Instructors

HENRY AKINS

BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU INSTRUCTOR

Henry Akins began training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in 1995 at the Rickson Gracie Acadamy on Pico blvd in West LA.  Shortly after he started he became the secretary at the acadamy and was spending 70 hours a week there watching and participating in all of the classes.  In 1997 the school moved to the Pacific Palisades where Henry trained and assisted main Instructor Luis Heredia and also participated and trained in all of the classes taught by Rickson.  During these years Henry had the opportunity to train with Rickson and help him prepare for his fights in Japan.  In 2000 the acadamy moved again to Wilshire blvd in West LA. By this time Henry had begun teaching many of the classes at the school. In Feb of 2004, because of his persistence and dedication to the fundamentals and philosophies of Jiu-Jitsu, Rickson Gracie presented Henry with a blackbelt, being only the third American…

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ANTONI HARDONK

KICKBOXING & MIXED MARTIAL ARTS INSTRUCTOR

Antoni Hardonk began training in kickboxing in 1990 in his native country the Netherlands at the Vos gym in Amsterdam.  Antoni developed under the watchful eye of legendary trainer Johan Vos and world champion training partners Ivan Hippolyte, Ernesto Hoost and Jerrel Venetiaan. In 1997 Antoni started competing in professional kickboxing matches with great success.  Antoni fought over 20 pro K1 rules fights against some of the best fighters in the world maintaining a record of 19-3-1. Antoni’s passion for martial arts also got him interested in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  With the desire to learn from the best, Antoni came to Los Angeles in 2004 where he started to train at the Rickson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Acadamy.  It was there that he met Henry Akins who would become Antoni’s instructor in Jiu-Jitsu. As Antoni developed into a more well-rounded fighter…

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VLADIMIR MATYUSHENKO

WRESTLING & MIXED MARTIAL ARTS INSTRUCTOR

Matyushenko is an accomplished freestyle wrestling athlete and utilized his wrestling background extensively in his fights. He was a Soviet National Wrestling Champion. His nickname of “The Janitor” was coined by Dave Schultz as a joke to the U.S. wrestling team after Matyushenko beat members of their formidable squad (including Olympian Kevin Jackson) during a meet in Siberia. Their first impression of him had been when he was cleaning the mats in poor-looking clothing. He became a two-time National Junior College champion at Lassen College, winning the 177–184 lb weight class in 1996 and the HWT weight class in 1997, before moving on to the University of Nevada, graduating with a degree in Health Science in 1999. Matyushenko made his professional MMA debut by winning three fights on the same night at IFC 5: Battle in the Bayou. With a 9-1 record in smaller promotions, Matyushenko made his UFC debut defeating Yuki Kondo by unanimous decision at UFC 32…