Smash Gyms Blog
28Jan/140

Kids medal at Hokka Judo Developmental Tournament

This past Sunday, a small group of Smash Kids Martial Arts students competed in the 2014 Hokka Judo Developmental Tournament.  This annual tournament was hosted by the Santa Clara PAL Judo club and designed for novice competitors and training upcoming referees.  The Smash Kids did extremely well as they took home 2 gold and 1 bronze.

Check out the highlights!

19Dec/130

New ranks promotions!!!

At our annual end of the year holiday party, a handful of Smash students were recognized for their hard work and increasing skill in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.  Declan Boyd, Ian Masloff, Tom Lopez, Yane Pènev, and Debbie Sanchez were promoted to blue belt.  In addition, Sam Jung and Mike Herrera were promoted to purple belt.

In a big surprise, head BJJ instructor, Michael Jen, was promoted to black belt in judo by his former judo instructor, David Williams.  Michael began his training in judo 14 years ago and recently began to train handful of Smash Kids Martial Arts students  to compete in the sport.   These kids have competed in practically every judo competition in northern California and have been incredibly successful.

Smash Kids Martial Arts students Louie Noble Jr., Jonah Davi,d and Jovina David were both promoted to yellow belt in judo.  All the kids have shown great skill as they have medaled in every judo competition they have entered.

Big congratulations to all who were promoted!

 

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--

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!

4Feb/130

Brothers compete at the Boys & Girls Club Judo Development Tournament

Smash Gyms Kids Martial Arts students, Derek and Aaron Jen, competed this past Saturday at the San Mateo Boys and Girls Club Judo Development Tournament.  This was Derek's first judo competition and he was in a division where he was the only white belt.  He had 7 matches, all against colored belts, and ended up taking 2nd place.  Aaron also had some really tough opponents in his division.  He won all 4 of matches and took 1st place.  Big congratulations to the brothers for taking home gold and silver!

Here are the highlights from the event!  To watch in HD, simply change the quality setting when the player starts.

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.

9May/120

Smash Gyms Jiu-Jitsu Team Highlights from American Cup

Below are some of the highlights from The Smash Gyms Jiu-jitsu Team's dominating performance at the American Cup in San Jose at Independence High School. A vast majority of our Jiu-Jitsu students choose not to compete and grapple recreationally for fun and fitness. Those that choose to compete have done very well. In our beginner friendly BJJ program we do not push our students to compete, but if they choose to we help to provide them all the tools necessary to be successful.

Smash is fortunate to have top level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instruction with very high level wrestling and judo combined into a comprehensive grappling program that will safely progress beginners at an accelerated pace. Our system is designed as a path for the average person to progress safely and quickly into an expert grappler.

 

27Mar/120

Rogelio Morales wins his Division at the Cupertino Judo Invitational Tournament!

On Sunday, March 25, one of our Smash Gyms teammates, Rogelio Morales, competed in the Cupertino Judo Invitational Tournament. Rogelio competed in the brown belt division and performed extremely well, taking first place in a very competitive division.


Smash Gyms Head Instructor, Michael Jen and Judo Black belts Patrick Kong and Chad Himeda began to teach and share their judo techniques to Rogelio when he joined the Smash team last year. The Smash Gyms Jiu-jitsu program's systematic approach to teaching quickly began to help Rogelio transform his judo game. In addition, the talented and supportive students at Smash who were judo black belts, champion wrestlers and top level grapplers not only enhanced Rogelio’s knowledge, but also gave him great training partners to help progress his skill. Most importantly Rogelio's hard work, focus and humble attitude have allowed him to progress as a student, training partner and martial artist.

Once again big congratulations to Rogelio on bringing home gold. The instructors and teammates at Smash are very proud of Rogelio! We look forward to helping him reach all his goals in judo, bjj and wrestling!

5Feb/120

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

22Jan/120

Women Only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Class Now at Smash!

Smash Gyms Women's Only Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Class on Sundays from 10am-12pm. The class is currently FREE to all women who are currently members of any Smash Gyms program! Drop-ins for non-members is $5.

All Women are welcomed! This beginner friendly class and is a introduction to the Smash Gyms Jiu-jitsu program in a non-threatening and friendly environment. It is also a great way for the Women's BJJ Community in the Bay Area to meet and train together! Women from San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and Mountain View feel free to join and have a great time.

Smash Gyms Jiu-jitsu student Crystina Coats is leading the class. Crystina is a BJJ purple belt training at Smash Gyms under Michael Jen.

Crystina first began training jiu-jitsu under Carlson Gracie in 2003. Since then, she has competed and medaled in many women's grappling and BJJ competitions including major tournaments such as Grapplers Quest West, Pan Ams of Submission Grappling, Best of the West, and On The Mat American International Championships. Crystina qualified and competed in the prestigious 2006 North American ADCC trials in New Jersey. Crystina earned a spot on the USA Team as an alternate and competitor at the Fila World Grappling Games 2007 in Antalya, Turkey.

During her BJJ career Crystina has not only earned over 30 medals in BJJ competitions but has also trained under some of the best instructors in the Jiu-jitsu world. Before training at Smash Gyms Crystina was a student under Carlson Gracie, Rodrigo Medeiros, Dean Lister, Elias Gallegos and others. Crystina helped start a successful Women Only BJJ program at her past school and is eager to pass along her grappling knowledge to women in this new beginner friendly class at Smash Gyms!


Female BJJ Competitor Hillary Williams