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.

Self-Defense Training at Smash!

Get a great workout and learn Self-Defense during our Fun & Beginner Friendly Self-Defense Combatives Class Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm. Men and women will be separated in this class and different material will be covered for each group. No gi is required in the Class.

In this fun and important class, women will be taught how to properly control positioning on the ground, avoid injury, disengage from an assailant, stand up, and escape.

The simple and effective material that will be covered is designed to give women a solid plan very quickly. Typically when a woman is attacked the attacker isn’t trying to box or kickbox her. Often an attacker will grab a woman and attempt to manhandle and control her until he is in a dominant position. Our program is the ideal solution for that type of situation.

Men will be shown how to control an attacker, and then eliminate the threat. Even the best strikers on Earth (boxers & kickboxers) do not want to clinch but need a referee in the ring to rip them apart every few seconds. Learn from experts what to do on the street when there is not that third man breaking it up.

This class compliments our Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness Class that also has a strong emphasis on self-defense from a variety of different martial arts.

Anyone can try it Free! Bring a Friend!

Self-Defense Classes

Self-Defense Classes!

Beginner Self-Defense & Combatives at Smash!

Our new Smashfit-Beginner Self-Defense & Combatives Class was a hit!

This class is designed for people with absolutely no martial arts experience and those interested in learning how to use Jiu-Jitsu technique for self-defense rather than sport. This is a no gi class. Jiu-Jitsu Combatives is the base for the US ARMY Combatives.

The techniques taught in this class have been tested over and over again in real life encoutners. The reason why the US Army adopted this curriculum as their base is because you are able to safely test them at full force to show the effectiveness. Our instructors have a deep technical knowledge of body mechanics and leverage so these techniques can work on anyone regardless of size or strength difference. Jiu-Jitsu combatives were designed for smaller and weaker people to safely control bigger and stronger people. The US Army and various Law Enforcement Agencies have recognized this and now seek our Jiu-Jitsu instruction for unarmed combat.

In this beginner friendly class, there is NO live sparring in which people will be really trying to punch or submit beginners. Students will be able to learn jiu-jitsu combatives and self-defense techniques in a non-competitive introductory class that has been designed for all fitness and skill levels.  All technique taught can be applied easily regardless of body type or athleticism.

While knowledge of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu can be invaluable for everyone, when it comes to self-defense, it is especially important for women! When a woman is attacked, the typical attacker isn’t trying to box or kickbox her.   While a few strikes may be involved, an larger and stronger attacker will often grab a woman and attempt to manhandle and control her until he is in a dominant position.  Our Jiu-jitsu program is the ideal solution for that type of situation.

The Smash Gyms Instructors have strong focus on safety at all times. Students will train with like-minded partners they are comfortable working with in a structured, cooperative, and fun learning environment.  Feel free to jump in and try it out!

On a historical side note for those who may not know, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu was originally designed for streetfighting and the sport evolved from that. The point system in sport BJJ is based on what was considered the most dominant positions from which to control and submit or strike an opponent in a streetfight.

Back in the early 90’s, before the UFC, the early pioneers of Jiu-jitsu in the United States made a name for themselves from challenging other styles. These challenge matches were true no holds barred fights with no gloves or any protective gear in which everything was allowed and nothing was off limits- punches, kicks, knees headbutts, elbow, groins strikes, etc….

Now, with the growth of modern MMA, BJJ works along side other martial arts. It wasn’t like this back in the early 90’s.  It was BJJ vs. everyone else.  The Gracie family had their “Gracie Challenge”, but this challenge was adopted by literally every Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner regardless of belt color who came to the US. There was no concept of advertising and promotion in BJJ as we know today. They got their name out simply from put out challenges and showcasing their style in actual combat.

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.

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.


Big Turnout for the first Women’s Jiu-Jitsu Class at Smash!

Great turnout for the first Women’s BJJ class! This introductory Women’s Martial arts class was a hit. Women from San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and Mountain View all joined and had a great time. Support women’s martial arts at Smash!

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for women on Sundays! Schedule below.

Meet friends and learn the best self-defense for women!

Brian Kuhn added to Smash Gyms staff as Level 2 Kickboxing Instructor!

Starting in January we have a new addition to the talented staff of instructors at Smash GymsBrian Kuhn joins the kickboxing program as a Level 2 Kickboxing Instructor and will be teaching 4 days a week. He will be working with Sam SpenglerRose JenMichael Jen and Naomi Harel to take our kickboxing program to the next level. We’re very excited to have another experienced and dedicated instructor help lead this new program!

Brian Kuhn has been a life-long student, competitor and instructor in the Bay Area martial arts community. He has close to 20 years of teaching experience in a variety of different disciplines including karate, kickboxing, MMA and self-defense. His passion for martial arts and enthusiasm is known to be contagious in every class he teaches. Brian has spent the better part of the last two decades passing on his vast knowledge and skills as an Instructor at West Valley College and Saratoga Community Center.

Brian’s versatile and comprehensive martial arts resume includes a Fourth Degree Black Belt in Shotokan Karate, Brown Belt in Judo, Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and competitive Kickboxing and San Shou experience. A veteran competitor of Karate, Judo, Jiu-jitsu and Kickboxing tournaments Brian showed composure, experience and technique on his way to winning a gold medal at the 2011 BJJ US Open for Smash Gyms.

Brian earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Kinesiology at San Jose State and is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists. With his extensive experience, systematic training techniques and passion for teaching, Brian’s goal is to develop each Smash Gyms kickboxing class into an exciting and dynamic learning experience.

Kickboxing classes are Monday-Friday at 6pm and Saturday at 12:00pm.

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!

2011 Was an Amazing Year for the Smash Gyms BJJ Program! Watch out 2012!


2011 was an amazing year for all the programs at Smash. I’d like to take a moment and point out the amazing growth of our BJJ program in particular.

The Smash Gyms Jiu-jitsu program is headed by Michael Jen. Michael had been teaching a small group of loyal students out of his garage for nearly 10 years. Most of his students grappled recreationally for exercise, fun and self-defense. He did have one student that liked to compete in Sport BJJ. Seo Perales was only the second person ever to be promoted to Black Belt by Michael. Seo took 3rd and 5th in the World Championships and won his division in the US Open twice. Michael’s students were all complimented on their solid fundamentals when training at other schools and Seo’s success was impressive but still Michael was largely unknown in the younger Sport Jiu-Jitsu world. Michael was one of the first 50 American BJJ Blackbelts but only the “old school” guys knew who he was since he had been not publicly teaching for ten years.

The Smash Gyms Jiu jitsu program officially started in January 2011. We were excited and happy to share the system of BJJ that we had spent 10 years in Michael’s garage helping to design. The system went through many iterations where techniques were changed, thrown out, and replaced. We were confident that we now had a system of teaching BJJ that would help the average person turn into a very good grappler in a short amount of time. We also knew it would help a talented person turn into a monster even faster.

Many of Michael’s top students came and helped lead the new program at Smash. Seo moved to the Bay Area for a few months to help get the program started. Mario Rios a brown belt, was in almost every class teaching the system of jiu-jitsu to beginners. Louie Noble and Andrew Yao purples and all of our blue belts were happy to help everyone. Before opening Smash we were fortunate to have relationships with talented people and training partners with a variety of skill-sets and backgrounds. They all came to help. My younger brother Eli who was a D1 College wrestler came in and combined his wrestling with our BJJ and made some noise. Pretty soon we had state champions like Jacob Palomino, all-american wrestlers and Judokas like Patrick Kong and pro-fighters like Sam Spengler all join the team to train, learn and pass on their existing skills to the students at Smash.

With such a great group of talented and giving instructors our brand new Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program literally shocked the Sport BJJ world in 2011. The very first team tournament the Smash competitors attended they brought home 3 Gold Medals. Sam, Seo, and Patrick dominated their divisions at BJJ by the Bay. After a few months the influx of new and motivated faces found Smash to be a place where they could learn and excel. Guys like David, Sam Jung, Rogelio, Joe, Harry and Ruben joined and helped rally the team. A couple months later was BJJ by the Sea and we brought home 7 medals. 4 gold and 3 silver. Exceptional growth but it did not stop there. In July Smash brought a team to the San Jose Open and won it. The Smash Gyms competitors brought home 8 Gold medals, 2 silver, 2 bronze and the Team Trophy. It was phenomenal feeling to have such remarkable success as a new gym in the Bay Area, which is known worldwide to be a BJJ Mecca of top schools. How would we do at a national level tournament though? We found out at the US Open 2011. Smash Gyms had 6 people place in the top 3 at this nationally recognized tournament. This is unheard of for a brand new school.

We are incredibly proud of each and every person on our team. Even more fulfilling than tournament wins is watching someone go from “the nail” to “the hammer” during a practice. 2011 was amazing because of everyone that stepped on the mat and tried to help each other get better. There are too many people to thank in this post but I can honestly say I’ve learned from every single one of the students at Smash. Thanks to everyone that has helped us with the struggle to improve ourselves both on and off the mat. With everyone’s help 2012 will be even more amazing.

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!