We are called The Judo School, so why do we also offer Jiu Jitsu classes? The reason is we have learned through judo training and competition observations that you actually need a ground game in the competitive sport of judo. You win in judo when you are able to out-move your opponent through technical throwing, tripping and grappling by using your speed and strength that your body weight can afford to make that happen. But what happens when you find yourself on the ground with your opponent? Enter Jiu Jitsu. Yes, the art implements judo techniques; but it specifically uses several combinations of traps, pins and joint locks with throws, locks and chokes that are intended to rattle your cage! Once you are off the mat, you better believe your judo and jiu jitsu training will be applicable not only in competition, but in real life self-defense scenarios! At The Judo School, you will learn Braziliian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), grappling, submission, even some wrestling as forms of self-defense!

Jake Wattenbarger - Head Instructor

Jake was introduced to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in the year 2000 while in the U.S. Army stationed in the Republic of Korea. He then trained at Relson Gracie Academy in Savannah, Georgia under black belts Garth Spendiff and Scott Devine, which enabled him to instruct Level I Combatives and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu  to soldiers. Jake then moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 2007 and started training with Relson Gracie black belt Mark Stefanac.  After years of training and serving as an assistant instructor at the  Relson Gracie Cleveland Academy, he obtained his 4-stripe brown belt. Jake is a firm believer in consistency when you train, no matter what age and level. That's what we believe here at The Judo School!

Roy Craddock - Assistant Instructor / Board Member

Roy has extensive experience as both athlete and instructor, earning the respect and following of his peers and students along the way. Roy is a black belt in classical Jiu-Jitsu and a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which he obtained under Relson Gracie. He has been instructing Jiu-Jitsu in the Chicagoland and has now found a home with The Judo School. His emphasis on self-defense in the real world makes his Jiu-Jitsu instruction all the more multifaceted. Roy takes great pride in seeing students improve under his tutelage. "Seeing the timid walk out a tiger is...priceless." We at The Judo School appreciate that about you Roy!