New Interview with BJJ Head Instructor Michael Jen

Take a listen to Smash Gyms head BJJ instructor Michael Jen’s new interview with the BJJBrick Podcast where he talks about “The Science of Submission” e-book, what training was like when he was a blue belt, tips for someone who wants to compete for the first time, and much more! The interview starts about 18 min. into the podcast. Check it out!

Epi 135 The Science of Submission With Michael Jen

Review of “The Science of Submission”

Check out this review a of “The Science of Submission:  A Principle-based Approach to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu”!

To order to copy of this groundbreaking e-book, go to


“Warning: long post, but realized there was a lot to say here after sitting down to review this book. If it gets too long, read the last paragraph. I hope that sums it up.

The Science of Submission is a must read for any serious BJJ or judo practitioner who wants to progress in their knowledge of how ground techniques actually work in principle. If you are anything like me, with most BJJ books and magazines, I skip the words, look at the pictures and then try them live and ask questions to my instructor. The descriptions are pretty useless because I cannot translate them into how I need to position my body. This was clearly not the case with the Science of Submission. As a highly published scientist myself, I found it extremely refreshing to see all of this knowledge laid out in a straightforward and scientific language that is conspicuously absent in most of the common martial arts books out there that simply try to tell the story with pictures but really do not describe the subtleties proficiently in the all-important prose that goes with the photos. The words in most of these books are an afterthought.

In contrast, this book will allow the beginner player as well as the higher level player to apply and improve in groundwork techniques in a scientific way that can even help a player (who also trains regularly and systematically with a qualified instructor) essentially skip much of the usual “trial and error” that is the norm. The book utilizes the vocabulary of the geometry and biophysics of ground techniques (newaza for judoka) to explain core principles that are intuitive and muscle memory to high level athletes and martial artists — but are often very difficult to explain to students or to even understand for oneself why these techniques work the way they do — or why certain subtle mistakes make all the world of difference, for example, between a strong pin and simply getting swept. This book is definitely a must read for all competitive judoka who are interested in improving their newaza ground game or cross training in BJJ. As a student who is still undergoing this transition myself, I have learned that the slower pace and increased time to make decisions in the BJJ ground game compared with judo increases the margin for error for these slight adjustments described in the Science of Submission. These subtleties make all the difference between for example holding one’s guard and being passed; between getting pinned and sweeping one’s opponent; between being submitted and submitting. When applied in judo newaza this can be the difference in a match where all one needs is a 10 second pin for a yuko and where escaping a pin or holding guard for a few seconds can avoid a score.

The subtle principles that are described in this book can be applied to a judo tachiwaza (standup) game as well. In a recent conversation with the author Professor Jen, we were discussing the proper application of Osotogari , the major outer reap throw of judo. I had always been taught and taught others to throw the throw at the 90 degree angle, and not 180 degrees towards the back of the opponent because it simply worked better that way and I knew this intuitively from many years of motor memory and trial and error. Then it dawned on me that the same biophysics principles in the Science of Submission applied here as well. This book gave me the vocabulary to be able to articulate that “why” of this technique. It also allowed me to explain a set of combinations off of Osotogari for more advanced players that I had known to work, but I did not have the verbiage before reading Professor Jen’s book to explain why these particular combinations worked in tandem with each other due to a skilled opponent’s inevitable responses.

In summary, this is a must purchase for advanced BJJ and judo players alike who really want to know why they do what they do; and for beginners and intermediate players who would like to accelerate their progress in a knowledgeable and scientific manner. It is also a great reference guide for instructors that will lend them additional vocabulary to explain to students why things work or don’t work based on solid biophysical and force vector principles.”

– Christopher Savoie, Judo black belt and BJJ blue belt

New E-book by Smash Gyms Head BJJ Instructor Michael Jen

We are proud to announce the release of the e-book “The Science of Submission: A Principle Based Approach to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu” by Smash Gyms Head BJJ instructor Michael Jen! This unique, one-of-a-kind book discusses the application of biomechanics, physics, and postural alignment principles to turbo charging your understanding of grappling. Enhance your training, progress faster, and decrease your chances of injury by arming yourself with the knowledge revealed in this amazing e-book!

For more information and to order, go to now!

Weekend competition results!

Tournament Champion

Smash Gyms wrestling instructor and BJJ student, Filip Novachkov, competed in an 8 man no gi submission grappling tournament held during the Born to Fight MMA event held in Fremont, CA.  Filip won every match with a dominating performance that earned him the title of tournament champion.

Earlier that day, Smash Gyms Kids Martial Arts students competed in the 2014 Santa Clara PAL Judo Invitational Tournament and after many hard fought matches, they came home with 2 gold and 1 silver.  Click on the link below to check out some of the highlights from the event!

In addition, Smash Gyms Personal Trainer Tina Linhsamout’s clients, Kathryn Magno and Sarah Berg, took 1st in their speed skating competition weekend!  Congrats to both ladies and Tina!

Smash Gyms Personal Training Helping People Reach Their Goals

Teaching Professionalism

One thing that stands out about the Smash Gyms instructors is the professionalism in which they conduct themselves.  Anyone who have been involved in martial arts for a long time and traveled around to different schools can attest that this is  a quality that is often lacking by many instructors.  Check out this short video where Smash Gyms Sunnyvale Head BJJ instructor Michael Jen talks about this subject.

Is competing necessary if you train Brazilian Jiu-jitsu?

The Brazilian Jiu-jitsu competitors of Smash Gyms have done extremely well in competition and we often share their great results and highlights on this blog.  Some may wonder if competing is a necessary part of training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.  Here’s Smash Gyms Sunnyvale’s head BJJ instructor, 4th degree black belt, Michael Jen, sharing his thoughts on this subject.

Smash Gyms Grapplers medal in wrestling, judo, and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu!

This past Saturday, Evan Flores and Sebastian Marin competed in the  Megatron World Wrestling championships in Fresno, CA.  Evan placed 1st in the 115lb. division and Sebastian placed 2nd in the 140 lbs. division.

On the same day in San Fransisco, Nora Cooper and Fernando Alarcon competed in the Mitchell Palacio Open Jiu-jitsu Tournament.  Both competitors placed 2nd in their respective divisions taking home silver.

The next day, Derek Jen, Aaron Jen, Jonah David, and Jovina David competed in the CCSF Judo Invitational Tournament.  Each one of the kids performed extremely well as they all placed 1st in their respective divisions!

Congratulations to all the Smash Gyms competitors on a great performances!

Check out some of the highlights of the competitors at the Mitchell Palacio Open Jiu-jitsu Tournament!


Here are the highlights of the kids at the CCSF Judo Invitational Tournament!

Kids Spring Camp at Sunnyvale and San Jose locations!

Spring break is just around the corner!

The Smash Gyms Kids Spring Camp is an enriching week designed to stimulate, educate, and simply have fun. Each day, the directors and instructors of the camp will have your child delving into activities themed around art, culture, environment, and history. Even subjects like reading, writing, science, and math will be covered in an enjoyable and entertaining manner. And unlike regular school, our creative activities won’t have the kids sitting at a desk the entire day!

In addition to activities that will invigorate their minds and bodies, the Smash Gyms Kids Spring Camp will also have the children engage in physical play that is needed by all children. Through martial arts, games, and sports the kids will burn energy and improve their overall fitness. In addition the children will learn proper socialization, teamwork, and sportsmanship skills.

We know your child will have so much fun that they will be begging not to leave!

Both Smash Gyms locations will be offering spring camp for children 5 – 10 years old.

Sunnyvale Spring Camp: April 14 – 18

San Jose Spring Camp:  April 21 – 25

On top of all the great activities for kids, Smash Gyms Camps are one of the most affordable choices with both half and full day options.

Half Day: $150/week

Full Day: $250/week