“Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling-based martial art whose central theme is the skill of controlling a resisting opponent in ways that force him to submit. Due to the fact that control is generally easier on the ground than in a standing position, much of the technique of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is centered round the skill of taking an opponent down to the ground and wrestling for dominant control positions from where the opponent can be rendered harmless. To control and overcome greater size, strength and aggression with lesser size and strength is the keynote of the sport. This is done by utilizing superior leverage, grip and position upon your opponent. Students of the sport gain a deep understanding of the workings and limits of the human body. This knowledge can be used to subdue and control an opponent with whatever level of severity the student chooses. The path to this knowledge is physically and mentally demanding. Students benefit from greatly increased physical fitness, problem-solving ability, self-knowledge of their body and mind and the many social benefits of working within a large group of like-minded fellow students as you learn and have fun together.

Many students first learn about Jiu-Jitsu through the great popularity of mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, where Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technique is very prominent. Indeed, the beginnings of the contemporary MMA competition were largely tied up with proving the combat-efficiency of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The practice of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a sport, however, is strongly separated from MMA. Daily classes do not feature kicking or punching. The focus is on safe grappling technique that can be done on a daily basis with no more fear of injury than any other contact sport.” -  John Danaher, BJJ Black Belt


Frequently Asked Questions about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at SMASH GYMS

How did Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu originate?
Who is the Smash Gyms Head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor? 
Is there sparring in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu an effective form of self-defense?
How does the Belt Ranking System work in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
What equipment do I need to begin training?
Why wear the Gi in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
Will Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu allow a weaker opponent to overcome a stronger, more aggressive opponent?
Is there any special preparation I can do to get in shape for training?
Why should I train Smash Gyms Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
Is competition required to advance at Smash Gyms?
Are there any rules or formalities I should be aware of? 
What other kinds of classes do you offer at Smash Gyms?

Q:  How did Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu originate?

A: A Japanese judoka, prizefighter, and former member of the Kodokan named Mitsuyo Maeda, also known as Count Koma, immigrated to Brazil in the 1910s where a local influential businessman named Gastão Gracie helped him get established. In return for his aid, Maeda taught Jiu-Jitsu to Gastão’s son Carlos, who then taught the art to his brothers. 

While the basic techniques and terminology are basically the same, many instructors have their own individual styles or points they tend to emphasize in the art.  With the spread of Jiu-Jitsu world wide, it is wise for the student to investigate the credentials of an instructor as well as a careful analysis of their teaching ability, as opposed to merely relying on a brand name.


Q:  Who is the Smash Gyms Head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor? 

A: Michael Jen is a 3rd degree Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu Black Belt. Michael has a wealth of experience from training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu for almost 20 years. One of the first 50 American Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Black Belts, Michael has also earned his brown belt in Judo and Japanese Jujitsu. He has created a system of teaching Brazilian Jiu-jitsu designed to help students of all levels students learn the art at an accelerated pace. This system of Jiu-jitsu is specifically designed work for all everyone and every body type. With a strong emphasis on the bio-mechanics and physics behind every technique, Michael has earned a reputation as a top-level instructor.


Q:  Is there sparring in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

A:  Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class sparring has no punches, kicks or strikes of any kind. Our beginner friendly classes ares managed with a focus on safety and fun. After you are taught techniques you are able to begin practicing application of these techniques at carefully increased resistance levels. You will be eased into sparring and will spend time working with the instructor and more senior students who help guide you before you begin to spar with students of your own level.  Once you feel comfortable and begin live sparring, the strongest emphasis is always on student safety. At some point sparring will be the most fun part of class for you. In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the acquisition of knowledge is equally important to the practical application of it, and we will teach you to execute techniques on live resisting opponents. 

Sparring generally begins from the ground because that is where the majority of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques. For those students seeking the extra challenge, sparring from standing and emphasizing competition classes are available.


Q:  Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu an effective form of self-defense?

A: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has been proven to be among the most effective arts you can learn.  Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was made popular in the early 90's by the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In this no holds-barred contest the effectiveness of the art on bigger stronger opponents took the martial arts world by storm. Thanks to the Ultimate Fighting Championship it is common knowledge that to have a deep understanding of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and it's techniques is essential part of being a well-rounded martial artist. 


Q:  How does the Belt Ranking System work in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

A:  For adult students, there are five belts:  white, blue, purple, brown and black.  The normal time of progression between belts averages about 2-4 years. At each belt level there are four stipes given to students to help them monitor their own progression. 

After black belt, there is a degree system to designate active time in the art.  7th degree becomes a red and black belt.  10th degree is reserved for the founders of the art.

There are additional belt colors for children under the age of 16.


Q:  What equipment do I need to begin training?

A:  For the “Gi” class, you will need a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi. We have loaner uniforms for you to try a free class and gi's available for new students. 

For the no gi classes, standard uniform is typically a pair of board shorts and either a t-shirt or rash guard.

Optional but recommended equipment would be a mouth guard and a protective cup.  It is also recommended that each student has their own supply of athletic tape.

Some students also opt to wear ear guards and wrestling shoes.


Q:  Why wear the Gi in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

A: The system of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu taught at Smash Gyms is designed to be effective in both gi and no-gi grappling. The core techniques taught at Smash Gyms are not gi dependent. Although most of our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes require a gi we have weekly no-gi classes available.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu begins in the gi because the use of the gi helps it slows the grappling game down somewhat and provides many more handles and opportunities for a skilled opponent to use against you. The gi increases the complexity of the game which often results in a deeper understanding because it forces people to rely less on their physical attributes or sweat and more on their technique. It is also believed that the gi simulates most of the self-defense situations a student is likely to encounter, because most people wear clothes.


Q:  Will Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu allow a weaker opponent to overcome a stronger, more aggressive opponent?

A:  Athletic physical attributes such as strength, speed and flexibility certainly play a part for the successful grappler, but none of these attributes can replace or overcome the power that comes from technique. Skill is usually somewhat comparable for physical attributes to be a factor. 


Q:  Is there any special preparation I can do to get in shape for training?

A:  You should always consult your physician before starting any rigorous exercise program.  The best way to get in shape for grappling is to start grappling. Our students are of all ages and fitness levels. Come in as you are and we'll steadily increase your fitness level along with your technical abilities. 


Q:  Why should I train Smash Gyms Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

A:  There are a lot of excellent choices to train in martial arts and even in Jiu-Jitsu in the Bay Area. Here are a few things that make us different...

- World class instruction from black belt instructors every class.

- Instructors are highly attentive to every student. Even in a large group, every class feels like a seminar or private lesson.

- Learn to excel in a competitive sport in a non-competitive atmosphere. Friendly training environment where every student helps their classmate get better.

- Safe training environment. Safety is #1.

- Training partners of every belt level. Every class, we have students of every rank from white to black. Every student gets an opportunity to roll with black belts.

- Everyone is treated fairly and equally.

- Non-traditional attitude. There is no bowing or calling anyone master or professor. Respect and common courtesy is something that should naturally be given to every fellow human being.

- Every class consists of 1 hour of solid, technical instruction before rolling. 

- A definitive system is taught that provides the student a direct path in progressing through their training. Whether white belt or black belt, this unique system provides every student the guidance and structure they need to progress. Students are never left in a situation where they don't know what they need to work on to improve or how to do it.


Q:  Is competition required to advance at Smash Gyms?

A:  No, competition is purely an individual choice even though we have students that have been successful in competition such as Seo Perales (2-time US Open CHampion) most students choose not to compete.  It is about reaching your own maximum potential.  If you decide to compete you will do so knowing that you have the full support of of your instructors and classmates. We will prepare you to be successful in competition. 


Q:  Are there any rules or formalities I should be aware of? 

A:  Please show respect and common courtesy to the instructors and your training partners.   

- Please do not talk be disruptive while the instructor is teaching.

- Switch cell phones off during class.

- Unless specifically given instruction to do so, do not resist your partner when he/she is attempting to practice a technique. We learn techniques through progressive resistance. 

-Due to the close physical contact of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, it is essential that all students please follow the guidelines in regards to hygiene and courtesy.

- Bring a clean gi to each class you are attending.  If you are unable to wash your gi between days you attend class, please consider purchasing an additional gi.

- Remember to wash and clean training aids, such as knee braces and ear protection, on a regular basis.

- If you are engaging in a physically strenuous activity or occupation, especially anything that involves the handling of chemicals or dirt, please shower before attending class.

- Make sure to have all finger and toe nails trimmed.

- No street shoes on the mat.  Wrestling shoes are permitted, however, those shoes should not be worn outside.

- A t-shirt or rash guard must be worn in no gi classes.

- If you get a scrape, abrasion, etc. during training, you should stop immediately, inform the instructor, and tend to the wound. 

- Bring a change of clothes if you plan on attending more than one class per evening


Q:  What other kinds of classes do you offer at Smash Gyms?

A: We will create a friendly and entertaining environment with top quality exercise alternatives and martial arts instruction at affordable pricing. Our members will receive the highest possible value for quality instruction in all of our programs. Our programs include Krav Maga, Zumba, KettleBell Training, Kids Martial arts and more.

Jiu-Jitsu Gi classes:

This is the traditional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class (with gi mandatory).  This class is open to all levels and follows the traditional sequence of warm ups, techniques, then sparring, with drilling intermittently used.   What is shown will vary from class to class depending on the level of the students, questions that have arisen, etc, but can vary from brushing up on fundamentals to learning the latest advanced techniques.

No Gi classes:

This is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class with the gi being optional.  This class is open to all levels and follows the traditional sequence of warm ups, techniques, then sparring, with drilling intermittently used.   What is shown will vary from class to class depending on the level of the students.

Kids Classes:

The kid’s class will be designed for ages 6-12. This class will last for 50 minutes and will first and foremost emphasize having fun and enjoying exercise. The students will learn discipline and values all in the context of learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling.

Private Lessons

We at Smash Gyms want to give students the opportunity to take a pro-active role in their training by taking one on one private lessons. At Smash Gyms private lessons are not needed to progress but we are here to serve. If you want to get the undivided attention of an instructor 



  Contact US
Email: contact@smashgyms.com

1239 Reamwood Drive | Sunnyvale, CA 94089
Border of Sunnyvale and Santa Clara | Cross Streets: Tasman & Lawrence

View Larger Map

"This review is for the Kids Martial Arts and Smash and Bash Bootcamp held at Smash Gyms. I was referred to Smash Gyms by a family member who trains in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class at Smash Gyms. The atmosphere in the gym is very welcoming to all. My son, who is 9 years old, took a liking to the Kids Martial Arts class on the very first day. His confidence, discipline, and knowledge of self defense has rapidly developed since enrolling in this school. He insists that he wants to continue to train daily. The instructors leading the Kids Martial Arts program do an excellent job working with the children. Parents can work out during the kids' class as well. I have taken the Smash and Bash Bootcamp while my son is training. This also is an awesome, challenging, and very convenient class for any parent wanting a great workout while their child is training. The instruction, workouts and gym have been a positive experience. I would recommend that anyone who is interested begin by enrolling in the free week trials offered at Smash Gyms." - Alex R

"Amazing, organized, and fun kids classes. Focuses on kids fitness and technique. Great kettlebell class. The instructor is very experieced and detailed. They also have kickboxing, Krav Maga, jujitsu, Zumba, and bootcamp classes. I can't wait till I can find time to do them all." - M. Kelly

"Generally, I hate walking into gyms for the first time and having to "consult" with pushy sales people trying to get you to buy a membership at their gym before you try it out (ie. Fitness 19, Club One, 24 Hour Fitness). So it was nice to walk into Smash Gyms and not have them try to sell you on multiple types of plans. I was able to try different types of classes first using the Amazon Locals deal. After taking the kickboxing class, I was pretty much sold! The boot camp classes are also pretty awesome. I've been a member now for about a month and managed to lose 15 pounds!! Perks = no more dieting and watching my calories! As for how this compares with other kickboxing gyms, I've only tried one other kickboxing gym (Unlimited MMA in Milpitas). It was okay but I like the atmosphere here better--not as intimidating and the people are nicer. Also, this gym is closer to the freeways, makes it easier to hop on back to the 237 or 101 after working out. If you have any kids, there's a play room area and they also have martial arts classes for kids." - Mary N.

"Smash Gyms offers an excellent Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program with excellent and knowledgeable instructors. Furthermore, the atmosphere is very welcoming, and we learn not only from the instructors but also from each other, as everyone here is willing to help each other out. Definitely the best place to go!
- Thaibinh

Came here for a week trial of unlimited classes! Got to try out kickboxing which was very intense since I had only tried out cardio kickboxing classes before. The instructors were all super helpful anywhere from helping newcomers with the equipment to technique tips. " - Stacey L

"This place rocks! The atmosphere is very friendly and casual, not intimidating at all. People (staff and clients) are friendly and helpful. Walk in the door and Rudy will help you out on what you need to get you started.I tried out the circuit training at noon, kickboxing, and zumba. Circuit training is great workout, small class and personal attention. Zumba is only as good as the instructor, and Raquel is energetic and fun. Kickboxing is pads and mitts, not the kick in the air stuff, good workout, and the instructors walk around to make sure people's forms are correct. Though your workout quality do depend on a decent partner.The only complain I have of this place is no shower, other than that, it's perfect. ." - Viola C.

Smash Gyms

Smash Gyms © 2018 Privacy Policy