The Jacob Palomino Story

We have so many amazing people at Smash, so it always feels strange singling out any particular individual. I often have the feeling that I can never repay all those who have helped, so I feel that the least I can do is share with everyone the history and behind-the-scenes workings of some of these great people. One of these people is Jacob Palomino.

Ever since I met Jacob, he made it clear that his top goal has been to share the skills and knowledge he has acquired. The wrestling program at Smash Gym San Jose has become one of the top programs in the area because Jacob and his assistant coaches go way beyond the call of duty.

For example, yesterday, Jacob conducted a free clinic for all local high school wrestlers. After the free two hour practice, he grabbed the 14-year old son of one of our Brazilian Jiu-jitsu coaches who has just begun his first year wrestling in high school. Jacob spent 20-30mins showing him details on the front headlock. Then he played with my 3 year old son, along with his son, and taught them how to get into a wrestling stance and sprawl for another 20 mins after everyone else left.

Free Wrestling Clinic at Smash San Jose

This is not uncommon behavior for Jacob. He is probably the hardest working coach I have ever met, and that’s saying a lot because I know a lot of amazing coaches. A typical day for Jacob may consist of teaching two classes and coach up to 5-6 private lessons. During wrestling season, he brings local high school kids to the 6am strength and conditioning class at Smash San Jose. He is often working at Smash San Jose until 9pm.

As many of you know, Jacob comes from one of the greatest wrestling families in the state of California. When Jacob, his older brother Jason, and his cousin Ricky were in high school their legendary uncles, Anthony and Rick Palomino committed themselves as coaching staff for Independence High School. They created one of the most legendary high school team’s in California history. Under the Palominos, Independence won the California team state title, produced future NCAA champions, and Olympians such as Eric Guerrero. Their technique, work ethic, and heart were incredible to watch in action.

Jacob Palomino as a freshman at Independence

In 1998, Jacob was the youngest of his generation in the Palomino family and made history by becoming the first freshman to become a state champion in California EVER. Typically a 14-15 year old competing against 18-19 year olds would not stand a chance. He proved it was possible and, amazingly, became a 4-time state finalist and 3-time champion.

As if this wasn’t incredible enough, those that were close to him knew his story was even more inspirational than you could possibly imagine. About a month before the State Championships, Jacob’s young and healthy mother suddenly passed away. Jacob was devastated. Most people thought his season was over. Just weeks after this tragedy Jacob stepped into the toughest high school wrestling tournament in the country and did the impossible by becoming the first freshman to win a California State Championship. You can imagine the inspiration that his friends and family drew from that victory. Jacob’s story inspired the wrestling community all over California. He dedicated his historic championship to his mother. At 15 years old Jacob Palomino became a legend.

Jacob was also a teenage father, having had twin babies his Junior year in high school. Either one of these things would have easily derailed someone from achieving excellence. Jacob, through incredible determination somehow continued to march forward and made a history as one of the greatest high school wrestlers ever.

First Freshman State Champ – Jacob Palomino

If you’re not aware of what a California State Championship really means I’ll do my best to explain this amazing accomplishment. There is only one kid at each weight that becomes a state champion in all of California. This year in California there’s about 2 million kids in high school in over 2,500 schools. It’s a dog fight every step of the way to move up in qualifying tournaments to and then get to state. Only one kid at each weight in his whole school gets to wrestle varsity. High schools are split into a league tournament of about 20 schools, top 2-3 winners at each weight in each league go to our section tournament, where about 120 schools compete against each other. The top 3 athletes that place at sections in each weight get the honor of going to State. The California State Tournament is truly a tournament of champions.

Right before we were going to open Smash Sunnyvale I ran into Jacob at CCS. I mentioned that I was going to open a gym soon. Always humble, he said, “if there’s anything you need let me know, Not sure what I can do, but seriously I want to help so just please let me know.” I tried to keep an acceptable level of excitement and I told him I’d give him a call.

He began teaching a wrestling class Monday night and would not accept any money. For a year, no matter how often I asked, he would always brush it aside. Finally, I started putting money in his shoes while he was still on the mat. Even then I would have to reason with him that it would be good to at least let us pay for his gas. After all, he was driving over 25 minutes to get to Smash Sunnyvale.

Jacob and his youngest son Ezra

That first year Jacob rarely participated in jiujitsu. Although, he had never attended one jiujitsu class, sometimes jiujitsu students would ask him to roll during his wrestling classes. He never said no. Late one evening near the end of Smash’s first year, about two weeks before the BJJ US Open, I got a text from Jacob. He asked me if I thought he could win it. I would never bet against Jacob, so I said yes. We did a few private lessons around a game plan for the US Open and of course, he won his division.

When Filip, Mario, Eli and I partnered to open Smash San Jose, Jacob was working full time at a local cemetery. Jacob began teaching some classes at Smash San Jose, getting requests for private lessons, and word started getting around to local high school coaches and wrestlers. Soon enough, they were asking him for help. His schedule quickly filled with private lessons. He began to realize that it might be possible to teach wrestling full time. Jacob told everyone that was now committed to becoming the best instructor possible. His passion and dedication to servicing student athletes in the community showed. People began to say Jacob might even be a better coach than he was a wrestler. Their support provided him with the opportunity to finally quit his other job and start teaching wrestling full time.

 

Coach Jacob and one of his students

Jacob has developed a very close following of supportive parents and students. They are loyal and thankful for all that he does for the kids in the community that seek out his guidance. Jacob has significantly influenced the local wrestling scene. Entire junior highs and high schools have better teams because of his efforts. A lot of local hardworking coaches are very thankful for the help he’s given them.

Having Jacob at Smash full-time is a blessing to everyone. He is always inspirational, honest, and hardworking. Because we were so thankful for his contributions Filip, Mario, Eli and I decided to make Jacob our partner and co-owner of Smash San Jose.

Jacob is one of my personal heroes. He’s one of the most giving people I’ve ever met. Very few people inspire others to be better in so many different aspects. Jacob motivates everyone around him to be a better leaders, parents, athletes, and coaches. I hoped by sharing his story you can find as much inspiration from it as I do.

Rudy Sanchez

Smash Gyms | CEO & Founder

 

Smash Gyms Milpitas Location Announcement!

ANNOUNCEMENT!!! THE NEW Smash Gyms – Milpitas LOCATION ADDRESS! Our brand new state of the art 12,000 square foot facility will be at the following address in the heart of Milpitas!

616 S Main St, Milpitas, CA 95035

Come to our existing facility and sign up for Pre-Grand Opening Discounts!

Memberships work at all locations! Including our Smash Gyms​ Sunnyvale, Unlimited MMA & Fitness​, Milpitas Boxing and Fitness​, Smash Gyms – San Jose​! One Membership for all Smash Gyms!

Stay tuned for the Opening Date, Schedule, Layout and more! #SmashGymsMilpitas #SmashGyms

 

Smash Gyms in Milpitas

 

New Smash Gyms Location in Milpitas!

BIG SMASH NEWS!!! Smash Milpitas!

Hey Everyone,

BIG SMASH announcement! As many of you know, there are many Smashers that have expressed an interest in helping Smash grow. We have been looking at locations all over the Bay Area and have finally secured a location in Milpitas. Details to be announced shortly!

Our very own Lou Noble will be helping to lead this location. We are extremely proud of Lou. Those of you that know Lou, know he is an amazing person off and on the mat. He is family man and a good student and teacher. Since the beginning, Lou has been a great leader in the Smash Family and we know he will continue to make us proud.

We have seen Smash grow from 5 jiu-jitsu guys in a garage to over 600 members, 50 instructors, two locations and 12 programs in 5 years. The amazing support that all the members of the community provide to each other inside and out of the gym has created life-long friendships and incredible success stories. We feel so lucky to be able to dedicate our lives to something that has brought real value to many people.

The launch of Smash #3 is something truly special! Three of the best gyms in the Bay Area are joining forces to create Smash Milpitas. Smash Milpitas will be the combined forces of Smash Gyms, Unlimited MMA, and Milpitas Boxing.

Unlimited MMA was one of the first high quality Martial Arts gyms ever in the Bay Area. Head Coach and Owner Rudi Ott is a highly respected and talented kickboxing coach. Rudi will be spending most of his time at Smash Milpitas but will also be teaching classes at Smash San Jose and Sunnyvale. He is a passionate coach and awesome instructor. Rudi, his students, and staff will bring incredible value to the kickboxing program and fight team at Smash. Their community is full of talented and motivated members and staff. Rudi will be the Smash Gyms Fight Team Coach.

Milpitas Boxing is owned and operated by Tony Gabucan. Tony has quickly built an amazing community at Milpitas Boxing. His fun classes and friendly staff quickly grew to one of the largest gyms in the Bay Area in only four years. Tony, his team of instructors, and his gym have quickly become known as a place for beginner friendly classes with top quality instruction. They have a solid reputation for not only high energy and fun classes but also a very family friendly environment.

As most of you know, in 2014 Cung Le’s Martial Arts joined the Smash Gyms Family. Now with Milpitas Boxing and Unlimited MMA joining Smash Gyms, our social fitness network has become the largest of it’s kind in California. These communities have banded together with plans to create incredible value to our members as well as opportunities to instructors and owners. Smash Gyms’ goal is to create a remarkable social fitness experience for our members, high quality jobs for world-class instructors, and successful small businesses owners.

Smash Gyms will now have well over 1000 people active in the community. All of our members will not only have three Bay Area locations, but also hundreds of excited and friendly new training partners, and dozens of motivated professional instructors.

I’d like to thank all those that have contributed to the growth of Smash. Our members and instructors have worked hard to make our community one that has attracted talented and motivated people from all over. Smash is community of great people working hard to help each other inside and out of the gyms. Thank you all for investing so much effort into the growth of the community and each other. Thank you for believing in us.

 

Smash Gyms Milpitas

Cung Le at Smash Gyms! (Video)

Cung Le highlighting some of the awesome programs at Smash Gym!

 Cung Le is a local legend in martial arts and combat sports. Growing up in the Bay Area and training martial arts like Tae Kwon Do, San Shou, Wrestling, Kickboxing, Jiujitsu and MMA has helped him reach all his goals off and on the mat. Always a huge supporter of the local fitness, martial arts and wrestling community he is proud to partner with Smash Gyms! 

Sam “The Ram” Spengler Highlight Video

Thanks to Smasher Romanjeet S Nahal for making this highlight video of Sam Spengler’s MMA fights! Sam has a title fight scheduled in February!

Sam Spengler is one of the most liked and respected members of the wrestling and martial arts community. Sam has successfully competed in Mixed Martial Arts, Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, and Kickboxing. Because of his experience and the example that he sets for everyone around him, he is co-captain of the Smash Fight Team.

Aside from being a great athlete Sam is also one of the most popular teachers at Quimby Oak Junior High School. As Quimby’s Head Wrestling Coach he has lead many young athletes to championships and had earned a school record with countless team titles.

Coach Spengler is also a Kickboxing and MMA Coach at Smash San Jose. He is known as one of our most popular class instructors. His classes are always fun and packed!

Sam “The Ram” Spengler is a hero to many people in the East San Jose and Evergreen community! Thanks for all you do Sam!

 

Cung Le Seminar Photos

What a Great Seminar! Cung Le’s seminar at Smash San Jose was a huge success! The participants loved the unique and effective combinations and attention to detail that Cung Le presented. Can’t wait to do it again! Look for us on Cung Le’s New online training at Cungle.tv !

Coach Filip Novachkov Tournament Highlight Video

Filip Novachkov, one of our amazing wrestling coaches dominating the 2014 Super Grappling Tournament in Indonesia! Filip teaches wrestling at Sunnyvale Smash on Monday Nights at 7:30pm and Wrestling Classes in San Jose Smash every day. Check the schedules at www.smashgyms.com.

Cung Le’s Martial Arts Joins the Smash Gyms Family!

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! Two of the Bay Area’s Largest and Most Successful Martial Arts Teams are joining to create one Martial Arts & Fitness PowerHouse!  Cung Le’s  USH Martial Arts of San Jose is moving! Their Coaches, Team and Students will now be training inside Smash Gyms!

Smash Gyms has two Bay Area locations! One in San Jose on Quimby and Capital Expressway across from Eastridge Mall and a Sunnyvale location on Tasman & Lawrence. Please see our website for more details! www.smashgyms.com

We are very excited about the joining of Cung Le’s Martial Arts and Smash Gyms. Two world class teams coming together to give the very best to our members and fighters. We’re looking forward to doing big things together! Thanks for all your support!

Cung Le now at Smash Gyms

Smash Gyms offers Unique Fitness Alternatives such as BJJ, MMA, Bootcamp, Strength & Conditioning, Personal Training, Yoga, Judo, Kids Classes and More! Try a FREE WEEK!

MMA Instructor Beats Up Robber (VIDEO)

Smash Gyms MMA Instructor came home to find a burglar in his home. It did not end well for the bad guy!

www.smashgyms.com

Alternate video link: http://youtu.be/QlcNGA3uPjY

By Ken Pritchett and KTVU.com

If Brian Khun had not forgotten his martial arts uniform at home, his day would have been far different.

Thursday morning Khun was traveling between the two martial arts studios where he teaches kickboxing and MMA fighting when he decided to go home and pick up his uniform.

With his 5-year-old daughter right behind him, Brian entered his San Jose home to find a burglar in his dining room.

Brian says the man stood up and said, “Hey, this guy let me in.”

Worried for his daughter’s safety and seeing a pry bar in the man’s hand, Brian says he grabbed the burglar.

“I grabbed him to take him outside, he didn’t want to go, so then we started fighting.”

Brian says he delivered several punches, kneed him, put his head through a window, then dragged him outside in a headlock.

Neighbors, hearing a commotion, came outside and called 9-1-1.

“He was holding him down, waiting for police,” said neighbor Patricia McHarris, “it was pretty scary.”

McHarris has high praise for her neighbor calling his actions amazing.  San Jose Police arrested the man whose face was bloodied and swollen.

Khun says he wouldn’t recommend others try to confront a burglar if it can be avoided.

“Just sort of relieved that it ended the way that it did. That it didn’t end badly for me or my family,” said Khun.

source: http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/martial-arts-teacher-confronts-burglar-san-jose-ho/nfxsR/

NEWS LINK:  http://www.ktvu.com/videos/news/san-jose-martial-arts-teacher-confronts-burglar/vCbKnP/

Smash Gyms specializes in Beginner Friendly Fitness & Martial Arts Classes taught by expert instructors. Two Bay Area Locations near Sunnyvale and Santa Clara & East San Jose and Evergreen.