COLORADO BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU INSTRUCTORS
DAVID RUIZ – BJJ Black Belt - 3rd Degree
Professor David Ruiz is the founder of Colorado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy and is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt - 3rd Degree under Professor Rigan Machado.
David started his training in Los Angeles, California, under Rorion, Royce,and Helio Gracie. This is where he was specifically taught how to instruct the art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, by literally putting in thousands of hours.More about David Ruiz …
OSCAR MARTINEZ – Kick Boxing Champion
(MUAY THAI Head Instructor/Owner)
Oscar Martinez began his training at the age of 15 with one of his closest friends, Edgar Fiero. Edgar was a fighter who trained under Kru Puk and Sakson Janjirra. Edgar would later become a Muay Thai heavyweight champion.The two would meet at Sun Valley Park where they would hit the speed bag and work Thai pads. In addition, Oscar also participated in boxing at the local recreation center to keep himself out of trouble.More about Oscar Martinez…
Nobuo Yagai- BJJ Black Belt
(BJJ Instructor / General Manager)
Professor Nobuo Yagai has been studying martial arts since he was six years old. He began his training in Kendo (Samurai swordsmanship). He has studied full-contact Karate for over ten years and used his Karate expertise to become the 1997 Japanese National Sansho Full-Contact Kung Fu Champion.After graduating from university in 2000 with a BA in law and international relations
, Karate brought Nobuo to the United States where he trained and served as a full-time, Karate apprentice at his school’s International headquarters.
Mike Nickels- BJJ Black Belt
(BJJ / MMA Instructor)
Professor Mike Nickels, star of season 3 of the UFC’s reality TV show “The Ultimate Fighter”, has been training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 2003. Mike has competed in several BJJ/Grappling tournaments all over the country, including Grapplers Quest, placing 1st each time, and the highly renowned IBJJF Pan Jiu Jitsu Championships, in which he also placed 1st at each tournament. Winning tournament after tournament and developing a highly technical and athletic game has earned Mike a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Professor David Ruiz.
Matt Cram – BJJ Black Belt
(Head Instructor – Greenwood Village Athletic Club Combat Zone)
Professor Matt Cram has been studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for quite some time. Previous to Colorado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Matt studied directly under Professor Rigan Machado. Excelling as one of Rigans best students, Matt was aksed to appear in Rigan Machado’s 3 part Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technique book series, Encyclopedia of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Click here
to purchase your very own series with Matt.Matt has been a extremely valuable assest to our academy. Matt brings with him the awesome mental and technical side of Machado BJJ straight from the source along with head instructor David Ruiz. We are lucky to have him with us.
Sean Stewart – BJJ Black Belt
(Head Instructor – Stapleton Academy)
Professor Sean Stewart began training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Professor David Ruiz in 2004 and has been studying the Art with dedication ever since.Winning 1st place gold at a number of tournaments in Colorado (including multiple Fight To Win and RMBJJF gi and no-gi tournaments), a silver medal at the 2011 IBJJF Pan Jiu Jitsu Championships, and the 2012 NAGA Colorado Expert No-Gi Championship Belt, not only has Sean learned to perform the [more...
Robert Wunderlich – BJJ Black Belt
Professor Robert Wunderlich has excelled in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since he began training, winning multiple competitions, including receiving a Silver medal at the 2006 Pan American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships and placing first in numerous local Colorado competitions. Robert, AKA “Baby Huey” is a great assest to the academy and we are proud to have him as a student and Instructor.
Rich Hess - BJJ Black Belt
(Head Instructor – Englewood Academy)
Professor Rich Hess grew up in Ponca City, Oklahoma, where he started wrestling at age 6. He has 10 years of Boxing experince and his martial arts achivements include:
1998 U.S. National Combat Jiu-Jitsu Blackbelt Champion. 1998 National Extreme Sport Fighting Championships semi-finalist, pro MMA debut @165lbs. 1998 USWF 145lb World Title 8-man Tournament semi-finalist. Gladiators Challenge Veteran. Ring of Fire; former #1 ranked @145lbs. 2000 Black Belt 3-D martial Arts from Clarence Thatch. 2002 Brown Belt Judo. IFC Vetran (ISKA MMA world Title Fight). 2006 Pan American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Silver Medalist @154lbs. 2007 Pan American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gold Medalist @154lbs. Shoot Boxing Japan Veteran. Fight to Win Jiu-Jitsu Champion.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt from Dave Ruiz
Ben Lowry – BJJ Black Belt
(Head Instructor – The Sanctuary BJJ & Fitness)
Professor Ben Lowry began studying and competing in Brazilian jiu-jitsu in 2001 under Dave Ruiz at Colorado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy. He began his career competing in mixed martial arts and fought five times as an amateur fighter ending with a record of 3-2. Ben has competed at an international level in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, competing at the IBJJF PanAms and IBJJF Worlds for approximately four years. He has also won many smaller tournaments on the local level. Ben has trained at various academies in the United States including Ralph Gracie’s in San Francisco and Pedro Sauer in Utah. After many years of hard work and hard training Ben received his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu in July of 2011. Ben has also trained in Muay Thai with Oscar Martinez and Tom Yoshida for six years. Ben has been doing Judo for over two years, and has trained Judo with 2004 Judo Olympian Charlee Minkin and at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Charlee Minkin – Olympian - Judo Black Belt
(Judo Instructor – The Sanctuary BJJ & Fitness)
Olympian Charlee Minkin started judo when she was five years old at Willy Cahill’s Judo Club in California. While training at Cahill’s Judo, Charlee won numerous Junior National and Junior Olympic titles. Charlee made her first Jr World team when she was fourteen years old, which were held in Porto, Portugal. When Minkin turned 17 years old, she moved to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to pursue her dream of making an Olympic Team. While at the Olympic Training Center, Charlee trained under 1984 Olympic Bronze medalist and head coach, Ed Liddie, and competed around the world for several years. Charlee was on the 2004 Olympic Team, a 2 time World Team member, 2 time silver medalist at the Pan American Games and gold medalist at the Pan American Championships. Charlee also medaled at the U.S. Open, the Rendez-Vous, Benito Juarez, Titan Games, and several other major International tournaments.In 2005, Charlee began a career as a personal trainer. In 2007, Charlee pursued a career in law enforcement and began working as a Police Agent for the city of Lakewood. While at the Lakewood Police Department, Charlee became an Arrest Control Instructor, a Fitness Assessor and helped develop the first POST certified grappling manual, which she taught to other agencies. In 2009, Charlee started to train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and won the gold medal at the 2011 IBJJF Pan Am Championships. Charlee coaches Judo at the Olympic Training Center and is the head Judo Instructor at Colorado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and The Sanctuary Brazilian JiuJitsu and Fitness, where she is also the head fitness instructor.