Tim Santos has been in martial arts since he was 6 years old. He has the most well versed and well rounded experience in the arts. He’s trained in classical arts such as white crane Kung Fu, shotokan karate, judo, wing chun, Filipino Arts, kendo to name a few. He’s had several Muay Thai fights as well. He’s earned his highest rank of go dan, 5th level black belt in Kenpo and traditional ju jitsu. For almost 10 years, he’s been training very closely with Rodrigo and Royce Gracie and has been in the instructor program spreading the art of Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to people of all levels.
A true martial artist that has dedicated his life in the arts, ZENKI dojos founder is the best place to start or continue your path in martial arts. We train beginners and turn them to experts and give experts and pros a place to train. Tim Santos has a staff of very highly trained martial artists and trainers.
Along with martial arts, Tim Santos is also a high level certified personal trainer. Certified in several Personal Fitness programs, he is also a CrossFit trainer and one of the few Russian Kettlebel Certified trainers in the area. He’s also a yoga practitioner and plans to get his yoga certification to further his knowledge in the human movement. He’s an avid “bulletproofer” and Paleo foodie and is very well educated in nutrition.
Sensei Tim Santos believes in the holistic approach to martial arts, fitness, health and nutrition.
Royce Gracie was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and is one of nine children, seven of whom are boys. His training in Jiu-Jitsu began at a very early age as a game with his father Helio. He never pushed any of the children to take formal classes until they wanted to do so. However, they often went to the Academy in Rio after school and on weekends.
Royce began competing in tournaments at age eight. He received his blue belt at age 16 and was promoted to black belt in less than two years. Royce moved to the United States at age 18 to live with his brother, Rorion. They began teaching private classes out of their garage, sometimes for more than ten hours a day. Together they opened the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy 30 years ago in Torrance, California. Although Royce no longer teaches there because of his rigorous travel schedule, it remains one of the largest martial arts schools in the country.
Royce’s reputable career as a fighter began in 1993 after defeating three opponents in the first Ultimate Fighting Championship in Denver, Colorado. His brother Rorion came up with this innovative challenge as a way to show Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the world. Discipline after discipline was defeated by the slight 6’1”, 180 pound Royce Gracie. The viewers were in awe.
His opponents consistently outweighed him by more than 50 pounds. He went on to win 3 UFC titles and today is the only man in the history of no holds barred matches to successfully defeat four opponents in one night. After leaving the UFC Royce went on to compete in MMA events in Japan and is a huge icon in this country.
Royce holds the record for the longest MMA match in history: 90 minutes against Japanese superstar Kazushi Sakuraba in PRIDE Grand PRIX 2000. He also showed total domination of the Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Hidehiko Yoshida. His largest opponent was Sumo Grand Champion Akebono, 6′ 8″ 486lbs. Royce vs. Akebono was the main event of K-1 Premium Dynamite New Years Eve show on New Year’s Eve in 2004. Royce defeated the giant in just 2min and 13sec with a shoulder lock. Royce’s continued success has opened the eyes of many disbelievers to the importance of leverage and technique in grappling.
In November of 2003, Royce Gracie was the first fighter to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame along with fellow UFC veteran Ken Shamrock. Since then Royce’s face has has been seen on countless martial arts magazines such as Black Belt, Inside MMA and Tapout. He has also been featured in Men’s Health and Fitness and GQ and continues to give magazine and radio interviews. His recognition spans the globe to include fans on most every continent. In 2014 Royce was named one of the 50 Greatest Athletes in the World by Sports Illustrated.
Today Royce is privileged to spread the techniques perfected by his father all over the world. Throughout his busy fighting career Royce has maintained a rigorous travel schedule of seminars and classes. He currently oversees more than 55 US and international Royce Gracie Jiu-jitsu Networks. The techniques of Gracie Jiiu-jitsu have become mainstream in most martial arts dojos. Fighters everywhere are racing to learn and implement this jiu-jitsu in their training regimen.
His list of students is enormous. Royce has taught many of the big screen greats like Chuck Norris, Ed O’Neal, Guy Ritchie, Jim Carrey, Josh Duhamel and Nicholas Cage. He has also been very active with the CIA, FBI, DEA, Secret Service, Army Rangers, Army Special Forces, Navy Seals and many sheriff and police departments. His G.R.A.C.I.E. course for law enforcement has gained international recognition. Aside from teaching at his Networks across the United States, he regularly visits Canada, England, Scotland, Portugal, Spain, Israel, Australia, UAE and South America.
Royce makes his home in Southern California with his wife, Marianne, three sons, Khonry, Khor and Kheydon and daughter, Kharianna. He maintains an impressive training regimen, which includes running, weight training, cross training, meditation and countless hours of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. He is a full time professional athlete who eagerly awaits his next challenge. Recently he completed a 40 mile run with his long time trainer, James Strom. In Royce’s own words, “Go ahead, tell me what I can’t do!”
Bill Petchprom brings over 30 years of experience in Muay Thai and Boxing to Zenki Dojo. His Martial Arts education commenced at Heights Boxing Gym in Houston, TX where he first studied boxing; he was later exposed to Muay Thai as a teenager, while training with Thai champions at the temple his father was attending. While in Texas, Bill studied under Muay Thai/MMA trainers, Saul Soliz, whose credits include UFC: training Tito Ortiz and Yves Edwards etc, as well as Jason Webster.
In 2000, Bill moved to California to train and fight for Kru Rex at Van Nuys Muay Thai, as well as Muay Thai Academy and The Yard. From 2005-06 Bill trained at Fight ‘n Fitness in San Francisco with UFC contenders, Darren Uyenoyama and Chris Cariaso, as well as Bunkerd Famphimai. Ultimately, Bill represented the Legendary Bomb Squad where he studied and fought MMA and Muay Thai with Chris Rielly, Paulo Tocha, Rob Kaman, Eddie Bravo, and Paul Mayorquin (at Wild Card). Bill was routinely a sparring partner for a number of MMA and Muay Thai fighters and champions, including Paul Daly (UFC, Strikeforce).
At Zenki dojo Bill is one of our most senior Muay Thai trainers and serves as cornerman with Sensei Santos for Zenki fighter’s tournaments. Bill is also one of Zenki’s in-house personal trainers.
Prince Cup Champion
Nai Khanom Tom Champion
WBC Muay Thai Champion
Muay Thai coach at Zenki Dojo!
Evaldo Lima is a long time Black Belt under Royce Gracie and Rodrigo Gracie. He has been studying the art of Gracie/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for over 20 years. Evaldo was born in Goias, Brazil and is a veteran of the Brazilian Airforce. He moved to the United States in his twenties and has been a Long Beach Resident since.
Evaldo still actively competes in Bjj Tournaments. His most recent is the World’s competition where he was the Gold Medalist in the Master/Senior Med/Heavy devision in 2012. He has also won Gold at Grappler’s Quest No-Gi of the Advanced Master division, Gold Medalist in the Long Beach Spring Open at the Long Beach Martial Arts convention, and 2012 PAN AM Silver Medalist. Evaldo is very passionate and has dedicated his life to Jiu-Jitsu. He strives to guide all his students to the level of his own accomplishments. – “Jiu-Jitsu has taught me self respect, respect for life and SELF DEFENSE, Jiu-Jitsu is a way of life. It is a honor having the opportunity to study directly from the source and to be involved in such a great art.” Evaldo accompanies Royce and Rodrigo Gracie conductiong seminars throughout the world. Zenki Dojo is proud to have Evaldo Lima and Neutral Grounds Jiu-Jitsu as a sister school.
LA native, Christian Palencia teaches group Muay Thai classes and personal fighting sessions at Zenki Dojo. Christian began his striking practice in 2008, and since has trained in Thailand, and out of Bombsquad with Chris Reilly and current UFC fighter, Alan Jouban. Additionally, he earned a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Christian’s Muay Thai training style focuses on core-conditioning and cross-training to supplement the dynamic, intentional, and precise technique he delivers in his sessions. Christian currently fights mixed martial arts, and plans to some day own a gym. Zenki Dojo is proud to have Christian as one of our in-house fight trainers for private sessions and group Muay Thai classes.
Charlotte Smith is a LA based dancer, teacher, and choreographer. She takes additional pride in helping in the day to day running of Zenki Dojo. Charlotte is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, has a BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA, and a 200-hour teaching certification from Yoga Alliance.
Charlotte has spent her entire life as an athlete, dance artist, and body mechanics/kinesiology nerd. Recently, she added the study martial arts in order to better cross-train for her life as a professional athlete in modern concert dance.
Brandee Goatcher believes that everyone has a unique and beautiful individual practice. That we can grow and become inspired by other yogis, but must honor ourselves, quirks and all. Her classes are arranged in a way that encourages students to listen to their bodies, follow their breath, and move in a way that nourishes both. Brandee is continually refining and deepening her own practice in order to offer her students something new, something bigger, something extraordinary. That’s what yoga can be for you – an unending journey, always to a new place.
Brandee is a several times Certified Yoga Alliance teacher. She studied 200 hours of Anusara in an Immersion with Maria Cristina Jimenez, Keric Morinaga, Noah Maze and Tony Giuliano. Later, she completed an additional 100 hours of teacher training with Tony Giuliano, Restorative Yoga Teacher Training with Jillian Pransky, and a Spiritual Anatomy workshop with Maria Cristina Jimenez.
Christine Tran, AKA “Scrapper” has been a part of the Zenki family for over 6 years while cultivating her affinity for yoga (Vinyasa and restorative), Muay Thai, and Pilates. Don’t let a petite frame fool you; she is one of our most ferocious lifters in the gym, and holds the title of Zenki’s “Strong Woman” from our cancer research fundraising competition.
Scrapper began training Muay Thai 8 years ago in her hometown of Boston. Today, Christine is a personal trainer, and teaches yoga as well as Zenki’s Sunday morning “Chick Fit” class (a combination of strength, endurance, and self-defense training for the females of our community).
Outside of the gym, Christine is an avid hiker, rock climber, and cyclist. Christine is committed to her healthy vegan lifestyle that is fueled by her avid participation in her variety of physical activities; she pushes others at Zenki to demand the most of themselves.
I’ve been training and fighting professionally for ten years. I stopped playing soccer and was inspired by a friend of mine who was a red belt in TKD. Soccer was fun but my friend had a skill that meant he could protect himself, gave him discipline and confidence. After trying TKD for a month or two I was invited to a Muay Thai class. The sound of pads being cracked, smell of thai oil and sight of people of all sizes, cultures and classes mixing it up on the dojo matts was mesmerizing. In my first lesson I sparred and was humbled by the skill, control and respect of the guys who took me to school. I knew I wanted to learn more. In that time I’ve fought all over the world and travelled the globe to increase knowledge at training camps. I have a degree in sports science and have been coaching at some of the best gyms in London training all levels from beginners to professional fighters.
Coaching Muay Thai gives me the opportunity to introduce something positive into to people’s lives that allows them to make lifestyle changes and become happier people.
Maddy Curley became CrossFit certified October 19th, 2008. Before that she coached gymnasts of all ages for over ten years. She obtained her CrossFit gymnastics certification soon after. She has since used her knowledge of body weight conditioning and olympic lifting to whip countless people into shape, traveling to seminars all over the world.
Maddy’s own gymnastics career began at age four; her competitive career at age six. She is a four time Level 10 National qualifier and won Elite Nationals her senior year. She earned a full scholarship to compete at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill where she was also a four-time Academic All-American and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Upon graduation, Maddy made her film acting debut in Disney’s “Stick It,” an April 2006 release from Touchstone Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment.
Maddy’s first go at a CrossFit competition was at SoCal’s 2010 Sectionals where she placed 2nd. The next year she went on to compete with her team at the 2011 CrossFit Games where they took 5th place! In 2012, Maddy placed 11th in the world at the Open and took another stab at competing as an individual, taking a laudable 7th place in SoCal’s Regional competition. She went team again in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Physical fitness has always been an important part of my life and I believe in having a balance between cardio, weight training, and combat sports. I’ve been coming to Zenki for a year now and I stick mostly to boxing and Muay Thai.