Raised to turn the other cheek when confronted to fight and having that fail time and time again, Jon decided he needed to learn how to defend himself. Influenced by cinema (Karate Kid, Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, etc.) and comic books, he sought out local martial arts schools in Winnipeg, Canada.
Using his paper route money, his first lessons were in a Japanese Jujitsu club at a local community center in 1990 (only a few months); a dishwashing gig paid for Kenpo Karate (1994 -); Pasadena friends introduced Jon to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2003, earning his blue belt in 2004 under Wander Braga, hiatus to 2011 where he started with Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles and eventually earned his Black Belt in 2017. Jon trained some boxing and kickboxing with Frank Trejo, (Kenpo Karate 10th degree, boxing and kickboxing champ amateur and pro) while he shared his Allen Ave. gym with the Master’s kids and grandkids. Coach Jon has always been enthusiastic about what is functional in learning and teaching martial arts, and association with Straight Blast Gym International is a great fit for this sensibility.
Head Coach/Kids Program Director
Marco Sanchez II is a Los Angeles native passionate about self-defense and the journey of martial arts. With over 10 years’ experience in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kenpo Karate, Boxing, and Muay Thai, he’s enthusiastic about sharing the philosophy of fighting in a way that’s useful and effective.
As an SBG SoCal Head Coach and the Kids Program Director, he is innovative in his approach to teaching everyone from our Growing Gorillas Program (4y/o-7y/o) to our Adult Jiu Jitsu and Combatives Programs (16y/o & up). He strives to make his classes fun and engaging, while helping his students learn and understand the core concepts of the lessons.
Coach Marco believes that everyone has the potential and ability to be truly great martial artists, no matter your age or physical ability. Whether you are seeking a spot on the podium, aiming to get fit, or searching for a new activity, he is eager to help you reach your goals.
Marco currently holds the rank of Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Black Belt in American Kenpo Karate.
Coach Adults BJJ
Born and raised in Pasadena, California, Matt was always interested in the martial arts. He joined the US Army straight out of high school where he was a Patriot Missile Crewmember stationed in Hanau, Germany. After serving in the military he started his formal martial arts training in Kenpo Karate, under Grandmaster Larry Tatum in Pasadena, where he received his first Black Belt in 2000 and his second degree in 2001. In 2005 Matt started his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey under Rodrigo Teixeira in Walnut, California. In May of 2014 he received his Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Sammy Garcia/Rodrigo Teixeira and received his 1st degree in 2017. He has been a teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since 2012.
Coach / MMA / Self-Defense
On the coattails of his dad and the character Kwai Chang Caine in the TV show “Kung Fu”, Petar began training traditional martial arts when he was 7. In 1999, he began training with Steve Grody (where he eventually gained his instructorship), who helped him abandon those styles, in favor of “functional” methods – boxing, Muay Thai, Kali, and others, filtered through the principles of Jeet Kune Do.
In the ensuing years, Petar has also trained Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, combatives with Shivworks, Red Zone Threat Management, CMD, and more. Petar is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Psychiatric Technician, Masters level Addictions Counselor, and an audio engineer. Aside from crediting Steve Grody, he attributes his journey to the coaches of Straight Blast Gym So Cal, Matt Thornton/Straight Blast Gym International, Craig Douglas, Paul Sharp, Jerry Wetzel, Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny and the Dog Brothers, Cecil Burch/Immediate Action Combatives, Edgar Sulite, Dan Inosanto, and Lab Rat Martial Arts.
Lynda Jo Hernandez
Coach / Kids BJJ & MMA
Since she was 8 years old, Lynda-Jo has been practicing martial arts, starting with Kotaka-Ha Shito-Ryu. Under her school, IKF (the International Karate Federation), she has competed across California in Kata, Kumite, and Weapons divisions. She dabbled in other styles of martial arts such as Aikido and Judo in college, until she found a new home at JitsuFit in 2012 (now SBG So Cal) under Jon Boone.
Learning new ways of self-defense, especially when on the ground, was an eye opener and really showed how much more there is still to learn. Along with her own personal training in Jiu Jitsu, Lynda-Jo also helps teach the kids classes, ages ranging from 4-16, with the motto “Leave every place a better place.” always in mind.