HEAD OF GRAPPLING / BJJ (BJJ BLACK BELT)
You would be hard-pressed to find a better vehicle for overall personal development than grappling/Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). I firmly believe that if you stick with it and genuinely put effort to improve, you will learn more about yourself than you would in any academic setting. Grappling/BJJ live sparring gives you the opportunity to exercise your real time problem solving thought process. You make a mistake, you submit; you submit, you learn. Rinse and repeat. Perseverance + hard work = correcting deficiencies.
My teaching method is a blend of styles, including things I learned during my time in the military and from past instructors, to break down concepts and techniques in a way from which anyone can benefit. I truly believe that grappling/BJJ is for everyone – the young and the old, male or female, in or out of shape, and whether you are a competitor or a hobbyist. Anyone can be successful. You don’t need talent. What you do need is hard work and perseverance, just like anything else in life.
To me, grappling/BJJ plays many roles in my life; it is my therapist, it’s my exercise, it’s confidence and team building, and last, but certainly not least….it’s fun!! Grappling/BJJ has given me a clearer thought process, both on and off the mats. It can do the same for you!
CREATOR OF JITFIT / BJJ, & KICKBOXING COACH (BJJ BLACK BELT)
Chicago is my home and martial arts is my game. I grew up in the Edgewater neighborhood where I first started to practice Tae Kwon Do (14 years- 3rd degree black). After competing for a while I wanted to try something different and started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) in 2006.
When I first started BJJ, I was terrible. The movements were different and the cardio was unlike what I was used to. I was always used to winning, but I lost my first two tournaments. Then, I realized I had to train smart and not just more. I developed a game plan for myself and only learned 8 core moves, but I knew I could pull those moves off better than anyone at my level. With that smart training, I got 1st place at the North American Grappling Association (NAGA), Titan Grappling and US Grappling and I later went on to be a quarter-finalist at the Mundials and Pan American Championships. I was hooked onto BJJ and I loved it.
Since then, I’ve been devoted to showing everyone the internal and external power of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I formed the Northwestern University BJJ club and started JitsLab.com– an analytical way to measure performance and to create automatic highlights.
Lastly, I love helping people reach their full potential. So I created JitFit to help men get back to 199 lbs so they can move like they use to.
If you want to read about how we opened this gym, here is an article on gosolo about our journey
BJJ INSTRUCTOR (BJJ BLACK BELT)
Derrick is a big kid at heart and strives to see everyone he knows do better. Specifically, he designed the Fundamentals Jiu-Jitsu class because he remembered what it was like to be brand new and to not know a thing.
His style to teaching is to emphasize the small stuff that works as opposed to flashy moves that look cool, but won't help you. He also loves playing rap music and rooting for each of his students during class.
BJJ INSTRUCTOR (BJJ PURPLE BELT)
Matt is one of our No Gi specialists. His approach is to really focus on the newest, freshest and most innovative techniques in the world of grappling. Matt is very technical in his teaching style, but very welcoming as well.
In addition, Matt is a fantastic coach and specializes in helping wrestlers transition into grappling. Furthemore, Matt loves great food and cuisine and is working to become a sommelier- so bring him a good bottle of wine if you have enjoyed his class! Bring him terrible cheap wine if it was bad.
BJJ INSTRUCTOR (BJJ BLUE BELT)
Marco is home grown from the Chicago School of Grappling! He started off when he went to UIC as a freshmen and was almost 300 lbs! Now he is leading classes and is 190! He has stated multiple times that Chicago School of Grappling really opened him up and changed his life and we are so proud to have made such a huge impact on his life.
Marco is a great technical instructor and teaches our no gi class. He is also an avid competitor and methodical in his approach to learning and teaching new material. Marco also frequently teaches kickboxing too and specializes in using the clinch and wall for fighting.