Ben WeinsteinBen’s grappling adventure began in High School as a member of the wrestling team. His interest in wrestling lead him to try Judo which he continued to practice in the off season. After High School he moved to southern California to attend college and in 2002 started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on campus at Long Beach State University. While living in Southern California, he had the privilege to train with many world class grapplers, compete in numerous tournaments, and earn his purple belt. In 2008 he moved back to his hometown in Northern California and quickly found his place training at Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Berkeley under Eduardo Fraga. It was there that his Jiu-Jitsu training truly excelled and 2012 was awarded a black belt from Professor Fraga. In late 2010 Ben came to Bangkok to compete in the Thailand Open tournament and travel in the area for a few months. He quickly realized that Bangkok was the place for him and canceled his plans to return home. He is now the head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor at BKKBJJ.
Phil DenzauPhil began training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in 1997, but it wasn’t until 1999 that he began training consistently. Since then, he hasn’t stopped. He was awarded his brown belt by Mauricio “Tinguinha” Mariano in April 2009. Phil has been instructing at BKKBJJ since the first day it opened in November 2008. He loves martial arts and, in general, considers himself a lifelong student.
Pat AphaisuwanPat started Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in 1998. From the first day of training, he knew that it would be an important part of his life. He was awarded his purple belt by Charles Gracie in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, US.
He was born in Thailand and spent many years living in the US. He came back to Thailand permanently at the end of 2009 and has been teaching at BKKBJJ since early 2010. He has trained in various styles of martial arts and particularly enjoys the combative and self defense aspects of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. He can teach in both Thai and English. Pat now teaches morning classes at BKKBJJ.
Bryan GarrisonBryan instructs the Beginner Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program at Bangkok BJJ. He currently holds a purple belt in BJJ under Professor Eduardo Fraga. While he has been training Jiu-Jitsu for over 7 years, he’s also enjoyed studying other martial arts such as Freestyle Wrestling, Judo, Muay Thai and Western Boxing.
While actively teaching BJJ in Thailand for the last 3 years, Bryan has enjoyed instructing both Thai nationals and foreigners. His classes focus on technique, concepts and theory essential to establishing a fundamental understanding of Jiu-Jitsu. Bryan maintains a fun yet very structured learning environment ideal for both adults and children. His goal is to share what he’s learned while expanding his own knowledge of BJJ.
Krzysztof Hajtalowicz (a.k.a. Chris Haja)Chris began grappling in 2006 in Opole, Poland at a small Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club. Even though there was no head instructor the club encompassed true passion for grappling.
It wasn’t until two years later, after having moved to Dublin, Ireland, that Haja would receive official instruction under John Kavanagh (SGB Ireland). At the same time, Chris dedicated himself to improving his stand-up at Bridgestone Muay Thai.
Having made the move to Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2009, Chris began training under Gracie Humaita black-belt, Pedro Schmall at MMA Chiang Mai. Dedicating himself to training both gi and no-gi, Chris was able to integrate his previous training under close tutelage of an accomplished black-belt. He continued to live in Chiang Mai for the next two years studying and teaching gi and no-gi BJJ.
Luke ChayaLuke took his very first BJJ class on his 25th birthday and hasn’t looked back since. After relocating to Southeast Asia from New York City, he created the BJJ-ASIA blog to help connect the growing jiu-jitsu scene with event updates and a comprehensive listing of schools in SEA. In addition to authoring the blog with original content, he has taken a key role in the production of seminars and tournaments in and out of Thailand. With the help of friends/teammates, Luke opened the doors to the Bangkok BJJ Academy in 2008 at its original location on Sukhumvit Soi1. Converting an abandoned salon where weekly open-mat sessions were held, the group soon grew and required a bigger space. What started with 10 square meters of mat space is now 100 at our current location on Sukhumvit Soi 13 in the Trendy Office Plaza. Luke currently holds the rank of 4-stripe purple belt under Prof Eduardo Fraga (Ralph Gracie Team).
Tony HemsleyTony started training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu at BKKBJJ in late 2009 and is now a blue belt under Ben Weinstein. He previously studied western kickboxing and Muay Thai before being introduced to BJJ. He was immediately hooked on the gentle art. These days Tony spends most of his free time studying the art both on and off the mat.
Tony has been teaching the Kids BJJ class at BKKBJJ for over a year now. His classes not only focus on technique and fitness but are also designed to instill confidence, respect and a good work ethic in the young BJJ practitioner. Tony structures the Kids BJJ classes so his students learn with smiles on their faces.