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, BOXING, & 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 BROWN BELT)
Nic has been doing jiu-jitsu for years and your legs better be on guard. He is a leg log master and loves to teach the art of lower body submissions. In addition, Nic has a wrestling background and has a great game plan to help wrestlers transition into brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Additionally, Nic loves to travel internationally and also check out international gyms. In fact, he traveled to Bali MMA and won an in house tournament they were having there.
BJJ INSTRUCTOR (BJJ BROWN 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.
WOMEN'S ONLY CLASS (BJJ BLUE BELT)
If you've ever wanted to meet a real life Wonder Woman here is your chance. Sometimes big surprises come in small packages and that is exactly the case with Coach Ana. She has a tenacity fit for someone 10x her size, but she uses it to not only be a fierce competitor, but a caring coach and teammate.
For the ladies, Ana will focus on how to adjust grips and body positioning especially if you are small and how to overcome bigger men who look to only use their brute strength.