Synergy Martial Arts Academy

Jiu-Jitsu, Martial Arts, & Fitness for All Ages!
Call us today to get started(318) 515-7310

Learn how to defend yourself while getting fit in a fun environment!

Our Adult and Teen Jiu-Jitsu is a program for all skill levels, ages, and genders! It’s developed to teach you essential life skills while getting the best workout of your life.

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    Meet the Adult Class Coaches

    At Synergy Martial Arts HQ

    Black Belt

    Wayne Knudsen

    Wayne Knudsen is the owner of SMAA and a Black Belt under 4th degree Black Belt Professor @brunotankbjj co-founder of Soul Fighters.

    Knudsen started competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu shortly after he started his practice fourteen years ago. Knudsen was a blue belt when he started his first school part-time in his garage because of the lack of training in his area.

    His passion grew and led him to leave a lucrative career to pursue his Jiu-Jitsu dreams full-time six years ago. SMAA, Synergy Martial Arts Academy has grown into the premiere training facility in the Shreveport/Bossier City area. Knudsen opened a new location in 2021 in Nash, Tx fulfilling his dream to open an academy for the Texarkana area.

    SMAA currently has over 200 students between both locations that meet to train seven days a week.

    He received his Black Belt on the podium at the 2019 Pan Am Championship from Professor Bruno Mendes after winning Double Gold submitting 4 out of 7 of his opponents. He made his Black Belt debut just two weeks later, also claiming gold at the IBJJF Orlando Open.

    His favorite training partner is his 5-year-old daughter, Wyatt, who recently joined him on the mats in Texarkana.

    Black Belt

    Dan

    Arnette

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    Professor Dan Arnette was the first person to earn a black belt from Professor Wayne Knudsen and Professor Bruno Tank Mendes at SMAA.

    He is another one of the original SMAA members. He has been training since 2006.

    He began his martial arts career training in mma and hated Brazilian jiu-jitsu at first. Eventually his passion shifted from striking to Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and he hasn’t looked back since.

    You can find him and his family participating in all of the nearby 5k and Spartan races.

    After over 15 years of training, Dan says the camaraderie of jiu-jitsu and of course the challenge itself keeps him coming back.

    Favorite Submission: Arm bar from high shoulder lock

    Brown Belt

    Shane

    Otto

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    Shane has been training jiu-jitsu for 13 years and is one of the original members of SMAA.

    His interest began by watching the UFC, and specifically watching Matt Hughes destroy Royce Gracie.

    He is the head kids coach at SMAA in Bossier City and both of his sons excel in the program.

    He and his boys can be found on the mats everyday of the week, most often drilling double legs.

    Favorite Submission: Pressure

    Brown Belt

    Robin White ‘Bobbie Black’

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    Robin White is a brown belt under Wayne Knudsen. He is another one of the original SMAA members.

    He started training mma in 2010 and spent seven years fighting at the amateur and professional level.

    In 2017, he decided to focus all his energy on jiu-jitsu and has committed himself as a coach.

    He is our most active private lesson instructor, teaches every Thursday evening at SMAA headquarters and makes regular appearances at SMAA Texarkana.

    His Thursday class has been dubbed by his students as the Thursday Night Thunderdome.

    Favorite Submission: Andaconda

    Purple Belt

    Loren Thibodeaux

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    Loren Thibodeaux is a purple belt under Wayne Knudsen. He has been training combat sports for 7 years and joined SMAA 3 years ago.

    You can find him on YouTube with mma breakdowns! Search: ‘Loren Thibodeaux’

    He began his career with boxing and kickboxing and transitioned to mma one year later. He started a high school fight club, and someone who trained seriously eventually brought him to an academy to cultivate the potential they saw in him.

    Fast-forward to 2021, and he is now a professional fighter and recently quit his job to coach at both SMAA locations. He plans to finish 2022 fighting in a major MMA promotion.

    His wife, Courtney also trains at SMAA, and they just welcomed their second born into the world this year!

    Favorite submission: D’arce

    Our Programs

    Classes for all Training Levels

    101

    Fundamental Jiu Jitsu Classes

    Fundamental classes are for the first day student or avid practitioner. Learn the basics while establishing a fundamental understanding of self defense.

    201

    Advanced Jiu Jitsu Classes

    Advanced Level classes are for those wanting to branch out and learn the newest most innovative techniques, or those who just want to get a good workout and challenge themselves.

    CAN YOU RELATE

    TO ANY OF THESE POINTS?
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    You want to be prepared for difficult or confrontational situations

    You struggle to find motivation to get fit and be active

    You want to expand your friend group and meet new people

    You could benifit from a boost of confidence to live life to the fullest

    Staying in shape doesn’t have to be hard

    Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the perfect way to get in shape and have fun at the same time. It’s a great workout that will leave you feeling accomplished, challenged, and energized all day long. And it’s not just for people who want to fight – it can be used as self-defense too!

    You don’t have to be an athlete or martial artist to enjoy this sport. Anyone can do it – from kids to adults of any age or size.

    RESULTS & GROWTH WITH EVERY CLASS!

    Studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can not help you get in the best  physical shape of your life, but it trains your mind to fully process information before reacting and making a decision. All of our students can testify to the immense benefits training jiu jitsu has brought to their daily life. Every class results in an improvement!

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    PRACTICAL SELF-DEFENSE 

    Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is designed to help you overcome your fears and build strength and agility both of which are helpful in self-defense situations. When you train at our gym you learn everything from handling larger/stronger opponents, basic moves like arm bars, chokes, armbars, escapes and much more so that when it comes time for real life self-defense scenarios, you know what to do.

    Plus we have an amazing community of people who will support you every step of the way on your journey towards becoming confident in your own abilities.

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    BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU is not just a cardio workout

    Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the perfect workout because it combines cardiovascular training with toning, resistance training, and muscle building. Train your heart and breathing while managing the weight of your partner.

    It’s also a great way to burn calories, so you can lose weight while getting into great shape.

    You’ll learn what your body is capable of and have fun doing it!

    Get ready to Level up

    When you know how to leverage your body and mind to accomplish things you never thought possible, over time, it increases self-confidence and pride – which carries over into work, home, and every area of your personal life.

    There’s nothing quite like the feeling of walking into any situation and having the understanding that you can overcome it.

    Discipline, patience, strength, agility, coordination, and skill are all drivers of someone who has a strong self-confidence.

    Drew Lewis
    Drew Lewis
    2021-05-20
    recommends
    We had about 3 min left in the class and I had to tap out. Couldn’t breathe. Had tunnel vision. And wanted to puke. Had to use gps to leave the parking lot cuz I couldn’t remember how I got there.... Other than that it was great non running cardio!!!
    John Harris
    John Harris
    2021-01-08
    recommends
    great place to learn jiu jitsu
    Tyler Murrah
    Tyler Murrah
    2020-10-31
    recommends
    It's a great facility, very clean, nice and professional. They have a shower, changing rooms, water fountain, and 2 huge mat spaces. The people are great and you make new friends instantly. The training is good. You get a very good push accordingly to your skill level. 5 stars!
    Haylie Hays
    Haylie Hays
    2020-09-18
    recommends
    Great coaches, community support and skill set to learn from. So thankful to be apart of this gym with my kiddos!
    Maria Ontiveros
    Maria Ontiveros
    2020-08-20
    recommends
    Great atmosphere amazing people lots of classes available. Perfect for anyone from beginners to advanced.
    Jason McClellan
    Jason McClellan
    2020-07-07
    recommends
    this is an amazing place super nice people , very knowledgeable in all aspects of this sport.
    Michael Atkinson
    Michael Atkinson
    2020-02-25
    recommends
    Wayne’s jiu-jitsu is awesome. He’s so good and such a cool guy. His students were very welcoming to me. I’ll train here every time I’m in town.
    Alicia Maddox
    Alicia Maddox
    2020-01-15
    recommends
    Very proud to be part of the SMAA family. There is no Jiu-jitsu/martial arts training around like it. You gotta learn from the best to be the best and that's what Wayne Knudsen and his team offer. If you are looking for a challenge or just starting out, you feel welcome from day one, but this training isn't for sissies.
    Ricardo R. Andreu
    Ricardo R. Andreu
    2019-11-13
    recommends
    5 stars!! I travel a lot for work and always try to find a gym to train when I’m on the road, If you’re in Shreveport take advantage of this awesome gym and the knowledge that Professor Wayne Knudsen has to offer. Learning and training with a PanAm and IBJJF champion is a unique experience that will improve your Bjj game for ever. The classes are large some times, but somehow he always manages to correct every person on the mats and even as a visitor, he made me feel like I am part of the team. This is my home away from home when it comes to BJJ. Couldn’t recommend it more.
    Chenique Wilson
    Chenique Wilson
    2019-10-08
    recommends
    I was looking for other fitness options when I came across this academy...I'm so glad I did! I went to a trial class and was absolutely convinced to come back. The coaches, everyone is amazing; this is exactly what I need to achieve my fitness goals and learn a skill I can use if a situation presents itself. I look forward to competing one day; I'm excited for what's to come!

    Personalized Coaching

    Fun training environment

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      By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Synergy Martial Arts Academy to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.

      FAQ

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Do I need any martial arts training to study Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

      No, you don’t. Our classes are structured to include beginners and experts. We help you adjust to everything and are here to help guide you along your journey.

      Do I need any special equipment to train?

      For Gi classes, you would need a Gi (two-piece garment available for purchase). For no-gi classes typically you’d wear athletic shorts or leggings and a rashguard or athletic shirt. Mouthguards are not mandatory but some students like to wear them.

      Do I need to spar when I just start?
      Not if you don’t want to. We focus on safety and training techniques first. Once you are ready you can participate in controlled sparring. 
      Do I learn self-defense doing Jiu Jitsu?
      Yes, you do. Jiu-jitsu has been proven to be one of the most effective methods for self-defense without using a weapon. You learn how to handle any situation mentally and physically against opponents of any size, age, and gender,
      Can Jiu Jitsu help me loose weight?
      It defiantly can. You will burn a lot of calories during class and if you combine that with healthy eating habits your results will exponentially increase. Those who practice Jiu Jitsu tend to make healthy life choices and being around a culture life that improves your overall health.

      OTHER BENEFITS

      1.Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a very effective form of exercise that relieves stress and anxiety. 

      2.You’ll improve your core strength, flexibility and endurance while helping you learn self defense!

      3.Your cardiovascular health will improve as your blood flow improves and you gain greater muscle strength/stamina.

      4.Training jiu-jitsu encourages the mind-body connection, improves concentration and overall discipline.

      FUN

      It’s Never Too Early
      or Too Late

      Start Today.