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

Kids Classes NOW at Smash San Jose!

Beginning Monday (2/10/14) our NEW Comprehensive Kids and Teens martial arts program will begin! We are so excited to launch our new Kids Martial Arts classes at the East San Jose & Evergreen location! Our kids program will feature Kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kids Wrestling, and Kids Judo classes taught by World Class Instructors. This comprehensive grappling program will not only prepare your son or daughter for any self-defense situation but will help them gain the discipline and respect to become a winner in their day to day life. If your child chooses to compete in Judo, Wrestling, or BJJ our program and coaches can guide them along a path to becoming an exceptional athlete and role model. Through this program your child will gain the confidence to overcome any obstacle they encounter. We will make your child a winner.

Wrestling, Judo and BJJ for Kids

Program Instructors include:

Filip Novachkov- D1 College Wrestler (Cal Poly), Pac-10 Finalist, California High School State Champion, 3x CA State Placer, 3x CCS Champion

Scott Clymer- NCWA National Champion, D1 College Wrestler at Liberty University, Pennsylvania High School State Wrestling Champion, NCAA Wrestling Championships Competitor, MAC Conference Champion (“Most Valuable Wrestler”)

Eli Sanchez- D1 College Wrestler at Liberty University, San Jose Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Medium Heavy and Absolute Champion, 2011 BJJ by the Sea Champion, US Open Championships 3rd place

Vince Rodriguez– 5th Place High School National Championships 1985, 3rd Place California State Championships 1985, 2x Freestyle State Champion

Jacob Palomino– 4X California State Wrestling Championship Finalist,  2011 BJJ US Open Champion

Sam Spengler– Quimby Oak Junior High School Coach, Pro-MMA Fighter, Montana State Wrestling Champion

Dave Williams- SJSU Judo Instructor, Judo National Champion

Come in and try a FREE WEEK of Classes! 

Kids Judo, Wrestling, BJJ

As of Monday the current kids schedule will be as follows…

Wrestling (Kids and Teens)

4:30pm  from Monday- Thursday

Judo (Kids & Teens)

4:30pm on Tuesday & Thursday

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Kids and Teens)

5:30pm from Monday-Thursday


We will also have later Wrestling options for teens and adults at 6:30pm on Tuesday and Thursday. 


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Smash Gyms Coming to Evergreen and East San Jose

Smash Gyms in Evergreen and East San Jose


New Smash Gyms Location right across the street from Eastridge Mall in East San Jose and Evergreen! Cross streets will be Quimby Road and Capital Expressway!

Please LIKE Smash Gyms San Jose Facebook Fan Page:


Sunnyvale Fan Page:

Also sure to check San Jose Gyms website for updates:

Smash Gyms San Jose 

2268 Quimby Road – Suite C  (Building A)

San Jose, CA 950122

Smash Gyms San Jose will offer the same great fitness and martial arts classes we offer in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara! Every class is taught by experienced professionals for a unique fitness and social experience that will allow you to reach your physical and mental potential. Smash Gyms instructors take a systematic and beginner friendly approach to teaching, with a focus on the individual needs of each student. Smash instructors are excited to help you reach your personal goals!

Specialty group fitness classes like Strength & Conditioning, UJAM, Yoga, Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Grappling, MMA (mixed-martial arts), Self-defense, Circuit Training, Bootcamp, Zumba, Wrestling and more!

After School Martial Arts & Tutoring Available for youths in addition to world class martial arts instruction.  

To accommodate everyone’s needs we offer monthly memberships, annual memberships, drop in, and prepay options. We have special discounted rates for Police, Firefighters, Teachers, Students and Military Service Members.