Mike is a full-time jiu jitsu instructor, specializing in raising the next generation of little Eaglets. He has also invented a jiu jitsu card game and is working a children’s jiu jitsu book.
Mike Gardner was born and raised in San Diego. Out of high school he persued a career in commercial kitchen and HVAC repair though after several years decided it wasn’t for him. In 2015 he took his aptitute for systems and problem solving to Jiu Jitsu. New to martial arts at the time he walked into the gym down the street from his house in an effort to meet people and get some exercise. Luckily for him it was a Jiu Jitsu gym! Hooked immediately, he never looked back.
Mike got a job as a barista across the parking lot from his gym to be able to train every day. After breaking his ankle following being promoted to blue belt, he began helping with the kids classes to stay on the mats. This is when he found his passion and began what would lead to him being the head kids coach. Two years later at the end of 2017 he was promoted to purple belt and was running his own classes. Mike quit his job in 2020 to take on Jiu Jitsu (even more) full time.
In 2017 a parent of a student asked him, “Is there a Jiu Jitsu card game?” After searching the internet the answer was no. From then on he began developing and testing what would in 2020 become Combatch, the Jiu Jitsu Card Game. Combatch was made to capture the mental game of jiu jitsu so kids and adults can play and practice away from the mats. Mike loves spreading Jiu Jitsu and this was another way to do just that.
Mike enjoys all martial arts and loves blending techniques from Japanese Judo to Brazilian Capoeira to Mongolian Bokh into his Jiu Jitsu. He also spent some time training Muay Thai and Boxing. While Mike isn’t a big competitor, you will see him at every competition coaching his students.
Mike moved to Legion in 2021 and is beyond excited to train with the best and build some future champions!
Three fun facts about Mike
- Mike made a Jiu Jitsu card game
- Mike loves the kimura
- Mike is making a kids Jiu Jitsu book
Watch Mike in action
How can you learn from Mike?
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