BLOG

Brendan Bane

The following passage is the first installment of our Coach's Corner series, where Kaijin coaches impart their wisdom to help guide your training and development. In this month's corner, lead striking instructor Sam Radetsky discusses the most important quality martial artists should pursue. 

 

Persistence Pays, 

by Sam Radetsky

 

I’m often asked, what is the best attribute for a beginner or even an experienced fighter to possess? Is it speed? Power? Flexibility? Along the same lines, people often ask me, what is the best background for a beginner to have? Wrestling, for takedowns and top pressure? Tae kwon do, for great kicks? Powerlifting, for sheer strength?

I always answer the same for both questions. Persistence. Persistence is that attribute. Persistence is that background. Persistence is the to key to continual progress in martial arts. Something like kickboxing or bjj isn’t...(continued)

Brendan Bane

Attention Kaijin members! We have two important events that are fast approaching. First up is the BJJ Pro on August 29th. This competition is different from U.S. Open and Allstars, as it’s run by the IBJJF directly. Registration is $115 for white belts and $130 for all others. Cash prizes are available for open division winners of all levels except white belt. Black belts who place first in their division will win $4000! This is at the Kaiser Arena, so even if you aren’t competing, please stop by to support your fellow students. Registration closes on the 20th. Find details at ibjjf.org/championship/santa-cruz-bjj-pro-ibjjf-championship/.

That sweet jiu jitsu glory continues onto the next day, as Kaijin hosts a seminar by Paul Schreiner. Once an instructor in Kaijin's early years, Schreiner relocated to New York and became an instructor at Marcelo Garcia’s academy in 2009. He’s a seasoned competitor and instructor, as...(continued)

Brendan Bane

No plans this weekend? Good. Because the Kaiser Arena is hosting a local BJJ competition: All Stars! We have 11 Kaijin members registered, from kids to teens and adults. Start your perfect Saturday by heading downtown early for breakfast, then stroll over to the arena to cheer on your fellow grapplers and catch a movie after. If you’re on the fence about competing, registration closes at midnight tonight, so get on it!

Brendan Bane

Kaijin kids are crazy! Check out the attached video to see them taking arms, backs and medals at our most recent scrimmage.

Brendan Bane

Our April scrimmage was an absolute blast. We had a solid turnout and plenty of competitors from nearby gyms. Check out the attached video to see highlights from the adult portion of the day. Check back soon for kids highlights!

Brendan Bane

One competition down, one to go! If you didn’t attend American Cup, then worry not. We have you covered. Check out the attached video to see highlights from some of our weekend competitors: Colton, Brandon and Luke. Congrats to everyone who competed! 


If you haven’t registered for our in-house scrimmage, then get on it. You have one more day before registration closes! Prices are still the same. Sign up here: http://www.strongvon.com/kaijinscrimmage/m_tournament_main.jsp?page=m_home.jsp


Do you want to put some muscle behind your cross-face? Then consider a new deal sponsored by Kaijin and cross fit gym Studio 831. We’re offering two strength and conditioning programs, coached by Sam and Garth, that cater specifically to grapplers and strikers. Whereas the usual membership to Studio 831 is $125/month, we’ve arranged a special deal for Kaijin members: $77/month for the first ten students to sign up and $87/month...(continued)

Brendan Bane

It feels as if we only just finished congratulating our fighters for their performances at the last two BJJ competitions. But with a new month comes new opportunities, and we eagerly look forward to another two events: American Cup in San Jose and our very own in-house scrimmage on April 26th.

Register at the link below to attend the scrimmage, as we’re doing online registration only this year. Kids weigh in at 8am and begin competing at 9am– their admission is $30. Juvenile and adult admission costs $40. Adults weigh in at 11am and start competing at noon. We’re employing IBJJF rules and divisions. Food will be available just outside the gym, so please bring your cameras and enjoy an informal day of jiu jitsu goodness at Kaijin!

Once you’re done registering, send some good juju to the seven Kaijin competitors heading to American Cup. They’re competing April 11-12th, with higher degree belts fighting the first...(continued)

Brendan Bane

Hey BJJ newbs! Have you just started class? Are you wondering how to keep that snazzy gi closed and proper? Wonder no more. Watch the video below to see Luke tie knots like a champ.

Brendan Bane

Last week marked the 20th Pan-American Championship: the largest jiu jitsu competition in North America. Hundreds of athletes coalesced in Irvine, California, to test their skills against grapplers from across the world. Our very own Luke Pollard was Kaijin’s sole representative. Out of 17 competitors, he progressed through the ranks of his division to defeat all but one opponent. When the time came for fighters to find their places on the podium, Luke claimed the silver medal. We all want to wish Luke a warm congratulations on his stellar performance. G'job!

Brendan Bane

Our Kaijin family enjoyed a good bit of news these past few days! First off, seven of our students recently competed in Alameda’s 16th annual Jiu Jitsu by the Bay competition. We saw plenty of Kaijin patches on the podium; Denise Henry and I won gold, Matthew Lombard and Isabella Edge achieved silver, and Ryan Turner and Sam Radetsky took bronze. Dion served as coach to all, darting between matches to remind us to posture and keep our heads up (Thanks Dion!). Whether you’re a first-time competitor looking to get your bearings or a seasoned veteran searching for a small-scale competition, please consider joining us there next year. Check out the pictures below to see Kaijin in action.

Second bit of news: A very deserving Matthew Lombard graduated from white to blue last night. Matt is a familiar face in the gym, always a friendly sparring partner and has even studied in Brazil! Congratulations and keep up the great work, Matt.

...(continued)

Brendan Bane

Good news: We had a huge turnout for our first night at Pleasure Point! Over 30 people, many new faces and some familiar, stepped onto the mats with Garth. He kept it simple; beginning with a warmup and one hip escape. Then everyone practiced pulling a double arm bar, executing a simple sweep from guard and finally, some sparring. Next class is tomorrow at 7pm. Come join the fun!

Brendan Bane

We’ve got two big events for Kaijin this week. First up, we're debuting our first Pleasure Point class tonight at CrossFit Amundson (3603 Portola Drive). If you’ve ever wanted to get choked out, then walk a few steps to squat yourself into oblivion, then now is your time. Drop in tonight to support Garth when he begins teaching the adult BJJ class at 7pm. Check back here for an inaugural post.

Second bit of news: competitions are coming! Jiu Jitsu by the Bay takes place this Saturday at Alameda high school (2201 Encinal Ave). Come support your Kaijin teammates: Denise Henry, Sam Radetsky, Jason Hawk, Nik Williams, Richard McGrail, Isa Edge, and yours truly. And if you’re hungry for more, don’t forget that Kaijin is hosting our own competition in late April. Be there!

Let’s wish our competitors all the best luck as they begin polishing up their maneuvers and channeling their inner Ronda Rousey. Go Kaijin!

Brendan Bane

Want to improve your game in a split second? Try this useful tip: relax and have a good time. If you approach your next session with a tense mind and perpetually tight grips, you’re sure to tucker out quickly. If you come to your partner with a relaxed and positive mind, however, you’ll both enjoy a rewarding session without disruption from egos. Besides, if you can smile while getting choked out and crushed (like the grapplers pictured below), then you can probably smile through anything.

Brendan Bane

Our instructors don’t just hang out on the sidelines. When it comes time to spar after every jiu jitsu session, they jump right in the mix and get to work. They’re escaping guards, breaking postures and bending limbs with the rest of us. On rare occasion, they may even break dance on your neck...

Brendan Bane

Kids classes begin at 3:30 tomorrow! Parents: bring us your shy, stumbling tots. We'll return them as nimble, gentle warriors.

Brendan Bane

Kaijin's body of boxing students is growing! Our lead boxing instructor Aaron Oreb is eager to welcome new students into our family and offers a bit of advice: Mind your jab, do your homework and persevere.

Brendan Bane

“Real power comes from the floor,” coach Garth Taylor explained to the noon jiu jitsu class as he pulled a tight and powerful cross face. “You’ve got to make your connection to the floor through your knees and toes. That’s where power comes from.” To pull a powerful cross face as Garth explained, start by gripping your partner’s armpit (pictured below), then pull your elbow into your ribs and drive your knees and toes into the floor. That connection will supply wonderful pushing pressure which, when combined with the pulling force from your arm, will bring you that much closer to disconnecting your partner's head from their shoulders. Try it out!

Brendan Bane

The boxing class is bumpin'! We had around 30 feet on the mat last night, so there was just enough room to divide the floor up for jab drills, where students spar at medium intensity. Jab drills allow fighters to practice maneuvering about their opponent without the threat of a hard blow. Our boxing students aren’t taking it easy, though. If anyone dropped their arms or raised their chin during last night’s sparring sessions, they received a hard reminder to maintain their defense. Interested in improving your standing game? Swing by boxing class for the next round of jab drills!

Brendan Bane

Coaches Luke and Kevin taught today’s jiu jitsu students about the only seat belt that isn’t safe, the seat belt grip! Check out the attached collage to see Luke, with hooks in, transitioning from a seat belt to a rear naked choke. You can do the same if you keep that choking arm to the floor, slide the other up to grab your own bicep and complete the choke.

Brendan Bane

Do you always end up in the same submission? Having trouble maneuvering out of certain positions? Can’t escape from Dion’s chicken wing hold? Here’s a tip for newer members: Write down your issues at the end of each sparring session, then bring that list to Luke during open mat on Sundays. He’s an experienced competitor– he’ll not only help you escape from those sticky situations, he’ll also teach you how to avoid ending up there in the first place. A handful of colorful belts are almost always around during open mat, so there’s never a shortage of help available. Just ask!

Brendan Bane

Check out the kids from Jiu Jitsu class this week, passing guards and perfecting their martial arts stance like little warriors. Go kids!

 

Brendan Bane

Butterfly guard allows for big sweeps. It’s simple: Plant the top of each of your feet against the inside of your opponent’s thighs, pull one of their arms in, reach beneath the other for the underhook, roll to the side while extending your leg and bam– big sweep. But in order to execute the sweep properly, you can’t think big. You have to think small. Think pebble.

“No one trips over a boulder,” coach Garth said during yesterday’s noon jiujitsu class, “they trip over a pebble.” When sweeping from butterfly guard, make yourself small by contracting your limbs and tightening. Stay large and your opponent won’t fly over anything. Think small instead. Think pebble!

Brendan Bane

UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre once threw a punch with over 2800 pounds of force. That’s 1000 pounds greater than the bite force of an adult female hippo! But even the newest fighter in the gym is made of the same stuff as St-Pierre; everyone’s hands are made of the same 27 fragile bones.


That’s why punching with proper technique is so important, says coach Sam Radetsky. “Focus the punch on the first two knuckles to form a line straight down the humerus,” Sam explained while demonstrating a straight punch during yesterday’s 10:30AM kickboxing class. “My training focuses the first two knuckles as they align best with the wrist, forearm, arm, and the rest of the body.” By streamlining the punch, he explained, fighters have a better chance of avoiding boxers break: a fracture of the fifth metacarpal (the long bone that connects the pinky knuckle to the wrist).


Check out the attached photos to see...(continued)

Brendan Bane

If you answered a phone at any point during the '80s, then you're halfway to becoming an elbow-crushing master. One of the keys to the elbow crusher, a maneuver where you pull your opponent's elbow into your stomach and against its natural bend, is to clinch their wrist between your ear and shoulder. With their wrist in your ear, you can secure the limb and guarantee the submission. When you think about it, it's just like cradling a (dated) phone! If you're curious which other average tasks double as bone-breaking jiujitsu maneuvers, then come check us out!

Brendan Bane

When push comes to shove, it helps to know how to fall. That's why kids in tonight's jiujitsu class practiced falling efficiently, so they could dissipate the energy of a post-shove impact.

Then we moved on to a more technical maneuver: The Kimura. If your partner leaves their hands unattended, then the Kimura (from guard) is your new best friend. It's simple: Snatch the unattended wrist, hip escape, reach over the shoulder, grab your own wrist, fall back, and apply pressure. Be careful with this one, the pain comes on quickly!

Brendan Bane

Check out our new cardio kickboxing class in action! Coach Amanda Camerino brings years of fitness knowledge to the table as she joins the Kaijin family. Visit her 9am classes on Monday, Wednesday or Friday.

 

Brendan Bane

Ankles are like doors. A door rotates on a limited axis relative to its wall. Push it past that axis and the hinge breaks. The mechanics are the same in ankles; flex your foot past its axis and you’ll inflict damage. Cue the ankle lock: a submission in which the ankle is forced into plantar flexion (toes pointing away from your head) and the Achilles tendon is compressed beyond capacity. Submissions like these are useful in MMA combat and street fights because they can be applied in any scenario. Where can you learn such submissions, you ask? Just visit coach Clem (pictured inflicting the ankle lock below) at his 7pm no gi course tomorrow.

 

Brendan Bane

Normal classes resume tomorrow! Bring your little monsters in the afternoon so they can practice fundamental submissions like the cross collar choke pictured below. Don’t forget; drive those grips deep in the collar for the most effective choke!

Brendan Bane

If you're beyond busy and don't have time to hit the mat midday or evenings, then join our 6am grapplers and roll before the sun rises. Check out the attached video to see our early risers practicing armbars and hear Garth discussing the technical aspect of Jiu-Jitsu.

 

Brendan Bane

Check out some of the action shots from our scrimmage last week! Gym members: look for yourself if you either won a match or looked particularly cool whilst being smashed into floor.

 

Brendan Bane

Some boxing coaches take the hands off approach, where orders are barked from the ringside. Coach Aaron Oreb couldn't be more hands on; he's perpetually beside his students, guiding their every hook and jab. Check out the attached video to see Aaron's unique approach to boxing education.

 

Brendan Bane

“White is novice, blue is beginner, purple is intermediate, brown is advanced and black is expert,” explained head Jiu-Jitsu coach Garth Taylor at Wednesday’s belt promotion ceremony. “It’s a pretty simple grading system. But what I think you’ll find is that when you’re an expert, you’re really just a beginner. You’ve mastered the fundamentals of your martial art, and now you can start your own journey.” With that note, the Kaijin family welcomed two new black belts (a first for our gym) into their respective journeys, along with a number of other belt and patch promotions in Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, judo and boxing.


The mat was packed as students and friends congratulated each honoree on their accomplishments. Applause filled the room as instructors shared sentiments about students who had made special contributions to the group. When all was said and done, people chatted, others...(continued)

Brendan Bane

What did Clem's students learn in class on Thursday? They practiced everything from passing guard with a knee to securing the win with an armbar or footlock. Check out the attached video to see Clement Shields and Joe Hagins taking students through the movements, then stay tuned to see Clem nab Joe with a rear naked choke!

Brendan Bane

Judo student Simone Vincenzi leaves behind his white belt to now proudly sport green. Congratulations, Simone!

Brendan Bane

Need to wrap your hands for your next fight or round of sparring? Coach Sam has you covered. Check out this quick tutorial on Sam's favorite wrap.

Brendan Bane

Fights happen in two places: either on your feet or on the ground. Visit the gym any Saturday and practice two martial arts that can both keep you on your feet and put your opponent on their back. Kickboxing and judo students take the floor at 10:30am, with coach Sam Radetsky advising students on their jabs, crosses and knee kicks while coaches Sean and Heidi Lang show their students how to most effectively throw each other to the ground. Check out the attached images to see gym members from last Saturday’s classes doing their thing.

Brendan Bane

Learning Jiu-Jitsu entails learning submissions, practicing discipline, and sometimes…playing dodgeball. Every Friday, children’s classes end when their instructors bring out piles of red rubber balls so the kids can have it. Coach Jeremy Allen, who leads many of our children’s classes, cites dodgeball as a way for students to become comfortable with combat in a fun and safe environment. Check out the attached video to see a dodgeball war between students and instructors. Spoiler alert: the kids win.

Photo

Brendan Bane

We're happy to announce our newest blue belt: Tyler Crain. Tyler worked hard to earn this distinction. So be sure to congratulate him just as soon as you can; he's moving out of Santa Cruz in a couple of weeks. Good job, Tyler!

 

Brendan Bane

Stop by Kaijin any Monday, Wednesday or Friday afternoon and you’ll hear the pitter patter of quick moving feet. Jiu-Jitsu students are running drills. One by one they leap over hurdles, nimbly roll to their feet and jump to tackle a fellow student to the ground. But these grapplers don’t have far to fall; most of them are about four feet tall.

 

In addition to training adults in the ways of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kaijin instructors also offer youth classes that fall into three age brackets: 3.5-5, 6-8 and 9-12 years old.


Parents report improved confidence and social skills after only a few months of training. “My son was very shy,” explained a father from yesterday’s 4:30pm class. “He has become way more outgoing. I think the hands on part of [Jiu-Jitsu] has really helped him overcome his shyness.”


Head Jiu-Jitsu instructor Garth Taylor credits a structured learning space for the...(continued)

Brendan Bane

Why should you check out Sam Radetsky's kickboxing class? Beyond becoming a balanced, dexterous person who can kick like a mule, kickboxing students reap numerous health benefits and enjoy learning their craft in the company of Kaijin's tight-knit community.

Check out the video above to see Sam's students practicing combinations and using their fists, shins, knees, and elbows to generate some serious power. Join them on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings.

dion edge

Get your Kaijin / Buell wet suit. Be a Ninja! Let's say you wake up and can't decide between surfing or grappling, this solves all your problems. 

Kaijin wetsuit order form

dion edge

Paul Schriener Seminar!
Kaijin co-founder and Marcelo Garcia's right hand man, Paul Schriener, will be hosting a seminar this Friday, December 27th at 6:00 pm. The seminar will focus on advanced guard play. The price is only $30 for Kaijin members and $40 for non Kaijin members.
Please note the BJJ 101 and boxing classes are cancelled for Friday evening.

dion edge

Tu wins  by guillotine choke in the second round. Great show of boxing, wrestling, and submissions.

Img 2503

dion edge

Congratulate all our kids on their new belts and stripes! We had all four classes present: the little ones (3.5 to 5), big kids (6 to 8), the really big kids (9 to 12), and our new teen class (13 to 17).  

Garth Taylor

Garth Taylor is co-owner and head Jiu-Jitsu instructor at Kaijin MIxed Martial Arts & Jiu Jistu in Santa Cruz, California. 

Garth began his martial arts career as a wrestler at Santa Cruz High School and, subsequently, at West Valley College. He went on to coach wrestling at Santa Cruz High School. Garth was introduced to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at a seminar held by Jiu-Jitsu master Rickson Gracie and began his formal Jiu-Jitsu training with Master Claudio Franca. After only six years of training, Master Franca awarded Garth his black belt in 2000.

There is no other school for training Jiu Jitsu in Santa Cruz that we recommend more. 

Voted the Santa Cruz County Martial Arts Instructor of the Year in 2010 and 2011 (Good Times weekly magazine), Garth has been teaching and competing in Jiu-Jitsu for 18 years. One of the most decorated Americans in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he has won or medaled in many national...(continued)

Gt w kids

Garth Taylor

Our gym will be closed on Thursday July 4th 2013. Have a safe holiday. Classes will resume on Fri July 5th.

Garth Taylor

We are having our Spring Kids Belt Promotion on Friday June 7th. 4:30pm-6pm. $20.00. Ice Cream Party to follow, at Kaijinmma. Please register now. Call us at 831-427-2560.

Garth Taylor

We will be closed on Monday May 27th 2013 for Memorial Day.

Garth Taylor

Kaijin Co-founder Paul Schreiner “the Jiu-Jitsu Encyclopedia” is bringing the secrets of the Marcelo Garcia Academy to Kaijin.

The Seminar will be held Sunday May 19th from 12-3pm, at Kaijin 2100-E Delaware Ave. Santa Cruz.

The seminar is only $60.00 non-Kaijin members/$40.00 for current Kaijin members