Filip Novachkov – Smash Gyms San Jose

Eastern Europe is known for producing some of the best wrestlers in the world, but growing in the Bulgarian city of Radnevo, Filip Novachkov was into another national pastime; Bulgarian Folk Dancing!

Filip & Boris Novachkov

His younger brother, Boris began sneaking away to go to wrestling practice, telling his parents that he was playing with friends. At home he would practice his moves on Filip, which is what convinced the older brother to trade his dancing uniform for a singlet. “I knew he was sneaking away to go to wrestling classes. The only reason Boris began training is because he heard they gave you a free pair of sneakers if you signed up for the wrestling team.” Filip said, “I didn’t think anything of it until my little brother started kicking my butt. That didn’t sit right with me so I signed up as well.”

Filip is part of our Amazing Staff of Wrestling Coaches!

The brothers excelled in wrestling ever since, winning multiple cadet national titles in Bulgaria. In 2003 Filip’s mom, Zhivka, received a green card package for the family of four and they made the move to California. “I was excited for the whole journey. I’ve always wanted to see what the other side of the world looked like” Filip mentioned. They moved to Sunnyvale and the brothers went to school at Fremont High School.

Filip won three CCS titles, was a three time state placer and California State Champion. He also took 3rd place at Nationals Championships. Filip was also an outstanding student having a 3.9 GPA. He was named the student-athlete of the year awarded from San Jose Mercury News in 2005. His accomplishments drew interests from university wrestling programs across the nation but ultimately he chose Cal Poly, where he received a full scholarship. As a Mustang, Filip was ranked as high as 3rd in the Nation and defeated a couple of National Champions. Filip placed 3rd in the PAC 10 conference as a Junior and earned a Silver Medal as a Senior. John Azevedo, Cal Poly’s Head Coach described the brothers as typical American brothers, but different in a way that they wrestled. “The European mentality definitely showed up when they wrestled”, Azevedo added.

Cal Poly Stand Out Filip Novachkov

After graduating from college with a degree in Industrial Technology, he began working for Space Systems Loral in Palo Alto. Filip feels that wrestling helped him earn the engineering position. He explained that the company was especially interested in the fact that he was successful student athlete who had excelled both in sports and academically. Being a part of a large space technology company is definitely an incredible experience, but something was missing.

Novachkov’s passion for wrestling brought him to Smash Gyms. Filip began training wrestling and BJJ at Smash and was immediately impressed by the friendly environment and high level of skill by the students and instructors. He began teaching wrestling classes and competing in BJJ competitions. Filip noticed the amazing growth of Smash and eventually he decided he wanted to open his own Smash Gyms location.

Two D1 Wrestlers and a BJJ Black Belt!

Novachkov jumped at the opportunity to help open a second Smash location in Evergreen and East San Jose.  He now is part co-owner of Smash San Jose. Smash Gyms is ran by an all-star team of martial artist including D1 Wrestlers, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belts, Pro-boxers and MMA Fighters. Filip hopes to use the resources at Smash to reach his goal of making the World and Olympic Wrestling Team and earning a black belt in BJJ. Filip’s brother Boris is seeing tremendous success on Bulgaria’s National Wrestlng Team. Boris’ success in international wrestling motivates Filip to keep on training; the long time brotherly rivalry that has helped them both see amazing success.

Filip runs wrestling classes at both Smash Gyms locations. Smash has two Bay Area locations. One on the border of Santa Clara and Sunnyvale near Levi Stadium and Great America and one in East San Jose and Evergreen across the street from Eastridge Mall. Filip is excited to share his amazing wrestling technique with the students and instructors at Smash. He is part of an amazing staff of wrestling instructors including Jacob Palomino, Eli Sanchez, Scott Clymer, Tina Linhsamout, Sam Spengler and more!

Smash Gyms Wrestling Coach

Smash has another amazing performance at the American Cup!

The 5th Annual American Cup is over and the Smash Jiu-Jitsu team made some noise again! The Smash Gyms Jiu-Jitsu Team brings home 6 Gold, 3 Silver, and 4 Bronze medals!

Amazing performance by all the competitors in a very tough event. Many of our competitors were just promoted to a new belt level in December and still brought home the hardware!

Congrats to the entire team of competitors, training partners and coaches. You made the whole gym proud!


Gold Medalist

Brian Kuhn

Patrick Kong

Filip Novachkov

Isaiah Fernandez

Sam Spengler

Cainan Munsell

 

Silver Medalist

Eli Sanchez

Christian Reyes

John Valdivia

 

Bronze Medalist

Jess Ramos

Harry Handono

Christine Ho

Stephan Thalin

 

Great job everyone!

 

Smash Gyms wrestlers make some noise at the San Francisco State California Collegiate Open!

At the last minute, a few of our Smash Gyms teammates decided to enter the California Collegiate Wrestling Open. This was the last college tournament before the prestigious College Pac-10 tournament. Although our guys are no longer training and competing at the college level they did an amazing job without any preparation. Some of the best college wrestling teams in the country were at this tournament. Filip Novachkov talked Eli Sanchez and Cainan Munsell into entering the tournament two days before the event. They decided to just go have some fun.

Filip won his weight class! He registered under “Team Smash”. He dominated all his opponents with amazing technique. He was exhausted in the 3rd period of all his matches but controlled the pass with pressure and really outclasses all his opponents in an amazing performance. Thanks to Filip for winning Smash Gyms’ first Gold Medal at a major collegiate level wrestling tournament.

Eli decided not to cut weight when he got home the night before and saw a steak sitting on the counter. 🙂 Eli weighed in at 180lbs but the weight class was 184lbs. His opponents were cutting 10-15lbs. It was hilarious how much bigger his opponents were! A fresh Eli came out strong his first match and won with a technical fall (16-0) over his first opponent. Technical fall is a mercy rule when you’re winning by so many points they just stop the match. In the quarter finals Eli ended out losting to the number 2 seeded wrestler in his weight class. Eli got the first takedown on the opponent and was winning the match until his opponents size and Eli’s lack of conditioning took over in the 3rd period. Eli eventually lost the dec. after becoming exhausted from returning his opponent to the mat over and over. Great performance!

Cainan also dominated his first opponent pinning him in about one minute. In the quarter finals had to face the number one seeded wrestler in his weight. Cainan took it to this guy. He beat the guy up the whole first period. Taking him down and putting him on his back. Cainan was winning 10-1 going into the 2nd period. That’s a huge lead in a college wrestling match. lol.. unfortunately Cainan’s conditioning caught up to him and the other guy ended out winning the match.

Congrats to all the competitors! We have amazing wrestlers on our BJJ Team at Smash. Coach Jacob Palomino, David Anderson along with these other guys are great resources for the team. Take advantage of these knowledgeable instructors at Smash! Jacob Palomino teaches wrestling Monday nights at Smash. Filip and Eli lead the Saturday Competition practice along with Smash Gyms Head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor Michael Jen.

www.smashgyms.com

Holiday Party and Promotions!

Smash Gyms in Sunnyvale would like to thank everyone that attended the Smash Gyms Holiday Party and Potluck! We had a full house, tons of great food and lots of fun.

Head Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Instructor Michael Jen awarded some much deserved belts!

New Yellow Belts

Christian Reyes

Junior Zuniga

New Blue Belts

Patrick Kong- 2011 San Jose Open Champion, 2011 BJJ by the Bay Champion, 2011 BJJ by the Sea Champion, 2011 US Open Silver Medalist

Brian Kuhn- 2011 Brazilian Jiu-jitsu US Open Champion

Joe Gonzalez- 2011 BJJ by the Sea Silver Medalist, 2011 US Open Bronze Medalist

David Armstead- 2011 BJJ by the Bay Champion, 2011 BJJ by the Bay Absolute Champion, 2011 San Jose Open Champion

Sam Jung – Sam Jung is one of our most dedicated and fastest rising students! He earned his blue belt in less than a year!

Harry Hardono-  2011 San Jose Open Champion

Bruce Geoff Nardone- 2011 Modcom Submission Grappling Champion , Most Technical Award

New Purple Belts

Sam “The Ram” Spengler – 2011 BJJ by the Bay Champion, 2011 BJJ by the Sea Champion, 2011 San Jose Open Champion, 2011 San Jose Open Absolute Division Champion

Eli Sanchez – 2011 Jiu-Jitsu by the Sea Champion, 2011 Jiu-Jitsu by the Bay Finalist, 2011 San Jose Open Champion, 2011 San Jose Open Absolute Division Champion, 2011 US Open Championships Bronze Medalist

New Black Belts

Mario Rios – Smash Gyms Assistant Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor

Rudy Sanchez – Smash Gyms Assistant Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor

Smash Gyms also presented Jacob Palomino with an award for his contributions to our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling program. Jacob represented Smash Gyms while winning a Championship at the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu US Open in San Jose, California. He also tirelessly helps people in our grappling program learn his sophisticated and technical system of wrestling that he perfected on his way to becoming a Four-time California Wrestling High School State Championships Finalist.

Head Smash Gyms Krav Maga Instructor, Opher Har-El awarded Level 1 Certificates to members of the Krav Maga program. This realistic system of fighting with a focus on self-defense is taught by the 28-year practitioner . Opher teaches the true Krav Maga system he learned in the Israeli Military and his students feel privileged to be of such an authentic lineage.

New Krav Maga Practitioner Level 1

Alex Lupon

Gabrielle Blanc

Hallie Fowler

Jess Ramos

Teddie Aguiniga

Cris Neckar

Chris Long

Erik Archer

 

Also three awards were given to some of the most dedicated and consistent members of the Smash Gyms fitness program SmashFit! These three young ladies consistently participate in up to 3 classes a day! That’s 3-4 hours of training 4-5 days a week! Amazing effort and dedication!

SmashFit Award of Excellence

Gabrielle Blanc

Debbie Sanchez

Naomi Har-El

 

 

All our students from Milpitas, San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View and all around the bay area had a great time!

Smash Gyms claims 6 medals at the Brazilian Jujitsu US Open at San Jose State!

Congratulations to our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu  Competitors that medaled in one of the biggest Jiu-Jitsu competitions in the United States this past weekend.

Jacob Palomino (Smash Gyms Head Wrestling Coach)- 1st place

Brian Kuhn- 1st place

Patrick Kong – 2nd Place

Eli Sanchez- 3rd place

Jacobi Johnson- 3rd

Joe Gonzalez- 3rd places

All of these guys stood out in their weight class and made Smash proud! Eli had an impressive 3 submission victories this weekend! Jacob won in an exciting final displaying heart and beautiful wrestling technique. Great job guys!

 

www.usopenbjj.com

World Class & Beginner Friendly BJJ, Judo, and Wrestling Instruction at Smash Gyms

The Smash Gyms Brazilian Jiu-jitsu program incorporates the most effective techniques of BJJ, judo, and wrestling.

Highlights in this video are from the June 2011 Jiu-jitsu by the Sea and July 2011 Jiu-jitsu by the Bay competitions.

San Jose Open Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Champions

After only being open since January Smash Gyms Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu won the Team Championship at the San Jose Open on July 30th 2011. Smash Gyms competitors won eight Gold medals, two Silvers and Two Bronze medals today at Independence High School in east San Jose.  Smash Gyms took home the San Jose Open BJJ Team Trophy in one of our first tournaments as a team. Amazing performance by all the competitors! Many schools combined in an effort to gain more points to win the team trophy but since every one of our competitors medaled in the event we were still able to win the team trophy with less than half of the competitors of some other schools. Bay Area Brazilian Jiu-jitsu schools from San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Milpitas sent competitors. There were also competitors from all over California.

 

Smash Gyms grapplers included Sam Spengler, Eli Sanchez, Javier Martinez, Ruben Paredes, Patrick Kong, Rogelio Morales, David Armstead, Harry Handano, Sam Jung!