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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6Oct/140

Smash Gyms NAGA Highlight Video

Congratulations to everyone that competed in NAGA! Smash had a great showing and the competitors brought home lots of medals. It's amazing to see everyone's progression. Thanks to Mario RiosManny RochaCrystina Zastrow, and Eli Sanchez for all the help coaching. Awesome day for the competitors and we know a lot of Smashers are looking forward to the US open.

31Jan/140

Smash Gyms | San Jose | After School Tutoring Program

With the opening of second Smash Gyms in San Jose, we are proud to announce inclusion of the After School Tutoring Program at this new location.  This academic achievement program is headed by Rosalinda Jen.  Rosalinda was a credentialed school teacher for 6 years at Dorsa Elementary School and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Smash Gyms family.

Check out this great video highlighting the background of our lead teacher and her teaching philosophies.

20Aug/130

POSTURAL ALIGNMENT IN GRAPPLING

POSTURAL ALIGNMENT IN GRAPPLING 

The human body contains the blueprint for it's structure which provides maximum biomechanical strength,stability, and efficiency. This answer is contained in the body’s posture. From the front view, the center of the ankle, knee, hip, and shoulder joints should all be vertically aligned. In addition, the center of those 4 joints on one side of the body should be horizontally aligned with the same joints on the other side of the body. Also, from the front view, the head and spine should be aligned with the center of the body. From side view, the center of the ankle, knee, hip, and shoulder joint, in addition to ear,should be vertically aligned. This alignment should be the same when viewing the left and right side of the body.

If you were to draw a line from one joint to the joint that is either vertically above or below it and also the joint which is horizontally on the other side of it, those lines form a 90 degree angle. If you examine the vertical alignment of the joints from the front and side view, in addition to the alignment of the spine from the front or back view, you will
see that it is at a 90 degree angle to the earth. So, if you look at this structural blue print for human posture, you will notice that it is all based upon 90 degree angles.

I often discuss placing your body in the strongest biomechanical position possible and your opponent’s body in the weakest biomechnical position possible. Most Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners understand the term “posture” in the context of positioning the arms and body when in the guard, or on the bottom of a pin or the mount. What must be understood is that posture is the position of your body at all times, in a positions, in all situations. So based on the description of postural alignment described above, how to achieve this should be very clear- when grappling, you must achieve and/or maintain as many 90 degree angles with your load joints as the situation allows while you destroy as many of those 90 degree angles in your opponent’s body.

Principles of Alignment in BJJ

Note that I am not saying that all the 90 degree angles must be achieved in all techniques or situations(for example, it is obvious that spinning for an armbar from the guard will require that you round your back or when pinning an opponent or kneeling in the guard, it is more appropriate for your knees to be in a position that is much wider than the hip joints), but rather you must achieve as many 90 degree angles as is appropriate for the situation, especially between the shoulder and hips since that area is where power is generated for the limbs.

The human body is a system of levers and the your load joints are the fulcrums. Like any lever, the positioning of the fulcrum is essential in determining the amount of effort which will be needed to produce force. With the fulcrum in an optimal position, the lever can produce a great amount of force with a minimal amount of effort. So when your body’s
alignment contains as many 90 degree angles as possible, all the fulcrums are in their optimal positions. Similarly, when the fulcrum is not in an optimal position, it requires a much greater amount of effort to produce force.

Because the human body is a system of levers, nothing happens in isolation. The body works as a unit. This means that in the event that the 90 degree angles are destroyed in one specific area, it effects the entire body. For the BJJ practitioner, this means you do not need to deal with a problem site specific. For example, let’s say your opponent is
pushing you with his arms. Most people would assume that doing something directly to the arms would be the way to resolve the situation. However, another alternative would be to create a misalignment in your opponent’s body and destroy all the 90 degree angles between his hips and shoulders. The farther the angles between the hip and shoulders are deviated away from 90 degrees, the weaker his arms will become thus making his pushing ineffective.

Who is aligned and who is misaligned?

The effect of proper and improper alignment of the joints is a universal law of human biomechanics, therefore, there are no movements in grappling for which these principles do not apply. Understanding the application of these ideas will not only give you a greater understanding Jiu-Jitsu, but will also give you the key and be the starting point in having a greater ability to problem solve on your own.

--Written by Smash Gyms Jiu-Jitsu Instructor Michael Jen in 2005--

12Aug/130

Weekends full of BJJ and Weightlifting Competitions!

A few weeks ago, Sam Jung represented Smash Gyms at the East Bay Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Open.  Sam put on a great performance and placed 1st in the gi division and 3rd in the no gi division.  That same weekend, Jonathan Bialoglovski competed in the Calfornia Black Belt League: Victory Challenge and place 1st in his division.

Then this past weekend, Christina Apatow represented Smash Gyms Women's BJJ and competed in the KO Finisher Series Submission Only Tournament.  With no competitors to go against in her division, Christina moved up 2 weight classes. She did awesome and placed 3rd.  Christina finished two of her matches by armbar and gi choke.  The most memorable moment was when her opponent refused to tap to the gi choke and ended up being put completely unconscious.

While Christina was competing in BJJ, Smash Gyms' Strength & Conditioning instructor, James Cebedo, competed in the Redwood Empire Weightlifting Competition.  James threw up some big weight and placed 2nd in his division despite only weighing 157lbs in the 170lbs division! This was James' first weightlifting competition so he decided not to cut any weight and still took home a silver medal!

 

A big congratulations to all the competitors!

Check out the highlights of Christina at the KO Finisher Series!

 

5Aug/130

Functional Fitness and Functional Skills at Smash

Smash has become one of the most popular gyms in the Bay Area because of our fun fitness classes designed to help people of all levels live a healthy and active lifestyle. Our beginner friendly classes have had amazing results helping people reach their fitness goals. We offer a safe and supportive path to reaching your fitness goals. Many of our members have commented that aside from becoming fit, our classes deliver an unique additional benefit. Each one of our specialty fitness classes is taught by expert professionals in each subject. At Smash people are learning functional skills in addition to function fitness.


According to author David Grossman, the human population can be divided into three groups: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. Grossman says that most people are sheep. The vast majority of people are peaceful and would never purposely hurt another person. They lack both the ability and the desire. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a sheep. If you are a sheep then you are probably a non-violent and productive citizen. Sheep are those who choose not to accept any responsibility for the protection of themselves or those around them.

Sheepdogs are those with the ability to fight off the wolves. Sheepdogs are made not born. At Smash we are helping to turn sheep in to sheepdogs. As you are developing these skills and your abilities, your confidence will grow. You will know that if needed, you can protect yourself and loved ones from the wolves of the world. Our members are becoming a community of good people with a unique set of skills that most predators do not possess. All of our classes are taught by expert instructors in specific subjects. Our professional instructors are not only great practitioners but also have a plan to transfer their skills to you in a fun and safe environment. Take as many different classes as you can to soak up the knowledge of these amazing instructors.

Get off those one-size-fits-all exercise machines and learn from an instructors that can transfer his or her expert skills to you. Self-defense and martial arts classes are becoming an incredibly popular way to get in shape and feel great. Through innovative, beginner friendly, and live training methods we are making good people skilled martial artist through their fitness journey. Men and women of all ages who never had martial arts or athletic backgrounds are experiencing things they never thought possible at Smash. Anyone will get good as long as they keep showing up.

Our classes have a strong focus on safety during live but structured training. Injuries are very rare but a bruised ego is common. Everyone starts off the nail but if you can put your ego aside and keep coming to class you will become the hammer, we guarantee it. Once you are trained you will realize it doesn't matter how tough someone is, it only matters whether they are trained or not.

Anyone serious about self-defense or martial arts should at the very least get a blue belt in BJJ. Anyone serious about self-defense should take our self-defense and combatives classes and learn about knife or gun disarming. Learn how to properly punch and kick in a devastating fashion with our kickboxing and MMA classes. If you are missing classes on this schedule you are passing up an opportunity to not only burn calories in fun classes but to also learn potentially lifesaving skills.

In today's increasingly dangerous world many people are concerned about self-protection and want to learn to defend themselves. It can be a difficult choice on which gym to join so I would encourage you to get off the internet and try the classes out. At Smash we take our responsibility seriously to give our members the tools to protect themselves. Properly researching gyms or styles of fighting can only be done through visiting gyms and testing the the quality of instruction and training methods. Look for instructors and students that are able to demonstrate the effectiveness of their skills in a 100% live situation without hurting you. Good marketing and bold statements does not make realistic self-defense. Pretend fighting with no rules in unlikely scenarios will not help you in when you need it most.

Most importantly, look for instructors and training partners that posses a sheepdog mentality and the drive to protect and help people in all aspects of life. Find a community of people inspiring each other reach their goals and grow together.

23Jun/130

2013 Kids International Grappling Championship

The United Grappling Federation (UGF) has gained its well deserved reputation in setting the standard when it comes to hosting professional and punctual in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu tournaments.  The Smash Gyms adult BJJ team competed in their first UGF tournament back in 2011 at the San Jose Open and emerged as the 1st place Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Team Champions.  Smash Gyms coaches and competitors looked forward to the UGF returning to the Bay Area for another event.  As a result, we were extremely pleased when the UGF decided to hold its 2013 Kids International Grappling Championship in San Jose, CA.

On June 22,  a handful of students from the Smash Kids Martial Arts program competed in the UGF Kids International Grappling Championship.  This competition drew an impressive number of extremely skilled children and teens from all around the country.  The Smash kids showed a lot of heart, skill, and determination, earning themselves 3 silver medals.

Check out the highlights!

12May/130

Great performances at the San Mateo Boys & Girls Club Judo Development Tournament

Louie Noble Jr., Derek Jen, and Aaron Jen competed in the May 2013 San Mateo Boys and Girls Club Judo Developmental Tournament.  This is a small informal tournament put on 4 times a year for kids to give beginners competition experience.

Aaron was in a division in which he rolled though all 4 of his matches with ease and used the opportunity to try techniques he had not pulled off in competition before.  Derek was in a really tough division.  Not only was his division filled with kids his belt level and higher, but many of the kids were also significantly  heavier.  Derek ended up winning 4 out of his 6 matches.  Louie Noble Jr. dominated and won all 6 of his matches by either pinning or throwing his opponents for ippon.

In the end, Louie and Aaron placed 1st and Derek placed 3rd in their respective divisions.

Check out the highlights!  To watch in HD, simply change the quality setting on the player when the video begins!

3Dec/120

Smash Gyms competitors medal at CCSF Judo Invitational Tournament

This past Sunday, Smash Gyms competitors Rogelio Morales and Aaron Jen competed at the CCSF Judo Invitational Tournament in San Fransisco, CA.  Rogelio, competing in the adult division, placed 2nd.   Aaron, competing in the kids division, placed 1st.  Congratulations!

The CCSF tournament marks the end of the 2012 judo competition season.  Both have made excellent progress in their judo training this year.  We look forward to seeing both continue their progress in the new year.

 

 

Here are some highlights of Aaron at the CCSF Judo Invitational.

28Aug/120

2012 Rising Sun Nationals Highlight Video

Congratulations to our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Team! Smash grapplers brought home 3 Gold, 2 Silver & 2 Bronze Medals from this weekend's tournament in Daly City. Every one of our competitors did well. Below are some highlights of Smash Jiu-Jitsu competitors!

Competitors included Cainan Munsell, Dave Anderson, Richard Waters, Christine Ho, Ben Hyatt, Aaron Jen, Sam Jung, Art Galano, and Patrick Kong!

 

 

 

Smash is located in Sunnyvale bordering Santa Clara. Smash Gyms offers exceptional instruction in group fitness and martial arts classes. Just ten minutes from San Jose, Milpitas, Mountain View and Fremont.