Smash Gyms Blog
19Jul/170

What do JiuJitsu, CrossFit & Yoga have in common?

Our innovative social fitness classes at Smash Gyms have taught us that the various arts and disciplines we teach are not so different. People may have a preference in form, but in substance, everyone enjoys these classes for the same reasons.

In each class, students learn skills from an expert instructor, while seeing measurable progress, creating relationships, and improving their health and mind.

When in any of these social fitness classes, you are totally present. This mindfulness is especially therapeutic and addictive.  When weightlifters are performing, their mental state is remarkably similar to the kickboxer, jiu-jitsu practitioner, or the parkour student. Being extremely focused in this messy and cluttered world of relentless input is an amazing feeling.

Progress is always incredible to see and experience. In every class, regular participants can been seen transforming from clumsy beginners to knowledgeable practitioners. Bodies and minds are improved through regular training as students learn, not only from the instructors, but from each other and themselves.  Members often comment how they are surprised by what they have been able to accomplish. They become fit and confident as a result of humbling themselves and entrusting the guidance of the instructors. These arts and disciplines easily turn into lifelong pursuits as the journey to improve is infinite. What one knows will always be less than what one doesn’t know.

Through this process of learning and personal development, incredible social bonds are made. Lifelong friendships, and even marriages, develop within the communities. Training partners and instructors become lifelong mentors, protégés, and family.

Jiu-jitsu, Crossfit, Yoga, Kickboxing, Parkour, Judo, MMA, etc...like it or not, we aren't so different.

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21Jun/170

Instructor Profile: Drew Yao

Drew is a Jiujitsu Brown Belt and teaches on Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm in Smash Sunnyvale. He's been training jiu-jitsu for over 16 years and also an experienced self-defense and weapons practitioner. He's very technical and detailed in his instruction. Come train with Drew!

 

 

"I started training as a college student in 2001 at a no-gi/MMA place in Massachusetts.  About a year after that, I was training for the summer at Ricardo Almeida’s school and got my blue belt.

When I was at grad school in Pittsburgh, at the time there was no formal grappling or BJJ school near where I lived, so I taught at our grappling club at the school gym.

When I got a job in the Bay Area in 2006, I started with Michael Jen, and got purple and brown belts from him. This was when I started training regularly with the gi; it had been about 90% no gi before this; so I’m no stranger to a neck crank or heel hook.

I started teaching at Smash assisting with the self defense program. I’ve taken several courses on self defense with weapons like guns and knives in the mix and I think jiujitsu is very applicable in this context.  I later started teaching the fundamentals jiujitsu class, and then the regular class.

What I like about jiujitsu is the creative puzzle / problem solving aspect; as a beginner, you just go to class and learn what the instructor shows, but when you become more advanced, you start figuring out your own unique style.  There are a lot of techniques in jiujitsu, and an infinite number of ways to put them together. Once you understand the core principles, you can make your own solutions to any given problem, so that’s what I try to focus on in my classes." -Drew Yao

30May/170

Should we allow our kids to quit whenever they want?

Occasionally, some parents will mention to me that their child no longer wants to train martial arts and ask my opinion on whether or not they should allow their child to do so. This is what I tell them....

The first thing I point out is that we know that a good education is important. Imagine if we allowed our children to quit school as soon they did not want to go anymore. If we allowed this, I think we would have barely any children in school. As adults and parents, we understand the future benefits of a good education that a child cannot comprehend. Similarly, we have our kids do martial arts because we also know there are so many benefits to their lives that our children may not fully be able to foresee or comprehend at the moment. As a result, just as how I would not allow my child to quit school, I would not allow them to quit martial arts. In my opinion, as a parent, one of my goals is to prepare my children for life and I believe that martial arts is an essential part of that.

The second thing I mention is that, in general, children do what is pleasant for them and avoid what is unpleasant for them. If we, as parents, allow our children to quit doing something as soon as it becomes unpleasant, unentertaining, or difficult, our children would never accomplish anything significant in their lives. Many have heard the saying that you learn many valuable life lessons from playing sports. I disagree with this statement. I prefer to say, "You learn many valuable life lessons in the process of trying to get a good at a sport." Anyone can be mediocre. Mediocrity can be achieved without trying very hard. Valuable life lessons are not learned from putting half effort and not striving to be the best you can be. Valuable life lessons are not learned from quitting when things get unpleasant, unentertaining, or difficult. In life, any accomplishment that is meaningful or significant is always accompanied by difficulty and hardship.

The last thing I point out is that we have many adults in our BJJ program who are starting their training in their 30's and 40's. Whenever they see our children training or competing, I always hear them say, "I wish I started when I was their age." Heck, I started BJJ when I was 17 and I wish I started at an even younger age. When I ask these adult BJJ students, "If you could go back in time and start training BJJ when you were in elementary school, would you do it? And if you did it, would you tell your parents to never let you quit no matter what?" The answer is always the same. They all say, "Absolutely."

Michael Jen
Smash Gyms
Head BJJ Instructor

23Oct/160

The Social Fitness Network

Smash is proud to be a part of The Social Fitness Network! The Social Fitness Network (SFN) is an amazing Community of Fitness Studios and Gyms in the Bay Area. Members of SFN Partner Gyms instantly have access to hundreds of classes at some of the Bay Area's top gyms.

Click here for more information! If you sign up online, choose a home gym and get all the other gyms Free!

www.socialfitnessnetwork.com

 

Here are some of the SFN Partner Gyms!

Alameda Jiu Jitsu (Alameda, CA)

AKA Sunnyvale (Sunnyvale, CA)

Antdawgs MMA Training Center(Gilroy,CA)

CoreFitness by Jeanelle (Union City, CA)

DarkHorse/Parabellum (San Jose, CA)

KB Fitness Exercise Studio (San Jose, CA)

Team Silva BJJ (Hayward, CA)

Mindset Martial Arts (Hayward, CA)

Round 5 Fitness (San Leandro, CA)

True Fight Club (Hayward, CA)

Smash Gyms (Sunnyvale, CA)

Smash Gyms (San Jose, CA)

Smash Gyms (Milpitas, CA)

World Team USA Gym (San Francisco, CA)

If you are already a member at a SFN partner gym, email info@socialfitnessnetwork.com for more information.

Social Fitness Network

22Apr/160

Smash Gyms Milpitas Location Announcement!

ANNOUNCEMENT!!! THE NEW Smash Gyms - Milpitas LOCATION ADDRESS! Our brand new state of the art 12,000 square foot facility will be at the following address in the heart of Milpitas!

616 S Main St, Milpitas, CA 95035

Come to our existing facility and sign up for Pre-Grand Opening Discounts!

Memberships work at all locations! Including our Smash Gyms​ Sunnyvale, Unlimited MMA & Fitness​, Milpitas Boxing and Fitness​, Smash Gyms - San Jose​! One Membership for all Smash Gyms!

Stay tuned for the Opening Date, Schedule, Layout and more! #SmashGymsMilpitas #SmashGyms

 

Smash Gyms in Milpitas

 

New Smash Gyms Location in Milpitas!

31Mar/160

BIG SMASH NEWS!!! Smash Milpitas!

Hey Everyone,

BIG SMASH announcement! As many of you know, there are many Smashers that have expressed an interest in helping Smash grow. We have been looking at locations all over the Bay Area and have finally secured a location in Milpitas. Details to be announced shortly!

Our very own Lou Noble will be helping to lead this location. We are extremely proud of Lou. Those of you that know Lou, know he is an amazing person off and on the mat. He is family man and a good student and teacher. Since the beginning, Lou has been a great leader in the Smash Family and we know he will continue to make us proud.

We have seen Smash grow from 5 jiu-jitsu guys in a garage to over 600 members, 50 instructors, two locations and 12 programs in 5 years. The amazing support that all the members of the community provide to each other inside and out of the gym has created life-long friendships and incredible success stories. We feel so lucky to be able to dedicate our lives to something that has brought real value to many people.

The launch of Smash #3 is something truly special! Three of the best gyms in the Bay Area are joining forces to create Smash Milpitas. Smash Milpitas will be the combined forces of Smash Gyms, Unlimited MMA, and Milpitas Boxing.

Unlimited MMA was one of the first high quality Martial Arts gyms ever in the Bay Area. Head Coach and Owner Rudi Ott is a highly respected and talented kickboxing coach. Rudi will be spending most of his time at Smash Milpitas but will also be teaching classes at Smash San Jose and Sunnyvale. He is a passionate coach and awesome instructor. Rudi, his students, and staff will bring incredible value to the kickboxing program and fight team at Smash. Their community is full of talented and motivated members and staff. Rudi will be the Smash Gyms Fight Team Coach.

Milpitas Boxing is owned and operated by Tony Gabucan. Tony has quickly built an amazing community at Milpitas Boxing. His fun classes and friendly staff quickly grew to one of the largest gyms in the Bay Area in only four years. Tony, his team of instructors, and his gym have quickly become known as a place for beginner friendly classes with top quality instruction. They have a solid reputation for not only high energy and fun classes but also a very family friendly environment.

As most of you know, in 2014 Cung Le's Martial Arts joined the Smash Gyms Family. Now with Milpitas Boxing and Unlimited MMA joining Smash Gyms, our social fitness network has become the largest of it's kind in California. These communities have banded together with plans to create incredible value to our members as well as opportunities to instructors and owners. Smash Gyms' goal is to create a remarkable social fitness experience for our members, high quality jobs for world-class instructors, and successful small businesses owners.

Smash Gyms will now have well over 1000 people active in the community. All of our members will not only have three Bay Area locations, but also hundreds of excited and friendly new training partners, and dozens of motivated professional instructors.

I'd like to thank all those that have contributed to the growth of Smash. Our members and instructors have worked hard to make our community one that has attracted talented and motivated people from all over. Smash is community of great people working hard to help each other inside and out of the gyms. Thank you all for investing so much effort into the growth of the community and each other. Thank you for believing in us.

 

Smash Gyms Milpitas

26Feb/160

Cung Le at Smash Gyms! (Video)

Cung Le highlighting some of the awesome programs at Smash Gym!

 Cung Le is a local legend in martial arts and combat sports. Growing up in the Bay Area and training martial arts like Tae Kwon Do, San Shou, Wrestling, Kickboxing, Jiujitsu and MMA has helped him reach all his goals off and on the mat. Always a huge supporter of the local fitness, martial arts and wrestling community he is proud to partner with Smash Gyms! 

22Feb/160

Smash Gyms Video w/ Filip & Alyssa

Check out our amazing instructors Filip and Alyssa talking about Smash! Filip runs amazing wrestling classes and Alyssa run our fitness bootcamps and teaches awesome kickboxing classes!

 

 

19Feb/160

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 www.scienceofsubmission.com.

 

"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

3Jan/160

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 www.scienceofsubmission.com now!