The summer before his freshman year at UC San Diego, Michael Jen enrolled in a self-defense course being taught by Brazilian Jiu-jitsu practitioner Roy Harris. The year was 1991 and Roy Harris, who would become a well know instructor, was a blue belt at the time. After training for over a year in the self-defense course, Michael then began accompanying Roy to the famous Gracie Academy in Torrance, Ca. Michael was promoted to blue belt by Rorion Gracie in 1992. Later, along with his training with Roy Harris, Michael also began taking lessons from Nelson Monteiro, and the Machado brothers.

Michael first met Joe Moreira (8th degree black belt) around 1993. Michael recalls the experience, "I still remember my first class at Joe's. He taught a sequence of 20+ submissions from the modified scarf hold. I was grinning from ear to ear because, at that time, I had never seen so many techniques from a single position. When it came to the entire art of BJJ, Joe opened my eyes to things I never knew even existed. He was the most giving Brazilian instructor I had ever met." Michael would later earn his purple and brown belts from Joe.

When Michael was brown belt, Joe Moreira introduced Michael to 4th degree black belt Marco Nascimento. After college, Michael had moved from southern California to northern California. Joe felt that Marco, being in northern California, could help Michael a great deal in his training . Michael trained with both Marco and Joe for the next several years and eventually received his black belt from Joe Moreira in 2001.

Michael, now a 3rd degree blackbelt, has a wealth of experience from training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu for almost 20 years. He has designed a system for teaching Brazilian Jiu-jitsu designed to help students of all levels students learn the art at an accelerated pace. This unique system of Jiu-jitsu is specifically designed to 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. His students have competed and won at some of the largest and most prestigious grappling tournaments in the country. 

Before becoming one of the first American Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Black Belts, Michael also earned brown belts in Judo and Japanese Jujitsu. Michael began studying Brazilian Jiu-jitsu as a self-defense art. With the recent popularity of Sport BJJ tournaments, Michael is careful to teach his students a core system of techniques that he has identified as applicable to both Sport BJJ and self-defense scenarios. 

Website: www.jenbjj.com

"Created one of the most successful and acclaimed Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructional series of all time."Michael Jen's DVD Series

Instructional DVD's:  www.jiujitsuonline.com 


Brian Kuhnkickboxing INSTRUCTOR
Brian Kuhn

Brian "The Beast" 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 Specialist. 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. 

2011 US Open Champion
2012 All Star Champion
2012 American Cup Champion
2012 US Open Champion
2013 US Open Champion


Sam Spenglerkickboxing and WRESTLING INSTRUCTOR
Sam "The Ram" SPengler

Sam Spengler is a physical education teacher, wrestling coach and professional fighter. Sam has been wrestling since he was 5 years old. As a senior in high school he earned a bronze medal in the Montana State Wrestling Championships and also received a scholarship to play college football where he earned a degree in Education. A veteran of Strikeforce, Sam has been competing in kickboxing and MMA since 2003. Sam is a dedicated and talented wrestling instructor who has produced many champions while teaching and coaching wrestling at Quimby Oak Junior High School in San Jose over the past 10 years. Virtually every year his wrestling team consists of state and county champions. 

After trying a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu class at Smash Gyms Sam began attending classes regularly. "I was super impressed by the detailed instruction and high level of skill from instructors and students at Smash Gyms. In my opinion for Jiu-jitsu, they are the best around. When I attend a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu class at Smash I can often immediately implement their techniques in my MMA training. My ground game improved extremely quickly since I started training there. I've found that the Smash Gyms system of BJJ is uniquely applicable to MMA." 

Sam has competed in hundreds of wrestling matches, 22 kickboxing matches, dozens of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu tournaments and 6 professional MMA fights. Sam is also the head of his Physical Education Department in San Jose. This competitive experience in kickboxing, wrestling, brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts coupled with his teaching background lends him the unique ability to transfer his knowledge to eager students in a structured and systematic way. Sam's organized and fun kickboxing classes have helped students learn technique and improve their fitness level extremely fast due to a format and curriculum designed to create an optimal learning environment. Sam is happy and excited to pass on his experience and unique skill set to the students at Smash Gyms. 

2011 Jiu-Jitsu by the Sea Champion
2011 Jiu-Jitsu by the Bay Champion
2011 San Jose Open Champion
2011 San Jose Open Absolute Division Champion
2012 American Cup Champion

2013 US Open Champion

Eli SanchezMMA and SELF DEFENSE Instructor
Mike Herrera

Mike has been studying martial arts and self-defense for over 11 years and has acquired a diverse background in a wide variety of disciplines. He began studying martial arts for general fitness and to gain discipline, but quickly became passionate about his training.

Starting with Kung Fu he was focused on the self-defense and street fighting aspects of fighting. Mike then began studying combat sports to expand his knowledge. He has studied Muay Thai, MMA, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Boxing.

Mike grew into a ferocious competitor and has fought in sanctioned MMA fights and BJJ tournaments in both California and Nevada. Mike earned a silver medal at one of the largest Jiu-Jitsu competitions in the US, the 2012 US Open. Mike is a dedicated student and instructor and is happy to pass on his knowledge to the students at Smash.

-2012 US Open Championships Heavyweight Second Place


Denis KanyginStrength and Conditioning Coach
James Cebedo

James Cebedo is a testament to how proper training can be life-changing.

He was very overweight and out of shape in high school and decided to make a change for good. In one year he transformed his body. He lost over 40lbs and gained an impressive amount of lean muscle mass.

Training and studying the different philosophies of fitness training has become his life mission. His years of experience in bodybuilding, power lifting, circuit training, rock climbing, Crossfit competitons and personal training have provided him with a wealth of experience.

James is joining the staff of Smash Gyms instructors to help people of all fitness levels achieve their fitness goals.   

James competed in the 2008, 2010 and 2011 Annual Crossfit Games. His impressive resume includes a 455lb deadlift, 365 lb full squat, 120lb weighted pull up at bodyweight less than 160lbs.

James has also hiked Mount Dana, the 2nd highest peak in Yosemite at 13000 feet!

-Bachelors Science degree In Health Science 

-Minor degree in Nutrition

-Nesta Personal Training

-ISSA Personal Training 



Denis KanyginStrength and Conditioning Coach
Cainan Munsell

Cainan had been winning Track and Field and USA Wrestling events since he was seven years old. He set numerous school records in his track and field career before focusing on wrestling where he was a 4-time state qualifier and multi-time state placer along with becoming a freestyle all-american. He wrestled at Michigan State University before deciding to pursue his Electrical Engineering degree full-time.

Cainan discovered Crossfit in 2009 at a time when he was rediscovering his personal health and passion for competitive sports. He became refocused on his strength and conditioning and his entire lifestyle through a new found energy. Since 2009 time, Cainan has drastically improved his strength and conditioning resume. Some of his personal bests are a 425lb back squat, 455lb deadlift, 315lb full clean, 285lb Clean and Jerk, 215lb snatch and 2:51 Fran time at 170lbs.

He has also continued to compete in the Olympic Freestyle Wrestling competitions in major tournaments such as the Sunkist International and US Open. Most recently he is using his strong wrestling background to transition into the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Smash Gyms.

-American Cup Middle Weight Champion

Jacob Palomino Wrestling INSTRUCTOR
Filip Novachkov

Highly decorated Division 1 Wrestler Filip Novachkov has been added to the Smash Gyms coaching staff. Novachkov is originally from Bulgaria where he wrestled until he moved to Sunnyvale.

While he was in High School his family won a lottery to bring them to the United States. He became one of Fremont High School’s most technical and decorated wrestlers of all time. He then had a very successful college career at Cal Poly University, defeating 10 of the top 20 wrestlers in the nation in Division 1 rankings. Filip began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Smash in January. Filip has been interested in adding Jiu-Jitsu techniques to his grappling knowledge for quite some time. After completing his Senior year at Cal Poly he is now living and working in Mountain View. He began looking for a Jiu-Jitsu gym and heard that Smash was the best place for CCS wrestlers to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the Bay Area.

He was immediately impressed by the technical knowledge of the instructors and the detailed instruction at Smash Gyms. “I really like all the details they show while teaching technique,” Filip said. “They are very very good at what they do. I knew right away this was the right place for me. It was nice to see so many people from the local CCS wrestling community training in one place. “

Filip is eager to continue to learn Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and to pass on his amazing wrestling knowledge to the students at Smash. Filip’s impressive wrestling resume includes…

-D1 College Wrestler

-Pac-10 Finalist

-Bronze Medal at High School Nationals

-California Wrestling State Champion

-3X California State Placer

-3X CCS Champion


wrestlingsanjoseWrestling INSTRUCTOR

Clymer was a three-time Pennsylvania place winner including a state championship his junior year.  While at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia he established himself as an NCAA Division I contender by being ranked as high as 19th in the country.  He was a Division I national qualifier his junior year winning a match at the national tournament but losing a last second match going into the quarterfinals. 

This past year he was undefeated in dual meets, MAC conference champion and “Most Valuable Wrestler” later becoming Liberty University’s first NCWA National Champion at the 141 lbs. class.  Scott graduated with a Sports Management degree and resides in Lynchburg.

-NCWA National Champion

-D1 College Wrestler

-Pennsylvania Wrestling State Champion

-3X Pennsylvania State Placer

-MAC Conference Champion (Most Valuable Wrestler)

Jacob Palomino Wrestling INSTRUCTOR
Jacob Palomino

Jacob with his coaches Rick Palomino Sr., Anthony Palomino, and Jason Palomino

California has a long and proud wrestling tradition. California's High School State Championship tournament is widely accepted as the toughest State tournament in the country. There is only one champion crowned for the entire state at each weight class. Jacob Palomino was the first freshman ever to win a California High School State Wrestling title. The prodigal son of the family of wrestlers that has earned more state championships than any other family in the history of the state, Jacob was a wrestling phenom that made history. Since Jacob, there have been only three other freshman champions to become a four-time state finalist. 

Today, he credits the support of his family and team mates for that success. "I was working out in a wrestling room with older champion high school wrestlers when I was only in the 6th grade. In a room that tough no one was a star because they were all amazing wrestlers. These guys were some of the best wrestlers in the state. I saw the struggle, hardwork and technique that made them what they were." Through the guidance of his coach Anthony Palomino, his entire family, and older teammates he assembled a virtually unstoppable arsenal of technique that helped him secure his place in wrestling history. 

Jacob is excited to pass along his knowledge to those eager to learn. Smash Gyms students are privileged to have such a humble champion as our Head Wrestling Coach. Jacob teaches every Monday night at 7pm. 

-2011 US Open Champion

-3x California State Champion

Eli SanchezWrestling & Kids Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Instructor
Eli Sanchez

Eli joined Smash Gyms in Sunnyvale, CA during the summer of 2011. Eli has been wrestling and competing since he was six years old. Eli has over sixteen years of wrestling experience including competing throughout his college career at the highest, Division I level. He has used his wrestling background to quickly transition into a successful Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor.

Within only a few weeks of joining Smash, Eli competed in the Jiu-jitsu by the Sea competition and won every match in his division by submission. Eli competed in the Jiu-jitsu by the Bay competition and placed 2nd in his weight class. Two weeks later, he competed in the San Jose Open and placed 1st in his weight class and also took 1st in the Absolute (open weight class) division. Eli then went on to compete in the US Open Championships, with three victories via submission chokes, losing his only match by points in the semi finals, securing third place in a 26 man bracket.

Eli is eager to pass along all of his knowledge to all who are willing to learn. 


2011 Jiu-Jitsu by the Sea Champion
2011 Jiu-Jitsu by the Bay Finalist
2011 San Jose Open Medium Heavyweight Champion
2011 San Jose Open Absolute Division Champion
2011 US Open Championships Medium Heavyweight Third place
2012 American Cup Medium Weight Finalist
2013 American Cup Ultra Heavyweight Third place


Asher is a certified athletic trainer and kettlebell instructor. He graduated with his Master’s Degree in Athletic Training from San Jose State University after moving from Ohio in 2009.

While working as the assistant athletic trainer for the university’s football team he was exposed to kettlebells for the first time. Impressed by the challenging workouts kettlebells provided him, he quickly decided he wanted to be part of the cause.

As a SFG I Kettlebell Instructor, Asher strives to work his clients hard and efficiently while implementing healthy lifestyle habits. Asher stays in shape by enjoying the outdoors through trail running and hiking. He continues to weight train and practice jujitsu. 





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"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.

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