Smash Gyms Blog
27Mar/120

Rogelio Morales wins his Division at the Cupertino Judo Invitational Tournament!

On Sunday, March 25, one of our Smash Gyms teammates, Rogelio Morales, competed in the Cupertino Judo Invitational Tournament. Rogelio competed in the brown belt division and performed extremely well, taking first place in a very competitive division.


Smash Gyms Head Instructor, Michael Jen and Judo Black belts Patrick Kong and Chad Himeda began to teach and share their judo techniques to Rogelio when he joined the Smash team last year. The Smash Gyms Jiu-jitsu program's systematic approach to teaching quickly began to help Rogelio transform his judo game. In addition, the talented and supportive students at Smash who were judo black belts, champion wrestlers and top level grapplers not only enhanced Rogelio’s knowledge, but also gave him great training partners to help progress his skill. Most importantly Rogelio's hard work, focus and humble attitude have allowed him to progress as a student, training partner and martial artist.

Once again big congratulations to Rogelio on bringing home gold. The instructors and teammates at Smash are very proud of Rogelio! We look forward to helping him reach all his goals in judo, bjj and wrestling!

18Mar/120

Functional Strength classes in Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Milpitas and Mountain View!

What is Functional Strength?

Strong is the new skinny! Fitness professionals and personal trainers are teaching people the importance of improving their strength to reach their fitness goals. Trainers are particularly fond of using the term 'functional strength'. When most people hear the word “strength”, weightlifting and bodybuilding are often the first things to come to mind. However, functional strength is very different from weightlifting strength. Most traditional weight training exercises are done to develop physical aesthetics. Of course bodybuilders are not weak, however, the strength from standard weight lifting does not always translate over as effectively in real life as someone who trains for functional strength.

A great example is the World’s Strongest Man contest. Rather than curling dumbbells, bench pressing barbells, and pumping out reps on a machine, the World’s Strongest Man contest has competitor lifting rocks, pulling cars, flipping huge tires, etc… If you look at the competitors in these contests, though they are big guys, they look nothing like professional bodybuilders. A few professional bodybuilders have participated in these contests in the past and most had very limited success. I am not saying that in order to have functional strength, you need to be big like the competitors in a World’s Strongest Man contest as there are many other examples of functional strength. I am using that as an example with people of comparable mass to a professional bodybuilder to show how training for looks versus training for function can directly translate to performance.

Functional strength not about how big or defined a muscle looks, but rather having strength in the movements of your body that is used in daily activities, sports, and another other natural forms of physical exertion outside of the gym. When you look at many standard weight training exercises, the movements are not natural if you look at it closely. Let’s take the flat bench press as an example. Most people see the flat bench press as simply a pushing motion. However, if you really dissect the flat bench press, you will notice that your back is against an immovable object (the bench) and you are pushing (the weight) directly against the force of gravity. When in your regular life do you find yourself with an immovable object against your back and pushing directly against the force of gravity? The answer is probably…never. So, the strength developed for the flat bench press is simply strength to bench press and developing muscle mass for looks. This exercise and the strength developed from this exercises is useless and is not functional for most people and, especially, athletes.

Having functional strength can really be seen when doing movements or activities outside a person’s norm. People with functional strength tend to be the ones who are a lot stronger than they look. I have grappled thousands of people throughout my martial arts career. Interestingly, some of the strongest opponents I have grappled against were gymnasts, yoga instructors, and people who did hard manual labor for a living. None of these people ever did standard weight training and very few were bigger than me, but when I grappled against them, each one felt like I was wrestling a bull.

The Smash Gyms fitness program (SmashFit) includes a wide variety of group fitness classes designed to learn a skill, lose weight and improve your functional strength. All age groups and fitness levels can improve their overall fitness in a safe and supportive environment. The group classes at Smash have a strong emphasis on proper body mechanics has translated to great results and a very low injury rate for our students. Professional instructors guide new members on a safe path to fitness regardless of athleticism or prior experience. Our beginner friendly programs allow anyone to learn, get fit, and have fun!

SmashFit includes kickboxing, zumba, bootcamp, self-defense, krav maga, women's brazilian jiu-jitsu, kettlebell training and more!

7Mar/120

Top 7 Reasons Why Women Should Take Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for Self-Defense!

Smash Gyms Women Self-Defense Program combines Krav Maga, Mixed Martial Arts, and Jiu-Jitsu instruction for best and most comprehensive women's program in the Bay Area. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is often overlooked but completely necessary for self-defense training.

Below are 7 key Reasons why Brazilian Jiu-jitsu should be a part of a woman’s self defense training:

1) In the situation in which a woman is forced to defend herself against a man, it is unlikely that the goal of the man will be to trade strikes like boxing or kickboxing style match. In the event of a sexual assault, an assailant will most likely attempt to coerce or force a woman from a standing position to being onto her back or prone.

2) The assailant will most likely want to control the situation using his size and strength, especially if the male assailant does not have a weapon. This generally leads to a grappling situation.

3) In BJJ, the “guard” is the position in which an individual is on their back with an opponent between their legs. The average untrained person would consider that to be one of the worst positions to be in, however, it is considered a superior position of control in BJJ where countless techniques can be applied.

4) BJJ techniques are based upon manipulating the structure of the human body. This means that the effectiveness of techniques is not dependent on an opponent’s pain tolerance which can be unpredictable.

5) Grappling in BJJ allows students to feel full uncooperative resistance from training partners on a regular basis. Every single person who has never felt such energy and resistance exerted upon them tends to immediately become extremely tense, panic, and forget everything they have been taught. In addition, the adrenaline rush and crash tends to cause most untrained people to become completely exhausted in a very short period of time regardless of their fitness level. BJJ training teaches students to relax more and be able to think clearer in such a situation.

6) If you train BJJ you will build confidence. Predators are looking for victims not confident martial artist. The effectiveness of BJJ helps it's practitioners build realistic confidence like no other art. Every woman that trains Jiu-Jitsu long enough will learn to control and force bigger, stronger men to submit. This helps a person carry the confidence to deter any assailant.

7) BJJ is great for fitness and weight loss. Individuals that begin training Jiu-jitsu a few times a week can lose 30lbs in two months. Several of our students have transformed their bodies by consistently training 3-4 times a week.

A well rounded self-defense program should include training for situations standing up as well as the ground. For women, it is often best to be able to remain standing and create an opportunity that will allow them to flee. For an untrained individual, being on the ground is usually one of the most uncomfortable situations to deal with, but the addition of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training can allow women to overcome the difficultly of being on the ground in an effective manner.

Smash Gyms' World-Class BJJ instruction combined with our exceptional Krav Maga program will prepare you for every self-defense situation.

We offer day and evening classes 7 days a week. Women's Only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is on Sundays at 10am. Please see the link below to sign up for a free week.

FREE WOMEN'S SELF-DEFENSE