Meet the Adult Class Coaches
At Synergy Martial Arts HQ
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.
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
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
Robin White ‘Bobbie Black’
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
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
Classes for all Training Levels
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
Fun training environment
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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?
Do I learn self-defense doing Jiu Jitsu?
Can Jiu Jitsu help me loose weight?
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.