Teaching Professionalism

One thing that stands out about the Smash Gyms instructors is the professionalism in which they conduct themselves.  Anyone who have been involved in martial arts for a long time and traveled around to different schools can attest that this is  a quality that is often lacking by many instructors.  Check out this short video where Smash Gyms Sunnyvale Head BJJ instructor Michael Jen talks about this subject.

Is competing necessary if you train Brazilian Jiu-jitsu?

The Brazilian Jiu-jitsu competitors of Smash Gyms have done extremely well in competition and we often share their great results and highlights on this blog.  Some may wonder if competing is a necessary part of training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.  Here’s Smash Gyms Sunnyvale’s head BJJ instructor, 4th degree black belt, Michael Jen, sharing his thoughts on this subject.

Smash students medal in competitions week after week!!

On Aug. 24th, Javier Martinez competed in the Rising Sun Nationals BJJ Tournament in Daly City.  Putting on a very dominating performance, Javier placed 1st in his division.

Last weekend, a handful of Smash BJJ students competed in the Jiu-jitsu by the Bay BJJ Tournament.  Christine Apatow, Lou Noble, and Yane Penev placed 1st in their respective divisions.  Yane also placed 2nd in the open weight class division.  Jonathan Bialoglovski and Arturo Galano placed 3rd in their divisions.

Check out the highlights of the Smash students at Jiu-jitsu by the Bay 12!

Then this Sat., Louie Noble Jr., Derek Jen, Jovina David, and Jonah David represented the Smash Kids Martial Arts Program and competed in the San Mateo Boys & Girls Club Judo Developmental Tournament.  Derek and Jovina placed 1st , Louie placed 2nd, and Jonah placed 3rd in their respective divisions.

Check out the highlights of the Smash kids!

Congratulations to everyone on that great performances and representing Smash so well!

80% of Success is Just Showing Up

Self-Improvement at Smash is simple; you just have to show up. You’ve already decided that you needed to improve when you signed up, so what is there to think about? Don’t even think about it. If you consider going to the gym you can talk yourself out of it. There is always an excuse if you’re looking for one. 

Show up mad; show up tired; show up when there is traffic; show up when you don’t feel like it. Just show up and we will take care of the rest. Do it now or you’ll wish you did later. 

 If you show up consistently and do what the Instructors ask of you, you will be surprised what you can accomplish. 

Let’s be honest, if you don’t show up it won’t change our life. If you do show up it will make a big positive impact on your life. We’ve been told this and thanked over and over by the people that showed. At Smash you will relieve stress, get in shape, meet friends, gain knowledge and skill, and be inspired you to do what you never thought you were capable of doing.

Commit to making a change in your life. You deserve it and we’re here to help. 

43 year old Jess Ramos lost 51 lbs by participating in every class at Smash! He takes BJJ, Kickboxing, Yoga, Strength & Conditioning, Self-Defense, Bootcamp & Kettlebells. Jess won the Jiu Jitsu US Open just one year after joining Smash! When he started Smash he was 187lbs and competed at 136lb weight class! Most of our students choose not to compete but Jess had made such amazing progress that he decided to test himself at one of the toughest jiu jitsu competitions in the US and brought home a Gold Medal!

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–

Weekends full of BJJ and Weightlifting Competitions!

A few weeks ago, Sam Jung represented Smash Gyms at the East Bay Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Open.  Sam put on a great performance and placed 1st in the gi division and 3rd in the no gi division.  That same weekend, Jonathan Bialoglovski competed in the Calfornia Black Belt League: Victory Challenge and place 1st in his division.

Then this past weekend, Christina Apatow represented Smash Gyms Women’s BJJ and competed in the KO Finisher Series Submission Only Tournament.  With no competitors to go against in her division, Christina moved up 2 weight classes. She did awesome and placed 3rd.  Christina finished two of her matches by armbar and gi choke.  The most memorable moment was when her opponent refused to tap to the gi choke and ended up being put completely unconscious.

While Christina was competing in BJJ, Smash Gyms’ Strength & Conditioning instructor, James Cebedo, competed in the Redwood Empire Weightlifting Competition.  James threw up some big weight and placed 2nd in his division despite only weighing 157lbs in the 170lbs division! This was James’ first weightlifting competition so he decided not to cut any weight and still took home a silver medal!

 

A big congratulations to all the competitors!

Check out the highlights of Christina at the KO Finisher Series!

 

BJJ students compete at the 6th Annual American Cup

Great effort by our Brazilian Jiu-jitsu students who competed in the 2013 American Cup BJJ Tournament over the weekend.  Our competitors put on a great display of skill and heart.  At the conclusion of the tournament, Ben Hyatt, Tom Lopez, Javier Martinez and, Sam Spenglar placed 1st in their respective divisions.  Leo Shen placed 2nd and Eli Sanchez, Juan Romo, and Patrick Kong placed 3rd in their divisions.  Congratulations to everyone!

Check out the highlights!  To watch in HD, change the quality setting on the player when the video begins.  Enjoy!

May 2013 Class Schedule

Class Schedule

Two brand new evening classes starting in May! Both classes are a great workout and fun!

Our Self-Defense & Combatives classes will provide members with top quality instruction in a wide variety of subjects. This beginner friendly & new class will feature our Women’s Personal Protection curriculum as well as Jiu-Jitsu Combatives (the base of US Army Combatives).  You will recieve  instruction from experts in a wide variety of subjects. The various classes that make up the Smash Gyms Self Defense System will not only develop a student’s skills, but also help them get into great shape.  Due to the fact that each class addresses a specific and different aspect of self-defense, the workouts are fun, interesting, and challenge the body. These classes will make anyone aware, ferocious, ready and in shape to defend themselves in any situation.

Due to popular demand we have also added evening Mixed Martial Arts Classes! This program is truly a mix of martial arts and does not necessarily refer to the sport of MMA. Each subject at Smash is covered by expert in his field so this class is an amazing compliment to our Self-Defense and Combatives class. The Smash Gyms MMA program includes a systematic blend of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Wrestling, Judo, Kickboxing & Self-Defense techniques into a comprehensive weekly training program that will safely progress beginners at an accelerated pace. Our classes are designed as a path for the average person to progress safely and quickly into a well-rounded and fit martial artist. Our programs have proven to be highly effective in Self-Defense, Kickboxing, MMA, and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu sport competition. These uniquely structured classes are presented in a format highly conducive to learning while maintaining a strong focus on safety.

If you really want to learn any subject you need to see an authority on the matter. No single fighting style has true expertise in every situation or subject matter. Anyone that has studied martial arts or fighting knows this is true. If you look at the best professional martial artist and fighters in the world they have sought out experts in each subject. They have separate expert coaches from each discipline.  We used this principle to create our Mixed Martial Arts and Self Defense & Combatives programs. Every class subject will be taught by an expert for the highest possible level of instruction. In both classes gaining actual fighting ability is of primary concern while maintaining a strong focus on fun, fitness and safety!

New 2013 Schedule! New Kids Kickboxing Program!

Goodbye 2012! Another great year has passed and Smash is looking forward to helping you reach your goals in 2013! There are a few small changes starting in January to our unique schedule of fitness & martial arts classes.

Our noon fitness class schedule has changed for the better! We’ve added more classes! We have a new Noon Krav Maga class on Tuesday! Thursday’s SmashFit Lunch workout will be a Kickboxing class and Kettlebell Fitness will be on Friday! Our noon classes are great for people who can sneak in a fun workout on their lunch break. Many of our noon members work nearby in Santa Clara, Sunnyvale or Mountain View.

We are very excited to announce the start of our Kids Kickboxing Program. Our exceptionally successful Kids Martial Arts Program has only focused on grappling until now. Our Kids program already teaches techniques from BJJ, Wrestling and Judo. Now kids at Smash will have an opportunity to learn Kickboxing & Karate from our top professional instructors. Kids Kickboxing will be a separate class from our Kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class. Call us for details!

New July Schedule

Sunnyvale, Santa Clara –  Try any class free for a week!

Starting in July we will have a new and improved class schedule. More Bootcamp, Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kickboxing, & Crossfit style Strength & Conditioning options for all gym members. Our members have seen amazing results in their overall fitness and skill level this past year and they can’t get enough! If you want to lose weight, learn a skill, or be a competitive athlete Smash can help you reach your goals. Due to popular demand we have added additional time slots. This new schedule allows for…

Bootcamp Classes

– Four Morning Bootcamp Fitness Classes

– Co-ed fitness bootcamp classes

– Indoor and Outdoor workouts

– Two 6:00am Classes (more on the way!)

– Two 7:00am Classes

Strength and Conditioning

– Taught by Certified Crossfit Competitors and Instructors

– Convenient new 5:30pm time slot four times a week

– New 7:00am Morning Strength & Conditioning Classes

– Monday evening introduction class

Jiu-Jitsu

– Two 6:30pm BJJ classes

– Four 7:30pm classes

– Saturday Competition Training Class!

– Noon Jiu-Jitsu Five days a week!

Krav Maga

– Four 5:30pm Krav Maga Classes

– Three 6:30pm classes

– Advanced Krav Maga on Fridays

– Saturday Morning Krav Maga

Mixed Martial Arts Class

– MMA classes Five Days a week

– MMA Advanced Sparring twice a week

– Includes Kickboxing and BJJ Classes

Kickboxing

– Seven Kickboxing Classes a week!

– Convenient 6:30 and 7:30 time slots

– Weekend Classes available

– All levels welcomed

Kids Fitness and Martial Arts

– Summer Camps now Available

– Tutoring now Available

– After School Program five days a week

– Kids Classes also from 4:30pm-5:30pm