Yamasaki Academy of Woodbridge is a full service Combat Sports academy offering instruction and coaching for adults and youth in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo and wrestling (grappling), Muay Thai (striking), and Mixed Martial Arts (all). We also have our Academy Kids program designed specifically for kids aged 4-8 years old incorporating a little of everything. We are “Goal Oriented” at the Academy. Regardless of what your individual reason may be for training, we believe that we are here to help you achieve and surpass that goal. Visit our Academy Information Page to find out where we are located and what to expect as a new student or take a look at our Schedule Page to discover when our classes are being offered.
Who We Are
With the rising popularity of Combat Sports and Mixed Martial Arts it can be difficult to judge one academy from another. The combined knowledge and experience of the staff at Yamasaki Academy of Woodbridge is unmatched in our area. Our instructors are all highly experienced Black Belts or have competed at a Professional level in their given art. While the level of expertise and experience may be what draws you to us, you will find the positive and family-like atmosphere will be what keeps you coming back. As a Yamasaki Academy school, we are also part of a bigger Yamasaki family with satellite schools in Springfield, Leesburg, and Culpeper VA, Rockville, Columbia and Gaithersburg, MD and Washington DC.
What We Do
We are a Combat Sports Academy
Merriam Webster defines Combat Sports as ““Sports in which two armed or unarmed opponents confront each other in combat.” Martial Arts is defined as “Any one of several forms of fighting and self-defense that are widely practiced as sports”. While these definitions seem very similar, the distinction is this: A Combat Sport might also be a Martial Art, while a Martial Art may not also be a sport. Training in any Combat Sport requires a higher and more intense level of training to be a successful competitor. By doing so, you are going to increase the likelihood of achieving your individual goals. We strongly believe that by competitively training in a Combat Sport you will be a far better “Martial Artist” than someone trying to learn the same art only for Self Defense. It will also cover the Fitness aspect of the training since you will need to be in peak physical condition to compete.
Combat Sports = Team Training
While all the Combat Sports training we offer at the gym is one-on-one in competition, the reality is that you will be a part of a Team. Even if you never compete, you are still training with the Competition Team. Everyone helps everyone get better coaches and students alike. Knowing and understanding that everyone is part of a bigger Team is a key part of the training philosophy and practice at Yamasaki Academy of Woodbridge. Individuals work towards individual goals which contribute and align to the Team goals. We approach competition the same as any team sport and work towards a common goal for the team: A successful team has individuals that excel at what they do.
The Yamasaki Academy of Woodbridge offers a variety of programs for older teens and adults including:
- Fundamentals: Our Fundamentals programs are designed for beginning students who have little to no prior training experience.
- Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a non-striking, grappling Combat Sport known for it’s ground fighting and concentration on submission holds.
- Muay Thai: Muay Thai is a Combat Sport from Thailand often referred to as the “Art of eight limbs” because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes.
At Yamasaki Academy of Woodbridge we focus our classes on the Combat Sport aspects needed to be successful in competitions. However, we also discuss the self-defense and anti-bullying techniques as well so our kids can be confident and disciplined. We separate the programs based on age groups so that children can get the most out of their classes.
Children aged 4 – 8 years old
- Academy Kids: Our Academy Kids program use techniques from all of our programs in a fun, exciting learning environment for young children.
Children aged 8 – 14 years old
- Youth Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a non-striking, grappling Combat Sport known for it’s ground fighting and concentration on submission holds. Begginers and Advanced classes are available.
- Youth Muay Thai: Muay Thai is a Combat Sport from Thailand often referred to as the “Art of eight limbs” because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes.
What Others Have to Say
The credentials of the coaches isn’t necessarily what makes a gym a great place to train. And while the success of the students can say a lot about a place, often enough the students experience is limited to the one environment in which they are training. Our story can best be told by those who have been around the block a few times, who can choose to be a part of any gym that would be fortunate enough to have them, and have made Yamasaki Academy their home.
“I enjoy training with Yamasaki Woodbridge BJJ Coach Joe Cunningham because I find his instruction to be some of the most technically concise and informative I have been fortunate enough to have in my 25 year journey in Martial Arts and 16 years as a Professional MMA fighter. His details are very clear, very practical, and he shows what works.”
— Aaron Riley, BJJ Brown Belt, UFC and Pride MMA Veteran
“Mark DeLuca is a great coach and I would definitely recommend anyone to train with him. He has a great understanding of Muay Thai, having fought at the top level himself, but is also very dedicated to the cause and loves to continue learning himself and furthering his own knowledge. He definitely has the knowledge and technique to progress any fighter, from beginner to seasoned professional.”
— Liam “The Hitman” Harrison, 5x World Muay Thai Champion , UK #1 out of Bad Company Gym in Leeds
“Yamasaki Woodbridge has among some of the best instructors I have ever trained with. The level of knowledge is on par with some of the elite trainers I have worked with at Grudge Training Center and Elevation Fight Team in Colorado!”
— Bryon Bruce, BJJ Black Belt, Former wrestling coach for Grudge Training Center and Elevation Fight Team
“The training here is great with, in my opinion, the best instructors in the area. In addition to that, they really drew me in to continue training there with how friendly & genuine these guys really are. I feel this way, and I only switched to their gym a couple months ago. They really make you feel as though, if you kept coming, you could definitely build some solid friendships. They truly have their students’ interests at heart, which is hard to find in a lot of other gyms. I completely recommend it.”
— Sergio Benitez, Amateur MMA Fighter
“I am so happy to have found Joe Cunningham and the guys at Yamasaki Woodbridge. After training traditional martial arts for more than 25 years, here is what separates Joe and the crew from the rest – REALITY. Ask yourself honestly when was the last time I truly put my martial arts skills to the test against a fully resisting, non-scripted opponent? When you walk out the doors here, you will not have to wonder if your skills would really work. You will know your proficiency was earned the old fashion way – by actually doing it day in and day out. The instructors here have competed at the highest professional levels in their respective arts. It won’t take you very long on google to see these guys are the real deal. You simply get ego free, true combat sport excellence provided by the best in the business.”
— Dave Frizzell, US Army Soldier and Police Officer
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