How Successful You Are In The Next 2-5 Years Will Largely Be Determined By The Coaches and Mentors You Are Associating With.
Who are you going to choose as your coach?
How successful are they?
Are you confident in their ability to bring you to the level you want to reach – whether its in fitness, fighting, or just learning the art?
The average instructor at Crazy 88 has put in more than 5 years into understanding and mastering their art. Not only that but all our instructors continue to train still so they know what its like both as Teacher and a Student. All of them of have competed in their field – whether its in Jiu-Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, or Kickboxing. They know what works and they’re going to help you learn it.
Secondly, our instructors go through continuous learning – not only in their martial art but also in the art of teaching. We are very focused on helping you LEARN and get IN SHAPE in the best way possible. We really want our students to get the results they want. This is why we have curriculums, an online video library, as well as a variety of the typical classes one can expect at martial arts gym.
And of course, you can expect an accessible friendly rapport with the instructors. Its a little-known fact that every single Crazy 88 instructor started as a regular Crazy 88 student. Because they all started in the same place, they know exactly what pitfalls to help you avoid and what shortcuts to take (and which ones not to). Remember, success is no accident so you need to make sure you are being coached by successful people – its the true shortcut to reaching your goals.
(editor’s note: Since August 2013, Crazy 88 now has 1 instructor who was not a Crazy 88 student).
Read on to find out a little more about our coaching staff.
I started to train Jiu-Jitsu back when I was attending the detention camp known as Cornell University. Having wrestled in high school, I missed that intensity of training and competing. So when I discovered the college Jiu-Jitsu club, I decided to give it a try. And the rest is history.
When I opened Crazy 88 in 2005, everyone told me that it was impossible to run a serious competition school and also have it be successful. They told me that the average person was not willing to work hard and not tough enough. In other words, I would need to ‘sell out’ and run a McDojo if I wanted to make ends meet.
I didn’t believe it because I knew plenty of people who loved boxing, wrestling, hard strength and conditioning, etc. Crazy 88 is now responsible for producing some of the best grapplers and fighters in the World. And we didn’t have to water down anything.
Our unmatched competition credentials are accomplished by only 10% of our student base and the rest of the students are just having fun training. That sort of ‘best of both worlds’ atmosphere is what I am perhaps most proud of and what I plan on continuing to provide.
Jon Delbrugge AKA “Devastator”
The football player formerly known as “Meat”.
Lot of people know Jon now as a fighter. He LOOKS like a Mixed Martial Arts fighter. He has a lot of tattoos, muscles, and a shaved head. We nicknamed him “Devastator” after the giant Transformer made of construction vehicles because he was super-strong and super-crazy when he came in. You would have him in dominant positions and he would do some berserker move and escape or even finish you.
He’s won a whole bunch of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu medals including 2 Bronzes at the Pan Ams at the Purple Belt level. Right now, he’s a Professional MMA Fighter (3-1) after compiling a perfect 5-0 Amateur record.
For me the most telling story about Jon is when he first came into Crazy 88. He had been playing college football so he was huge and he checked off everything on the Walk-In form sheet, including Goals – To Be a Professional Fighter and Experience – MMA, Wrestling, Judo, Boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, etc. To this day, I believe he is the only person to check off all of those on the Walk-In form.
Jon would always be late with his tuition. Like completely delinquent for 3-4 months at a time and then just when he was about to be kicked out, he would show up with the money. It became so annoying that we wondered if it was worth dealing with him as a student but one thing kept us from asking him to leave… his little brother Devon.
He would always bring his little brother around and be super-protective of him so we said… Hey, a guy who cares that much about his brother can’t be that bad, and kept him around.
Jon ended up marrying his High School sweetheart and his little brother ended up becoming an instructor (keep scrolling down). He is loyal to his loved ones. To me, that’s the important part of “Devastator.”
Jamal Hargrove AKA Jamal Hardwork
New Coach Jamal Hargrove has trained Muay Thai under Manu N’toh, six time Muay Thai world champion, for five years. Originally from Georgia, Hargrove has a wide range of martial arts experience including a black belt in Judo, a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as well as a brown belt in Japanese Ju-Jitsu. At Mad House Training Center, he was a key element in the camps of fighters preparing for the highest level of Professional Combat Sports including the UFC, Bellator, World Series of Fighting, and Glory.
David Zwanetz AKA Lawyer Dave
Dave is Crazy 88′s resident happy guy. He is the guy who 5-stars everything on Amazon and is always telling people “You GOT to see this…” In other words, you can’t really rely on him for reviews because everything is great or the best ever. The crazy thing is that he sincerely believes it. If you put a polygraph on him while he’s telling you how the run-down cash-only window tint shop in Baltimore is a great business, it would show NO LIE, Dave sincerely believes it.
Dave also happens to be one of the only two Adult Blue Belt World Medalists in the entire Baltimore Area. He ended up taking Silver at the 2010 World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship despite having a “real job” as an attorney.
He tricked his wife into starting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and she ended up becoming European Champion, Brazilian Nationals Champion, and Pan Bronze Medalist. She was starting to win so much it made him nervous so he knocked her up. Now she’s out for 9 months. His brother-in-law, won the World Championships at the Juvenile level.
Dave Z wants you to train at Crazy 88 because it is the Best Martial Arts School ever!
Her husband calls her the classic “reluctant hero.” (awwwww….)
Cathy started at Crazy 88 after her husband David asked her to do the 30 day trial for HIS birthday gift. She promised to quit on the 31st day.
But we had a plan and asked her to help teach the newly-formed kids program. Cathy fell in love with the Tiny and Little Ninjas but lacked the skills to truly teach them – and thus began Cathy’s journey into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Fast-forward to 2013 and Cathy is Blue Belt European Champion and Brazilian Nationals Champion; She also has a Bronze at the Pan-American. As a Purple Belt, she took gold at the San Francisco Open before taking a hiatus to prepare for the birth of her and David’s first child Xander.
Not bad for a lady who tearfully threatened to leave the school forever if she was forced to grapple a teammate in a “match of the day” in front of the class.
Today Cathy is a mainstay at the Academy and works daily at both backend operations and as an instructor to both Adults and Kids. Cathy’s main hobbies outside of her passion for BJJ are bossing around David, cooking, and hanging with English Bulldog and School Mascot, Ghostface.
Timothy Michael Spriggs
Timmy Spriggs is proof that a strong foundation is the building block for future success. Starting at Crazy 88 at age 16, he was a scrawny kid who couldn’t even climb the rope. One time, he told me, that he relates more with 50 Cent than Will Smith despite attending Mt St Joseph’s.
Now, he’s the one the top Brown Belts in the World. Brown Belt No Gi Pan American Champion. Purple Belt No Gi World Champion. 2x Purple Belt Pan Am Champion.
Until Purple Belt, he was eating Cheetos and training Rocky 4 style which means working out and not training the style at all. If Rocky 4 taught us anything, its that sparring is completely unnecessary if you run and lift weights. Crazily enough, this was the routine that Timmy was on when he was getting his degree at St Johns University while still winning competitions. He was able to get by on the years of training he had during his High School years.
Now he’s training for real so the sky is the limit!
Aungla N Sang AKA The Burmese Python
I am a professional MMA fighter and a trainer at Crazy 88 BJJ. My life journey began on the other side of the world. I am a son of a jade miner, who sent me to the United States from Myanmar (Burma) after I graduated High School.
In the United States, I spent my first four years in Michigan, studying Farming at Andrews University. I learned to milk, feed, and breed the beasts known as Holstein Cows. In my sophomore year in college, I started the most ridiculous hobby called, Mixed Martial Arts. I would drive an hour down to South Bend, Indiana, three times a week to train “Jiu-jitsu”. I was in love with Mixed Martial Arts (and under poor management), so I fought my first MMA fight with just months of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training and some kickboxing sparring rounds.
After College, I moved to Columbia, Maryland and decided to go check out a gym called “Crazy 88”. After training at Crazy 88 BJJ, I was blown away by the instructions and the caliber of the skill in the room.
Unfortunately, I only trained there for two months before I took a job as a migratory beekeeper. I traveled all over the States for pollination contracts and honey production. A year and a few thousand stings later, I realized I needed to return to a more stable life. In 2009, I returned to Maryland and to Crazy 88.
I have 24 professional MMA fights, many IBJJF medals, and a job that I love. Still pursuing my dream, I am going to keep working hard and I am very excited for the upcoming years.
I am a Brown Belt and the No Gi Advanced instructor at Crazy 88 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Master Julius Park. My objective every day is to increase the students’ knowledge and self confidence in the art, in their personal fitness goals, and in their abilities on and away from the mat.
I am a graduate of Lafayette College in Easton, PA with a degree in biology-pre-med and also majored in football. Jokingly, we all majored in football because we ran our program like a pro team and that plays a huge role in my fanaticism with discipline. I was a four year letter winner in football, started my last two years, won two Patriot League Championships and achieved all-league honors and academic accolades junior and senior year. I came to 88 after my field dreams exhausted and the competition culture quenched my thirst to train, to compete, and to test myself.
I started training at Crazy 88 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in November 2008. I was so impressed with the overall environment on Day 1 that I signed up for the unlimited plan. I have been an every day student for the past 5 years and classify myself as semi-pro albeit that I carry a full time job in concurrence with what normal folk consider an insane commitment to my training and study. I have traveled across the country and around the world competing against the toughest competition at my belt level regularly. For a guy from the streets of Baltimore, the world seemed so small, but Jiu Jitsu has opened my eyes to people, cultures, and experiences that have broadened my horizons infinitely.
Womens Fitness Instructor Jen Watson has lots of tattoos and is very strong.
She hates soda but enjoys lifting heavy things.
She is adding some skills to her fitness and trains in both Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!
She hasn’t given us her bio yet so we don’t know what her favorite movie is. Why she is holding a weight to her ear in the picture, no one knows either.
Keith Cebula AKA Ciabatta, Trainspotting
Keith Cebula became “Ciabatta” when a well-meaning student, misheard his name and began calling him such. Being Italian, Cebula found the mispronunciation offensive, thereby guaranteeing it would now be one of his nicknames. His earlier nickname of “Trainspotting” comes from his day job where he works in a company which produces toy trains – not the famous movie (he also hated that nickname).
Before Jiu-Jitsu, Keith Cebula was a protestor. He would hold up signs, thinking that the ultra-wealthy oligarchs of society would put down their glasses of Dom Perignon, peek out the window of their Rolls Royces, read his hastily-drawn slogan written on cardboard, and change their minds.
He is the only person I have ever seen who can drink 10+ servings of coffee per day, including iced coffee during training.
He is also an Adult Blue Belt World Medalist in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, having taken Bronze in the 2011 World Championships. He was the 2nd person from the Baltimore area to win a World medal in Jiu-Jitsu (the first was David Zwanetz, also of Crazy 88).
Devon Delbrugge AKA “Demonstrator”
A proponent of the wet towel Jiu-Jitsu system, Devon was beaten into Jiu-Jitsu excellence by his brother. He was the best Blue Belt the Baltimore-area has ever seen – Gi and No-Gi World Champion! Since June 2013, he’s been a Purple Belt.
We call him “Demonstrator” because one of the students in the kids class kept mixing up and mispronouncing his brother’s nickname – so Jon became Devastator, and Devon became Demonstrator (hey, you win some and you lose some).
For a while, we thought Devon suffered some sort of disorder because he was so quiet.
One time we were at some IBJJF competition and Devon was warming up in the bullpen. Some random Jiu-Jitsu girl came up to him, pulled his headphone off his ear, kissed him on the cheek, and whispered into his ear that he was her favorite Jiu-Jitsu fighter. After a stunned silence, he put his headphones back on and continued warming up. He ended up winning Double Gold medals that day and forgot to call the girl. That’s Demonstrator.
Please forgive Mr. Petties for his haircut in the above photo. He was young man at the time and thought it would be cool.
Pete started off wrestling at Oakland Mills High School where he amassed over 100 victories. He has successfully competed in amateur kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition. Whether he has to wear a singlet, 12 ounce boxing gloves, or a jiu-jitsu gi, this guy can do it.
We call him the Pied Piper of Crazy 88 after the old fairy tale where the Pipe-player could get mice, people, and everything else to follow him based on his musical ability. When Pete came to Crazy 88, every garage-training, future UFC fighter in a 20-mile radius wanted to come too. Pete doesn’t play music though – I guess he’s just a nice guy.
The best thing about Pete is his unflappable level-headedness. He approaches fighting the same as other athletic endeavors and doesn’t make it more or less than what it is. He trains hard, develops his skills, and can always be relied on to fight to the best of his ability. He has a degree in education from Morgan State University.
Jon Connelly AKA Connie, Jean-Pierre, Coach Cool
I was first introduced to Mixed Martial Arts as a junior in high school. One Saturday night, in between Mountain Dew and chicken nugget-fueled games of Halo, one of my friends mentioned he had a DVD of Pride Fighting Championships with him. He put it in and we all watched in awe. I had no idea of what these techniques were, who these fighters were, or what was actually happening in the matches, but I knew I wanted in!
The problem was I lived in a small town named Manchester in Carroll County. In a town where the most popular establishment was a gas station, there were surprisingly no MMA gyms. And so, I had to settle for watching whatever videos of this sport I could get my hands on.
Fast-forward to my Sophomore year studying Psychology at Towson university, partying, and living the typical college lifestyle, when my family decided to move to Elicottt City. A friend of mine told me about a nearby school with a good reputation called “Crazy88 BJJ”. I thought the name sounded a little whacky, but decided to give it a try anyway. I was obsessed after my first class.
A couple years later and I am a 22 year old traveling the United States and the world competing in the sport that I love! Every day I get to put hard work into my passion and help others do the same.
Editors Note: Jon Connelly once defeated Chris Kim in Crazy 88′s “Best Hair” competition. This should come as no surprise – for a long time, we thought he was actually French and called him Jean-Pierre. Sadly, it turned out he couldn’t speak French and was from Columbia MD rather than grand Paris!