Sam Spengler’s New MMA Classes at Smash Gyms

Beginning Monday February 10th 2014 Sam “The Ram” Spengler will begin teaching beginner friendly MMA Fitness & Self-Defense Classes at the new San Jose Smash Gyms. Smash Gym San Jose is located in Evergreen right down the street from Quimby Oak Middle School where Sam has taught for over 12 years.

Sam Spengler - Teacher, Coach, Martial Artist, & MMA Fighter

As a veteran PE teacher, wrestling coach, athlete, and role model Sam Spengler has contributed to the East San Jose and Evergreen community in many ways. As a teacher Sam’s positive attitude is contagious and he is extremely popular with his students and fellow staff. Sam has had huge success as the Quimby Oak Head Wrestling Coach. He has led the Quimby Oak Lobo’s wrestling team to win their league for 12 years in a row. As a coach Sam has helped students fulfill their potential by guiding them in their athletic careers. He has created countless champions. Many of Sam’s students have gone on to receive scholarships, become coaches themselves, and be contributing members of the community.

2013 BJJ US Purple Belt Open Champion Sam Spengler

Sam has been wrestling since he was 5 years old. As a senior in high school he earned a bronze medal in the Montana State Wrestling Championships and also received a scholarship to play college football where he earned a degree in Education. A seasoned martial arts veteran, Sam has been competing in kickboxing and MMA since 2003. He began training kickboxing over 10 years ago at West Valley Community College with Brian Kuhn.  Shortly after Brian introduced Sam to Cung Le’s Martial Arts in San Jose where Sam began training MMA. Sam continued his MMA training with Cung Le and supplemented his training by learning BJJ at Smash Gyms. Sam has trained with many world-class competitors and instructors over the last 10 years.

Sam has competed in hundreds of wrestling matches, 22 kickboxing matches, dozens of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu tournaments and 9 MMA fights. Sam is also the head of his Physical Education Department in San Jose. This competitive experience in kickboxing, wrestling, brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts coupled with his teaching background lends him the unique ability to transfer his knowledge to eager students in a structured and systematic way. Sam’s organized and fun classes will help students of all skill and fitness levels learn technique and improve their fitness level due to a format and curriculum designed to create an optimal learning environment. Sam is happy and excited to pass on his experience and unique skill set to the Evergreen and East San Jose community at Smash Gyms.

2011 Jiu-Jitsu by the Sea Champion

2011 Jiu-Jitsu by the Bay Champion

2011 San Jose Open Champion

2011 San Jose Open Absolute Division Champion

2012 American Cup Champion

2013 US Open BJJ Champion

 

New Instructor at Smash! by Debbie Sanchez

A few weeks ago I decided to take the CrossFit Trainer Course to become a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. I want to thank my Strength & Conditioning coaches James Cebedo and Cainan Munsell for the inspiration! They have helped me reach a fitness level that I never thought possible. Without them I would not know my full physical capabilities & potential and I have grown to love physical fitness.

The course spanned over 2 full days with lectures, breakout sessions, and a WOD  (work out of the day) on both days. The class was full of mostly very fit aspiring trainers ready to take their knowledge and fitness to a new level. I have never seen so much muscle in one place! I was pleasantly surprised of the equal ratio of women and men. Because of the awesome training at Smash I was in the top 20% of the women in completing the prescribed timed WODs despite only training for one year. Many of the women could not complete the workout with the prescribed weight requirements.

I am proud to say I have passed the exam and can now consider myself a Crossfit Level 1 Trainer! Below is my fitness story!

Growing up my diet was horrible. As an adult I ballooned up to 140lbs because I never worked out. When I met my husband I had lost 10 pounds mostly through starving myself and diet pills.

I was Heavy Before Smash!

When I began working out I just would walk straight to the elliptical machine. Like most women I didn’t want to lift weights because I didn’t understand the benefits and thought I would look bulky. I didn’t want muscle because I didn’t know what I know now. I have come a LONG way.

All I knew of exercise was getting in 20 mins of light cardio, whether it was jogging or using an elliptical machine. I never saw any results but that was because it was boring so I was never consistent.

When my husband and I started dating I started to workout with him. He encouraged me to start lifting weights and told me that it would actually help me lose fat! He designed an exercise regiment which consisted of weight lifting and cardio. My weightlifting (Globogym style) consisted of legs one day, tricep, chest, & shoulders the next, and back & bicep the following day. I started to see results but I didn’t have systems, knowledge or the support to measure progress and reach my potential.

Then came Smash Gyms and my life changed! After two long years of the same boring workouts I found an exercise regiment that was fun and making huge strides in my physical fitness. The variety of classes at Smash pushed me to a new level of fitness. I was incorporating group classes such as Kickboxing, Kettlebells, and Bootcamp into my workouts. I was taking 3 classes a day because it was FUN!  I learned so much in every class and didn’t want to stop progressing.

Then I finally tried the Jiu-Jitsu classes. By that time we had a lot of women in the program at Smash so it was a comfortable safe path for me to see what is all about. It took me a few classes but I eventually fell in love with Jiu-Jitsu. Once you get passed the first few classes Jiu-jitsu becomes addictive! This new found addiction motivated me to get in the best shape possible! Getting tapped will motivate you!

Jiu-Jitsu Competition

Soon after I started taking women’s Jiu-jitsu, Smash added Strength & Conditioning classes to the schedule. The class was taught by fitness veterans & personal trainers James Cebedo and Cainan Munsell. They showed me what real strength training was. It meant taking the plunge and adding heavy weights to a barbell. I soon found that I could lift and squat heavy weights. I was amazed at my new abilities! I soon realized that it wasn’t me. It was my new coaches! With high level coaching everyone is capable of taking their fitness to this level! The coaches also tracked results for everyone taking the Strength & Conditioning classes. This showed that everyone is capable of getting physically stronger and making progress on sprints, WODs, jumps, etc. We could see our progress every week!

Clean & Jerk!

Not only was I able to see and track progress on my lifts and conditioning but best of all I could see the results in my jiu-jitsu training. I found that much of my success in Jiu-jitsu was due to the physical and mental strength that our Strength & Conditioning class gives me. With the combination of our amazing coaches for BJJ and S&C at Smash I was so confident that I decided to enter The Bay Area Jiu-Jitsu Championships and ended up taking home a silver medal. The days I don’t feel like lifting the barbell I remind myself that I want to win my next BJJ tournament and I know that supplementing with strength & conditioning classes will be that extra step towards the gold.

Aside from sports performance our Strength & Conditioning classes have given me much more confidence. I am much happier with the way I look and feel. I was always very self conscious and have battled with low self-esteem. Through martial arts and physical fitness I have built confidence. This is why I decided to take the CrossFit Trainer course. I want to share these great things that I have found and help inspire others to do what they never thought possible.

Debbie Sanchez
Certified Level 1 CrossFit Trainer

Find Debbie!