new and motivated faces found Smash to be a place where they could learn and excel. Guys like David, Sam Jung, Rogelio, Joe, Harry and Ruben joined and helped rally the team. A couple months later was BJJ by the Sea and we brought home 7 medals. 4 gold and 3 silver. Exceptional growth but it did not stop there. In July Smash brought a team to the San Jose Open and won it. The Smash Gyms competitors brought home 8 Gold medals, 2 silver, 2 bronze and the Team Trophy. It was phenomenal feeling to have such remarkable success as a new gym in the Bay Area, which is known worldwide to be a BJJ Mecca of top schools. How would we do at a national level tournament though? We found out at the US Open 2011. Smash Gyms had 6 people place in the top 3 at this nationally recognized tournament. This is unheard of for a brand new school.

We are incredibly proud of each and every person on our team. Even more fulfilling than tournament wins is watching someone go from “the nail” to “the hammer” during a practice. 2011 was amazing because of everyone that stepped on the mat and tried to help each other get better. There are too many people to thank in this post but I can honestly say I’ve learned from every single one of the students at Smash. Thanks to everyone that has helped us with the struggle to improve ourselves both on and off the mat. With everyone’s help 2012 will be even more amazing.

Jiu-jitsu, Wrestling, and Judo at Smash!

The Smash Gyms Brazilian Jiu-jitsu program includes a systematic blend of Jiu-jitsu, Wrestling, and Judo into a complete grappling system that will safely progress beginners at an accelerated pace. Our system is designed as a path for the average person to progress safely and quickly into an expert grappler. The system has proven to be highly effective in both self-defense and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu sport competition. You will find our unique Jiu-jitsu classes are presented in a format highly conducive to learning while maintaining a strong focus on safety.

Smash Gym’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program is taught by Michael Jen. A Third Degree Blackbelt under Joe Moreira, Michael Jen brings 20 years of experience in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. One of the first 50 American Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Black Belts, Michael has also earned his brown belt in Judo and Japanese Jujitsu.

Michael’s reputation is that of a top notch instructor. Smash Gym’s BJJ curriculum was designed by Michael based on systems identified and developed through his 20 years of training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. While Michael was progressing through the ranks he was fortunate enough to have the unique opportunity to train with over 11 different black belt instructors. This invaluable experience helped him to see many perspectives from every scenario and choose which techniques worked best for him. Through teaching hundreds of students over the years he formulated a system of teaching designed to help students progress quickly and safely. Through the curriculum you will be taught the techniques outlined and identified that are required to progress quickly all the way to the top levels of jiu-jitsu. The core of the techniques being taught can be applied both in gi and no-gi grappling. Our beginner friendly Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes are also designed to be fun, safe, and great exercise!

Other instructors in the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Judo, Wrestling Program include…

Jacob Palomino -3X Wrestling State Champion and 2011 BJJ US Open Champion

Eli Sanchez – D1 Wrestler, San Jose Open Medium Heavy and Absolute Champion, 2011 BJJ by the Sea Champion, US Open Championships 3rd place

Sam Spengler BJJ by the Bay Champion, BJJ by the Sea Champion, San Jose Open Champion

Seo Perales – 2X US Open Champion, 3rd and 5th place in the World Championships, BJJ Blackbelt