Coach Dion Dangzalan

Dion Dangzalan (“Mr. D”) – is the founder of the Kaijin-Ryu Karate system.

He has been studying karate since the age of 6, under the tutelage of Sensei Terry Dunphy and his brother, Todd Dunphy. He attained his black belt at the age of 14 in the Zen Bei Butoku Kai International Organization, which follows the Shorinji Ryu style of traditional karate. He also studied Shotokan karate under his father, Simon, and trained with the members of the original Santa Cruz Karate Club. Other styles of karate Mr. D has trained in includes Machida Karate, Enshin Karate and Kyokushin. He is also trained in Judo, American Jiujitsu, American Boxing, Muay Thai, Pankration and MMA.

Mr. D competed in both kata (traditional forms) and kumite (full contact and point fighting) in his younger years, but now has a passion for “applicable” or “practical” karate, which is applying kata movements to real life self defense and sport scenarios. He is skilled in a variety of traditional weapons, such as bo, jo, nunchaku, tonfa and sai. His last competitive fight was in February 2023 at the Surf City Open. While Mr. D loves to compete, he prefers to set that aside and focus on teaching and coaching young, up-and-coming Budoka.

Besides running the karate program at Kaijin MMA, he is a karate instructor and student at Sanford’s Martial Arts under Hanshi Rod Sanford and his son, Sensei Sean Sanford.

Professor Derek Hansen

Derek is a lifelong student of the martial arts and began studying in the rigid protocol of Shotokan, or Okinawan Karate, at age 8 eventually moving on American Kickboxing until finally finding Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. After growing up around frequent street fights and from his experience working as a bouncer in his 20’s Derek saw how often altercations ended up on the ground and realized that being in a fight of any kind without sufficient knowledge of the grappling arts would be akin to jumping into the ocean without knowing how to swim. At that point Derek dedicated himself to the art of Jiu Jitsu, being trained by the well known 6th degree black belt, Professor Gustavo Froes, and was awarded his black belt from the early UFC veteran and global Brazilian Jiu Jitsu icon, Joe Moreira, in 2017. It’s Professor Derek’s belief that your Jiu Jitsu should be effective in the worst of situations; a street altercation. Derek’s teaching style is a return to the roots of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a system and style that is based in concepts of self defense and positional dominance. Derek is a dedicated father of two young boys and a passionate teacher, always willing to break down the finer details for his students. 

Professor Joe Hagins

Joe began his Jiu Jitsu training at Rigan Machado’s school in Redondo Beach before moving to Santa Cruz in 2007. Since moving to Santa Cruz he has trained with Claudio Franca, Garth Taylor, Paul Schreiner, Clement Shields, and many others.

Favoring a teaching style that focuses on fundamental principles and technique of grappling he enjoys the ever evolving art of BJJ and loves to share his knowledge with his students.

George Pascual

George has been with Kaijin MMA for 10 years. He has been an integral member in helping develop Kaijin’s Boxing program.

” I believe that fundamentals are the key to understanding the ‘Sweet Science’. George can be found at the gym helping students refine their skills.”

Professor Gustavo Froes

Introducing Gustavo Froes, 5th-degree black belt under world-renowned Coral Belt Joe Moreira. Gustavo began his jiu-jitsu journey nearly 35 years ago, has an extensive competitive background, and is a 3-time winner of the famous Black Belt Challenge.

Gustavo’s passion for people and the “gentle art” show up in his teaching, which is a blend of highly technical and yet extremely practical technique. His knowledge of Jiu Jitsu and its history and evolution is prodigious, and his teaching style has been described as fun, relaxed, and dynamic.

Gustavo, originally from Rio de Janeiro, spent many years in Los Angeles helping to develop and corner some of the early UFC greats, then eventually made his way up to Santa Cruz as on of the first black belts in the area. Gustavo lives for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and truly loves teaching children because of the difference he’s seen it make in their lives.

The time has come for Gustavo to settle down in what will be a perfect home for his passion and wealth of knowledge. Gustavo and Clement have decided to combine forces to continue to build the Kaijin empire. Gustavo brings with him three successful black belts and the rest of his loyal team to join the Kaijin family.

Chris, back belt in jiu-jitsu at kaijin mma

Professor Christopher Bradford

Christopher Bradford is a lifelong martial artist, with extensive experience competing and advanced rank in striking, grappling, and weapon-based martial arts, including a black belt / faixa preta in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He is passionate about helping students and training partners develop as martial artists, and as people. 

Professor Clement

Professor Clement Shields

Jiu Jitsu is a lot of different things to Clement Shields. It is a sport

and he enjoys competition as a test of knowledge and skill. He also sees

it as a fitness and social activity. First and foremost, however, Jiu

Jitsu is a fighting art to Clem and he always tries to teach and use Jiu

Jitsu with that in mind.

Clem started wrestling at 7 years of age. He continued wrestling in

youth clubs and competitively in high school. Along the way, he also

learned the basics of boxing and aikido. Clem started training Jiu Jitsu

in 2002 and earned his black belt in 2009. He liked Jiu Jitsu

immediately. It resembled wrestling in the regular sparring and that

techniques were performed against a resisting opponent, but he liked it

more due to the submissions and complexity.

Clem has been the training partner of many notable fighters, including

his brother Jake Shields, Gilbert Melendez, and Nick and Nate Diaz.

Among the Jiu Jitsu teachers he has had, he cites Marcelo Garcia and

Paul Schreiner as particularly influential.