Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu Martial Arts and Fitness Expands in Hacienda

Growth Provides Opportunities for New Classes Covering Self-Defense, Anti-Bullying Techniques

After two years on Stoneridge Drive, Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu Martial Arts and Fitness has moved into expanded quarters at 4464 Willow Road, Suite 102. Led by Dave Camarillo, "the most experienced Jiu-Jitsu instructor in Martial Arts today," the training center will undoubtedly benefit from its new location. It will also take advantage of the larger space - at over 10,000 square feet, it is almost double the size of its previous home - by offering several new programs, including self-defense and anti-bullying classes.

One thing that will not change is the professionalism built into all aspects of dojo operation, from the way phones are answered and visitors greeted to interaction with instructors. It is part of Camarillo's very serious commitment as a martial artist to "lead with honor, respect, and determination." It is also part of his solid business philosophy. "The train has to run on time," he quips. "We found a method that works for us and we'll continue on that path."

Student retention rates are very important, and the entire Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu experience is orchestrated to keep them coming back. "Getting people in the door is one thing, but you have to keep up the interest," Camarillo observes. He ups the excitement quotient by offering a wide variety of martial arts disciplines, combined with a structure that lets students know exactly where they are as they move up in ranks in the system. "All that combined helps us maintain and grow the business."

The holder of black belts in Judo and Jiu-Jitsu and a veteran of world-level competition, Camarillo started taking lessons from his martial-arts instructor father when he was just five years old. He went on to study with champions in wrestling and kickboxing. A highlight of his career came last year when he coached and cornered the reigning heavyweight Mixed Martial Arts champion Cain Velasquez.

Camarillo shares his insights about one of the fastest growing sports in his soon-to-appear second book, "Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu Submits Everyone." In this sense "submit" indicates incapacitating the opponent. "The book focuses on the mindset behind submitting people. It is like a physical chess game."

Classes at the dojo also emphasize that mental attitude works in conjunction with physical skills, for example in the curriculum on how to handle a bully. "It starts with posture," Camarillo explains. "Bullies look for weak people to pick on. We teach students to be strong in everything they do - the way they walk, talk, interact with adults and their peers. In a few weeks you can see that their whole life changes. They are now surrounded by an atmosphere that promotes being a strong, able person."

In addition to September's Hacienda expansion and the upcoming book, in October Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu opened a second facility, in San Jose. "It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up," Camarillo confides. To keep both operations running smoothly, he will rely even more on his wife, Shu-mei. "I'm the head instructor, but she is the driving force of the business, making sure we're all on same page and maintaining the level of professionalism so people feel welcome and comfortable."

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